Top 5 ‘Superman’ Actors

Top 5 ‘Superman’ Actors

Superman & Lois now has a premiere date for its second season (January 11th) and series star, Tyler Hoechlin, has made quite the impression as the Man of Steel.

Out of 11 live-action portrayals, I narrowed down the top 5 actors to have channeled their best Kryptonian.

5. George Reeves

Appears: The Adventures of Superman (1952 – 1958)

With its iconic opening, George Reeves’ take on Krypton’s own hailed the hero as; “Faster than a speeding bullet! More powerful than a locomotive! Able to leap tall buildings at a single leap!” There’s a lot of love and nostalgia for Reeves’ defining portrayal. He nailed Superman’s look to a tee and embodied his virtuous image.

4. Tom Welling

Appears: Smallville (2001 – 2011); Batwoman (2019)

Smallville is the story of Clark Kent, not his alias. Though Welling never donned the cape, he embodied the Kanas teen whilst exploring the nature of his powers into adulthood. His performance established a growth in Clark’s development as an individual rather than rebuilding Superman’s persona.

3. Henry Cavill

Appears: Man of Steel (2013); Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016); Justice League(2017); Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021)

Man of Steel reimagines a glum reality for Clark Kent that paints him under an enigmatic aura. It’s a different perspective on him completely. Cavill has had ample opportunities to play with the role, bringing great depth towards Clark’s humanity as he battles with a code of morality. Superman is never depicted as a superhero nor does Cavill ever bite into the notion.

2. Tyler Hoechlin

Appears: Supergirl (2016 – 2021); The Flash (2018 – 2019); Arrow (2018 – 2020); Batwoman (2019); Legends of Tomorrow (2020); Superman & Lois (2021 – Present)

First appearing in a guest spot on The CW’s Supergirl, Hoechlin takes to the role like a duck on water. Holding himself with a steely physique and bubbly confidence, his interpretation of Clark Kent/Superman is the closest fans will see to comic book accuracy. His residency within the ‘Arrowverse’ is now rightfully permanent and it’s exciting to see what’s in store.

1. Christopher Reeve

Appears: Superman (1978); Superman II (1980); Superman III (1983); Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987)

Christopher Reeve gave an outstanding performance when differentiating between Clark and Superman. It’s a balancing act for sure but Reeve found the answer through body language and tone. For many, he is still probably the first actor to come to mind whenever they hear the Kyrptonian’s name.

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