Lois Lane, Pin-up Girl and Volleyball Champ (20080222)
Noel Neill, the first woman to play Lois Lane on screen. WonderCon 2008, San Francisco. Seth Rosenblatt (c) 2008. Listening to Noel Neill talk, it's apparent the woman comes from another era. Unambitious when it came to seeking out Hollywood roles, she nevertheless played Superman's girlfriend opposite Kirk Alyn in the first Superman movie serials and then on the first Superman television series with George Reeves. There's no need for me to disclose her age, but suffice to say she's older than she looks. More importantly, she's a woman who speaks her mind, and isn't afraid in the high-pressure world of Hollyweird to tell people to buzz off. I wasn't planning on attending her seminar at WonderCon, but the FMA wanted to check it out, thus proving once again why she's got the title of "adviser". Neill was at turns funny and serious, witty without being crude, but clearly able to take on attitudinal younger folk. Graciously, when I asked her to pose in the typical pugnacious Superman pose with fists on her hips, she didn't even blink before agreeing. It turns out that until she was forty--so about a year or two ago--she was a beach volleyball champion, even while she was starring on one of the most famous shows of all time. According to Ms. Neill, she was also the second-most popular pin-up girl during World War II. Given her confidence and forthrightness, that's not hard to believe.