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The Dansville Online
  • THEN & NOW: 18 Actresses Who Played Iconic Superheroes And Villains

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    Ever since Jennifer Lawrence stepped into the role of Katniss Everdeen in 2012's "The Hunger Games" the number of strong, independent superheroines has exploded on the big screen. 

    Amy Adams and Emma Stone's portrayals of Lois Lane ("Man of Steel") and Gwen Stacy ("The Amazing Spider-Man") are a far cry from damsels in distress.  

    In 2015, Elizabeth Olsen will join Marvel's "Avengers" sequel as the Scarlet Witch, while Gal Gadot gears up as the new Wonder Woman in the big "Batman / Superman" movie

    But they weren't the first to bring famous comic characters to life on screen.

    *Note: We are aware Lois Lane, Gwen Stacy, and Mary Jane aren't technically superheroines, but their characters are too iconic to leave off the list.Then: Before Amy Adams, Noel Neill was the original red-headed Lois Lane in the TV show "Adventures of Superman" (1953-1958).

    Now (Age: 93): Since then, Neill has been involved in countless Superman shorts and TV series appearances. She even had a small role in 2006's "Superman Returns" ...

    The photo above shows Noel Neill reunited with actor Jack Larson who played Jimmy Olson in the 1950s "Superman" television series.

