Thursday, 16 April 2015

The 100th Birthday of Joan Alexander: Radio's Lois Lane

It was 100 years ago today that Joan Alexander was born Louise Abrass in St. Paul, Minnesota. Today she is best known for having played Lois Lane on the long running radio show The Adventures of Superman. Joan Alexander would not be the first actress to play the role. Both  Helen Choate and Rolly Bester preceded her in the role. That having been said, she would play Lois Lane longer than other actress in any other media. Joan Alexander began playing Lois Lane in 1940 and remained with the show until it ended its run in 1951. What is more, she was the first actress to play Lois Lane in a film; quite simply, she provided the voice of Lois in the  Fleischer Studios/Paramount Pictures animated "Superman" shorts. She would provide the voice of Lois Lane one last time in the 1966 Saturday morning cartoon The New Adventures of Superman.

Of course, Joan Alexander would be more than the voice of Lois Lane on radio and in theatrical animated shorts. She was the original voice of Della Street on the radio show Perry Mason; she would be followed by Jan Miner and Gertrude Warner in the role. She also played detective Philo Vance's secretary Ellen Deering on the 1948-1950 radio show Philo Vance, and appeared on soap operas such as Against the Storm, Light of the World, Lone Journey, and This is Nora Drake. She also guest starred on the science fiction radio show Dimension X.

In tribute to Miss Alexander on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of her birth, here she is playing her most famous role in the very first Fleischer Studios Superman cartoon, the Oscar nominated "Superman" (also known as "The Mad Scientist").

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