Infographic – How Old Were They When They Played Superman?

From Kirk Alyn to Henry Cavill, there have been 11 actors who have portrayed Superman in official live-action films or television shows. Most of these projects depicted Superman in his early years, bringing his origin story to the big and small screen alike. Others have continued on the adventures of the Man of Steel, showing him as a seasoned superhero taking on the evils of the world.

Just how old is Superman? Late-20s? Mid-30s? Early-40s?

Clark Kent was said to be 25 when he became Superman, and the post-Crisis comic book stories recounted his adventures beginning at age 28 (SUPERMAN #1, January 1987). Clark was 34 when Doomsday killed him (NEWSTIME, May 1993; ZERO HOUR #0, September 1994). With current stories reportedly showing him at the age of between 37-42. The fact is, due to his alien heritage, it is unknown whether Superman actually ages and grows old at the rate humans do, but his rate of maturity has matched that of humans in the regular stories to date.

But what about the actors portraying him in film and on television?

The Superman Homepage has put together the following infographic showing the various actors who have portrayed Superman over the years, how old they were when they first started, and what age they were when they finished up in the role.

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Spidey2878
Member

Interesting infograph. Both Routh and Cain were 27 when they both started playing Superman, and they were a year older than Reeve when he started.Welling who played the role for about ten years was 34, but when he started he was 24 which would make him the youngest actor to have played the man of steel. Am I right about that calculation? Hoechlin was 29, and Cavill was a year older. If I’m right, Reeves was the oldest in terms of how old he was when he finished the part at age 44, almost to age 50.

MattComics
Member

I guess you can’t technically count the two Superboy actors but Gerard Christopher at the time he replaced John Haymes-Newton was 30 years old which made him older than Christopher Reeve yet playing “Superman when he was a boy”. Honestly, past a point I just started mentally omitting the “boy” and just considered him post-Smallville/pre-Metropolis Superman.

Incidentally I kind of enjoyed the Bureau For Extra-Normal Matters set-up as a alternative to the Daily Planet even as much as I really love the Daily Planet.

s-shield
Member

I agree with everything you just said. I, too, just imagine everyone’s calling him Superman when I watch that show. Also, the Bureau is a cool setting. I’d love it if Lois and Clark worked for a division of the Planet that dealt with Extra-Normal Matters.