Shortly before the SAG-AFTRA strike, James Gunn’s highly awaited DC reboot Superman: Legacy cast Rachel Brosnahan as Lois Lane, Superman’s eternal companion and love interest. Best known for her Emmy-winning role in Prime Video’s comedy The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Brosnahan will star opposite David Corenswet in Gunn’s version of the Man of Steel’s story, set to release, at least for now, on July 25, 2025.
- 28. Juliet Landau
- 27. Olivia Wilde
- 26. Natalie Morales
- 25. Laura Bailey
- 24. Kate Bosworth
- 23. Kyra Sedgwick
- 22. Grey DeLisle
- 21. Shannon Farnon
- 20. Joan Alexander
- 19. Pauley Perrette
- 18. Grey Griffin
- 17. Paget Brewster
- 16. Noel Neill
- 15. Phyllis Coates
- 14. Amy Adams
- 13. Anne Heche
- 12. Alexandra Daddario
- 11. Amy Acker
- 10. Ginny McSwain
- 9. Rebecca Romijn
- 8. Alice Lee
- 7. Christina Hendricks
- 6. Stana Katic
- 5. Erica Durance
- 4. Margot Kidder
- 3. Elizabeth Tulloch
- 2. Dana Delany
- 1. Teri Hatcher
Lois Lane is a crucial character in Superman’s lore, but it’s also incredibly hard to get right. Many have tried to do justice by the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, but very few have succeeded. Indeed, Lois can be a very thankless role if improperly written, especially because some of her main traits – near-blind ambition, resourcefulness, determination, and gumption – aren’t easy to depict. However, that hasn’t stopped multiple shows and movies from using her, with mixed results. Whether in a lead or a supporting role, Lois is memorable enough to stand out, cementing her status as one of DC’s leading figures.
Lois has nothing to do in the 2015 direct-to-video film Justice League: Throne of Atlantis. Juliet Landau does a fine job with what she’s given, but there’s not enough for a memorable depiction.
The instantly forgettable DC League of Super Pets features Lois Lane in a small role. Olivia Wilde voices her and does as good a job as possible, considering she has only a few lines and has nothing to do other than be on the opposite end of Clark’s marriage proposal.
The dark and subversive black comedy Harley Quinn is among the best shows on Max. Lois Lane appears sporadically, voiced by Natalie Morales; like other characters in the show, this Lois is a satirical take on the famous reporter. Lois doesn’t do much whenever she appears, but at least Morales does a good job with the role.
Lois infamously dies in the divisive Injustice storyline, meaning poor Laura Bailey has nothing to do in the animated adaptation. She dies at the beginning and returns in the end as an alternate version of the character. Bailey reprises the role in Batman and Superman: Battle of the Super Sons, but the role isn’t much bigger either.
Poor Kate Bosworth. History has been extremely unfair with her and her portrayal of Lois Lane in the much-discussed yet little-loved Superman Returns. It might not be among the best Superman movies, but Returns is a decent film, and Brandon Routh is good-to-great Superman.
The problem is Bosworth is simply miscast as Lois. She’s too young and passive to be credible as a hardened Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter. Much of that is the screenplay’s fault, which gives her nothing to do but chase a wild and ultimately meaningless side plot. However, Bosworth doesn’t bring much to the table either.
Kyra Sedgwick voicing Lois Lane is one of those bizarre things you probably didn’t know about. The Emmy-winning actress voices the role in 2008’s Justice League: The New Frontier, a little-remembered yet quite good film that doesn’t do enough to stand out among the vast sea of DC animated projects. Sedgwick is quite good as Lois, even if her role is hardly memorable.
An adaptation of the notorious Tower of Babel storyline from the comics, Justice League: Doom sees Grey De Lisle as Lois Lane. She does a good job with the role, especially during Superman’s critical scenes, capturing Lois’ concern while maintaining the character’s stubborn demeanor.
The classic Super Friends series features Lois Lane in several episodes, with Shannon Farnon voicing her. This version is a classic, if somewhat uninspired, take on Lois.
Farnon does a fine job in the role, but there’s not much in the show’s treatment of Lois to distinguish her from other, more memorable versions.
Fleischer Studios’ Superman short films premiered during the 1940s, presenting an idealized and heavily sanitized version of the Man of Steel. However, Lois remains a spitfire, even if she is very much a damsel in distress.
Joan Alexander is sweet and confident, a Disney Princess in a pantsuit with an itch for breaking stories. It’s a safe depiction of Lois, but it does an admirable job respecting the character’s essence, especially considering it came out in the 1940s.
Pauley Perrette is a weird Lois Lane. Her voice is much more youthful than one might expect from Lois’ look and characterization, but Perrette perfectly captures the reporter’s well-known grit and non-compliance.
Lois has a significant role in the story, and her relationship with Clark is a major focus. Perrette is a darn good Lois, and the film itself is not half-bad.
Grey Griffin is a renowned voice actress who’s voiced multiple iconic characters; she’s even one of the best versions of Catwoman! Griffin has voiced Lois in multiple Lego-related projects, usually having only a few scenes but making a strong impression.
