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Tom Welling

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Tom Welling
Tom Welling Photo Op GalaxyCon Richmond 2020.jpg
Welling at GalaxyCon in 2020
Born (1977-04-26) April 26, 1977 (age 43)
OccupationActor, director, producer, model
Years active2000–present
Height6 ft 3 in (191 cm)
Jamie White
(m. 2002; div. 2015)

Jessica Rose Lee
(m. 2019)

Thomas Joseph Welling[1] (born April 26, 1977)[2] is an American actor, director, producer, and model best known for his role as Clark Kent in The WB/The CW superhero drama Smallville (2001–2011). He also co-starred in the third season of Fox fantasy comedy-drama Lucifer as Lt. Marcus Pierce (2017–2018).

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 role as Clark Kent. In 2001, he had a recurring role as Rob "Karate Rob" Meltzer in the second season of the CBS legal drama Judging Amy. He has also been involved behind the camera as an executive producer and a director. His films include Cheaper by the Dozen (2003), Cheaper by the Dozen 2 (2005), The Fog (2005), Draft Day (2014) and The Choice (2016).

Early life[edit]

Welling was born in Putnam Valley, New York.[3][4] His family moved frequently, making stops in Wisconsin, Delaware, and Michigan.[4] Welling attended Okemos High School in Okemos, Michigan, where he started acting in plays, but then switched to sports. Welling played baseball and soccer, but his favorite sport is basketball.[4] Welling is one of four children, with two older sisters, Rebecca and Jamie,[5] and a younger brother, Mark Welling, who is also an actor.[3]


Early career[edit]

Originally a construction worker, Welling was discovered in 1998 at a party in Nantucket by iconic casting director Jennifer Starr who was there finding fresh faces for a Tommy Hilfiger campaign and suggested he try modeling.[6] Welling modeled for Louisa Modeling Agency until 2000,[4] when he relocated to Los Angeles. There he modeled for Tommy Hilfiger, Abercrombie & Fitch, and Calvin Klein while pursuing an acting career.[3] In 2000, Welling appeared in Angela Via's music video "Picture Perfect" where he played Vía's love interest. Welling has said that he did not like modeling and that he was not good at it because it was all on the outside or from an external point of view. He pursued acting because he wanted to express a range of emotions,[5] but Welling still models occasionally and appeared in the May 2008 issue of Vogue, the so-called Superhero Issue.[7] In his first major acting role, Welling played karate teacher Rob "Karate Rob" Meltzer, a younger love interest of Amy Gray (Amy Brenneman) in the second season of the CBS legal drama Judging Amy, which aired in 2001. Welling was originally signed for three episodes; after receiving enthusiastic fan reviews, the producers kept him for three more.[4] Welling also had a small role in the UPN science fiction sitcom Special Unit 2, and he appeared in the pilot episode of the FOX sitcom Undeclared.[4]


Welling in 2009

Welling was cast in the WB superhero drama Smallville after a nationwide search for an actor to play Clark Kent. In an interview with a teen magazine, Welling spoke about the day he auditioned for the role: "I was on my way back from the Warner Bros. studio, and I stopped in a gas station to call my manager and tell him how it went. I called and got him on the phone and he said, 'Can you hold on a second?' Next thing I know, there are literally seven people on the other line and almost in unison they say, 'Tom, you got it!'"[4] The pilot aired in October 2001 and became the highest-rated debut for The WB, with 8.4 million viewers.[8] Welling told TV Guide that he turned down the lead role twice, but after reading the script, decided to take the job. Like Christopher Reeve, he was not a Superman fan prior to being cast as Clark Kent. In fact, he said, he continues to not read Superman comics: "I made a conscious decision to stay away from that material. We're doing something different at a time before all that, I don't want that to affect what I'm doing, even subconsciously."[9] He did get the chance to meet two previous Superman actors: Christopher Reeve, who appeared in season 2: episode 17 titled "Rosetta", and Dean Cain, who appeared in season 7: episode 4 titled "Cure".[10]

