(1.9m) Tom Welling (born April 26, 977) is an American actor, director, producer,
and former model, best known for his portrayal of Clark Kent in the WB/CW series
A high-school athlete, Welling initially worked in construction and, in 998, he successfully modeled men's clothing for several popular brands. In 2000, he made a successful transition to television. He has been nominated and received several awards for his portrayal of Clark Kent. He also had a recurring role in Judging Amy. He has also been involved behind the camera as an executive producer and a director. His films include Cheaper by the Dozen, its sequel, and the 2005 remake of The Fog.
Originally a construction worker, Welling was discovered in 1998 at a party in Nantucket by a catalog camera scout who suggested he try modeling. Welling modeled for Louisa Modeling Agency until 2000, when he relocated to Los Angeles. There he modeled for Tommy Hilfiger, Abercrombie & Fitch, and Calvin Klein while pursuing an acting career. Welling has stated that he did not like modeling and that he was not good at it because it was all on the outside or from an external point of view. He pursued acting because he wanted to express a range of emotions.
In his first major acting role, Welling portrayed karate teacher Rob Meltzer, a.k.a "Karate Rob", a younger love interest of Amy Brenneman's character on the CBS series Judging Amy, which aired in 2001. Welling was cast in the television series Smallville after a nationwide search for an actor to play Clark Kent. In an interview with a teen magazine, Welling spoke about the day he auditioned for the role: "I was on my way back from the Warner Bros. studio, and I stopped in a gas station to call my manager and tell him how it went. I called and got him on the phone and he said, 'Can you hold on a second?' Next thing I know, there are literally seven people on the other line and almost in unison they say, 'Tom, you got it!'"
The pilot aired in October 2001, and became the highest-rated debut for The WB, with 8.4 million viewers. Welling told TV Guide that he turned down the lead role twice, but after reading the script, decided to take the job. Like Christopher Reeve, he was not a Superman fan prior to being cast as Clark Kent. In fact, he said, he continues to not read Superman comics: "I made a conscious decision to stay away from that material. We're doing something different at a time before all that, I don't want that to affect what I'm doing, even subconsciously." He did get the chance to meet two previous Supermans: Christopher Reeve, when the actor was invited on Smallville in the Season 2 episode "Rosetta", and Dean Cain in the Season 7 episode "Cure."
Welling has been married to model Jamie White since 2002. They were married in Martha's Vineyard with Welling's friends and former Smallville co-stars Kristin Kreuk and Michael Rosenbaum in attendance. Welling and his wife reside in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Welling has stated in YM that he dislikes interviews. He said, "I don't want to be a celebrity for the sake of being a celebrity. I wanna work and then go home and live in private."