Her Lois fits the Lego Universe’s silly, self-deprecating tone, meaning she opts for a more over-the-top take that works within the numerous films’ context. Griffin also voices Lois in Young Justice, although she hardly has anything to do in the show.
Justice League: Gods and Monsters is one of those fun detours set in alternate universes within DC’s larger cosmos. Paget Brewster voices Lois as a certified hater with a huge grudge against the Justice League.
In many ways, this is a perfectly natural take on Lois, and Brewster goes all-in on this version’s attitude. The actress channels her inner J. Jonah Jameson and creates one of the most entertaining depictions of Lois Lane. Shame we only saw her once.
Noel Neill is a wonderful Lois Lane. She has brown hair, which is unusual, but let’s not let that distract from her performance. Neill played the iconic role in the 1948 film serial and five of the six seasons of the Adventures of Superman tv series.
Like most other depictions of Lois during the 4’0s and ’50s, Lois is determined but extremely vulnerable, often being held hostage by the villain of the hour. Neill is courageous in the role, remaining defiant even in the face of danger. However, she’s also sweet and accessible enough for 1950s audiences, delivering a surprisingly softened take on one of DC’s most infamously hardened characters. And while that might not sit right with some purists, Neill was the right Lois for her time and place.
Phyllis Coates played Lois Lane during the first season of Adventures with Superman. Unlike Neill, who was all smiles and manners, Coates’ Lane was tough, resourceful, determined, and obsessed with out-scooping Clark.
Coates is arguably the earliest actress to actually get Lois – her unique mix of concealed vulnerability and rabid competitiveness is on full display in her portrayal, explaining why she was replaced after one season for the more sympathetic Neill.
First thing’s first: Amy Adams is one of her generation’s best actresses, a compelling, passionate, and versatile performer capable of playing the sweetest Disney Princess as easily as a feisty Boston waitress. Adams was an inspired choice to play Lois Lane, and she did brilliantly in the better-than-you-remembered Man of Steel, where Zack Snyder brought her to the thick of the action and gave her a meaningful role with actual stakes.
The problem is her characterization got nearly destroyed with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, a film that has no idea what to do with her. Batman v Superman might’ve been one of the DCEU’s few box office successes, but it’s a mediocre film that saddles Adams’ Lois with a futile and meaningless side plot, reducing her to a useless bystander that arguably makes things worse for Supes. Things aren’t much better for her in either version of Justice League, meaning Adams, like most of the previous DCEU actors, got an unceremonious and pitiful ending.
The late Anne Heche voices Lois in the 2007 animated movie Superman: Doomsday. As the title implies, the film adapts the famous comic book storyline, meaning Heche has plenty to do, and she doesn’t disappoint.
The actress is decisive in the film’s first half and vulnerable in the second, expertly capturing the full specter of Lois’ emotions and delivering a comprehensive portrayal of the intrepid reporter. It’s a shame she only voiced Lois in one project.
The Tomorrowverse officially launched with the release of 2020’s Superman: Man of Tomorrow, with Darren Criss as Superman and Alexandra Daddario as Lois Lane. Daddario is refreshing as Lois, giving a to-the-point and safe yet effective performance as the famous reporter.
She doesn’t try to reinvent Lois or step outside the box with her; instead, she sticks to the classics, delivering a satisfying take on the beloved character.
Superman: Red Son adapts the eponymous miniseries, with Jason Isaacs delivering an impressive Russian accent as the Last Son of Krypton. Amy Acker plays an alternate version of Lois Lane, married to Lex Luthor.
Depicted more as a chain-smoking femme fatale than the traditional go-getter reporter, Red Son‘s Lois is a refreshing take on a classic character, with Acker relishing every chance she gets to expand Lois’ characterization.
The 1988 animated show Superman might not be the most famous or celebrated depiction of the Last Son of Krypton, but it’s a fun and safe kiddie cartoon. And yet, Ginny McSwain is ferocious as Lois, channeling the character’s intense competitiveness into a sardonic and witty portrayal that is peak Lois.
McSwain has no time for Clark’s sweetness or Superman’s boy scout-ness; she’s all about the scoops and how to get them. More than once, she runs back to danger even after Superman has already rescued her. Now, that’s Lois Lane!
Rebecca Romijn might be most famous for playing the all-time best version of Mystique, but she also did an incredible job as a DC character. The actress voiced Lois Lane in several films taking place within the DC Universe Animated Original Movies.
Romijn’s Lois is assured but more low-key than other versions. She remains spirited and truth-oriented but shows more restraint, playing a more mature version of the celebrated character. Romijn is particularly good in 2018’s The Death of Superman; as Lois learns of Clark’s identity, Romijn finds the ideal balance between the character’s shock at the deceit and her undeniable fascination with Superman and the new world of opportunities open to her by being his lover. It’s a fine balance that not many versions have found, and Romijn nails it.
Alice Lee is the latest actress to voice Lois Lane. Her take is the deuteragonist of Adult Swim’s My Adventures with Superman, where the character has a Korean background.
