Lex Luthor (Smallville)
Lex Luthor is a fictional character from the television series Smallville. He was a series regular from the pilot episode until the season seven finale, and has been played continuously by Michael Rosenbaum, with various actors portraying Lex as a child throughout the series. The character of Lex Luthor, first created for comic books by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster in 1940 as archnemesis of Superman, was adapted to television in 2001 by Alfred Gough and Miles Millar—this is only the third time the character has been adapted to a live action television series. The character has also appeared in various literature based on the Smallville television series, none of which directly continues from or into the television episodes.
In this 2001 series, Lex Luthor is sent to Smallville, by his father Lionel Luthor, to run the local LuthorCorp fertilizer plant. After driving his car off a bridge, he is saved by Clark Kent and quickly develops a new friendship with the farm boy. As the series unfolds, Lex's curiosity about Clark and all things connected to Clark ultimately destroys their friendship. Lex's relationship with his father is tension-filled from the start of the show, and eventually comes to an end when Lex murders his father in an effort to discover Clark's secret.
The Smallville incarnation of Lex Luthor is first introduced as a morally ambiguous character, who walks a fine line between good and evil. Lex is an inquisitive person, and it is that curiosity that drives him to attain as much power as possible as the series progresses—it will ultimately lead him to being Clark's greatest enemy. Michael Rosenbaum has been nominated for and won a Saturn Award and a Teen Choice Award for his portrayal of Lex Luthor on Smallville. Rosenbaum, who also voiced The Flash in the animated series Justice League Unlimited, briefly reprised his role as Luthor for an episode of its final season when The Flash and Lex Luthor (voiced by Clancy Brown) accidentally had their minds switched. After seven seasons as a series regular, Michael Rosenbaum left the show, but reprised the role for the 2-hour series finale.