Seven Supermen and Brad Pitt

(Not about language.)

Encountered this morning: an old episode of the tv series Smallville, starring Tom Welling as Clark Kent. Welling has a sweet smile and he’s a hunk, but we don’t see him shirtless a lot. So I’ll offer three shots of him. Then I’ll look at six more of the 16 actors who have portrayed Superman on screen, and close with one of my favorite shirtless hunks, Brad Pitt (who has not portrayed Superman).

From a site on “16 Actors Who Have Portrayed Superman”, the 16 (with actors I’ll look at in boldface; the dates are for their first appearance in the role):

Ray Middleton 1939, Kirk Alyn 1948, George Reeves 1951, Johnny Rockwell 1961, Bob Holiday 1966, David Wilson 1975, Christopher Reeve 1978, Tayfun Demir 1979 (Turkish – the only non-US adaptation), James Hayes Newton 1988, Gerard Christopher 1989, Dean Cain 1993, Tim Daly 1996, Tom Welling 2001, Brandon Routh 2006, Matt Bomer 2009 (in a series of tv commercials), Henry Cavill 2013

On Welling:

Thomas John Patrick Welling (born April 26, 1977) known professionally as Tom Welling, is an American actor, director, producer, and model, best known for his portrayal of Clark Kent in the WB/CW series Smallville.

A high-school athlete, Welling initially worked in construction and, in 1998, he successfully modeled men’s clothing for several popular brands. In 2000, he made a successful transition to television. He has been nominated for and received several awards for his portrayal of Clark Kent. (Wikipedia link)

Here’s Welling modeling for Abercrombie & Fitch:


Then, muscled up, in unposed shots:


And in an ad for Smallville:


Now to the other six, in chronological order, beginning with the iconic movie Superman:

Christopher D’Olier Reeve (September 25, 1952 – October 10, 2004) was an American actor, film director, producer, screenwriter, author and activist. He achieved stardom for his acting achievements, in particular his motion-picture portrayal of the fictional superhero Superman. (Wikipedia link)

Shirtless photos of Reeve are surprisingly hard to come by. Here’s one of a young Reeve, before he bulked up for the Superman movies:


Then athlete and Princetonian Dean Cain, shown here with a surfboard and advertising sheets:



Dean George Cain (born Dean George Tanaka; July 31, 1966) is an American actor. He is most widely known for his role as Clark Kent / Superman in the popular American television series Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. (Wikipedia link)

Next up is Tim Daly, who hasn’t exactly portrayed Superman, but has voiced him in the movies:

James Timothy “Tim” Daly (born March 1, 1956) is an American stage, screen and voice actor, director and producer. He is best known for his television role as Joe Hackett on the NBC sitcom Wings and for his voice role as Superman/Clark Kent in Superman: The Animated Series, as well as his recurring role of the drug-addicted screenwriter J.T. Dolan on The Sopranos for which he was nominated for an Emmy Award. (Wikipedia link)

Daly isn’t a muscle hunk, but he has a nice body. He’s here because I find him to be an engaging actor. Here he is in the comedy Dr. Jekyll and Ms. Hyde:


Then Brandon Routh:

Brandon James Routh (born October 9, 1979) is an American actor and former fashion model. He grew up in Iowa before moving to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career, and subsequently appeared on multiple television series throughout the early 2000s. In 2006, he gained greater recognition for his role as the titular hero of the 2006 film Superman Returns. He also had a recurring role in the TV series Chuck, as Daniel Shaw. Following this, he has had several supporting roles in television and film. In 2011, he portrayed the eponymous protagonist of another comic book film, Dylan Dog: Dead of Night. (Wikipedia link)

Here he is shirtless and then suited up, displaying his famous bulge:



On to Matt Bomer, another marginal member of the list. He’s on it for a series of Prius commercials he made in the Superman character.

Matthew Staton “Matt” Bomer (born October 11, 1977) is an American film, stage and television actor, best known from his role on White Collar, which premiered in 2009. Making his television debut with Guiding Light in 2001, Bomer received notice with his recurring role in the NBC television series Chuck as Bryce Larkin. (Wikipedia link)


Finally, Henry Cavill, seen here in costume and shirtless:


Henry William Dalgliesh Cavill (born 5 May 1983) is a British actor. He has appeared in the films Stardust and Immortals, and played the role of Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk, on the Showtime series The Tudors, from 2007 until 2010. He played the role of Kal-El/Clark Kent in the 2013 film Man of Steel. (Wikipedia link)

Now for the non-Superman bonus, Brad Pitt:

William Bradley “Brad” Pitt (born December 18, 1963) is an American actor and film producer. Pitt has received four Academy Award nominations and five Golden Globe Award nominations, winning one Golden Globe. He has been described as one of the world’s most attractive men, a label for which he has received substantial media attention.

Pitt first gained recognition as a cowboy hitchhiker in the road movie Thelma & Louise (1991). His first leading roles in big-budget productions came with A River Runs Through It (1992), Interview with the Vampire (1994), and Legends of the Fall (1994). In 1995, he gave critically acclaimed performances in the crime thriller Seven and the science fiction film 12 Monkeys, the latter earning him a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor and an Academy Award nomination. Four years later, Pitt starred in the cult hit Fight Club. He then starred in the major international hit Ocean’s Eleven (2001) and its sequels, Ocean’s Twelve (2004) and Ocean’s Thirteen (2007). His greatest commercial successes have been Troy (2004) and Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005). Pitt received his second and third Academy Award nominations for his leading performances in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008) and Moneyball (2011). (Wikipedia link)

Here’s the young Pitt in Thelma and Louise and then Pitt bulked up eight years later, in training for Fight Club:



A wonderfully sexy man.

6 Responses to “Seven Supermen and Brad Pitt”

  1. truthspew Says:

    My fave of all the Supermen was Dean Cain.

  2. arnold zwicky Says:

    I realize now that the title of this posting suggests a really hot gay sex orgy with Brad Pitt. Brad Takes On the Fabulous Seven.

  3. Shirtless hypallage | Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

    […] Shirtless photos of [Christopher] Reeve are surprisingly hard to come by. (link) […]

  4. Jimmy Olsen | Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

    […] story has been told in many different ways in many different media. On this blog, I’ve surveyed the 16 actors who have portrayed the superhero onscreen, focusing on 7 of […]

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