Welling was named one of People magazine's "Breakthrough Stars of 2001", and also won the Teen Choice Award as "Choice Breakout Star (Male)" in 2002 for his role as Clark Kent.[11] Following the third season, Welling was interviewed by Smallville Magazine and said that if he could play one character on the show that was not Clark Kent, it would be Lex Luthor; "Lex Luthor! I wouldn't mind having my head shaved—as an actor, [it is the ultimate,] getting to play the complete opposite of your character."[12]

In 2003, Welling said he met with director Brett Ratner about potentially playing Clark Kent/Superman in the superhero film Superman Returns (2006), but scheduling conflicted with Smallville.[13] Comic book artist Alex Ross even did two sketches of Welling as the "Man of Steel" to see what the actor would look like in the famous costume.[14] In August 2009, Welling won another Teen Choice Award as "Choice TV Actor (Action Adventure)" for Smallville.[15]

In 2019, Welling reprised his role as Clark Kent in the Batwoman episode of the CW Arrowverse crossover event "Crisis on Infinite Earths", along with his Smallville co-star Erica Durance as Lois Lane.[16][17] Welling's reprisal concluded his incarnation's story where it showed Clark gave up his powers, retired as an average farmer, and has at least two daughters with Lois.


In 2017, Welling was cast to co-star in the third season of the Fox fantasy comedy-drama Lucifer. He plays Marcus Pierce, a police lieutenant at the precinct and the main antagonist of the season who is the immortal Cain.[18]


In December 2003, Welling made his feature film debut as Charlie Baker, the oldest son and second-oldest in the Baker family which had 12 children, in the family comedy Cheaper by the Dozen with Steve Martin and Bonnie Hunt, which is a remake of the 1950 movie starring Clifton Webb and Myrna Loy, based on the 1948 book about the family of Frank and Lillian Gilbreth and written by two of their children.[11] Welling talked about why he was interested in the project in an interview with Paul Fischer: "The top three reasons I decided to do this film were, one, Steve Martin, two, Steve Martin and three, Steve Martin. That was the number one draw for me. Then, after reading the script, I really liked this character, Charlie. I liked what he went through, what he had to go through, and I felt I understood where he was coming from. And I just wanted to be a part of it."[5] Welling had always been a fan of Martin's and said that he "absolutely loved" working with him.[5]

In 2005, Welling co-starred in the horror film The Fog, a remake of John Carpenter's 1980 film of the same name, as Nick Castle (a character originally played by Tom Atkins).[19] At the same time The Fog was in production, Welling was still working on the last few episodes of the fourth season of Smallville. The same year, he reprised his role as Charlie Baker in Cheaper by the Dozen 2.

In 2013, Welling was among the all-star cast of Peter Landesman's historical drama Parkland, based on the book Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy by author Vincent Bugliosi. The story centers on the chaotic events that occurred at Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas on the day President John F. Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963.[20] In 2014, Welling co-starred with Kevin Costner, Jennifer Garner, Frank Langella, and Denis Leary in Ivan Reitman's sports drama Draft Day. He played a veteran quarterback whose career is at a crossroads.


For Smallville's ninth season, Welling served as a co-executive producer.[11] He returned as Clark Kent for the show's tenth and final season in Fall 2010 and became a full executive producer, as credited in a May 20, 2010 press release by the CW.[21]

Welling served as an executive producer on the CW comedy-drama Hellcats based on journalist Kate Torgovnick's book Cheer: Inside the Secret World of College Cheerleaders.[22][23] The series first aired on The CW beginning in the fall of 2010,[21] and was canceled on May 17, 2011. According to Welling, the reason of cancellation was because of the change of CW president of entertainment from Dawn Ostroff to Mark Pedowitz. He also said that there was a slight possibility of a reboot of the series; with a new cast and cameos from the previous cast if enough fans continue to watch the original series on CW Seed.[24]


Welling made his directorial debut in 2006 with the Smallville episode "Fragile" (5.18). He also directed "Hydro" (6.10); the show's 150th episode, "Apocalypse" (7.18); "Injustice" (8.21); the second part ("Legends") of the two-hour episode "Absolute Justice" (9.11); and two episodes of Smallville's final season, "Patriot" (10.09) and "Booster" (10.18).

