Smallville, the origin story of the Man of Steel, starting in his high school days, was one of the longest running sci-fi series in the United States and was the precursor to what the DCTV universe is today. With 10 seasons and 218 episodes under its belt, it is little wonder that the show racked up an impressive number of guest stars over its long run. Some of these stars were nobodies who grew up to be Hollywood heavyweights, some of them were already well known who play cameo roles and some were already connected to the Superman and DC universe in a big way. But all of these stars have one thing in common: they made up the backbone of a great TV show.
With such an impressive supporting cast it can be a little hard to remember all of them, especially if they weren’t famous at the time. So whether you’re a Smallville diehard or just a casual fan, put your memory to the test and see if you can remember all of these appearances. Here’s 20 Actors You Forgot Appeared On Smallville.
20. Amy Adams
You might be surprised to know that the DCEU’s Lois Lane has had a brush with the Man of Steel long before she was cast in that iconic role. In 2001, a young Amy Adams was cast opposite Tom Welling’s Clark Kent, although not as the famous Daily Planet reporter.
Before this famous redhead was raking in Oscar nominations and starring in Hollywood blockbusters, she had a series of guest spots on the small screen. One such role was in the first season of Smallville, playing an overweight high school student Jodi Melville. After eating a diet of kryptonite-infected vegetables she loses weight at a rapid rate, and has to consume the fat from other humans and animals to survive. In other words, we get to see Giselle from Enchanted suck the fat out of friendly woodland deer. So there’s that.
19. Lizzy Caplan
Before Lizzy Caplan was thwarting high school Plastics in Mean Girls, she was playing a mean girl at Smallville High. Caplan played Tina Greer, a metahuman shapeshifter who was friends with Clark’s high school love Lana Lang, in two episodes of season 1 and 2. Of course, when we say “mean girl”, we really mean “homicidal maniac”. In season 1, she starts off robbing banks disguised as Lex Luthor and then escalates to trying to murder her former friend Lana out of jealousy. After being stopped by Clark, she is sent away to Belle Reve Prison, only to return the next season.
Her time in the slammer made her realize she wasn’t jealous of Lana, but rather was in love with her and wanted her for herself. In the immortal words of Regina George “Why are you so obsessed with me?” Since her Smallville days, Caplan has gone on to star in the aforementioned Mean Girls, Party Down, Bachelorette, and as one of the stars of the award-winning Masters of Sex.
18. Michael Cassidy
The second Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice cast member on this list, Michael Cassidy played the DCEU version of Jimmy Olsen, but long before that he had another brush with Clark Kent and Lois Lane. Cassidy, whose Jimmy Olsen appeared in the movie with Amy Adams’s Lois Lane, played a love interest for the small screen version of Lois on Smallville.
He joined the cast in the 7th season as the newest editor of the Daily Planet, Grant Gabriel. He and Lois get together while she is working at the Daily Planet as a reporter (before she starts dating her true love Clark). Of course, nothing in this show is as simple as it seems and he is eventually revealed to be a clone of Lex Luthor’s brother Julian. After Lionel Luthor begins to treat him like the son he always wanted, Grant is shot by an assassin hired by a jealous Lex. Poor Michael Cassidy, always getting shot as a result of Lex Luthor’s schemes.
17. Adam Brody
Everyone’s favourite Orange County resident once also resided in Smallville, Kansas. Although, unlike Seth Cohen, Cohen’s Smallville character is much less adorable and much more homicidal. Brody played a telekinetic high school student and artist named Justin Gaines who loses the use of his hands after being hit by a car in the first season. He uses his powers to go on a killing spree against those who he believes are responsible.
He originally believes it was the high school principal who hit him, but it was actually the principal’s son who was driving the car. Of course, he finds this fact out after he’s already killed the principal. Clark’s friend Chloe is also caught up in the madness and Clark eventually has to save her from Brody’s crazy character.
Thankfully he’ll be more fondly remembered as the adorkable Seth from The O.C. by generations of ’00s girls. Brody is now married to fellow teen drama star Leighton Meester (Blair from Gossip Girl) and they have a child together.
16. Adrianne Palicki
In season 3, Clark was introduced to another Kryptonian alien named Kara, who had come to take him to fulfil his destiny. She tries to turn him against his friends and family in an effort to convince him to give up his normal life in Smallville. Fans of the series were convinced that this might be Kara Zor-El, AKA Supergirl, but unfortunately this was not to be (Supergirl was eventually introduced into the show later though). Instead it is discovered that the whole thing is a ruse and she is actually named Lindsey Harrison, a human who is brainwashed and imbued with Kryptonian powers by Jor-El.
