Superman: The 10 Best Lex Luthor Actors, According To Ranker

In the recently concluded second season of Superman & Lois, viewers were introduced to all kinds of fascinating villains, including Bizarro Jonathan, the version of Jon Kent from the Shadow Dimension. Given that the show has been renewed for a third season, fans will be hoping for the appearance of more Superman foes.

One of those is Lex Luthor, who has always been to Superman what Joker is to Batman. The two have feuded for decades and as such, Lex Luthor has been portrayed by multiple actors in both live-action and animation. But according to Ranker, some of the actors have been way more impressive than the rest.

10 Jason Isaacs - Justice League: Gods And Monsters (2015)

Isaacs is best known as Detective Michael Britten in Awake and as Dr. Hunter Aloysius "Hap" Percy in The OAHis performances have earned him recognition across different award bodies, including a Golden Globe nomination.

RELATED: 10 Things Only Comic Book Fans Know About Superman & Lex Luthor's Rivalry

Modeled after Professor X, the version of Luthor portrayed by Isaacs moves around in a hoverchair. He happens to be a professor too and comes off as more likable because he is more interested in scholarly matters than feuding with Superman. And the actor sure does bring out Luthor's demeanor perfectly through hushed vocals and few but effective words. Isaac's  Luthor is also thought of as a friend than a foe by many other characters. President Amanda Waller appoints him as her adviser while Wonder Woman takes him on a journey of space with her.

9 Steven Blum - Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox (2013), Justice League: Throne of Atlantis (2015)

Blum is one of the actors who've voiced both DC and Marvel characters in their careers. Apart from Lex Luthor, he has been the Penguin and Wolverine too. Back in 2012, he also entered the Guinness World Records as the actor with the most video game voice-acting credits.

Blum's Luthor is a distinctive one because he isn't the main boss. Instead, he is a member of a team assembled by Slade Wilson to infiltrate Atlantis. That he's up against Aquaman, instead of Superman is also a welcome deviation. As someone who has experimented with several fictional characters throughout his career, Blum does a great job of making Luthor sound like an obedient subordinate instead of the scheming leader that he usually is.

8 Rainn Wilson - The Death of Superman (2018), Reign of the Supermen (2019)

Fans best remember Wilson as Dwight from The Office, a role that earned him 3 Emmy nominations. He is a known activist too, specifically focussing on climate change.

Though Wilson shines in comedic roles, his Lex Luthor is a stern one, hardly delivering any corny lines. Wilson's Luthor also distinguishes himself from the rest by desperately trying hard to be seen as a hero instead of being comfortable in his own skin. And he proves himself as one of the most powerful Superman villains by suiting up and trying to defeat Doomsday just so he can be seen as the true savior of Metropolis. But as is mostly the case, he comes short.

7 James Marsters - Superman: Doomsday (2007)

Marsters made a name for himself as Spike in Buffy The Vampire Slayer. He can also be counted among the actors who've played multiple DC characters as he was also Brainiac in Smallville.

Marsters' Luthor is perhaps the most frantic one and the actor showcases that perfectly even through his breathing patterns. As someone who has played villains many times before, Marsters perfectly captures Luthor's disappointment and glee as the villain rues about Doomsday killing Superman instead of him and goes on to create clones of the Kryptonian.

6 Kevin Spacey - Superman Returns (2006)

For over 3 decades, Spacey was one of Hollywood's A-list. However, his career came to a halt when he was exposed as a sexual predator during the #MeToo movement.

RELATED: 10 Of The Most Hilarious Lex Luthor Memes

One thing Kevin Spacey does well is coming up with an intimidating voice and he does that as Luthor makes plans to restore his damaged reputation and conquer the US. Though Spacey's Luthor has the same love for real estate as the one portrayed by Gene Hackman, he is more serious than campy. His arrogance is pumped up a notch higher.

5 John Shea - Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (1993–97)

Shea has had numerous movie and TV roles throughout his career, winning an Emmy in the process. His other major role is that of Harold Waldorf in Gossip Girl.

Shea's Superman is easy to pick up from the rest because he isn't bald. He happens to be madly in love with Lois, hence the reason he keeps desiring to take down Clark. Given Luthor's unique tastes, Shea's acting skills are best demonstrated whenever he is reciting Shakespeare poems or swaying his body to the tunes of classical songs. In general, there's more to love than to hate about this interpretation of Luthor.

4 Jon Cryer - Supergirl (2015–21)

Cryer fans best know him as Alan Harper from Two And A Half Men. And Supergirl isn't the only Superman-related project he has been a part of. Additionally, he played Lex Luthor's nephew, Lenny Luthor in Superman 4.

Cryer's Luthor is one of the best Arrowvers villains because he is a great pretender. He normally presents himself as a calm and compassionate person but he is extremely sadistic and remorseless. As a human supremacist who believes in the elimination of aliens, he makes inappropriate remarks on the regular but thanks to Cryer's delivery, they come out in a palatable manner.

3 Gene Hackman - Superman Tetralogy (1978–87)

Considered one of Hollywood's best-ever actors, Hackman had a career that spanned 6 decades. During that time, he won 2 Oscars and 4 Golden Globes.

Hackman's Luthor is the typical '80s villain who would do just about any foolish thing to make sure the hero is dead. And some of the things the actor nails well are the facial expressions and the gestures. Luthor's constant frustration as Superman outsmarts him is entertaining to watch, and so are his planning moments.

2 Clancy Brown - Justice League (2001–03), Justice League Unlimited (2004–06)

Often cast in authoritative roles, Brown has appeared in over 50 movies and TV shows. Among his biggest roles is that of Captain Byron Hadley in The Shawshank Redemption.

RELATED: 10 Strangest Romances In Superman Comics

Since he is used to playing authoritative roles, it's easy to tell that Brown feels right at home in the DCAU. His Luthor brags and shouts more than the rest because he considers himself superior to all mortals. And the high vocal pitches are all presented beautifully by the veteran actor. Brown's Luthor becomes an even more challenging foe later on when his brain merges with that of Brainiac.

1 Michael Rosenbaum - Smallville (2001–11)

One of Rosenbaum's recent major roles is that of the Pluto scientist Martinex in Guardians of the Galaxy (Vol 2), Apart from acting, he is also the lead singer of the band known as Spin Spun.

One of the reasons Rosenbaum's Luthor is held in high regard is because he is the most knowledgeable one. Apart from figuring out science concepts, he quotes historical figures with ease and always uses literary facts to back up his opinion. Not to forget that he is the only version of the villain that's ever granted a proper origin story.

NEXT: The 10 Best Lois Lane Actors, According To Ranker



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