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Phyllis Coates Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (4)  | Trivia (11)  | Personal Quotes (2)  | Salary (1)

Overview (4)

Born in Wichita Falls, Texas, USA
Birth NameGypsie Ann Evarts Stell
Nickname Gypsy
Height 5' 4" (1.63 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Born in Wichita Falls, Texas, Phyllis Coates moved to Hollywood as a teenager with intentions of enrolling at UCLA. A chance encounter with Ken Murray in a Hollywood & Vine restaurant landed her in the comedian's vaudeville show. She started out as a chorus girl and worked her way up to doing skits before moving on to work for veteran showman Earl Carroll and later touring with the USO. Coates got some of her first motion picture experience in comedy short subjects at Warner Brothers and then graduated to roles in early '50s films. After a one-season stint with the Man of Steel (George Reeves on Adventures of Superman (1952)), she began to divide her time among TV, B-movie assignments and serials at Republic.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Tom Weaver <TomWeavr@aol.com>

Spouse (4)

Dr. Howard Irving Press (3 October 1962 - 1986) ( divorced) ( 1 child)
Norman Tokar (27 August 1955 - 2 May 1960) ( divorced) ( 1 child)
Robert Nelms (23 January 1950 - 1 October 1953) ( divorced) ( 1 child)
Richard L. Bare (28 March 1948 - 11 January 1949) ( divorced)

Trivia (11)

Years after gaining fame as TV's first Lois Lane on Adventures of Superman (1952), she played Lois Lane's mother on an episode of Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (1993).
She accepted the role in 1957's The Incredible Petrified World (1959) as a favor to its director, Jerry Warren, who was a former boyfriend. The actress originally cast in the lead couldn't do it and Warren couldn't find anyone else in time. He persuaded Coates to do it by telling her that the film would not be shown in California. However, after it was completed, she found out that Warren did indeed release the film in California, and she was told by at least one studio executive at Columbia that the film was so inferior and shoddy that the studio would not be hiring her again. On top of that, Warren never paid her.
The first actress to appear as Lois Lane with George Reeves. Although Noel Neill played Lois Lane before Phyllis, it was not with Reeves but rather Kirk Alyn.
In what can be considered the "first sitcom," she appeared opposite George O'Hanlon, as Alice McDoakes, from 1948-56 in the "Joe McDoakes" movie shorts.
Along with Jack Larson and Jack Kruschen, she is one of only three actors to appear in both Adventures of Superman (1952) and Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (1993).
In May 2008 she appeared at Captain Celluloid's Movie and TV World Convention.
She has two roles in common with both Noel Neill and Teri Hatcher: (1) Neill played Lois Lane in Superman (1948), Atom Man vs. Superman (1950) and Adventures of Superman (1952), Coates played her in Superman and the Mole-Men (1951) and Adventures of Superman (1952) and Hatcher played her in Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (1993) and (2) Neill played Lois' mother Ellen Lane in Superman (1978), Coates played her in Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman: The House of Luthor (1994) and Hatcher played her in Smallville: Abandoned (2010).
Was accidentally punched during filming of Adventures of Superman: Night of Terror (1952), knocking her unconscious. The actor who punched her apologized profusely, but the actual punch was left in the episode, as there was no time to reshoot the scene.
Former Earl Carroll showgirl.
Profiled in the book "Johnny Mack Brown's Saddle Gals" by Bobby Copeland.
With the death of Noel Neill on July 3, 2016, she is the last surviving regular cast member of Adventures of Superman (1952).

Personal Quotes (2)

[Comparing the wardrobe she wore playing Lois Lane in Adventures of Superman (1952) with Teri Hatcher's in Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (1993)] I saw Teri in this beautiful dress with her boobs pushed up and I thought, "That's Lois Lane?!?!" I had a suit up to my collarbone. I felt like a horse with a bit in my mouth.
[on how she came to be hired as "Lois Lane" on "Adventures of Superman" (1952)] They [producer Robert Maxwell (II) and director Thomas Carr (I)] auditioned a lot of people. I read for it, then was called back a second time. They felt that I had the quality--it was that simple.

Salary (1)

Adventures of Superman (1952) $375 /episode

See also

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