Palicki is no stranger to comic book lore, since she has gone on to play Wonder Woman in an unaired pilot for NBC. She was then cast as the villain alongside Smallville alumni Justin Hartley (who played Oliver Queen) in the also unaired Aquaman pilot. Since then she has had more luck across the aisle, playing Bobbi Morse (Mockingbird) in Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. You may also recognise her from the beloved football drama Friday Night Lights or from the long-running cult favourite Supernatural.
15. Jonathan Taylor Thomas
Any teenage girl from the ’90s with a pulse should remember this teen heartthrob from their youth. Famous for playing everyone’s favourite Taylor child in Home Improvement and for voicing the child version of Simba in The Lion King, Thomas hasn’t really done all that much in the present day. But in the early 2000s he did have a guest spot in Smallville as metahuman high school student Ian Randall.
Ian could create a duplicate of himself that climbed out of the skin on his back at will. Like so many of the other metahuman characters on this list, he eventually went crazy and started murdering people. Seriously, why does anyone still live in Smallville?
Thomas reprised his dual role in the season 3 episode “Asylum”, where he is revealed to be in Belle Reve Prison and plans to steal Clark’s powers in retaliation for ruining his life. While JTT has kind of fallen out of the acting game since then, we’ll always have fond memories of him in the ’90s and early ’00s.
14. Lucas Grabeel
You might not immediately recognise Lucas Grabeel in his black hair and flannel shirt on Smallville, since you probably would be used to him wearing something completely different. Does blond hair and an endless parade of sparkly hats ring any bells?
Grabeel, who is most well know for playing Sharpay’s flamboyant brother Ryan in the High School Music series, had a multi-episode stint on the show. Grabeel began by playing the younger version of Lex Luthor in flashbacks before returning as Alexander Luthor, a clone of Lex and Clark. After being a little evil for a while he eventually changes his ways, and his name to Connor, and is trained by Clark on how to properly use his powers.
13. Jensen Ackles
Jensen Ackles has been a loyal CW man for many years now, even before his 12 year stint on the fan-favourite behemoth Supernatural, playing the arguably better Winchester brother (sorry Sam!), he was a series regular on season 4 of Smallville. Ackles played assistant football coach and love interest for Lana, Jason Teague. He and Lana dated throughout the fourth season and he was (rightfully) fired from his post for dating a student.
Initially seeming like a good guy, Jason is eventually revealed to be working with his mother to get their hands on three powerful Kryptonian stones. Jason takes Martha and Jonathan Kent hostage when he believes Clark has the stones, but he is killed when a meteor shower hits and crushes him.
Of course, Ackles has done pretty well for himself since, considering Supernatural has just entered its 12th season and doesn’t look like it will slow down anytime soon.
12. Tori Spelling and Brian Austin Green
In the ’90s there was only one teen drama that really mattered: Beverly Hills 90210. David and Donna were one of the show’s quintessential couples, dating on and off throughout the series run. Tori Spelling and Brian Austin Green played those two lovebirds. Years later, the co-stars also had guest roles on Smallville, albeit at different times.
Tori Spelling played Linda Lake, a gossip columnist for the Daily Planet in season 6 and 8, who could transform herself into water as well as manipulate the element. She also finds out about Clark’s secret and tries to kill Chloe. She is smothered to death in the season 8 episode “Infamous”.
Interestingly, Brian Austin Green also played a journalist for the Daily Planet in a four episode stint in season 9 and 10. Green played John Corben, AKA the supervillain Metallo, who had his heart replaced with a green Kryptonite power source. He holds a grudge again Superman, believing him to be responsible for the death of his sister. Metallo survives and goes on to appear in the Smallville 11th season comic books.
11. Shawn Ashmore
You might remember this guy; he played Jimmy Olsen in seasons 6-8. Only, no he didn’t. No, Jimmy Olsen was actually played by his identical twin brother, Aaron. Shawn, on the other hand, played Eric Summers, a metahuman in season 1 and 3.
Eric was a high school student with Clark at Smallville High, who had the power to leech other’s powers. He stole Clark’s powers during season 1 episode “Leech” and ran around with his super strength, invulnerability and super speed. The powers even cleared up his near-sightedness.
Eric comes back in season 3 when Clark visits Belle Reve Prison and he, along with the previously mentioned Ian Randall (Jonathan Taylor Thomas), try to steal Clark’s powers again to defeat him once and for all. Needless to say, it doesn’t go well.
