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Men of Steel: The Actors Who Played Superman

From Alyn to Routh, these men embraced the pressure of playing Clark Kent/Superman.

Kirk Alyn

Kirk Alyn (1910-1999) has the distinction of being the first actor to portray the iconic character of Superman on the big screen. He starred in two movies as "the last son of Krypton" in the 1948 film serial Superman and another one two years later called Atom Man Vs. Superman.

In an 1987 interview quoted in Alyn's New York Times Obituary, Alyn recounted the joy and surprise he felt at being offered the role. ''I thought it was a publicity stunt,'' he said. ''I didn't think you could ever put Superman on film. They brought the people from DC Comics over, and they said, 'Hey, he looks just like Clark Kent.' I was 37 when I played Superman. I picked up that girl and ran up that flight of stairs like it was nothing.'' Incidentally, Alyn popped up in the 1978 Superman movie starring Christopher Reeve, playing an uncredited role as Lois Lane's father.

Check out this clip of Alyn talking about his audition process for the role, and how one question nearly threw him off his game.

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