Smallville Wiki

Michael Owen Rosenbaum (born July 11, 1972, in Oceanside, New York) is an American actor best known for portraying Lex Luthor on Smallville. Rosenbaum ended his popular turn as Lex in May 2008 with the conclusion of Season Seven of the show, and briefly reprised his role in the series finale.

Michael also directed Season Six's Freak. He described it as "the biggest challenge of my life." [1]. When asked if he would direct another episode, Michael answered that "if the fans like my episode, I will do it!" According to, Freak got an average fan rating of 9.5/10, rating it as the 18th most popular episode ever [2].

Continuing in the comic book genre, he has performed as the voice of Wally West (a.k.a Kid Flash & Flash), in the DC Comics animated series Teen Titans and Justice League. Rosenbaum has also done film and voice over work.

Although born on Long Island, Rosenbaum was raised in Newburgh, Indiana. He graduated from Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, Kentucky with a degree in Theatre Arts, then immediately moved to New York City to become a professional actor.

Rosenbaum is also known for his love of ice hockey, a sport he grew up playing. He is an ardent New York Rangers fan, and can often be seen playing in charity hockey games.

After nearly a year of will-he-or-won’t-he speculation, Michael Rosenbaum agreed to reprise his role as Lex Luthor in Finale, marking a 1093 day return (or 2 years and 363 days, almost 2 days before the third anniversary of his last appearence in the series.) since he was last in the series.


Television series

  • Late Night with Conan O'Brien (segment: "The Amsterdam Kids")
  • The Rinky Dinky Show (550)
  • Zoe, Duncan, Jack and Jane (1999-2000) as Jack
  • Smallville (2001-2008, 2011) as Lex Luthor (Season 1 - Season 7, Season 10)
  • Breaking In (2011) as Dutch


  • Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (1997)
  • The Day I Ran Into All My Ex-Boyfriends (1997)
  • Urban Legend (1998)
  • Eyeball Eddie (2000)
  • Rave Macbeth (2001)
  • Sweet November (2001)
  • Poolhall Junkies (2001)
  • Sorority Boys (2002)
  • G-S.P.O.T. (2002)
  • Bringing Down the House (2003)
  • Cursed (2005)
  • Racing Stripes (2005)
  • Kickin it Old Skool (2007)


  • Television
    • Batman Beyond (1999-2001) various characters
    • Justice League (2001-2004) as The Flash and Deadshot
    • Justice League Unlimited (2004-2006) as The Flash, Deadshot, and Doctor Polaris
    • The Zeta Project (2001-2002) as Agent West
    • Static Shock (2000-2004) Trapper (Series 1, 2 & 4), various voices, and guest appearance as The Flash in a two-part 2003 episode
    • Jackie Chan Adventures (2000-2005) as Drago
    • Teen Titans (2005) as Kid Flash
    • Batman: The Brave and the bold (2009) as Deadman
  • Movies
    • Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker (2000) as Ghoul
    • Dragons of Autumn twilight (2008) as Tanthalas 'Tanis' Half-Elven
    • Justice League: Doom (2012) as The Flash

Video games

  • Gladius (2003) as Valens
  • Yakuza (2006) as Akira Nishiki
  • Dark Sector (2008) as Hayden Tenno

Show departure/Return


Smallville - Lex Luthor is Back ! Promo

Lex's return

Michael Rosenbaum confirmed that Season Seven's finale would mark his last regular appearance on the show in May 2008. Rosenbaum wrote a good-bye letter to fans, which can be read here on KryptonSite. He also gave an interview following his announcement with Superman Home Page which can be read here. The Smallville Wiki community would like to say thank you very much to Mr. Rosenbaum for the seven memorable years of hard work and dedication he put into his character and wish him luck in his future endeavors.

It was confirmed that Rosenbaum would return for the last episode of the final season.

Arrowverse Crossover

In September 2019, Michael Rosenbaum was approached by Warner Brothers about appearing in the Arrowverse's Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover (together with Smallville alumni Tom Welling and Erica Durance). Rosenbaum passed on their offer. Warner Brothers (who demanded an answer right there and then) had given him no script, no idea of what he would be doing and when he would be filming.[1] Crisis Executive Producer, Marc Guggenheim later hinted at what the plan was to incorporate Smallville's Lex Luthor, had producers and Rosenbaum been able to work out terms. "We had a version where he would have been in the scene [on the Kent farm] with Tom, and then the clock ran out on that [due to Welling’s availability]. I then had the idea of having [Michael] and [Supergirl‘]s Jon Cryer have a scene together, which would have been really, really cool." [2]

Homages to Smallville in other projects


  • Rosenbaum was good at remembering his lines and never needed to change anything (at least for Season One) Michael was also very happy he didn't start evil or the stereotype of Lex Luthor and was able to reinvent the character.
  • Michael and Kelly Brooke (Victoria Hardwick) had a kissing scene together on their first day of shooting together.[3]
  • On Smallville, Rosenbaum also portrayed Zod (in Lex's body) in Season Five's finale and Season Six's premiere.
  • On page 10 of Justice League Unlimited (the tie-in comic of the show) #38, a billboard is shown that says "Call Rosenbaum and Associates" (the person in the picture bears a strong resemblance to Michael Rosenbaum).
  • He is left handed.
  • In 2001, Michael Rosenbaum received a Saturn Award for his portrayal of Lex Luthor.
  • His favorite band is Guns N' Roses.
  • His astrological sign is Cancer.
  • His height is 6'0".
  • He likes 80's soft rock.
  • In his character of Lex Luthor, Rosenbaum can be briefly heard in a Season Eight episode. Plus, Photo-shots of Rosenbaum as Luthor can be seen in several episodes during Season Eight and Season Nine.
  • Michael Rosenbaum returned as Lex Luthor for the 2-hour series finale.
  • Of Lex's 158 appearances on the series, Rosenbaum portrayed the character for 153 episodes.
  • Rosenbaum is the only main cast member besides Tom Welling to appear in every episode they are credited in.
  • He is Jewish.
  • Interviews by Rosenbaum can be found in the following Comics:

Promotional Picture Gallery


External links