Fun fact: Not only does his brother appear as “Jimmy” Olsen, but Aaron also plays Jimmy’s brother James in the season finale. That’s a lot of very similar looking men running around Smallville and Metropolis.
10. Ian Somerhalder and Paul Wesley
These two ridiculously handsome actors are probably best known for playing vampire brothers Damon and Stefan Salvatore, on the CW’s The Vampire Diaries for the past 8 years. But before that they both had a brief stint on Smallville, which also aired on the same network, with Paul Wesley appearing in season 2 and Ian Somerhalder appearing in season 3.
Wesley played Lucas Luthor, the half-brother of Lex and love child of Lionel. In true Luthor fashion, Lucas is a volatile, manipulative sociopath– apparently those genes run strong in the Luthor family. After Lionel abandons Lucas as a child, Lex finds his half-brother 18 years later and brings him back to their home. The three Luthor men then proceed to cross and double-cross each other the entire episode. After that, Lucas isn’t seen or heard from again.
Somerhalder had a slightly longer stay in Smallville, appearing in 6 episodes of the 3rd season as Adam Knight, a fellow patient at Lana Lang’s physiotherapy sessions. It is later revealed that he is actually dead, and has been resurrected by a serum developed by LuthorCorp and needs it to survive. Somerhalder was originally going to be a regular character as Lana’s love interest, but after the chemistry between the actors wasn’t working, they instead opted to make him another homicidal maniac who was eventually killed off.
9. Pam Grier
While Viola Davis has become the newest and (arguably) the most definitive version of professional badass Amanda Waller, she is by no means the first person to bring her to life. Back in 2009, blaxploitation and cult queen Pam Grier, gave her own version of the character in Smallville‘s 9th season. The actress, best known for movies like Coffy and Jackie Brown, made her debut as Waller in the 2 hour episode “Absolute Justice” in the 9th season.
Waller, who is one of the toughest characters in the DC universe, definitely needs someone of great renown and presence to portray her accurately– and who better to do that than the 1970s queen of tough, Pam Grier? Grier spent most of her career playing tough-as-nails ball-breakers in her various films, so she had plenty of practice for the role.
Waller appeared in three episodes during her run, introducing the show to the organization Checkmate and the Suicide Squad.
8. Cobie Smulders
Before she was dealing with the antics of Barney Stinson and Tony Stark in her respective roles of Robin in How I Met Your Mother and Maria Hill in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Cobie Smulders had a guest role in the 9th episode of season 4, playing– you guessed it — a psycho.
Smulders played Shannon Bell, a former lover of Lex Luthor who is scorned and ignored by him. Shannon, believing that Lex originally loved her, is left heartbroken and wanting revenge, and revenge she does get. She murders one of Lex’s old flames and frames him for it, before killing her boss (also one of Lex’s past flings) and kidnapping him. Shannon then tries to set Lex on fire and kill him (didn’t we say she was psycho?) but is stopped by Clark at the last second. Shannon is then sent away to prison for presumably a very long time.
7. Tyler Posey
Nowadays Tyler Posey can be seen running around as the eponymous teenage werewolf in MTV’s Teen Wolf (based on the Michael J. Fox movie of the same name) but before that he had a brief role in this other paranormal teen drama. Posey plays Javier Ramirez, an illegal immigrant forced to work as a slave on a farm in Smallville. He runs into Clark after escaping and Clark, who himself is an “illegal alien”, decides to help Javier save his friends from the farm. When the police threaten to deport Javier, Clark uses his super speed to whisk him away where they can’t find him. Clark and his mother then help Javier reunite with his family.
Though Posey was only about 15 at the time of taking this role, he was hardly a newcomer having had roles in a number of TV shows before this and, most notably, starring alongside Jennifer Lopez and Ralph Fiennes in the rom-com Maid in Manhattan at just 11 years old.
6. Miranda Cosgrove
You’d be forgiven for forgetting this Nickelodeon starlet was ever on Smallville since her face never actually appears on the show. Instead Cosgrove, who had only starred in a few commercials at this point, made her television debut as the voice of 3-year old Lana Lang.
While young actress Jade Unterman portrayed Lana in person, the role was dubbed over by the iCarly star when she was 8 years old. We see young Lana dressed as a fairy princess as she grants a wish for Martha Kent. She then tragically witnesses her parents die in the meteor shower that brings Clark to earth. We don’t really know why they didn’t use Unterman’s real voice or why Cosgrove didn’t play her on screen (although there is a bit of an age difference there) but it’s not the first time a character has been dubbed over by another actor; it happens in Hollywood all the time.
