Since Action Comics #1 in 1938, Lois Lane has been Superman’s partner. She’s changed actors plenty of times, and the characterizations all differ; however, a few things remain constant. She is always a journalist, she’s always assertive, and she eventually falls in love with Clark Kent. In the past, she was also a chainsmoker, but that’s been written out recently. Jerry Siegel, the writer of Superman, actually married the woman who modeled for the original Lois Lane drawings, Joanne Siegel. She’s the ideal to which casting directors are always comparing actors.
5 — Amy Adams
Amy Adams portrays Lois in the DCEU films. She’s not a terribly assertive Lois Lane. She’s self-assured in her role as a great reporter, but her role in the films tends to revolve around her as a love interest. In Justice League, she brings an amnesiac Superman back from his murderous amnesia through her mere presence, not her skills as a reporter. Adams does a perfectly fine job, but Lois Lane shines as a reporter, not just a damsel.
4 — Margot Kidder
To a certain generation (those watching Superman movies between 1978 and like 2005), Margot Kidder is Lois Lane. She’s as much Lois Lane as Christopher Reeve is Superman. She presents an assertive reporter who is instantly dismissive of hillbilly Clark Kent in Superman (1978). She’s instantly attracted to Superman, though. Eventually, she reconciles the two and becomes his wife. She’s smart, driven, and a great journalist.
She would be higher on the list except for two demerits. 1) She allows Superman to give up his powers for her. That’s not cool. 2) She writes bad poetry.
3 — Erica Durance
Erica Durance portrays Lois in Smallville from season 4 and onward. She’s the essential 2000s cool girl. She smokes cigarettes, she calls Clark derisive nicknames, she wears an American flag bikini, and she drives fast. She’s everything you wanted to be if you really liked No Doubt.
She gets extra points for not being Clark’s love interest for a few seasons. That allows Lois Lane, badass reporter, to shine without being in Superman’s shadow. Doesn’t hurt that Smallville Superman is a dweeb.
2 — Bitsie Tulloch
Bitsie Tulloch plays Lois in Superman & Lois. She’s the oldest portrayal of Lois Lane on this list. Most of them are in their late 20s (Durance’s Lois is 18 or 19 when she shows up). This Lois is a mother of two. In the show, she functions almost independently of Superman. She writes for the Smallville newspaper, runs a blog, and manages her household. She’s as hard-charging as ever but now she has two kids to think about it. It adds complexity and responsibility to her character without deterring her from obsessively pursuing a story. This is a Lois who definitely chainsmoked in her 20s, but she’s grown up now.
1 — Teri Hatcher
Lois from Lois and Clark tops the list. She’s dismissive of Clark initially, but instantly drawn to Superman. She’s the lead journalist who allows the annoying rookie from Kansas to tag along. She’s got a deep wealth of contacts, she’s smart, and she’s aggressive.
This Lois Lane holds the number one spot because she seems like the Lois who could most believably fight a supervillain.
The Lois Lane Leftovers
Not Included (Intentionally) — Kate Bosworth
She portrays Lois in Superman Returns (2006). I considered watching the film for purposes of writing this article but remembered that I hate it. I hate it like Zack Snyder hates bright colors.
Not Included (Unintentionally)– Noel Neill and Phyllis Coates
They portray Lois in the 40s and 50s Superman serials and movies. They’re not included simply because I haven’t seen them. No insult intended.