Phyllis Coates, Iconic Actress Who First Played Lois Lane, Dead At 96

Public/Screenshot/Youtube — User: Jim Nolt via 'Adventures of Superman' (1952)

Leena Nasir Entertainment Reporter
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Phyllis Coates, the first to play Lois Lane on the small screen, died of natural causes Wednesday at the age of 96, her family says.

Her daughter, Laura Press, confirmed Coates’ death to The Hollywood Reporter (THR). The famous actress made her debut as Lois Lane in the very first season of “Adventures of Superman,” which ran in syndication for six years, starting in 1952. She appeared in a total of 26 episodes.

Coates had played the role of Lois Lane in the 1951 film “Superman and the Mole Men,” which was the first feature film based on a DC Comics character, before “The Adventures of Superman.”

Coates’ other television credits include a number of episodes of “The Abbott and Costello Show,” “The Lone Ranger,” “Leave It to Beaver,” “Perry Mason” and “Gunsmoke,” to name a few.

Her big-screen credits include “I Was a Teenage Frankenstein,” “Blood Arrow,” “Girls in Prison” and “The Baby Maker.”

The famous actress also played the role of Marilyn Monroe’s mentally ill mother, Gladys Baker, in “Goodnight, Sweet Marilyn,” in 1989.

In her personal life, Coates was married four times. Her first husband was TV director Richard L. Bare, and the two met on the job and worked on 166 episodes of “Green Acres” as a couple. (RELATED: Celebrity Chef, Food Network Host Dead After Suffering Allergic Reaction)

She also married musician Robert Nelms, as well as the director from “Leave It to Beaver,” Norman Tokar. Coates’ last marriage was to Howard Press, a doctor. All of Coates’ marriages ended in divorce, according to THR.

She is survived by daughters Laura and Zoe, and her granddaughter Olivia.