Photo: via Tumblr

Total Nerd The Best Actors In Superman's Live Action Universe  

Switchdoctor
3k votes 479 voters 5.1k views

List Rules Performers who were well cast, and helped to shape the Superman mythos the best with their roles.

While there's no substituting the comicbook format, many actors have worn the red cape and blue tights for television and the big screen. Some onscreen performers have managed to both embody, and make their Superman roles their own. Others are examples of brilliance in casting. A case could certainly be made that some of their work has helped supplement the Man of Steel legacy. Not to be overlooked, over the years, Superman's villains and supporting cast have seen big names breathe life into them. Some performances are iconic, sprinkled with humour, grounded in humanity, and have expanded Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster's universe. Others have infamously missed the mark. Here's a list of some of that talent.
list ordered by

1
367 24
Michael Rosenbaum is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Actors In Superman's Live Action Universe
Michael Rosenbaum age 45 - Lex Luthor (Smallville)

2
109 50
Christopher Reeve is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Actors In Superman's Live Action Universe
Christopher Reeve Died at 52 (1952-2004) - Superman/Clark Kent (Superman: The Movie, Superman II, Superman III, Superman IV: The Quest for Peace), Dr. Virgil Swann (Smallville)

3
61 29
John Glover is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Actors In Superman's Live Action Universe
John Glover age 73 - Lionel Luthor (Smallville)

4
71 46
Henry Cavill is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Actors In Superman's Live Action Universe
Henry Cavill age 34 - Clark Kent / Superman (Man of Steel)

5
81 55
Tom Welling is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Actors In Superman's Live Action Universe
Tom Welling age 40 - Clark Kent (Smallville)

6
38 25
John Schneider is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Actors In Superman's Live Action Universe
John Schneider age 57 - Jonathan Kent (Smallville)

7
44 31
Laura Vandervoort is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Actors In Superman's Live Action Universe
Laura Vandervoort age 33 - Kara/Supergirl (Smallville)

8
45 33
Allison Mack is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Actors In Superman's Live Action Universe
Allison Mack age 35 - Chloe Sullivan (Smallville)

9
46 35
Erica Durance is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Actors In Superman's Live Action Universe
Erica Durance age 39 - Lois Lane (Smallville)

10
37 28
Annette O'Toole is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Actors In Superman's Live Action Universe
Annette O'Toole age 66 - Lana Lang (Superman III), Martha Kent (Smallville)

11
31 22
Helen Slater is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Actors In Superman's Live Action Universe
Helen Slater age 52 - Kara Zor-El / Supergirl (Supergirl), Lara-El (Smallville)

12
48 40
Terence Stamp is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Actors In Superman's Live Action Universe
Terence Stamp age 79 - General Zod (Superman: The Movie, Superman II), Jor-El (voice) (Smallville)

13
36 28
Dean Cain is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Actors In Superman's Live Action Universe
Dean Cain age 51 - Superman/Clark Kent (Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman)

14
35 27
Gene Hackman is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Actors In Superman's Live Action Universe
Gene Hackman age 88 - Lex Luthor (Superman: The Movie, Superman II, Superman IV: The Quest For Peace)

22 Comic Book Movies We Never Got to Experience

15
33 25
Kristin Kreuk is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Actors In Superman's Live Action Universe
Kristin Kreuk age 35 - Lana Lang (Smallville)

16
33 25
George Reeves is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Actors In Superman's Live Action Universe
George Reeves Died at 45 (1914-1959) - Superman/Clark Kent (Adventures of Superman)

17
39 32
Marlon Brando is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Actors In Superman's Live Action Universe
Marlon Brando Died at 80 (1924-2004) - Jor-El (Superman: The Movie)

18
36 30
Margot Kidder is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Actors In Superman's Live Action Universe
Margot Kidder age 69 - Lois Lane (Superman: The Movie, Superman II, Superman III, Superman IV: The Quest For Peace)

19
33 27
Teri Hatcher is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Actors In Superman's Live Action Universe
Teri Hatcher age 53 - Lois Lane (Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman)

20
31 25
Michael Shannon is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Actors In Superman's Live Action Universe
Michael Shannon age 43 - General Zod (Man of Steel)

21
31 25
Lane Smith is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Actors In Superman's Live Action Universe
Lane Smith Died at 69 (1936-2005) - Perry White (Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman)

The Most Beautiful Women of All Time

22
28 24
James Marsters is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Actors In Superman's Live Action Universe
James Marsters age 55 - Milton Fine/Brainiac/Brainiac 5 (Smallville)

23
24 20
Kevin Costner is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Actors In Superman's Live Action Universe
Kevin Costner age 63 - Jonathan Kent (Man of Steel)

