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The Best Actors Who Played (Or Voiced) Lex Luthor

February 13, 2020 713 votes 101 voters 1.3k views22 items

Can you imagine what it must feel like to be a diabolical genius when your arch-nemesis is literally the most powerful being on the planet? As one of the most popular supervillains of all time, the best Lex Luthor actors have to bring a certain charisma to their role. Even though he’s pretty evil, Lex is one of the most enduring characters in all of comic books, having gone through numerous iterations throughout the years. Sometimes, he's a calculating madman; other times, he's the freaking president of the United States. 

A vast array of actors have played Lex Luthor over the years. Naturally, Gene Hackman was Luthor for many years in the public eye, playing the lead supervillain in the Richard Donner Superman movies. Jesse Eisenberg played a very different version of Lex Luthor in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. And that's not even getting into all of the actors who have portrayed Luthor on television. There's a lot of fun to be had playing a super genius villain, so it's easy to see why so many fine actors have been drawn to the role. 

Vote for your favorite Lex Luthor actors to see which one has the best chance of ruling the world. 

  • 1

    Michael Rosenbaum

    Michael Rosenbaum is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Actors Who Played (Or Voiced) Lex Luthor
    Photo: Warner Bros. Television Distribution

    Smallville (2001 - 2011)

    Michael Owen Rosenbaum (born July 11, 1972) is an American actor, producer, singer and comedian. He is known for his performance in Sorority Boys and for portraying Lex Luthor on the Superman television series Smallville, a role that TV Guide included in their 2013 list of The 60 Nastiest Villains of All Time.Rosenbaum is also known for portraying Dutch Nilbog on FOX's Breaking In, and voiceover work in animation, such as his role of Wally West / The Flash in the DC animated universe. Between 2015 and 2016, he played the lead role in the TV Land comedy series Impastor. He's also the lead singer of the band called Left on Laurel (formerly known as The Sandwich), with band members Rob Danson,... more on Wikipedia
    • Age: 48
    • Birthplace: Oceanside, New York, USA
    They flex their Lex?


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  • Clancy Brown is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Actors Who Played (Or Voiced) Lex Luthor
    Photo: Warner Bros. Television Distribution

    Justice League (2001–03)

    Justice League Unlimited (2004–06)

    The Batman (2004-07)

    Clarence John "Clancy" Brown III (born January 5, 1959) is an American actor and voice actor known for his roles as the Kurgan in the fantasy film Highlander (1986), Byron Hadley in the prison film The Shawshank Redemption (1994), Career Sgt. Charles Zim in the sci-fi film Starship Troopers (1997) and Brother Justin Crowe on the HBO series Carnivàle (2003–2005). He has also provided voice acting to roles such as Mr. Krabs in SpongeBob SquarePants (1999–present), Lex Luthor in various media, Doctor Neo Cortex in the Crash Bandicoot series (1997–2003), Surtur in the Marvel Cinematic Universe film Thor: Ragnarok (2017) and Lt. Hank Anderson in Detroit: Become Human (2018).... more on Wikipedia
    • Age: 61
    • Birthplace: USA, Urbana, Ohio
    They flex their Lex?

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  • Gene Hackman is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Actors Who Played (Or Voiced) Lex Luthor
    Photo: Warner Bros.

    Superman (1978)

    Superman II (1980)

    Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987)

    Eugene Allen Hackman (born January 30, 1930) is a retired American actor and novelist. In a career that spanned more than six decades, Hackman was nominated for five Academy Awards, winning Best Actor in The French Connection and Best Supporting Actor in Unforgiven. He won four Golden Globes, one SAG Award and two BAFTAs. He first came to fame in 1967 with his performance as Buck Barrow in Bonnie and Clyde, when he received his first Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. His major subsequent films include: I Never Sang for My Father (1970), when he received his second Best Supporting Actor nomination; The French Connection (1971) for which he was awarded the Oscar for Best... more on Wikipedia
    • Age: 90
    • Birthplace: San Bernardino, California, United States of America
    They flex their Lex?

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  • Jon Cryer is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Actors Who Played (Or Voiced) Lex Luthor
    Photo: Warner Bros. Television Distribution

    Supergirl (2016 - Present)

    Jonathan Niven Cryer (born April 16, 1965) is an American actor, comedian and television director. Born into a show business family, Cryer made his motion picture debut as a teenaged photographer in the 1984 romantic comedy No Small Affair; his breakout role came in 1986, playing "Duckie" in the John Hughes-written film Pretty in Pink. In 1998, he wrote and produced the independent film Went to Coney Island on a Mission from God... Be Back by Five. Although Cryer gained fame with his early film roles, it took several years to find success on television; none of his star vehicles, including The Famous Teddy Z, Partners, and The Trouble with Normal, lasted more than 22 episodes. In 2003,... more on Wikipedia
    • Age: 55
    • Birthplace: New York City, USA, New York
    They flex their Lex?

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