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Michael Owen Rosenbaum (born July 11, 1972) is an American actor. He is best known for portraying Lex Luthor on the Superman-inspired television series Smallville, and for portraying the Flash in the DC animated universe. Rosenbaum has also done film and other voiceover work.

Early life

Rosenbaum was born in Oceanside, New York, and raised in Newburgh, Indiana.[1] He is Jewish, and was "closer to religion" in New York than in Indiana.[2] Rosenbaum graduated from Castle High School in Indiana and from Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, Kentucky, where he was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, with a degree in theatre arts. Immediately after, he moved to New York City to pursue an acting career.

Career

Once in New York, an MTV Networks intern named Vincent Letizia spotted his 8 x 10 black and white photo in a batch of other casting submissions for a pilot called "Talk Girl". The pilot was never green-lighted, but Rosenbaum stood out as a newly discovered talent. A new MTV pilot was conceived specifically for Rosenbaum with the working title of "The Michael Rosenbaum Project." The project later became known as "The Temp" and covered Rosenbaum in a reality television setting as a temp, who would walk into a different job each day. The pilot featured Rosenbaum as a Cat filling in on Broadway's "Cats" musical, and as a zoo keeper filling in at the zoo, sweeping animal manure and the like. The pilot never took off with MTV Executives. It was the mid 1990s before the mega boom of Reality TV and though the show was good, it was possibly before its time. This turned out to be a good thing for Rosenbaum who shortly thereafter left for Los Angeles where his talents could be showcased to a wider audience.[citation needed]

In 2001, Rosenbaum received a Saturn Award for his portrayal of Lex Luthor on Smallville, a role that caused him to drop out of Eli Roth's Cabin Fever at one time. Smallville was starting to hit its stride and schedules collided leaving Roth to fill the role himself. Continuing in the comic book genre, he played Wally West (a.k.a. The Flash) in the DC Comics animated series Justice League, Static Shock, and Justice League Unlimited as well as portraying a younger Wally West as Kid Flash in Teen Titans. In the third season Justice League episode "Great Brain Robbery", Michael Rosenbaum reprised his role as Lex Luthor when his character was trapped in Clancy Brown's Lex Luthor's body. In February 2007, Rosenbaum confirmed that he would be leaving Smallville after season seven of the show.

Rosenbaum has a few notable vocal impressions in his repertoire, including Christopher Walken, Keanu Reeves, and Kevin Spacey. The makers of the DCAU have used these impressions in their work, having Rosenbaum do his Walken voice for Ghoul in Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker and his Spacey voice for Deadshot; coincidentally, Spacey portrayed Lex Luthor in the film Superman Returns, and Walken played Max Shreck in Batman Returns. He is currently filming the SyFy comedy series Saved By Zeroes [3][4] and Breaking In. Tom Welling stated he is doing "everything [he] can to get Michael Rosenbaum back" for Season 10 of Smallville.[5] For Welling, Rosenbaum is the only person he can see portraying Lex Luthor on the series. He said that the thing that he sees inspiring Clark to become Superman would be the return of Lex Luthor and the interaction between the two characters because you cannot have Superman without him.[5] At the 2010 Comic-Con, Welling stated that Rosenbaum acknowledged the importance of Lex in the series and wants to return in some degree for the show's final season, but needs to iron details out. According to Welling, the series will tease early on that Lex will return with the idea of introducing bodies that he could tap into and heal himself later in life.[6]

He will reprise his role as Flash for the online video game: DC Universe Online.

Personal life

Rosenbaum is an ardent New York Rangers fan and often plays in charity hockey games. His favorite band is Guns N' Roses. His favorite animal is a wolf. In an episode of MTV Cribs, Rosenbaum shows his love of singing, karaoke, exercising and Cap'n Crunch. He is left-handed. Rosenbaum often likes to play miniature golf. He was voted Sexiest Villain by TV Guide and People magazine voted him one of the sexiest men alive in 2006.

Filmography

Television series

Year Project Role Other notes
1993 Late Night with Conan O'Brien Segment: "The Amsterdam Kids"
The Rinky Dinky Show (550)
1999–2000 Zoe, Duncan, Jack and Jane Jack Cooper
2001–2008 Smallville Lex Luthor Directed the 125th episode, titled "Freak"
2005 It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia Colin Episode: Gun Fever
2008- PG Porn Charlie Braun
2009 Untitled Pilot[7] Signed on for a currently untitled NBC family program
2010- Saved by Zeroes

Films

Year Project Role Other notes
1997 The Devil & the Angel The Devil
1997 The Day I Ran Into All My Ex-Boyfriends Bart
1997 Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil George Tucker
1998 1999 Brick
1998 Urban Legend Parker Riley
2000 Eyeball Eddie Skelley Short film
2000 Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker Ghoul Provided Voice
2001 Sweet November Brandon/Brandy
2001 Rave Macbeth Marcus
2002 Poolhall Junkies Danny
2002 Sorority Boys Adam/Adina
2003 Special Fred Molinski
2003 Bringing Down the House Todd Gendler
2005 Cursed Kyle Uncredited
2005 Racing Stripes Ruffshodd Provided Voice
2007 Cutlass Background Extra #2 Short film
2007 Kickin' It Old Skool Kip
2007 Dragonlance: Dragons of Autumn Twilight Tanis Half-Elven Provided Voice
2008 Shear Love [8] Short film
2009 Wing Man Rumored
2010 Father of Invention Eddie
2010 Catch .44 Brandon

Animation

File:Michael Rosenbaum - Jules Verne Adventures Film Festival01.jpg
  • Batman Beyond (1999–2001) (various characters)
  • Justice League (2001–2004) (as The Flash and Deadshot)
  • Justice League Unlimited (2004–2006) (as The Flash, Deadshot, Ghoul, Doctor Polaris, and Lex Luthor in one episode of the third season of Justice League Unlimited.)
    • In the Justice League Unlimited episode "The Great Brain Robbery," the Flash trades bodies with Lex Luthor (who was portrayed by Clancy Brown) for a brief period of time. The voice actors continued to portray their character's normal bodies, so The Flash's body still sounded like the Flash, even while it was inhabited by Luthor's mind. Thus, Michael Rosenbaum reprised his role as Lex Luthor for most of the episode, the same role he had on Smallville for seasons 1-7. In addition, because he also portrayed Dr. Polaris, there are numerous scenes in which Rosenbaum is speaking dialogue as Dr. Polaris to the body of Lex Luthor.
  • 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 the third season two-part episode "A League of Their Own")
  • Jackie Chan Adventures (2000–2005) as Drago
  • Teen Titans (2005) as Kid Flash
  • Batman: The Brave and the Bold (2009) (episode: Dawn of the Dead Man!, as Deadman/Triad Boss)

Video games

Year Project Role Other notes
2003 Gladius Valens Provided Voice
2006 Yakuza Akira Nishiki Provided Voice
2008 Dark Sector Hayden Tenno Provided Voice
2010 DC Universe Online Flash Provided Voice

Cameos In Animation/Comic

  • Justice League episode Tabula Rasa: Amazo while looking for Lex Luthor runs into Michael Rosenbaum.
  • Justice League Unlimited #38: On page 10, Giganta and Flash are having a discussion while sitting on a billboard. It reads: INJURED? Call Rosenbaum and Associates (the person in the picture bears a strong resemblance to Michael Rosenbaum).

References

External links

Preceded by
John Shea
for Lois and Clark
Actors portraying Lex Luthor
2001-2008
for Smallville
Succeeded by
Kevin Spacey
for Superman Returns
bs:Michael Rosenbaum

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