24
21 18
Aaron Ashmore is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Actors In Superman's Live Action Universe
Aaron Ashmore age 38 - Jimmy Olsen (Smallville)

25
25 23
Amy Adams is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Actors In Superman's Live Action Universe
Amy Adams age 43 - Lois Lane (Man of Steel)

26
24 22
Brandon Routh is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Actors In Superman's Live Action Universe
Brandon Routh age 38 - Clark Kent / Superman (Superman Returns)

27
24 22
Kevin Spacey is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Actors In Superman's Live Action Universe
Kevin Spacey age 58 - Lex Luthor (Superman Returns)

28
16 13
Callum Blue is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Actors In Superman's Live Action Universe
Callum Blue age 40 - General Zod (Smallville)

The 18 Most Random Character Changes in Marvel Comics

29
15 12
Samuel Witwer is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Actors In Superman's Live Action Universe
Samuel Witwer age 40 - Davis Bloome / Doomsday (Smallville)

30
22 20
Antje Traue is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Actors In Superman's Live Action Universe
Antje Traue age 37 - Faora-Ul (Man of Steel)

31
21 19
Sarah Douglas is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Actors In Superman's Live Action Universe
Sarah Douglas age 65 - Ursa (Superman: The Movie, Superman II)

32
19 17
Cassidy Freeman is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Actors In Superman's Live Action Universe
Cassidy Freeman age 35 - Tess Mercer (Smallville)

33
23 22
Russell Crowe is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Actors In Superman's Live Action Universe
Russell Crowe age 53 - Jor-El (Man of Steel)

34
16 14
Marc McClure is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Actors In Superman's Live Action Universe
Marc McClure age 61 - Jimmy Olsen (Superman: The Movie, Superman II, Superman III, Superman IV: The Quest for Peace)

35
14 12
Jackie Cooper is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Actors In Superman's Live Action Universe
Jackie Cooper Died at 89 (1922-2011) - Perry White (Superman: The Movie, Superman II, Superman III, Superman IV: The Quest for Peace)

29 Celebrities Who Quit Being Famous

36
17 16
Diane Lane is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Actors In Superman's Live Action Universe
Diane Lane age 53 - Martha Kent (Man of Steel)

37
16 15
Jack O'Halloran is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Actors In Superman's Live Action Universe
Jack O'Halloran age 75 - Non (Superman: The Movie, Superman II)

38
14 16
John Shea is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Actors In Superman's Live Action Universe
John Shea age 68 - Lex Luthor (Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman)

39
11 13
Justin Whalin is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Actors In Superman's Live Action Universe
Justin Whalin age 43 - Jimmy Olsen (Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman)

40
11 13
Laurence Fishburne is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Actors In Superman's Live Action Universe
Laurence Fishburne age 56 - Perry White (Man of Steel)

41
11 15
Brian Austin Green is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Actors In Superman's Live Action Universe
Brian Austin Green age 44 - Metallo (Smallville)

42
9 13
Kirk Alyn is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Actors In Superman's Live Action Universe
Kirk Alyn Died at 89 (1910-1999) - Superman / Clark Kent (Superman, Atom Man vs. Superman), General Sam Lane (Superman: The Movie)

Amazing Real-Life Superhero Gadgets & Powers

43
8 12
Ayelet Zurer is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Actors In Superman's Live Action Universe
Ayelet Zurer age 48 - Lara (Man of Steel)

44
7 11
Robert Vaughn is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Actors In Superman's Live Action Universe
Robert Vaughn age 85 - Ross Webster (Superman III)

45
9 14
Ned Beatty is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Actors In Superman's Live Action Universe
Ned Beatty age 80 - Otis (Superman: The Movie, Superman II)

46
10 17
Tracy Scoggins is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Actors In Superman's Live Action Universe
Tracy Scoggins age 64 - Catherine 'Cat' Grant (Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman)

47
9 16
Noel Neill is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Actors In Superman's Live Action Universe
Noel Neill age 97 - Lois Lane (Adventures of Superman), Ella Lane (Superman: The Movie), Superman Returns (Gertrude Vanderworth)

48
8 16
Charlotte Sullivan is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Actors In Superman's Live Action Universe
Charlotte Sullivan age 34 - Maxima (Smallville)

49
4 11
Chris Gauthier is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Actors In Superman's Live Action Universe
Chris Gauthier age 42 - Winslow Schott / Toyman (Smallville)

50
6 14
Valerie Perrine is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Actors In Superman's Live Action Universe
Valerie Perrine age 74 - Eve Teschmacher (Superman: The Movie, Superman II)