Personal life[edit]

On July 5, 2002, Welling married model Jamie White[3] on Martha's Vineyard with Welling's friends and then-Smallville co-stars Kristin Kreuk and Michael Rosenbaum in attendance.[25] Welling and White resided in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada,[5] but returned to Los Angeles in March 2011. On October 17, 2013, White filed for divorce from Welling. The divorce was finalized in November 2015.[26]

In 2014, Welling began dating equestrian and Saddle Club founder Jessica Rose Lee. In April 2018, they announced their engagement.[27] The couple have a son, born on January 5, 2019.[28][29] Welling and Lee married on November 30, 2019, at Sunstone Vineyards & Winery in San Ynez, California.[30]

Welling plays golf in his spare time.[31][32] Welling has said in YM that he dislikes interviews. He said, "I don't want to be a celebrity for the sake of being a celebrity. I want to work and then go home and live in private."[33] Welling has also said he disliked modeling because it was not fulfilling and was not an expressive job.[34]



Year Title Role Notes
2003 Cheaper by the Dozen Charlie Baker Nominated – Teen Choice Award Choice Movie: Male Breakout Star
2005 The Fog Nicholas "Nick" Castle
Cheaper by the Dozen 2 Charlie Baker
2013 Parkland Secret Service Agent Roy Kellerman
2014 Draft Day Brian Drew
2016 The Choice Dr. Ryan McCarthy


Year Title Role Notes
2001 Judging Amy Rob Meltzer Episode: 2.09 "The Undertow"
Episode: 2.10 "Adoption Day"
Episode: 2.11 "The Claw Is Our Master"
Episode: 2.15 "The Treachery of Compromise"
Episode: 2.16 "Everybody Falls Down
Episode: 2.19 "Between the Wanting and the Getting
Special Unit 2 Male victim Episode: "The Depths"
Undeclared Tom Episode: "Prototype"
2001–2011 Smallville Kal-El / Clark Kent / Superman
Young Jor-El
Kal-El / Clark Luthor / Ultraman
217 episodes
Choice TV Actor: Action (2009)
Teen Choice Award for Choice TV: Male Breakout Stars (2002)
Nominated – Choice TV Actor: Fantasy/Sci-Fi (2010–2011)
Nominated – Scream Awards for Best Superhero (2010–2011)
Nominated – Choice TV Actor: Action (2003–2008)
Nominated – Teen Choice Award for Choice TV: Chemistry (shared w/Kristin Kreuk) (2006)
Nominated – Saturn Award for Best Actor on Television (2002–2006)
Nominated – Choice TV Actor: Drama (2002, 2005)
2015 Man Fire Food Himself Episode: "Backyard Blowouts"
2017–2018 Lucifer Lt. Marcus Pierce / Cain 17 episodes
2019 Batwoman Clark Kent Episode:"Crisis on Infinite Earths: Part Two"
2020 Professionals Vincent Corbo 10 episodes

Crew role[edit]

Year Title Notes
2006–2011 Smallville Director
Episode 5.18 "Fragile"
Episode 6.10 "Hydro"
Episode 7.18 "Apocalypse"
Episode 8.21 "Injustice"
Episode 9.11 "Absolute Justice Part 2"
Episode 10.09 "Patriot"
Episode 10.18 "Booster"
2009–2010 Co-executive producer
22 episodes
2010–2011 Executive producer
22 episodes
Hellcats Executive producer
22 episodes
2020 Professionals Executive producer
10 episodes

Music video[edit]

