Margot Kidder defined Lois Lane for more than one generation of Superman fans, in the process setting a bar that future Lois Lane actors, whether in film, television, or cartoon voice-over work, would aspire to reach.
While the actress — who died Sunday — will always be remembered for plenty of other performances, from the Amityville Horror films to Halloween II, it’s remarkable to take a quick look back at Kidder’s work in the Superman franchise and realize just how fully she came to embody one of comic book history's most important characters. Kidder brought a lot of range to a role that needed both strength and vulnerability, and she never gave less than her best.
The scene that even casual fans probably remember best is this one from the original Superman, when Lane in her iconic blue dress takes off into New York's night sky with the Man of Steel. Fear gives way to delightful reverie as Lois realizes there's nowhere safer. "Can you read my mind?"
Going back a little further, here’s Kidder in her all-business, unforgettable meet cute with a bashful and nervous Clark Kent as he starts his new gig at The Daily Planet.
When the situation called for it, Kidder could unleash the melodrama. Check out Lois taking point in Superman II’s famous Niagara Falls scene. Somebody help!
Staying on the same theme, remember the helicopter scene from the original Superman? The one where Lois is inside the chopper while it spins out of control?
In one of Superman II’s coolest moments, Lois and Clark share a meta-level of insider communication as Lois slyly reveals what she knows about who he really is — all right under the noses of everyone in The Daily Planet’s newsroom.
Whether these clips feel like indelible parts of your lifelong Superman love affair, trigger a long-lost memory, or even if you’re just seeing them for the first time, they only scratch the surface of Kidder’s immense contribution not only to the Superman movie-verse, but to our own sense of appreciation of what kind of character Lois Lane was always meant to be.
Thanks, Margot Kidder, for all the memories. It’s almost like you read our minds.