Thomas Joseph "Tom" Welling (born April 26, 1977) is an American actor, director, producer, and model best known for his role as Clark Kent in The WB/CW superhero drama Smallville (2001–2011). He also co-starred in the Fox fantasy comedy-drama Lucifer as Lt. Marcus Pierce/Cain (2017–2018).
Welling at Comic Con in 2010
Thomas Joseph Welling
April 26, 1977
Putnam Valley, New York, U.S.
|Residence||Los Angeles, California, U.S.|
|Occupation||Actor, director, producer, model|
|Height||6 ft 3 in (191 cm)|
(m. 2002; div. 2015)
|Partner(s)||Jessica Rose Lee (2014-present: engaged)|
A high school athlete, Welling initially worked in construction and, in 1998, he successfully modeled men's clothing for several popular brands. In 2000, he made a successful transition to television. He has been nominated for and received several awards for his role as Clark Kent. In 2001, he had a recurring role as Rob "Karate Rob" Meltzer in the second season of the CBS legal drama Judging Amy. He has also been involved behind the camera as an executive producer and a director. His films include Cheaper by the Dozen (2003), Cheaper by the Dozen 2 (2005), The Fog (2005), Draft Day (2014) and The Choice (2016).
Welling was born in Putnam Valley, New York. His family moved frequently, making stops in Wisconsin, Delaware, and Michigan. Welling attended Okemos High School in Okemos, Michigan, where he started acting in plays, but then switched into sports. Welling played baseball and soccer, but his favorite sport is basketball. Welling is one of four children, with two older sisters, Rebecca and Jamie, and a younger brother, Mark Welling, who is also an actor.
Originally a construction worker, Welling was discovered in 1998 at a party in Nantucket by a catalog camera scout who suggested he try modeling. Welling modelled for Louisa Modeling Agency until 2000, when he relocated to Los Angeles. There he modelled for Tommy Hilfiger, Abercrombie & Fitch, and Calvin Klein while pursuing an acting career. In 2000, Welling appeared in Angela Via's music video "Picture Perfect" where he played Vía's love interest. Welling has said that he did not like modelling and that he was not good at it because it was all on the outside or from an external point of view. He pursued acting because he wanted to express a range of emotions, but Welling still models occasionally and appeared in the May 2008 issue of Vogue, the so-called Superhero Issue. In his first major acting role, Welling played karate teacher Rob "Karate Rob" Meltzer, a younger love interest of Amy Gray (Amy Brenneman) in the second season of the CBS legal drama Judging Amy, which aired in 2001. Welling was originally signed for three episodes; after receiving enthusiastic fan reviews, the producers kept him for three more. Welling also had a small role in the UPN science fiction sitcom Special Unit 2, and he appeared in the pilot episode of the FOX sitcom Undeclared.
Welling was cast in the WB superhero drama Smallville after a nationwide search for an actor to play Clark Kent. In an interview with a teen magazine, Welling spoke about the day he auditioned for the role: "I was on my way back from the Warner Bros. studio, and I stopped in a gas station to call my manager and tell him how it went. I called and got him on the phone and he said, 'Can you hold on a second?' Next thing I know, there are literally seven people on the other line and almost in unison they say, 'Tom, you got it!'" The pilot aired in October 2001 and became the highest-rated debut for The WB, with 8.4 million viewers. Welling told TV Guide that he turned down the lead role twice, but after reading the script, decided to take the job. Like Christopher Reeve, he was not a Superman fan prior to being cast as Clark Kent. In fact, he said, he continues to not read Superman comics: "I made a conscious decision to stay away from that material. We're doing something different at a time before all that, I don't want that to affect what I'm doing, even subconsciously." He did get the chance to meet two previous Superman actors: Christopher Reeve, who appeared in season 2: episode 17 titled "Rosetta", and Dean Cain, who appeared in season 7: episode 4 titled "Cure".
Welling was named one of People magazine's "Breakthrough Stars of 2001", and also won the Teen Choice Award as "Choice Breakout Star (Male)" in 2002 for his role as Clark Kent. Following the third season, Welling was interviewed by Smallville Magazine and said that if he could play one character on the show that was not Clark Kent, it would be Lex Luthor; "Lex Luthor! I wouldn't mind having my head shaved—as an actor, [it is the ultimate,] getting to play the complete opposite of your character."
In 2004, Welling was approached about starring in the big screen adaptation of Superman when director Brett Ratner was attached to the project. Comic book artist Alex Ross even did two sketches of Welling as the "Man of Steel" to see what the actor would look like in the famous costume. In August 2009, Welling won another Teen Choice Award as "Choice TV Actor (Action Adventure)" for Smallville.
