Looking to see which actors played Jimmy Olsen, best friend to Superman? Well look no further! Here you’ll find all the actors who played cub reporter Jimmy Olsen from the radio version right to the latest Superman movie and all the animated versions as well. As the comic book sidekick, Jimmy Olsen was red haired and freckle faced. He was barely a teen when he started working for The Daily Planet as a copy boy, eventually he worked his way to cub reporter/photographer, best friend to comic book Superhero, Clark Kent/Superman and Lois Lane.He first appeared on the radio version of The Adventures of Superman in 1940. Then from 1954 – 1974, Jimmy Olsen had his own comic book called Superman’s pal Jimmy Olsen, giving Jimmy Olsen adventures of his own.
Jimmy Olsen Character On The Superman Radio Show
For the first seven years of Jimmy Olsen’s life on the radio, the voice that was heard belonged to Jackie Kelk. Jack was also known as Homer, the best friend of Henry Aldrich and when Henry Aldrich went from radio to tv screen in 1949, Jackie Kelk was there to reprise his role. In later years he went onto to do some shows like Leave It To Beaver and The Donna Reed Show and movies such as Born To Be Bad in 1934 and The Pajama Game in 1957.
The next three years of Jimmy Olsen on the radio was played by Jack Grimes. Grimes started out in broadway to help out his family during the depression. By the time he was 12, Jack Grimes was playing in 35-40 different radio shows a week. After doing Jimmy Olsen on the radio then moving on the animated early versions of Superman, Jack Grimes also played in shows such as All In The Family, Maude, Ironside and Police Woman.
Tommy Bond b. September 16, 1926 – d. September 24, 2005
From Our Gang To Jimmy Olsen
Thomas Bond was 5 years old and coming out of the movie theater with his mom, when they were approached by Hal Roach, a talent scout asking him if he might want to audition for a role. Tommy Bond’s first role was in Our Gang (later renamed The Little Rascals). So from 1932 till late 1935, Bond played different roles on the show. During this time he did voice overs in Tex Avery’s Merrie Melodies cartoons. Then in 1937, Bond was given the permanent role of Butch on The Little Rascals, the neighborhood bully which he played until he was 14. When Bond returned from WWII, he returned to acting. He appeared in a few East Side Kids shows and Gas House Kids along with his “on screen” rival Carl Switzer (Alfalfa). From 1944 – 1948 Bond landed parts in small time B movies such as Man from Frisco (1944), The Beautiful Cheat (1945) and Big Town Scandal (1948). Then Bond landed the role of the first tv face for the comic book sidekick, Jimmy Olsen in Superman alongside Kirk Alyn and Noel Neil.
After Bond’s role as the first face for the comic book sidekick, Jimmy Olsen, jobs got a little scarce so he decided to go into the production part of television. Tommy worked as prop manager on shows like Rowan and Martin’s Laughin, the Carol Burnett Show, (now that was comedy), Tony Orlando and Dawn and Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman. Bond was married to the same woman, Polly Bond for 52 years and they had one son. Thomas R. Bond II, who is a film and television producer, worked with his father in their family production company, the American Mutoscope and Biograph Company. Bond also published his autobiography in 1994 called Darn Right It’s Butch: Memories of Our Gang/The Little Rascals.
Jack Larson b. February 8, 1928
By coincidence, Jack Larson graduated from the same college as his Superman co-star George Reeves. Both graduated from the Pasadena Junior College. Prior to becoming the most popular actor who played Jimmy Olsen tho, Jack Larson played in a number of low budget movies first such as Fighter Squadron (1948), Starlit (1951), Kid Monk Baroni (1952) and Johnny Trouble (1957) to name a few. However his biggest role was that of the comic book sidekick and the cub-reporter with the bow tie (which is actually on display in the Smithsonian Institute) Jimmy Olsen from 1953-1957 in The Adventures of Superman with George Reeves. Like Adam West and Burt Ward of the Batman series, Jack Larson was stereotyped into the role and found it hard to get work elsewhere after doing the show. He then turned to writing and behind-the-scenes things such as production. Some of his film productions includes The China Syndrome; The Paper Chase; Urban Cowboy; Bright Lights, Big City.
