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Tom Welling

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Also Known As: Thomas John Patrick Welling Died:
Born: April 26, 1977 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Putnam Valley, New York, USA Profession: actor, model, construction worker

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

As a former model-turned-actor, Tom Welling rose to fame in the early 21st century as a teenaged Clark Kent, poised on the brink of discovering the powers that would one day make him Superman on "Smallville" (The WB/The CW, 2001-2011). Welling initially resisted taking the role upon the advice of his agent, who feared typecasting. But Welling was convinced by producers to play the young Clark, whose blend of physicality and earnestness won over both Superman fans and television viewers alike. During his reign on "Smallville," Welling began branching out into features and made his debut as the eldest son in the comedy remake of "Cheaper by the Dozen" (2003), a role he reprised in the 2005 sequel. In between, he starred in the John Carpenter-produced horror remake of his 1980 film, "The Fog" (2005). But his bread and butter remained "Smallville," where he spent a decade ably playing the budding Superman, even stepping behind the camera to direct several episodes. He went on to executive produce the short-lived "Hellcats" (The CW, 2010-11), which pointed to other areas of his talent that had yet to be fully explored or realized by his substantial "Smallville" fanbase.Born in Putnam Valley, NY, on April...

As a former model-turned-actor, Tom Welling rose to fame in the early 21st century as a teenaged Clark Kent, poised on the brink of discovering the powers that would one day make him Superman on "Smallville" (The WB/The CW, 2001-2011). Welling initially resisted taking the role upon the advice of his agent, who feared typecasting. But Welling was convinced by producers to play the young Clark, whose blend of physicality and earnestness won over both Superman fans and television viewers alike. During his reign on "Smallville," Welling began branching out into features and made his debut as the eldest son in the comedy remake of "Cheaper by the Dozen" (2003), a role he reprised in the 2005 sequel. In between, he starred in the John Carpenter-produced horror remake of his 1980 film, "The Fog" (2005). But his bread and butter remained "Smallville," where he spent a decade ably playing the budding Superman, even stepping behind the camera to direct several episodes. He went on to executive produce the short-lived "Hellcats" (The CW, 2010-11), which pointed to other areas of his talent that had yet to be fully explored or realized by his substantial "Smallville" fanbase.

Born in Putnam Valley, NY, on April 26, 1977, Welling was the son of a General Motors executive whose job required him to relocate the family on numerous occasions. As a result, Welling and his three siblings spent their early years traveling from New York to Wisconsin and Delaware before settling in Okemos, MI. Playing sports was Welling's primary interest in his school years, particularly soccer and baseball. But he also dabbled in acting in grade school. Academics were never his strong suit, leading to his graduation from Okemos High School with fair grades in 1995. After high school, he settled into steady work as a construction worker at a warehouse while continuing to live with his parents.

In 1997, Welling was approached by a photography scout while spending time with friends in a bar in Nantucket, Massachusetts. The scout was looking for new faces for a catalog shoot to be conducted by famed photographer, Bruce Weber, for the fashion retailer Abercrombie & Fitch. Welling returned home to Michigan to consider the proposal, then headed back East to Lake George, New York to take part in the shoot. The pictures - published in the company's quarterly catalog in 1997 - were the launch of Welling's career as a model. He relocated to Manhattan, signed with New York Model Management for stateside work and Louisa Models for Europe. Welling soon found himself photographed for print campaigns for Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein and other designer labels.

Despite the steady work as a model, Welling was unsure of his longevity in the business. So in 2000, he moved to Los Angeles to try his hand at acting. He continued to model during this period, but he began landing jobs from auditions. Among his earliest credits were television commercials for Verizon and T.J. Maxx. Welling soon made his television acting debut as the younger love interest for Amy Brenneman on "Judging Amy" (CBS, 1999-2005). His appearance on the show was originally slated as a three-episode arc. But audience response, as well as the impression he made on the show's producers, resulted in the character being extended for an additional three episodes. Smaller roles on several series followed before he landed his breakout turn on "Smallville."