In December 2003, Welling made his feature film debut as Charlie Baker, the oldest son and second-oldest in the Baker family which had 12 children, in the family comedy Cheaper by the Dozen with Steve Martin and Bonnie Hunt, which is a remake of the 1950 movie starring Clifton Webb and Myrna Loy, based on the 1948 book about the family of Frank and Lillian Gilbreth and written by two of their children. Welling talked about why he was interested in the project in an interview with Paul Fischer: "The top three reasons I decided to do this film were, one, Steve Martin, two, Steve Martin and three, Steve Martin. That was the number one draw for me. Then, after reading the script, I really liked this character, Charlie. I liked what he went through, what he had to go through, and I felt I understood where he was coming from. And I just wanted to be a part of it." Welling had always been a fan of Martin's and said that he "absolutely loved" working with him.
In 2005, Welling co-starred in the horror film The Fog, a remake of John Carpenter's 1980 film of the same name, as Nick Castle (a character originally played by Tom Atkins). At the same time The Fog was in production, Welling was still working on the last few episodes of the fourth season of Smallville. The same year, he reprised his role as Charlie Baker in Cheaper by the Dozen 2.
In 2013, Welling was among the all-star cast of Peter Landesman's historical drama Parkland, based on the book Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy by author Vincent Bugliosi. The story centers on the chaotic events that occurred at Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas on the day President John F. Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963. In 2014, Welling co-starred with Kevin Costner, Jennifer Garner, Frank Langella, and Denis Leary in Ivan Reitman's sports drama Draft Day. He played a veteran quarterback whose career is at a crossroads.
For Smallville's ninth season, Welling served as a co-executive producer. He returned as Clark Kent for the show's tenth and final season in Fall 2010 and became a full executive producer, as credited in a May 20, 2010 press release by the CW.
Welling served as an executive producer on the CW comedy-drama Hellcats based on journalist Kate Torgovnick's book Cheer: Inside the Secret World of College Cheerleaders. The series first aired on The CW beginning in the fall of 2010, and was cancelled on May 17, 2011. According to Welling, the reason of cancellation was because of the change of CW president of entertainment from Dawn Ostroff to Mark Pedowitz. He also said that there was a possibility of a reboot of the series with a new cast and cameos from the previous cast if enough fans continue to watch the original series on CW Seed.
Welling made his directorial debut in 2006 with the Smallville episode "Fragile" (5.18). He also directed "Hydro" (6.10); the show's 150th episode, "Apocalypse" (7.18); "Injustice" (8.21); the second part ("Legends") of the two-hour episode "Absolute Justice" (9.11); and two episodes of Smallville's final season, "Patriot" (10.09) and "Booster" (10.18).
On July 5, 2002, Welling married model Jamie White on Martha's Vineyard with Welling's friends and then-Smallville co-stars Kristin Kreuk and Michael Rosenbaum in attendance. Welling and White resided in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, but returned to Los Angeles in March 2011. On October 17, 2013, White filed for divorce from Welling. The divorce was finalized in November 2015.
In 2014, Welling began dating Saddle Club founder Jessica Rose Lee. In April 2018, they announced their engagement. In November 2018, USWeekly.com reported Lee's pregnancy. On January 5, 2019, Lee gave birth to their son Thomson Wylde Welling at 12:31am, weighing 8lbs 8oz.
Welling plays golf in his spare time. Welling has said in YM that he dislikes interviews. He said, "I don't want to be a celebrity for the sake of being a celebrity. I want to work and then go home and live in private." Welling has also said he disliked modelling because it was not fulfilling and was not an expressive job.