5. Lynda Carter
Anyone who calls themselves a DC fan should be able to recognize this famous face. DC royalty Lynda Carter returned to her comic book roots almost 30 years after famously playing Wonder Woman in the 1970s TV show. In the 18th episode of the 6th season, Carter had a guest role, playing Moira, the metahuman mother of main character Chloe Sullivan. Moira had the ability to control the mind of others who were also affected by the meteor shower, including her own daughter. Moira left her family to protect Chloe from her mind control, committing herself to a mental institution, only to return when she was an adult.
Moira falls into a catatonic state at the end of the episode, but not before Clark tells her of all the great things her daughter has done over the years and Chloe gets the chance to say goodbye. As she slips away she tells her daughter she loves her and there’s not a dry eye in the house.
4. Evangeline Lilly
Before she was Kate in the mind-bending cult TV show Lost, Evangeline Lilly work mostly as an extra or an uncredited part. In fact, the only credit roles she had before crash-landing on the Island were “model in commercial” in a movie called Stealing Sinatra and “Benton’s Girlfriend” in an episode of Kingdom Hospital. One of those uncredited parts was as an extra in 4 episodes in the early seasons of Smallville.
During one of those episodes in season 1 she got to play “Wade’s Girlfriend” in one small scene, but apart from that she mostly just walked around as a background extra at the high school. If you squint really hard in episodes 11 and 22 of the 2nd season, and episode 11 of season 3 you might be able to see her breeze by behind the main characters.
3. Cory Monteith
Before the Canadian-born actor and singer got his big break playing high school quarterback/glee club captain Finn Hudson on Glee, Cory Monteith had a few small roles on TV. He guest starred on Stargate: Atlantis and then in 2005 played the role of a camper in the second episode of Supernatural’s first season. The same year he also had a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it bit part in the fifth episode of the 5th season of Smallville named “Thirst”.
Cory played the part of the unnamed “Frat Cowboy” in a split-second scene with Lana and Chloe. We see Lana grinding against Frat Cowboy at a costume party, about to bite him (since she’s contracted vampire rabies– seriously how does anyone still live in this town?) before Chloe whisks her away, telling him to go play with his “six shooter“.
The only line Monteith has is “Hey!” as his sexy-time with Lana is interrupted before the scene cuts away.
2. Carrie Fisher
The queen of geekdom Carrie Fisher, AKA Princess Leia herself, has guest starred in quite a number of popular TV shows over the years, such as Family Guy, 30 Rock, The Big Bang Theory, and Weeds. And why wouldn’t you? Considering that, even after all these years, she’s still a household name that draws the nerdy crowd.
Fisher guest starred in the show’s 5th season as Pauline Kahn, the editor-in-chief of the Daily Planet and former writing partner of Perry White. She gives Chloe a chance to work at the Daily Planet when Chloe doesn’t waver during a particularly harsh interview. After seeing some of Chloe’s writing, Pauline hires her and kicks off the next stage in the origin story: Metropolis and The Daily Planet. She only appeared in the one episode and would later be replaced by Perry White.
1. Superman Royalty
Of course, what would a Superman TV show be if it didn’t pay homage to those who paved the way for the Man of Steel? Both famous sets of Loises and Clarks — Christopher Reeve/Margot Kidder of the original movies and Dean Cain/Teri Hatcher of the series Lois & Clark — appear throughout the show’s 10-year run.
The first to appear was the man himself, the original (and who many still consider to be the best) cinematic Superman, Christopher Reeve. He appeared in multiple episodes as Dr. Virgil Swann, a brilliant scientist who was dedicated to proving the existence of extra-terrestrial life. In season 4 we are introduced to his assistant Bridgett Crosby, who is played by none other than his Lois Lane, Margot Kidder. It’s also worth noting that Annette O’Toole, who plays Martha Kent, originally played Lana Lang opposite these two in Superman 3.
Next up was Dean Cain, who played Clark in the TV series Lois & Clark; appearing in season 7 as an immortal doctor who wants to make his wife immortal too, by harvesting body parts from metahumans. His Lois, Teri Hatcher, appears in season 10 playing the mother of Lois Lane on a tape recording.
Other notable Superman alumni in the show were Helen Slater, who played Supergirl in 1984; Terence Stamp, who played General Zod in the 1st and 2nd movies; and Marc McClure, who played Jimmy Olsen in the original movies.
Who was your favourite Smallville guest star? Sound off in the comments!