Many of the sources who wrote this up got it wrong.
Noel Neill was not the first woman to play Lois Lane in the TV series, and she was not even the first to play Lois Lane opposite George Reeves.
But she was the original Lois Lane in a different sense. Neill had played Lois Lane in the two 15-chapter film serials, Superman and Atom Man vs Superman, but the actor playing Superman at the time was Kirk Alyn.
In the 1951 film (Superman and the Mole Men) and the subsequent TV series, the original co-stars were George Reeves and Phyllis Coates, but Coates was committed to another project, so Noel Neill was called in after the first season to reclaim the Lois Lane role. It is Neill who is most commonly associated with the TV role today, since she appears in 3/4 of the episodes of that series. When the series ended, she basically disappeared from TV and films for a quarter of a century, re-emerging in 1978 to play Lois Lane's mother in the Chris Reeve Superman movie.
By the way, I think Phyllis Coates is still alive! The Lois Lanes are some hearty women.
Monday, July 04, 2016
Noel Neill (Lois Lane opposite George Reeves) passes away at 95
‘Superman’ TV show’s Lois Lane passes away at 95