From one Lex Luthor to another, Jon Cryer honored Gene Hackman on the veteran actor's birthday with a touching tweet about their shared role. On Twitter, Cryer retweeted a GIF of Hackman accompanied with a caption referring to the actor as the greatest criminal mastermind of all time. "Happy Birthday, Uncle Lex!" Cryer writes in his retweet, acknowledging Hackman's 90th birthday and their bond as Lex Luthor actors. Referring to Hackman's skills at playing villainous roles, Cryer also accurately adds: "Nobody does it better."
In DC Comics lore, Lex Luthor is a wealthy businessman and criminal mastermind who just so happens to be Superman's arch-nemesis. Starring opposite Christopher Reeve as the Man of Steel, Hackman first began appearing as Lex in Richard Donner's original Superman movie in 1978. He would reprise the role in 1980 for Superman II before playing the supervillain for a third and final time in the 1987 sequel Superman IV: The Quest for Peace. He would move on to portraying dozens of other roles in the years since, but his take on Lex Luthor certainly remains unforgettable.
Other actors have brought their own versions of Lex Luthor to the big screen in more recent years. Kevin Spacey played the supervillain in the 2006 movie Superman Returns, which also starred Brandon Routh as the titular superhero. Jesse Eisenberg would later play a long-haired version of Lex in the 2016 crossover movie Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, which also starred Ben Affleck as Batman and Henry Cavill as Superman. Because both of these movies failed to generate direct sequels, both Spacey and Eisenberg's time in the role had been limited to just one movie each, with Hackman's Lex remaining the most remarkable portrayal.
More recently, Jon Cryer was cast as the new Lex Luthor in the ArrowVerse version of the character, making his debut in The CW series Supergirl. As a part of the ArrowVerse, Cryer's Luthor has also appeared in the network's other shows as a part of the Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover event. Although he is very well-known for his portrayal of milquetoast chiropractor Alan Harper on the comedy series Two and a Half Men, Cryer has proven himself to be an excellent Lex Luthor in his own way, and some might say he's the best live-action Lex Luthor since Gene Hackman. For the role, Cryer earned nominations from the Saturn Awards for Best Guest Starring Role and the Teen Choice Awards for Choice TV Villain.
I would like to echo Cryer and wish Hackman the very best on his 90th birthday as well. Lex Luthor might be just one of very many roles the accomplished actor has brought to life during the course of his legendary career, the Superman villain is definitely among his most memorable. With Cryer delivering a great take of his own on the DC supervillain, you could say the torch has been effectively passed. You can catch Cryer as Lex on new episodes of Supergirl on The CW. This news comes to us from Jon Cryer on Twitter.