The Ultimate Ranking Of The Sexiest Superman On TV And Film

To celebrate Superman's return to his iconic costume, we've ranked the actors who played the Man of Steel on the big and small screen.

Superman is returning to his iconic look! Back in 2011, DC Comics rebooted the character and gave him a new costume—one noticeably lacking his signature red "underwear" ( which is not actually underwear). But in honor of Action Comics #1000, dropping April 18, Clark's red trunks are back!

DC Comics

There've been a lot of handsome men in that super-suit, going all the way back to the 1940s. (Syfy's Krypton is set 200 years before the planet explodes, so the chances of seeing Kal-el there are small.)

Still, now seems like the perfect time to rank all the stone-cold foxes who have played the Man of Steel.

Nicolas Cage

Cage is a huge Superman fan—he owns a super-rare copy of Action Comics No. 1 and even named his son Kal-el. He was set to play the Man of Steel in a proposed Tim Burton movie written by Kevin Smith. Superman Lives was ultimately scrapped but we still have footage of Cage in Supe's (well-padded) blue union suit.

You can get all the behind-the-scenes dish in the 2015 documentary What Happened? The Death of Superman Lives.

Kirk Alyn

Alyn was the first actor to play Superman, which he did in a 1948 serial and again in 1950's Atom Man vs. Superman. He's not exactly a mass of bulging sinewy muscles, but we can see the appeal.

George Reeves

THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN, George Reeves, 1951-57

For Baby Boomers, Reeves was the Man of Steel, playing the character from 1951 to 1958 on TV'sThe Adventures of Superman (alongside Noel Neill and gay actor Jack Larson). Reeves's Supes was a bit lumpier than later versions, but he maintained a certain swagger and confidence even as he got a little long in the tooth for the role.

John Haymes Newton

Newton played teenage Clark Kent in the first season of the syndicated series Superboy, before being replaced by Gerard Christopher in 1989. Producers Ilya and Alexander Salkind wanted to go in a different direction, but we think he filled out the costume pretty darn well.

Gerard Christopher

Christopher took over for Newton for Superboy's three final seasons. His costume looked like bare-thread spandex, leaving little to the imagination.

Dean Cain


Before he became a right-wing Trump booster, Cain donned the iconic costume in ABC's 1990s action-comedy Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. The Japanese-American actor gave Supes some much needed diversity, and Cain's repartee with Lois (Teri Hatcher) and Jimmy (Justin Whalin) was endearing.


Brandon Routh

Warner Bros. Pictures

It's not Brandon's fault that Bryan Singer's Superman Returns was such a dud. He certainly wore the uniform well, looking eerily like Christopher Reeve, right down to the chin dimple.

Warner Bros. Pictures

Warner Bros. Pictures

Tim Daly

The WB

Technically Daly just voiced Kal-el on Superman: The Animated Series, but what a voice! (Other actors who have played the Last Son of Krypton off-screen include Channing Tatum, Mark Valley, Jerry O'Connell, James Denton, and Mark Harmon.)

Tom Welling

Technically Welling didn't wear the iconic red-and-blue suit in his ten year stint on CW's Smallville until the final episode, but we couldn't NOT include him.


How many gay men can credit his Clark as the fuel to an early sexual awakening?

Tyler Hoechlin

The most recent entry on our list, Hoechlin played Superman last season on CW's Supergirl.

Images of the former Teen Wolf star in the costume garnered a LOT of attention when they first surfaced. While some complain the costume wasn't the traditional one, most of us were fine with his super-glutes, natural or not.

Henry Cavill

Warner Bros

Cavill gives us a beefy, grizzly Kal-el in Man of Steel and we're here for it.

Cavill even looks good in Christopher Reeve's super-suit.

Zach Snyder

And in no suit at all.

Warner Bros

Christopher Reeve

Warner Bros.

Maybe you have to be a certain age, but for many of us Christopher Reeve is the definitive Superman. The eyes, the smile, the wholesome but still thirst-producing visage—he had it all.

Warner Bros.

Warner Bros.

Warner Bros.

After his accident, Reeve's strength and determination proved he was a hero outside the role, as well.

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