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Superman's Boss Perry White in Movies and TV [List]

Perry White Superman comic Source

The greatest news man ever is Perry White, editor-in-chief of the Daily Planet, but he's been played by many actors over the years. This Friday, he will be played by the first black actor in the role for Man of Steel (2013).

Here are the most notable performances in film and television.

Live Action

Julian Noa in The Adventures of Superman (1940)

Originally Lois Lane and Clark Kent worked for the Daily Star and the editor was named George Taylor. The character of Perry White was created for the radio serial and introduced into the comics later that year. Noa was the very first voice of Perry White and also the announcer that introduced the episodes on radio and television.

Pierre Watkin in The Adventures of Superman (1948)
Watkin played Perry White in the film serials Superman and Atom Man vs. Superman. He also played several unrelated characters on the television series.

John Hamilton in Adventures Of Superman (1952)

It was with John Hamilton that Perry first barked "Great Caesar's ghost!" when angry, exasperated or surprised. His other catchphrase was "Don't call me 'chief'!" These lines would become Perry White's trademarks.

Allen Ludden in "It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's Superman!" (1975)

This TV special was based on the "It's a Bird...It's a Plane...It's Superman" Broadway musical. It's generally regarded as awful, but that's not Ludden's fault.

Jackie Cooper in Superman: the Movie (1978)

While Cooper's Perry White never said, "Don't call me Chief!" he did deliver the beloved catchphrase: "A good reporter doesn't get great stories — a good reporter makes them great." Originally Kennan Wynn was cast as White, but suffered a heart attack. Cooper got the job because he had a passport and was able to be on set in a few hours.

Lane Smith in Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (1997)

In the television series, Perry White is a Baby Boomer who loves Elvis Presley. On several occasions, instead of "Great Caesar's ghost!" he yelled, "Great shades of Elvis!"

Michael McKean in Smallville (2003)

In this prequel to the comics, White is an up-and-coming reporter that eventually becomes editor-in-chief of the Daily Planet.

Frank Langella in Superman Returns (2006)

Perry White was originally going to be played by British actor Hugh Laurie, but a scheduling conflict with Laurie's upcoming TV series House forced him to drop out. Frank Langella took over the role.

Laurence Fishburne in Man of Steel (2013)

Laurence Fishburne in Man of Steel (2013) Source
Laurence Fishburne will be the first African-American to play Perry White in a live action film. He modeled the character after the 60 Minutes reporter Ed Bradley saying, "Legendary Ed Bradley, who was a friend, a mentor, and a role model for me. Particularly because he worked in journalism, and he was the kind of guy who walked with kings, but he had the common touch. And so he was my inspiration for Perry."


  • Jackson Beck in Superman (1941), The Arctic Giant (1942)The New Adventures of Superman (1966)
  • Ted Knight in "The New Adventures of Superman" (1966)
  • William Woodson in "Challenge of the SuperFriends" (1978)
  • Stanley Ralph Ross in Ruby Spears Superman (1988) 
  • George Dzundza in Superman: The Last Son of Krypton (1996), Superman: The Animated Series (1997), The Batman Superman Movie: World's Finest (1997), Superman: Brainiac Attacks (2006)
  • Ray Wise in Superman/Doomsday (2007)
  • Seth Green in "Robot Chicken (2009) 
  • Richard McGonagle in Batman: The Brave and the Bold (2011)
  • Edward Asner in All-Star Superman (2011)
  • Fred Tatasciore in Superman vs. The Elite (2012)
  • Wade Williams in Superman: Unbound (2013)

Do you have a favorite Perry White? Do you think Laurence Fishburne will play the character right?

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  1. I wonder if they worked in his catchphrase in the movie? Have to love Jackie Cooper getting that part just because he was available. And I suppose Hugh Laurie made the right call picking House over Superman Returns.

  2. always enjoyed jackie cooper, since his little rascal days.

  3. I never got to see them, but he was a beloved child actor Jeremy.

  4. I hope so Pat. Frank Langella said it.

  5. Dang, he didn't say it. Maybe in the sequel.


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