Jack has also done little stints in other Superman shows such as The Adventures of Superboy (1990) along with Noel Neil, Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (1996) in which he played an aged Jimmy Olsen and Superman Returns (2006) in which he plays a bartender. Larson has also done several on-camera interviews for the E Channel’s Mysteries and Scandals as well as A&E’s Biography series.
Jack Larson was the life partner of director James Bridges. Their relationship lasted 35 years until Bridges’ death on June 6, 1993. Prior to that, he was the companion of actor Montgomery Clift.
Marc McClure b. March 31, 1957
The Actor Who Played Jimmy Olson For Christopher Reeve
Before he was Superman’s best bud, comic book sidekick Jimmy Olsen, Marc McClure played Boris Harris in the 1976 movie Freaky Friday. 16 years after he was cub-reporter/photographer and best friend to Christopher Reeve’s Back to the Future: The Complete Trilogy
Superman/Clark Kent, McClure was once again Boris in the 2003 remake of Freaky Friday. Between those years of however Marc played in a number of tv series such as Happy Days, Eight is Enough, Mulligans Stew, California Fever, Hunter and Trapper John MD. In 1978 McClure became Jimmy Olsen, cub reporter and photographer to Margot Kidder’s Lois Lane. He returned to the role in Superman II (1980), Superman III (1983), Superman IV (1987) as well as in Supergirl (1985). In 1985 however McClure played another trilogy, Back To The Future with Michael J. Fox. In Back To The Future I and III, McClure played Fox’s older brother Dave McFly and altho he was initially put into the second one, his part ended up on the cutting room floor.
Since then Marc’s done bit parts in tv series such as Beverly Hills 90210, The Commish, Nash Bridges, The Sheild, ER and Cold Case. He’s also done a few small parts in some movies like Sleepstalker, Apollo 13, That Thing You Do, Coach Carter and Nixon/Frost. He’s another of the past Superman actors to also appear in Smallville.
The Two Actors Who Played Jimmy Olsen In Lois and Clark
Michael Landes b. September 18, 1972
Such a shame that the only thing anyone can remember about this Jimmy Olsen is that he only played the part for one year on Lois and Clark cause he was a hottie who gave Superman a run for his money with the ladies. The first time Michael Landes appeared on the screen was in 1988 in The Wonder Years which was a recurring role from ’88 – ’91. He was also a recurring actor in French Prince of Bel-Air from ’90 – ’91 as well. After his run in The Wonder Years, Michael Landes went on to play in the series The Torkelsons from ’91 – ’92. After his one year run as Jimmy Olsen (1993-1994), Landes did a few roles in shows like Too Something and The Drew Carey Show. In 2000, Landes met and married his present wife Wendy Benson, some may remember her from Charmed (producer Joanne Hertz in the episode Deja Vu All Over Again).
In 2001 Michael Landes landed his role in Special Unit 2 however the show didn’t last more then one season. In 2003 he got the role of Billy Dylan in Beacon Hill. Unfortunately since then he’s only gotten bit parts is a few tv series such as CSI, CSI Miami, Ghost Whisperer and The Wedding Bells. Landes and his wife Wendy Benson Landes have 2 children, Mimi and Dominic.