    Then: Julie Newmar played Catwoman in the 1966-1968 television series "Batman."
    Now (Age: 80): Newmar has appeared on "The Love Boat" and in the 1994 film "Oblivion."
    Then: Eartha Kitt took over for Newmar as Catwoman for one year on the "Batman" TV series.
    Now: Kitt passed away in 2008 at age 81 after a long TV and Broadway career that included voicing a Disney villain. ...
    Page 2 of 7 - Kitt voiced Yzma in 2000's "The Emperor's New Groove" and earned two Emmy Awards for the TV spinoff "The Emperor's New School."
    She also starred in Broadway's "Timbuktu!" and as the Fairy Godmother in a 2000 national tour of "Cinderella" and had a hit disco song, "Where Is My Man," in 1983.
    Then: Lee Meriwether first played Selina Kyle's feline alter ego in a 1966 adaptation of the "Batman" series.
    Now (Age: 78): Meriwether continued acting, worked in theatre, and dedicated herself to humanitarian efforts. ...
    After her gig as Catwoman, the former beauty queen earned another career-defining role as Betty Jones in the hit series "Barnaby Jones."
    She has also made appearances on "The League" and "Desperate Housewives." Meriwether is active in many humanitarian causes and is the chairman of AbilityFirst.
    Then: Yvonne Craig played Batgirl and alter-ego Barbara Gordon on "Batman" (1967-1968).
    Now (Age 76): Craig remained in the television and film industries. She most recently voiced a character on the Nick Jr. cartoon series "Olivia."
    Then: Lynda Carter was the first actress to play Wonder Woman in the NBC television series that ran from 1975-1979.
    Now (Age 62): Since Carter's famous superheroine role, she has partaken in a string of television series, films, and theatre shows. ...
    Carter has appeared in "Hawkeye" and movies "Rita Hayworth: The Love Goddess," "Super Troopers," and the 2005 remake of "The Dukes of Hazard."
    Page 3 of 7 - The actress even made her return to the world of DC Comics with a role as a Kryptonite-empowered mother on the CW's "Smallville."
    If being the most famous Wonder Woman wasn't enough, Carter dove into a singing career, and even toured the U.S. in 2007 as a one-woman musical cabaret show.
    Then: Margot Kidder played Lois Lane in the 1978 film "Superman: The Movie."
    Now (Age: 65): Kidder has since starred in 1979's "The Amityville Horror" and has appeared on "The L-Word," "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," and two episodes of "Smallville."
    Then: Helen Slater played DC Comics' Supergirl in the 1984 film of the same title.
    Now (Age 50): Slater has appeared on "Seinfeld," voiced a character on Emmy-winning "Batman: The Animated Series," and pursued a music career. ...
    Slater appeared on a variety of television shows, playing one of Jerry's many love interests on "Seinfeld."
    From 1992-1994, she made a return to the comic world by voicing Talia al Ghul in "Batman: The Animated Series."
    Slater also co-founded a New York theatre named The Naked Angels, played lead Laura Turner in the 1994 film "Lassie," and released three albums — the last one of which came out in 2010.
    Then: Kim Basinger played reporter Vicki Vale in Tim Burton's 1989 "Batman."
    Now (Age: 60): Bassinger won an Oscar for her femme-fatale role in "L.A. Confidential," appeared in "8 Mile" with Eminem, and played Zac Efron's mom in "Charlie St. Cloud."
    Then: Michelle Pfeiffer played Catwoman in Tim Burton's 1992 film "Batman Returns."
    Now (Age: 55): Pfeiffer achieved mainstream success as one of today's most well-known Hollywood actresses. ...
    Page 4 of 7 - In the years following "Batman Returns," Pfeiffer starred in movies like "The Age of Innocence" with Daniel Day Lewis and "Wolf" with Jack Nicholson.
    In the past decade, she's also acted in thriller "What Lies Beneath" and novel-turned-movie "White Oleander."
    Her most recent role was as Maggie in 2013's "The Family" about a notorious mafia clan.
    Above photo is from: "The Family"
    Then: Teri Hatcher played Lois Lane, a journalist and love interest of Superman, in "Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman" (1993-1997).
    Now (Age: 49): Hatcher became one of the highest-paid women in television with her role on "Desperate Housewives." ...
    From 2004 to 2012, Hatcher played Susan Mayer/Delfino on the hit ABC drama "Desperate Housewives" — a gig that earned her a Golden Globe for Best Actress.
    Since then, Hatcher has appeared in "Smallville" as Ella Lane, and in the TV series "Jane by Design."
    Then: Uma Thurman played the plant-obsessed Poison Ivy in 1997's "Batman & Robin."
    Now (Age: 43): Thurman went on to lead the popular "Kill Bill" franchise and will be in this year's racy two-part "Nymphomaniac" films.
    Then: Alicia Silverstone played Batgirl in the same film.
    Now (Age: 37): Silverstone has since performed on television, film, and Broadway. ...
    Though Silverstone's claim to fame, "Clueless," came before her Batgirl role, the actress went on to act in flicks like "The Art of Getting By" and "Beauty Shop," as well as 1997's "Excess Baggage" — the first from Silverstone's own production company.
    Page 5 of 7 - In 2012, you could catch the blonde actress in Broadway's rendition of "The Performers." She recently showed up on a few episodes of ABC's "Suburgatory."
    Then: Famke Janssen played Dr. Jean Grey in the 2000 flick "X-Men."
    Now (Age: 48): Janssen reprised her role three times while also starring in the "Taken" franchise and Netflix's "Hemlock Grove." ...
    Janssen returned as Dr. Jean Grey in 2003's "X2," 2006's "X-Men: The Last Stand," and cameoed in last year's "The Wolverine."
    Recognize the brunette actress from another thrilling film? She starred with Liam Neeson in "Taken" and "Taken 2."
    Acting isn't Janssen's only claim to fame, though. She wrote and directed the U.K. comedy "Bringing Up Bobby," which starred Milla Jovovich and Marcia Cross.
    Then: Janssen's co-star Halle Berry played the weather-manipulative Storm in "X-Men."
    Now (Age: 47): Berry continued her "X-Men" role before clawing her way into a less memorable one ...
    Berry returned as Storm in "X2" (2003) and "X-Men: The Last Stand" (2006). She'll also be in this year's highly-anticipated "X-Men: Days of Future Past."
    But Storm hasn't been Berry's only comic book character gig. You may have forgotten Berry attempted taking down a cosmetics company in 2004's "Catwoman," that has been referred to as one of the worst movies ever made. The actress took home a razzie for her role.
    Page 6 of 7 - Then: Rebecca Romijn played the blue-skinned, yellow-eyed Mystique in "X-Men" (2000).
    Now (Age: 41): Romijn returned to her role for the 2003 and 2006 "X-Men" sequels. ...
    Romijn threw on the prosthetics once again for her character Mystique in "X2" (2003) and "X-Men: The Last Stand" (2006). 
    The actress also played a male-to-female transsexual in "Ugly Betty." Currently, she's in an Adult Swim show, "NTSF:SD:SUV" and TNT's "King & Maxwell."
    Then: Kirsten Dunst played Spidey's love interest, Mary Jane Watson, in Sam Raimi's “Spider-Man" franchise (2002-2007).
    Now (Age: 31): Dunst has since appeared in smaller, critically acclaimed films such as "Melancholia" and "Bachelorette." ...
    Dunst has also starred in popular films including "Elizabethtown" and "Marie Antoinette."
    She currently has three movie in the works, including this year's "Sleeping with Other People" alongside Jason Sudeikis. She recently had a small cameo in "Anchorman 2."
     
    Then: Jennifer Garner played Marvel Comics' ninja-assassin, Elektra, in 2004 movie "Daredevil."
    Now (Age: 41): Garner moved on to ABC hit series "Alias" before marrying "Daredevil" co-star Ben Affleck. She just starred in last year's "Dallas Buyers Club." ...
    After "Daredevil," Garner got her own spinoff film "Elektra" which wasn't a splash at the box office.
    Page 7 of 7 - She also appeared in "Juno" and "Dallas Buyers Club," not to mention founded her own production company, Vandalia Films
     
    Next up, Emma Stone will reprise her role of Gwen Stacy in "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" this year ...
    ... while Amy Adams will return as Lois Lane in the big "Batman / Superman" movie next year. Joining her will be Gal Gadot ("Fast and Furious") as the new Wonder Woman.
    Now that you've caught up with your favorite comic book characters ...
    Check out what movies are coming out this year »
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