Lex Luthor is one of Superman’s most famous enemies. He’s a brilliant scientist who regularly fights the Man of Steel, but he also has plans for world domination. We will be looking at a list of 10 Lex Luthor actors.
Lex Luthor is a complicated character—smart, ruthless, and well-spoken. Here are some actors who could play him in any live-action version of this character:
1. Jason Isaacs
- Justice League: Gods And Monsters (2015)
First on our list of Lex Luthor actors is Jason Isaacs. He is best known for his role as Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter film series, but he has also appeared in numerous other films and television shows.
In addition, the British actor played Lex Luthor in the animated movie Justice League: Gods and Monsters.
In this version of the DC Universe, Superman’s father, Jor-El, is not from Krypton but rather in an alternate universe where humanity was wiped out by war, and only a few survived on another planet called New Genesis (which happens to be inhabited by beings that look like Jack Kirby’s Eternals).
The surviving humans fled their world searching for refuge on Earth, where they discovered Kal-El but then lost him when his father sent him off into space before they could kill him, as they did all other Kryptonians who came after him.
2. Steven Blum
- Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox (2013)
- Justice League: Throne of Atlantis (2015)
Steven Blum is an American actor and voice actor. He is known for his roles as the voices of Spike Spiegel in Cowboy Bebop, Orochimaru in Naruto, Chaos in Dissidia: Final Fantasy, and Shin Akuma in Street Fighter IV. In Flashpoint Paradox (2013), he played the role of Lex Luthor.
In Throne of Atlantis (2015), he reprises his role as Lex Luthor when Aquaman teams up with Batman to stop him from using his mass driver to destroy Gotham City’s bridges and flood the city with water from the Atlantic Ocean to kill all its inhabitants so they can take over once they rebuild it under their rule.
3. Rainn Wilson
- The Death of Superman (2018)
- Reign of The Supermen (2019)
The best way to get the look of Lex Luthor down is to find an actor with a similar build. One such actor is Rainn Wilson, who’s been in countless films and TV shows.
He played the character in The Death of Superman, released in January 2019 and part of DC Universe’s animated film franchise.
He also appeared as Lex Luthor in Reign of the Supermen, an animated film released on January 15th, 2020. Both movies are available for streaming on DC Universe if you want to see what Rainn Wilson looks like as Lex Luthor!
4. James Marsters
- Superman: Doomsday (2007)
James Marsters is an American actor, producer, and director. He is known for his role as Spike in the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997–2003), Angel (1999–2004), and its spinoff series Angel from 2007 to 2009. This is a great addition to our list of Lex Luthor actors.
He has also had recurring roles in several animated series such as Static Shock (2001-2004), Ben 10: Alien Force (2008-2010), and Avengers Assemble (2013).
In live action, he appeared in Smallville playing Bruce Wayne/Batman on two episodes of season 8 under the pseudonym “Bill Meade.”
5. Kevin Spacey
Kevin Spacey is an American actor, film director, producer, screenwriter, and singer. He made his acting debut in the television film Murder in Mississippi (1986).
He gained critical acclaim for his role as Lester Burnham in the satirical drama American Beauty (1999).
For this performance, he won the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role and earned nominations for Academy Award and Golden Globe Best Actor awards.
In the 2000s, Spacey turned to support roles with films such as Pay It Forward (2000), K-19: The Widowmaker (2002), and Beyond Borders (2003). This is another great addition to our list of Lex Luthor actors.
From 2009 to 2012, he starred as Frank Underwood on Netflix’s House of Cards; during this time, he won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series. In 2013 Spacey became artistic director of Old Vic theatre in London.
6. John Shea
- Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (1993–97)
Regarding the character of Lex Luthor, few actors have managed to capture his essence, as well as John Shea.
Beginning his career as a theatre actor in the 1960s, Shea has had a long and impressive career in television. His most notable role was that of Clark Kent on Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, which ran from 1993-1997.
In addition to this series, Shea also portrayed Lex Luthor for the video game Justice League Task Force (released in 2000) and appeared in an episode of Smallville’s first season as Lionel Luthor’s father, Jules.
7. Jon Cryer
Jon Cryer is an American actor and director known for his role as Alan Harper in the CBS sitcom Two and a Half Men (2003–2015). He also directed the short film The Big Bad Swim, released in 2018.
Cryer has won a Screen Actors Guild Award and seven Emmy Award nominations. In 2011 he won three Daytime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Performer in a Children’s Series as Charles Monroe Schulz.
8. Gene Hackman
- Superman Tetralogy (1978–87)
Gene Hackman played the role of Lex Luthor in the 1978 Superman film and its four sequels. He was nominated for his performance for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. This is another great addition to our list of Lex Luthor actors.
Hackman’s Lex Luthor is probably best known as a foil to Christopher Reeve’s Superman, but he also appeared in all four sequels—Superman II, III, and IV: The Quest for Peace; and Superman Returns—as well as being referenced in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
9. Clancy Brown
- Justice League (2001–03), Justice League Unlimited (2004–06)
Clancy Brown is an American actor who has been in movies like Highlander, Starship Troopers, and The Shawshank Redemption. In the DC animated universe, he played Lex Luthor in Justice League and Justice League Unlimited (2001–2006).
His performance as Lex Luthor received critical acclaim. In addition, he was awarded an Annie Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement for Voice Acting by a Male Performer in an Animated Television Production during his time on these shows.
10. Michael Rosenbaum
Last on our list of Lex Luthor actors is Michael Rosenbaum. He is an American actor and voice actor. He is perhaps best known for his role as Lex Luthor on the television series Smallville, where he appeared in over 100 episodes from 2001–11.
As well as appearing in numerous films and television series, Michael has also voiced characters in several animated films.
In 2012, Michael played Lex Luthor again when he voiced him in the DC Comics-produced animated film Superman vs. The Elite.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this list of Lex Luthor actors. Please let us know in the comments if you have other casting suggestions! And if there are any other characters you think deserve their list, just let us know, and we can get started immediately.