- "I don't want to be a 'remember him.' Smallville's got enough of those guys." - Whitney Fordman, Pilot
Whitney Fordman was a student at Smallville High School and star quarterback of the Smallville Crows football team. As a high school senior, he was a member of the popular crowd. He dated the beautiful cheerleader Lana Lang and he and Lana were elected Homecoming King and Queen.
After graduation, he joined the United States Marines and was killed in action in Indonesia. Whitney's heroic sacrifice is one of the things throughout Clark's journey in Smallville that inspired him to become Superman.
Whitney was presented as having the "ideal" life by being the star of the football team with potential to eventually go onto a professional career with the Metropolis Sharks, as well as dating the perfect girl. As a high school freshman, Clark Kent was envious of Whitney, perceiving him to be living the high school dream. As Whitney's senior year progressed, Clark realized that his life wasn't as perfect as it seemed.
Whitney watched Clark's friendship with Lana blossom and began to see him as a competitor and a rival. He went out of his way to humiliate Clark, notably stringing him up as a Scarecrow in a cornfield in his underwear as part of a Smallville High tradition to haze the freshman class. When Clark saved his life he expressed regret for having treated him that way. Over the course of Whitney's senior year, Clark was Whitney's main rival for Lana's heart.
Whitney's primary motivation was getting out of Smallville by securing a football scholarship. As the scholarship gradually seems more unlikely, Whitney became resentful and lashed out. Whitney became a member of a gang that used meteor rock tattoos, to give them the ability to phase through walls. Clark managed to convince Whitney to leave the gang. The two eventually began to respect each other, especially when Clark made a decision to not pursue Lana romantically that year .
The death of Whitney's father George had a great impact on his life. Upon finding medals once owned by his father from Vietnam, Whitney realized that there was more to life than high school and playing football. Whitney decided to follow in his father's footsteps and joined the United States Marine Corps. By the end of his senior year, Whitney Fordman went from a stereotypical jock to a well defined man, ending his friendship with Clark on good terms before departing Smallville and died a hero trying to save his fellow Marine.
Powers and Abilities
- Intangibility: Whitney Fordman once had a tattoo made of ink cultivated from green meteor rock. This temporarily gave him the ability to phase through solid objects.
Whitney grew up in Smallvile where he worked in the Fordman's Department Store which had belonged to his family since 1943. From a young age, he professed a love for the sport that made him a football star at Smallville High. During this time he met Lana Lang and began dating her. At the start of football season, Whitney encouraged Clark Kent to toss a football and dunk Lana Lang.
- Season Two: Vortex (Mentioned only), Heat (Mentioned only), Duplicity (Mentioned only), Skinwalker (Mentioned only), Rush (Mentioned only), Visitor (Mentioned only), Exodus (Mentioned only)
- Season Six: Labyrinth (Mentioned only)
- Whitney was the first main character to be killed off.
- Whitney was the first known boyfriend of Lana Lang.
- Whitney appeared in 21 episodes.
- Whitney was left-handed.
- Whitney, along with Jason Teague, Jimmy Olsen (as his younger brother is the canon Jimmy from the comics) and the human side of Davis Bloome are the only main characters in Smallville not to be in the DC Comic books.
- Whitney had non-speaking roles in the episodes Rogue, Zero and Drone.
- Whitney was the first of the five former main characters to not appear in the tenth and final season. The others are: Pete, Jason, Davis and Lana.
- Lex Luthor almost always referred to Whitney derisively as "the quarterback."
- Like Chloe Sullivan originally, Whitney Fordman did not exist in the DC Comics continuity. Though, in the Christopher Reeve Superman films, Lana had a boyfriend named Brad Wilson, who's also a high school football player. Also, a similar character named Bradley "Bash" Bashford appeared in the original Superboy comics.
- Aside from appearing in Visage and Façade, Whitney is mentioned in Exodus and Labyrinth.
- He is one of the two former cast members to never have known Clark's secret. The other one was Jason Teague, even though he had investigated Clark.
- Before Whitney was cast, his original name was going to be Whitney Ellsworth. This was supposed to pay tribute to the real life Whitney Ellsworth who was the managing editor of National Periodical Publications during the Golden Age era.
- With the surname Fordham, Whitney was portrayed by Robert Gerdisch in the live-action film, Man of Steel. Whitney is also mentioned in the film's pre-release material.
In the Comics
Whitney Fordman was an original character, created for the show. His name might be derived from two DC characters. The first is Dan Fordman, the owner of Fordman's Department Store and the first husband of Martha Kent, in the New Earth continuity. The second is Dr. Whitney. A local doctor in Smallville, who was killed and impersonated by a Manhunter agent, whom Lana (under mind control) reported to about Clark Kent.
- Whitney Fordman/Gallery
- Fordman family
- George Fordman
- Betty Fordman
- Whitney's letter
- Whitney Fordman's near-death experiences
- Episodes featuring Whitney Fordman
- This is seen in a flashback sequence in Façade.
- Clark mentions that his actions are being done for their future, with Lana stating that Whitney said the same thing to her before he left.
- While in a dream world, Clark states that Lana was dating Whitney Fordman in their freshmen year.
- World of Smallville #1 (April, 1988)
- World of Smallville #3 (June, 1988)