Tom Welling is an American actor best known for playing Clark Kent in the WB/CW cult superhero drama series Smallville (2001-2011). Apart from acting, he has also worked as a director, producer and model.

Tom Welling: Early Life and Breakthrough

Welling was born on April 26, 1977 in Putnam Valley, N.Y. He is the third of four children with two older sisters and a younger brother, Mark Welling, who is also an actor. His family moved frequently when he was young, relocating for some time in Michigan, where Welling attended Okemos High School. While in high school he acted in school plays, but was also passionate about sports and played soccer and baseball.

He worked as a construction worker before being discovered and offered a modeling position in 1998. He then moved to Los Angeles in 2000 and went on to model for brands like Tommy Hilfiger, Abercrombie & Fitch and Calvin Klein while aspiring to become an actor. Welling claims that he preferred acting to modeling because he could bring out the psychology of a character and express emotion, while modeling is merely concerned with what is on the surface. In his first major role in 2001, he played the love interest of Amy Brenneman‘s character on the CBS drama Judging Amy. He also appeared in the pilot episode of the FOX sitcom Undeclared.

Tom Welling: ‘Smallville’

In 2001, he got the part of Clark Kent in the WB superhero drama Smallville (2001-2010), based on the DC Comics character Superman, after a nationwide audition process. He was uncertain about accepting the job at first and turned it down twice before finally agreeing to play the iconic lead role in what is the longest-running American science fiction TV series. The pilot premiered in October 2001 and had the staggering 8.4 million viewers, while the show averaged a 4.34 million viewers per episode over its ten-season run. The series has been awarded multiple Emmy awards as well as other prizes and recognitions. Welling’s role as Clark Kent also earned him the Teen Choice Award for “Choice Breakout Star (Male)” in 2002 and another Teen Choice Award for “Choice TV Actor (Action Adventure)” in 2009. Welling co-produced the show’s ninth season and became full executive producer for the final season of Smallville. Among his production credits is the 2009 comedy-drama series Hellcats, which was produced by his own production company, “Tom Welling Productions,” founded in 2009. Welling has also directed a number of the show’s episodes, making his directorial debut in 2006 with the season 5 episode titled “Fragile.”

Tom Welling: Film Career and ‘The Choice’

In 2003, Welling made his feature film debut in the family comedy film Cheaper By The Dozen, starring Steve Martin and Bonnie Hunt. Welling states the opportunity to work with Martin as his primary reason for taking part in the film, where he appeared as Charlie Barker, the eldest son in the Barker family. The movie was followed by a sequel in 2005 Cheaper By The Dozen 2. Also in 2005, while he was wrapping up the fourth season of Smallville, Welling starred in the remake of John Carpenters 1980 horror film The Fog, in which he played the lead role of Nicholas “Nick” Castle. The film was widely received as an unsuccessful remake, lacking in the necessary suspense and intrigue. Welling’s other film credits include Parkland, a 2013 historical drama film about John F. Kennedy’s assassination, and the 2014 sports drama Draft Day, in which he appeared alongside Kevin Costner and Jennifer Garner. Welling’s most recent project is the Ross Katz-directed adaptation of the Nicholas Sparks novel The ChoiceThe Choice was released in the US on February 5, 2016.

Tom Welling: Personal Life

In 2002, Welling married model Jamie White Welling at Martha’s Vineyard before friends, family and colleagues. The couple lived in Vancouver until March 2011, when they relocated back to Los Angeles. They decided to split after more than 10 years together, and their divorce was finalized in November 2015. During interviews, Welling has insisted on maintaining his public and private lives separate.

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