Michael Rosenbaum

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Michael Rosenbaum
Rosenbaum in September 2010
Born Michael Owen Rosenbaum
(1972-07-11) July 11, 1972 (age 47)
Oceanside, New York, U.S.
Occupation Actor, director, producer, writer
Years active 1997–present

Michael Owen Rosenbaum (born July 11, 1972) is an American film and TV actor, director, producer, writer and comedian. He is best known for his performance in Sorority Boys and for portraying Lex Luthor on the Superman television series Smallville, a role that TV Guide included in their 2013 list of The 60 Nastiest Villains of All Time.[1]

Rosenbaum is also known for portraying Dutch Nilbog on FOX's Breaking In, and voiceover work in animation, such as his role of the Flash in the DC animated universe.

Early life

Rosenbaum was born in Oceanside, New York, and raised in Newburgh, Indiana.[2] His mother, Julie (née Eckstein), is a writer who published the book "Journey of a Lifetime," and has acted in many plays. His father, Mark Rosenbaum, works in pharmaceuticals.[3][4] He is one of six children with two brothers, Eric and Adam, and a sister, Laurie. After his parents' divorce, his mother remarried sports reporter Gordon Engelhardt, and his father remarried Alexis Peregrino, a starting performer, with whom he had two daughters, Rosenbaum's half-sisters Ava and Lia. His uncle is pet behaviorist Warren Eckstein.[5] Rosenbaum is Jewish, and was "closer to religion" in New York than in Indiana.[6] 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.


Once in New York, Vincent Letizia, an MTV Networks intern 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.

In 2001, Rosenbaum received a Saturn Award for his portrayal of Lex Luthor on Smallville. Continuing in the superhero 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", Rosenbaum reprised his role as Lex Luthor when his character was trapped in Clancy Brown's Lex Luthor's body. In February 2008, Rosenbaum confirmed that he would be leaving Smallville after the seventh season of the show, but in 2011, he returned for the series finale.

After many months of speculation and him first turning down the contract to return, it was announced on February 11, 2011 that Rosenbaum would return to Smallville for the two-hour series finale, which aired on May 13, 2011.[7] with Rosenbaum reprising his role as Lex Luthor.[8]

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 filmed the original SyFy comedy series Saved By Zeroes; yet was never picked up.[9][10] He recurred in Fox's original sitcom Breaking In; getting cancelled initially, the show got a second chance, and Rosenbaum was promoted to series regular. Yet the series was cancelled again after a few episodes of the second season.[11][12]

In 2014, Rosenbaum made his feature film directorial and writing debut with the comedy Back in the Day, where Rosenbaum stars as an actor who returns to his hometown of Indiana for a class reunion.[13] The movie was not only partially based on characters and traditions in Rosenbaum's actual hometown, but was also filmed in Newburgh and Evansville, Indiana where he was raised. [14] Prior to the production of Back in the Day, Rosenbaum planned to direct another comedy film, titled Sorry is For Sissies. The film had a cast including Jon Heder and Colin Hanks, however, at least half of the film's budget was lost, therefore the film was scrapped.

On June 17, 2014, Rosenbaum was cast as the lead in the TV Land original sitcom Impastor. The plot has been summarised as a "low-life who hides out in a small town by conning the residents into thinking he is their newly hired gay pastor".[15]