Justin Whalin b. September 6, 1974
The only child of teacher and school administrator, Terry Villanueva and real estate appraiser, Chris Whalin. Justin Whalin started acting at the age of 11 in San Francisco’s Victoria Theatre in the play The Little Prince. In 1988 at the ripe age of 14 he played in Blood of Beasts
The Dead Pool along with Clint Eastwood (Dirty Harry) and Liam Neeson as well as playing in the daytime soap opera General Hospital as A.J. Quartermaine Jr. From ’88 – ’90 Whalin played in a few weekly series such as Charles in Charge, Mr Belvedere and The Wonder Years. From 1991 – 1997, Whalin played in a number of movies that made him quite popular such as Child’s Play III (1991), Murder of Innocence with Valerie Bertinelli (1993), Serial Mom with Kathleen Turner (1994), The Disney Channel’s Suzie Q (1996) and as Jimmy Olsen in Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman from 1994 – 1997, after Michael Landes. However, Whalin won an emmy for his role in the CBS Schoolbreak Special: Other Mothers in 1993 with Meredith Baxter and Joanna Cassidy.
In 2006 Justin married Reina Flyn. He enjoys playing golf and his guitar. Whalin is also a Padi certified diver and is a black-belt in Taekwondo, Since his Jimmy Olsen days, Whalin has played in only a few movies. In 2000 Dungeons and Dragons, 2003 Blood of Beast, Dorm Daze 2 in 2006 and The House That Jack Built in 2008.
Aaron Ashmore b. October 7, 1979
The Actor Who Played Jimmy Olsen In Smallville
Canadian born actor Aaron Ashmore and his twin brother Shawn were both acting in commercials together at a very early age. At 12 Aaron Ashmore got a deal for a commercial, however because he was sick, his brother Shawn took his place which put him a step ahead of his twin Aaron. During their careers, Shawn was always offered the good guy roles while Aaron usually got the tough guy or bully roles. Both brothers have had roles in Smallville, Shawn had a minor role as Eric Summers in 2002 and 2004 but it was Aaron who got the role of comic book sidekick, Jimmy Olsen in 2006. Thru-out Aaron Ashmore’s whole career he has played in several different tv series such as Are You Afraid of the Dark (1993 and 2000), Due South (1996), Le Femme Nikita (2000), Blue Murder (2001), The West Wing (2005), 1-800-Missing (2005 – 2006) and Veronica Mars (2004 -2006). Also in Veronica Mars was Ashmore’s good friend Sam Huntington who also plays Jimmy Olsen in Superman Returns.
Along with tv series roles, Aaron Ashmore has played in a number of movies. In 2001 it was Blackout and Treed Murray, in 2002 it was Skulls II, 2004 My Brother’s Keeper and Prom Queen: The Marc Hall Story. With the ending of Smallville, stay tuned for more from this young actor as time goes on. At the moment he still has 3 movies pending, The Thaw, Privileged and Deep Cove.
Sam Huntington b. April 1, 1982
Jimmy Olsen In Superman Returns
Superman Returns, Sam Huntington Cutout, Jimmy Olsen @ The Hollywood Mega StoreThis April Fool’s baby started out his career on stage at the age of 9 at the children’s theater, The Black Box. Then in Peterborough Players in Peterborough NH, Sam Huntington played Jem in To Kill A Mockingbird from 1991 – 1994. After moving to New York City with his mother, stage and screen actress, Christine Stabile, got his first big break in 1995 after signing a 3 year contract with the Walt Disney Company in Jungle 2 Jungle with Tim Allen. In 1997, Sam did a guest appearance in the tv series Law and Order before his next film role in Not Another Teen Movie in 2001, followed by Rolling Kansas in 2003. In 2004 he not only did a guest appearance in the tv series CSI Miami, but he also did the movies Home of Phobia, In Enemy Hands (with William H Macy), Raising Genius and Sleepover. From CSI Miami in 2004, Huntington went to CSI New York in 2005 as well as a couple of episodes in Veronica Mars with his friend Aaron Ashmore (Smallville Jimmy Olsen). In 2006 Huntington was the actor who played the comic book sidekick,Jimmy Olsen in the newest Superman Returns with Brandon Routh and the voice over in the Superman Returns video game.
Also in 2006, married his long-time girlfriend Rachel Klein. After his run as Jimmy Olsen, Sam Huntington played in the miniseries It’s A Mall World in 2007. In 2008 he was cast as the lead in the ABC series Cavemen, then in the lead role of Fanboys.