MARINA DEL REY, Calif., Feb. 20 (UPI) -- Joanne Siegel, who as a teenager model inspired the look for Superman's girlfriend Lois Lane, has died in California at age 93, her family said.
Her daughter, Laura Siegel Larson, said her mother, a longtime resident of Marina del Rey, died Saturday at St. John's Health Center in Santa Monica, the Los Angeles Times reported. The cause of death wasn't known.
Siegel, then Joanne Kovacs, was an aspiring model in Cleveland in the 1930s when cartoon artist Joe Shuster hired her to pose for him as he developed the characters for his Superman strip.
Siegel went on to marry Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel, and later successfully fought a long legal battle to regain her late husband's copyrights to Superman and related characters, the Times said.
Over the years, at least three other women reportedly had claimed to be the inspiration for Lois Lane, claims Jerry Siegel said were not true.
"My dad actually wrote a letter to Time magazine one time because he was so aggravated over people making claims on this," Larson said. "Joe Shuster also wrote a letter. He wanted to make sure that everybody knew my mom was the actual model [for Lane].
"My father said she not only posed for the character, but from the day he met her it was her personality that he infused into the character. She was not only beautiful but very smart and determined, and she had a lot of guts; she was a courageous person."