Lee is a wonderful, albeit slightly more combative, Lois, capturing the character’s essence to the tee. This Lois jumps off a building just to force Clark to admit he’s Superman. That’s Lois Lane. She’s someone who will jump into a building on fire for a scoop, and Lee understands it better than most.
Six-time Emmy nominee Christina Hendricks voices Lois Lane in 2011’s All-Star Superman, an animated adaptation of Grant Morrison’s acclaimed series. The film introduces several significant changes to the story, but Hendricks’ Lois remains a highlight. The actress explores a side of Lois seldom seen in other versions: the character’s innate paranoia, which can very often get confused for curiosity.
Hendricks is stellar in her scenes, going through multiple emotions while keeping Lois grounded, sympathetic, and relatable. All-Star Superman remains divisive – to those who remember it, at least – but we can all agree Hendrick’s Lois is among the best version of the character.
Paired with one of the all-time best Superman voices – the ever-underrated Matt Bomer – Stana Katic gave us a near-perfect version of Lois Lane. Overly confident, cool, and collected, this Lois has something many other portrayals lack: cunning.
Katic’s Lois is resourceful to the point of manipulation – she is the closest thing Lois Lane will ever get to ruthlessness. Yet, those are qualities that Lois Lane juggles and Stanic portrays the beautifully. Her performance is an all-timer, and Stanic should’ve been allowed more opportunities to explore and enrich it.
Although Smallville began with Clark and Lana as the main couple, it wasn’t long before poor Miss Lang was sidelined in favor of the farmboy’s true love. Erica Durance arrives in season four, becoming integral to the show’s late success and developing a perfect dynamic with Tom Welling’s Clark.
Smallville emphasizes how different Clark and Lois truly are, with Durance going all-in by depicting Lois as fiercely independent and courageous. Durance also gives a very physical performance, making Lois all the more impressive and coming as close to making her Clark’s equal as possible. Durance is the ideal Lois for the 2000s, delivering the defining version of the character for the Millennial generation.
To many, Christopher Reeve remains the best Superman. His movies are milestones of the superhero genre, and their versions of several classic characters remain undefeated. Such is the case for Margot Kidder’s portrayal of Lois Lane, perhaps the most well-known version of the character.
Kidder’s Lois is fearless and passionate, the hungry and accomplished reporter she should be. However, her version is also clumsy, a quality that few others have dared to emulate simply because it could easily backfire in the actress’ face. But Kidder makes it look effortless, endearing even; this unassuming quality made her a star for an entire generation and cemented her portrayal among the all-time best in the comic book genre. Kidder’s version might not be 100% Lois, but whatever percentage it is, it’s more than enough.
The CW gets a lot of justified criticism, but they sometimes produce shows worthy of praise. Such is the case for Superman & Lois, a love letter to the character with Tyler Hoechlin and Elizabeth Tulloch in the titular roles. Hoechlin is arguably the best Superman since Christopher Reeve, but it’s Tulloch who often steals the spotlight.
Tulloch has the privilege of playing an older, more mature Lois. This version is no longer the hungry journalist willing to do everything for a scoop but rather the fierce mother willing to rabidly protect her children from harm. The actress understands Lois like few other actresses have, offering a more intimate, nuanced, and vulnerable look at the character. Tulloch might be the 21st century’s best Lois Lane, and she should’ve received a much stronger vehicle than a mere CW series.
Superman: The Animated Series might not be as universally revered as Batman: The Animated Series, but it remains one of the definitive versions of the Man of Steel. In the eyes of many, Dana Delany is the definitive Lois in both look and behavior. The Superman in TAS is less of a boy scout; thus, his Lois is equally daring and flirtier but no less driven or decisive.
Delany imbues her Lois with confidence and allure that makes her stand out above all other versions. The show pays as much, if not more, importance to her relationship with Clark as her relationship with Superman, creating a singular dynamic that remains strangely absent from modern Superman stories. Delany’s Lois is ambitious, brave to the point of recklessness, enthusiastic, and unafraid to express her feelings. In short, she is nothing less than iconic.
Lois Lane has had many versions throughout film and television, but Teri Hatcher remains the best. The Emmy-nominated actress played Lois in the ’90s classic show Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, delivering the best and most fully-realized version of the iconic Daily Planet reporter.
A natural comedian, Hatcher brings levity and charm to her portrayal, creating a flirtatious and unforgettable Lois that won the hearts of millions. Hatcher finds the balance between slapstick and gravitas, handling the show’s often silly dialog and grounding it in something real. Her Lois is sassy, witty, shrewd, and ingenious, a quality necessary to succeed as a reporter that many versions of the character take for granted. Perhaps most importantly, Hatcher’s Lois made it abundantly clear why Clark would fall so head-over-heels for her. Many actresses have come and gone, but few have made Lois so timeless as Teri Hatcher. All bow to the quintessential Lois Lane!
- Who is the better Superman: Henry Cavill or Christopher Reeve?
- All The Purge movies, ranked from worst to best
- Why Michael Keaton is the best Batman ever
- All the Fast & Furious movies, ranked from worst to best
- All the villains in the Fast and Furious movies, ranked from worst to best