|2003||Cheaper by the Dozen||Charlie Baker||Nominated – Teen Choice Award Choice Movie: Male Breakout Star|
|2005||The Fog||Nicholas "Nick" Castle|
|2005||Cheaper by the Dozen 2||Charlie Baker|
|2013||Parkland||Secret Service Agent Roy Kellerman|
|2014||Draft Day||Brian Drew|
|2016||The Choice||Dr. Ryan McCarthy|
|2001||Judging Amy||Rob Meltzer||6 episodes|
|2001||Special Unit 2||Male victim||Episode: "The Depths"|
|2001–2011||Smallville||Kal-El / Clark
Kent / Superman
Kal-El / Clark Luthor / Ultraman
Choice TV Actor: Action (2009)
Teen Choice Award for Choice TV: Male Breakout Stars (2002)
Nominated – Choice TV Actor: Fantasy/Sci-Fi (2010–2011)
Nominated – Scream Awards for Best Superhero (2010–2011)
Nominated – Choice TV Actor: Action (2003–2008)
Nominated – Teen Choice Award for Choice TV: Chemistry (shared w/Kristin Kreuk) (2006)
Nominated – Saturn Award for Best Actor on Television (2002–2006)
Nominated – Choice TV Actor: Drama (2002, 2005)
|2015||Man Fire Food||Himself||Episode: "Backyard Blowouts"|
|2017–2018||Lucifer||Lt. Marcus Pierce / Cain|
Episode 5.18 "Fragile"
Episode 6.10 "Hydro"
Episode 7.18 "Apocalypse"
Episode 8.21 "Injustice"
Episode 9.11 "Absolute Justice"
Episode 10.09 "Patriot"
Episode 10.18 "Booster"
|2009–2010||Co-executive producer |
|2010–2011||Executive producer |
|2010–2011||Hellcats||Executive producer |
|2000||"Picture Perfect"||Angela Via||Vía's love interest|
- "Inside of Tom Welling (10:13)".
- "Tom Welling Biography". TV Guide. Retrieved 2010-02-22.
- Audrey Fine (September 26, 2006). "Getting to Know: Tom Welling". Seventeen. Retrieved 2018-03-08.
- "Interview with Smallville's Tom Welling". Teen Magazine. Archived from the original on January 11, 2010. Retrieved 2010-03-04.
- "Paul Fischer Interviews Tom Welling". Filmmonthly.com. Retrieved 2010-03-04.
- "Tom Welling In Vogue Magazine Photoshoot". The Insider. April 30, 2008. Retrieved 2010-03-04.[dead link]
- "The WB Orders More 'Smallville'". tv.zap2it.com. 2001-10-24. Retrieved 2006-10-19.[dead link]
- "Tom Welling Interview – Cheaper by the Dozen Movie and Smallville". Movies.about.com. 2009-10-30. Retrieved 2010-03-04.
- "Tom Welling Interview from SV Yearbook". KryptonSite. Retrieved 2010-03-04.
- "Shows – Smallville – Cast – Tom Welling". The CW. Archived from the original on January 21, 2007. Retrieved 2007-01-25.
- "Tom Welling Interview". Supermantv.net. Archived from the original on 2004-10-21. Retrieved 2010-04-16.
- "Alex Ross Draws Tom Welling as Superman!". Alex Ross Art. 2004-04-16. Retrieved 2010-05-10.
- "Teen Choice Awards winners". USA Today. 2009-08-10. Retrieved 2010-03-04.
- Birnbaum, Debra (July 22, 2017). "Tom Welling Joins Cast of Lucifer for Season 3". Variety. Retrieved August 15, 2017.
- "cinemaspy.com". www.cinemaspy.com. Archived from the original on 2013-11-12. Retrieved 2012-09-10.
- "Tom Welling Heads to Parkland - ComingSoon.net". 31 January 2013.
- "The CW Announces 2010–2011 Schedule". CWtv.com. May 20, 2010. Archived from the original on June 19, 2010. Retrieved June 6, 2010.
- Michael Ausiello (February 2, 2010). "Pilot intel: CW orders Tom Welling-produced drama". Entertainment Weekly.
- "Hellcats (a.a.a. Cheer) (The CW)". The Futon Critic. February 2, 2010.
- "'Hellcats' Is Coming Back, Producer Tom Welling Reveals Cancelation Reason". 12 September 2017.
- Barron, James; Medina, Jennifer (2002-07-12). "Super Event for Superman". NYTimes.com. Retrieved 2010-04-19.
- "Tom Welling Super Rich Divorce Settlement". tmz.com. 2015-11-22. Retrieved 2015-11-23.
- "Is Smallville's Tom Welling Engaged to Girlfriend Jessica Rose Lee?". People.com. 2018-04-24. Retrieved 2018-12-13.
- "Smallville Alum Tom Welling's Fiancee Jessica Rose Lee Is More Than Six Months Pregnant". USWeekly.com. 2018-11-05. Retrieved 2018-12-13.
- "Tom Welling in SAG-AFTRA Foundation 7th Annual L.A. Golf Classic Fundraiser".
- "Young Superman hates interviews". Spartanburg Herald-Journal. 2003-12-26. Retrieved 2010-04-22.
- "Paul Fischer Interviews Tom Welling". www.filmmonthly.com.