Ranking the live-action portrayals of Lois Lane

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American actor George Reeves (1914 – 1959), as Superman, stands with Phyllis Coates, as Lois Lane, in a still from the television series, ‘Adventures of Superman,’ c. 1952. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Courtesy of Getty Images)

5. Phyllis Coates, Adventures of Superman, Superman and the Mole Men

The first time we see Phyllis Coates as Lois Lane in Adventures of Superman, she’s trying to get the scoop on a story only to be bested by rookie reporter Clark Kent (George Reeves). Her suspicion and quick-fire questions put him on the spot and highlighted her perceptiveness. Coates had the right idea for how Lois should be played and really went for the intrepid reporter persona, bringing Lois to life as a go-getter. Interestingly, she was later replaced by Noel Neill in later seasons. Later, Coates also starred as Lois in the feature Superman and the Mole Men.

4. Amy Adams, Man of Steel, Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, Justice League

Amy Adams’ Lois was robbed in so many ways, but having appeared in three films in the “Snyder-verse,” she did a good job of conveying Lois as a hardcore journalist, who was willing to discover the truth no matter the cost. She put her life on the line a few times and was also the grounding point for Henry Cavill’s Superman. Adams is a subtle and strong actress, and her portrayal of Lois was never over-the-top, but full of nuance and quiet determination. For all her caliber, however, the films didn’t do her or her character justice. In Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, her scenes were cut, even though Lois had “a great storyline,” said Adams. So there was a lot of potential lost, especially when you take into consideration how masculine these films were, leaving little room for Lois to shine and rise to the level of greatness she so very much deserved.

Photo Credit: Lois & Clark/Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc Image Acquired from DC Entertainment PR

3. Teri Hatcher, Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman

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Teri Hatcher was probably the first version of Lois Lane to headline a Superman live-action adaptation. Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman was written like a spunky workplace rom-com, only with lots of heroics. Hatcher’s Lois had all the gumption that made her character such a household name and, more than that, it also got to focus on her budding work relationship and later romance with Clark Kent (Dean Cain), something many of the other adaptations didn’t get to explore as much.

The very first time she’s introduced on the show, Lois had just come back from going undercover as a man for a scoop on a story and then, immediately after, showed off her persistence in trying to nab a one-on-one interview with Lex Luthor. Hatcher brought a specific can-do attitude to the role, and it’s a testament to her character that the show actively focused on her career as a reporter just as much as it focused on her relationship with Clark.