Despite initial interest, it appeared as though Welling might not assume the mantle of the man who would be Superman. His agent, fearing the typecasting that hobbled Christopher Reeve's career after the theatrical Superman films, initially told producer David Nutter that his client would pass on starring in the series. But conversations between Nutter and the agent eventually broke the ice, leading to Welling auditioning for the role. In conversations, Welling explained that his approach to the part was to play him as a normal teenager, not an alien child with superhuman powers. That fresh approach might have been the key to landing the part, not to mention the chemistry he shared in an audition with actress Kristin Kreuk, who was cast as Clark's love interest, Lana Lane. When the series aired in 2005, both critics and audiences were overwhelmingly positive in response to his performance, citing the humanity, common decency and emotional depth he brought to the role. For his efforts, he received numerous Saturn Award and Teen Choice Award nominations from 2003-06, and again in 2008 and 2009.

In 2003, after wrapping the second season of "Smallville," he returned to Los Angeles to co-star with Steve Martin and Hilary Duff in the hit remake of "Cheaper by the Dozen" (2003). Welling, who played the extended family's oldest son, cited Martin as the chief reason for his joining the cast, having been a huge fan of the actor-comedian from childhood. Welling later returned for the critically panned and less successful sequel, "Cheaper By the Dozen 2" (2005), which allowed him a brief screen romance with actress Jamie King. During this period, Welling's name was frequently in the news in association with rumors about Bryan Singer's "Superman Returns" (2006) feature; internet film sites considered him to be the frontrunner to play the title role. But newcomer Brandon Routh eventually emerged as the star of the film.

Welling received his first starring role in a feature with the underwhelming remake of John Carpenter's horror film "The Fog" (2005), which turned out to be a modest success at the box office. Meanwhile, he returned to work on "Smallville," where he began adding directorial credits to his resume, helming four episodes of the series in 2006-08. On the feature side, Welling's name was attached to the film version of the popular Gothic romance novel Twilight long before it went before cameras. Though author Stephenie Meyer thought him ideal to play Emmett Cullen, a burly member of her vampire brood, the part eventually went to actor Kellan Lutz. Once again, Welling lost his chance to star in a blockbuster movie.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Draft Day (2014)
2.
 Parkland (2013)
3.
 Fog, The (2005) Cast
5.
 Cheaper By the Dozen (2003) Charlie Baker
7.
8.
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1998:
Discovered by a by a scout for Bruce Weber at a party in Nantucket
2000:
Relocated to Los Angeles where he modeled for Tommy Hilfiger, Abercrombie and Fitch and Calvin Klein
2001:
Had a recurring role on the CBS drama "Judging Amy" as a karate instructor and a young love interest for the title character
2001:
Appeared in the debut episode of the FOX sitcom "Undeclared"
2001:
Played a young Clark Kent/Superman in "Smallville" (WB, 2001-2006; CW, 2006-present); also directed several episodes
2003:
Made film debut in the remake of "Cheaper by the Dozen" starring Steve Martin
2005:
Co-starred with Maggie Grace in a remake of the classic horror film "The Fog"
2005:
Reprised his role as one of twelve children in "Cheaper by the Dozen 2"
2006:
Made directorial debut with the season five episode of "Smallville" (WB), titled "Fragile"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Okemos High School: Okemos , Michigan - 1995

Notes

"You know, one of the things about going from modeling to acting is it's so much more fulfilling. With modeling, you get your picture taken, which is great, good for you, you know? But in acting, you're able to reach in and show a little bit more of yourself." --Tom Welling to Rolling Stone, March 28, 2002.

Co-star Kristin Kreuk to Rolling Stone (March 28, 2002): "Tom and I get along very well, but he is very closed off with people."

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Jamie White. Married July 5, 2002 .

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