Year Title Artist Role
2000 "Picture Perfect" Angela Via Vía's love interest

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Tom Welling Biography". TV Guide. Retrieved February 22, 2010.
  2. ^ Audrey Fine (September 26, 2006). "Getting to Know: Tom Welling". Seventeen. Retrieved March 8, 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d "Tom Welling Biography". TV Guide. Retrieved February 22, 2010.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g "Interview with Smallville's Tom Welling". Teen Magazine. Archived from the original on January 11, 2010. Retrieved March 4, 2010.
  5. ^ a b c d e "Paul Fischer Interviews Tom Welling". Retrieved March 4, 2010.
  6. ^ "Breaking News - Bravo Reveals the 14 Finalists on "Make Me a Supermodel," Premiering on Thursday, January 10 at 10 PM ET/PT |". Retrieved July 9, 2020.
  7. ^ "Tom Welling In Vogue Magazine Photoshoot". The Insider. April 30, 2008. Retrieved March 4, 2010.[dead link]
  8. ^ "The WB Orders More 'Smallville'". October 24, 2001. Retrieved October 19, 2006.[dead link]
  9. ^ "Tom Welling Interview – Cheaper by the Dozen Movie and Smallville". October 30, 2009. Retrieved March 4, 2010.
  10. ^ "Tom Welling Interview from SV Yearbook". KryptonSite. Retrieved March 4, 2010.
  11. ^ a b c "Shows – Smallville – Cast – Tom Welling". The CW. Archived from the original on January 21, 2007. Retrieved January 25, 2007.
  12. ^ "Tom Welling Interview". Archived from the original on October 21, 2004. Retrieved April 16, 2010.
  13. ^
  14. ^ "Alex Ross Draws Tom Welling as Superman!". Alex Ross Art. April 16, 2004. Retrieved May 10, 2010.
  15. ^ "Teen Choice Awards winners". USA Today. August 10, 2009. Retrieved March 4, 2010.
  16. ^ "Smallville 's Tom Welling to Reprise Superman Role for Arrowverse 'Crisis on Infinite Earths' Crossover". TVLine. Retrieved September 20, 2019.
  17. ^ Agard, Chancellor (November 19, 2019). "New 'Crisis on Infinite Earths' photos reveal Kevin Conroy as Bruce Wayne". Entertainment Weekly.
  18. ^ Birnbaum, Debra (July 22, 2017). "Tom Welling Joins Cast of Lucifer for Season 3". Variety. Retrieved August 15, 2017.
  19. ^ "". Archived from the original on November 12, 2013. Retrieved September 10, 2012.
  20. ^ "Tom Welling Heads to Parkland –". January 31, 2013.
  21. ^ a b "The CW Announces 2010–2011 Schedule". May 20, 2010. Archived from the original on June 19, 2010. Retrieved June 6, 2010.
  22. ^ Michael Ausiello (February 2, 2010). "Pilot intel: CW orders Tom Welling-produced drama". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved October 18, 2019.
  23. ^ "Hellcats (a.a.a. Cheer) (The CW)". The Futon Critic. February 2, 2010.
  24. ^ "'Hellcats' Is Coming Back, Producer Tom Welling Reveals Cancelation Reason". September 12, 2017.
  25. ^ Barron, James; Medina, Jennifer (July 12, 2002). "Super Event for Superman". Retrieved April 19, 2010.
  26. ^ "Tom Welling Super Rich Divorce Settlement". November 22, 2015. Retrieved November 23, 2015.
  27. ^ "Is Smallville's Tom Welling Engaged to Girlfriend Jessica Rose Lee?". People. April 24, 2018. Retrieved December 13, 2018.
  28. ^ "Smallville Alum Tom Welling's Fiancee Jessica Rose Lee Is More Than Six Months Pregnant". Us Weekly. November 5, 2018. Retrieved December 13, 2018.
  29. ^ Murphy, Helen (January 8, 2019). "Tom Welling and Fiancée Jessica Rose Lee Welcome First Child". People. Retrieved October 1, 2019.
  30. ^ Hautman, Nichola (December 2, 2019). "Smallville's Tom Welling Marries Jessica Rose Lee After 5 Years Together".
  31. ^ "Tom Welling in SAG-AFTRA Foundation 7th Annual L.A. Golf Classic Fundraiser".
  32. ^
  33. ^ "Young Superman hates interviews". Spartanburg Herald-Journal. December 26, 2003. Retrieved April 22, 2010.
  34. ^ "Paul Fischer Interviews Tom Welling".

External links[edit]