Rosenbaum at the Jules Verne Adventures Film Festival in 2007
Year Title Role 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 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 Voice
2007 Cutlass Background Extra #2 Short film
2007 Kickin' It Old Skool Kip
2007 Dragonlance: Dragons of Autumn Twilight Tanis Half-Elven Voice
2008 Shear Love[16] Short film
2010 Father of Invention Eddie
2010 Catch .44 Brandon
2010 Ghild Brauly Gullivan Short film
2012 Justice League: Doom Barry Allen / The Flash Voice
2012 Hit and Run Gil
2014 Back in the Day Jim Owens Also director, writer, & executive producer
2015 Justice League: Throne of Atlantis Drift Leader Voice[17]
Year Title Role Notes
1998 The Tom Show Jonathan Summers Episode: "The Talk"
1999 Rocket Power Sports Announcer Voice
Episode: "Super McVariel 900/Loss of Squid"
1999–2000 Zoe, Duncan, Jack and Jane Jack Cooper Main cast
24 episodes
1999–2001 Batman Beyond Various Voice
6 Episodes
2000 The Wild Thornberrys Tom Ravenhearst Voice
Episode: "A Shaky Foundation"
2000–2004 Static Shock Various Voice
5 episodes
2001–2011 Smallville Lex Luthor 154 episodes
Main cast (Seasons 1-7)
Special guest (Season 10)
Directed the 125th episode "Freak"
Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor on Television (2002)
SFX Award for Best Newcomer (2003)
Nominated – Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor on Television (2003, 2004, 2005 & 2006)
Nominated – Satellite Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series Drama (2003)
Nominated – Teen Choice Awards for Choice TV Sidekick (2002, 2003, 2007, 2008, 2009)
2001–2002 The Zeta Project Agent West Voice
8 episodes
2001–2006 Justice League Wally West/The Flash
56 episodes
2003 Player$ Himself Episode: "Charlie's Angels"
2004–2005 Jackie Chan Adventures Drago Voice
11 episodes
2005–2006 Teen Titans Kid Flash Voice
2 episodes
2005 It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia Colin Episode: "Gun Fever"
2008 PG Porn Charlie Brown 2 episodes
2009 Untitled Family Pilot[18] Derek Failed Pilot
Batman: The Brave and the Bold Deadman Voice
Episode: "Dawn of the Dead Man!"
2011–2012 Breaking In Dutch Nilbog 8 episodes
2015 Impastor[19] Buddy Dobbs Lead role
Video Games
Year Title Role Notes
2003 Gladius Valens Voice
2006 Yakuza Akira Nishiki
2008 Dark Sector Hayden Tenno
2012 Lollipop Chainsaw Nick Carlyle
2013 Infinite Crisis The Flash[20][21]
2015 Batman: Arkham Knight Johnny Charisma[22]


  1. Bretts, Bruce; Roush, Matt; (March 25, 2013). "Baddies to the Bone: The 60 nastiest villains of all time". TV Guide. pp. 14 - 15.
  2. "Michael Rosenbaum Biography (1972-)". 2008. Retrieved 2009-02-04.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. http://www.tcm.com/tcmdb/person/523348%7C0/Michael-Rosenbaum/
  4. http://evansville-courier.vlex.com/vid/matheny-fills-russa-big-shoes-cards-372911838
  5. http://www.warreneckstein.com/b/Derek-now-lives-in-the-Hollywood-Hills/-50897426434694357.html
  6. Kraus, Haggay (April 2002). "Smallville Interview". Retrieved 2009-02-04.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Lynette Rice and James Hibberd (February 11, 2011). "'Smallville' scoop: Michael Rosenbaum will return for series finale". ew.com. Retrieved March 10, 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "Michael Rosenbaum Returning to Smallville For Series Finale". TVGuide.com. Retrieved February 16, 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Kevin Coll. "TV News: Michael Rosenbaum and Syfy Team Up for Comedy Series Saved by Zeroes". FusedFilm.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. Jon Lachonis. "Smallville's Michael Rosenbaum Returning to TV". TV Overmind.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "Breaking News: Fox Comedy Has Big Plans For Smallville Vet Michael Rosenbaum". TVLine.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. http://www.tv.com/news/fox-pulls-breaking-in-from-its-schedule-cancellation-is-imminent-for-real-this-time-28374/
  13. "Back in the Day Movie Premieres;". BourbonBlog.com. Retrieved 2014-01-07.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. "Back in the Day Interview;". BourbonBlog.com. Retrieved 2012-09-01.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. "Smallville's' Michael Rosenbaum to Star in TV Land Comedy 'Impastor". The Hollywood Reporter. June 17, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. Shear Love the Movie
  17. Justice League: Throne of Atlantis End Credits
  18. Andreeva, Nellie (April 27, 2009). "Missi Pyle joins NBC family pilot". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on October 24, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. http://www.deadline.com/tag/impastor/
  20. Turbine, Inc. Infinite Crisis. Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. Scene: Credits, Voice Over Talent.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  21. "Infinite Crisis Credits".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  22. Rocksteady Studios. Batman: Arkham Knight. Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. Scene: Credits, 13:05 in, Voiceover & Mocap Talent.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

Preceded by
John Shea
for Lois and Clark
Actors portraying Lex Luthor
for Smallville
Succeeded by
Kevin Spacey
for Superman Returns