By Benjamin Svetkey
September 24, 1993 at 04:00 AM EDT

She has seen supermen come and she has seen ’em go. So what does Noel Neill- who played Lois Lane opposite both Kirk Alyn in the late-1940s movie serials and George Reeves in the 1950s TV series-have to say about the new guy in the blue tights and red cape? ”Well, Dean’s a lot more ethnic-looking than George was,” she says of Dean Cain of ABC’s Lois & Clark. ”When I first saw him I thought he was Japanese. (In fact, Cain is of Welsh, Irish, and Japanese descent.) He’s extremely handsome and an excellent actor. I’m sure he’ll do fine.” Neill, 72, has been doing pretty fine herself since she filed her last Daily Planet exclusive. She quit acting after Reeves’ suicide in 1959 (”I’d had enough of show biz,” she says), and today works behind the scenes doing public relations in Los Angeles. But she has returned to the screen for appearances in every Superman series made since the original (including a cameo in the first Christopher Reeve Superman movie in 1978 and a small part in 1991 in the syndicated Superboy series). Neill’s take on Teri Hatcher’s sexed-up Lois? ”I like her better than Margot Kidder. They’re both feisty, but this new gal is more beautiful. She’s got sex appeal.” Sex appeal, of course, was considered as taboo as kryptonite when Neill played Lane. ”Our sponsor was Kellogg’s, so we had to be very careful. We did one episode where Lois dreams she marries Superman, but there was never any reference to sex.” The original Lois has apparently let down her hair some since then. Her advice to Hatcher: ”The new Superman is cute. Go for it!”