Dean Cain (born Dean George Tanaka; July 31, 1966) is an American actor. He is most widely known for his role as Clark Kent/Superman in the popular American television series Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman.
Cain was born as Dean George Tanaka in Mount Clemens, Michigan, the son of actress Sharon Thomas and U.S. Army serviceman Roger Tanaka, who left the family before he was born. Cain is of French Canadian, Irish, Welsh, and Japanese (from his paternal grandfather) descent. In 1969, Cain's mother married film director Christopher Cain, who adopted Dean and his brother (musician Roger Cain), and the family moved to Malibu, California. The couple later had a daughter, Dean's half-sister, actress Krisinda Cain. Both attended Santa Monica High School, where he excelled in sports.
He played on the baseball team, and Chad and Rob Lowe and Charlie Sheen—who played on the baseball team—were among his schoolmates. Cain graduated from high school in 1984 and was offered athletic scholarships to 17 universities, but decided to attend Princeton University. At Princeton, he was captain of the volleyball team and played free safety on the football team, where he had record-setting 12 interceptions in a single season. He was also a member of the Zeta Psi fraternity and the Cap & Gown eating club. He dated actress Brooke Shields while at Princeton. Cain graduated from Princeton in 1988 with a BA degree in History; his senior thesis was titled "The History and Development of the Functions of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences."
Immediately after graduating, Cain signed on as a free agent with the Buffalo Bills, an NFL football team, but a knee injury during training camp ended his football career before it began. With little hope of returning to sports, he turned to screenwriting and then acting, shooting dozens of commercials including a famous volleyball one for Kellogg's Frosties and appearing on popular television shows like Grapevine, A Different World and Beverly Hills, 90210. In 1993, Cain took on his biggest role to date as Superman in the television series Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. At the height of its popularity, it would bring in an average of at least 15 million viewers per episode. The series ran for four seasons, ending in 1997.
In 1998, Cain started the Angry Dragon Entertainment production company, which produced the TBS Superstation television series Ripley's Believe It or Not!. He has also starred in several films, including The Broken Hearts Club (2000), Out of Time (2003) and Bailey's Billion$ (2004) (co-starred Laurie Holden, Jennifer Tilly, and Tim Curry). In 2004, he portrayed Scott Peterson in the fact-based made for television movie The Perfect Husband: The Laci Peterson Story. He appeared in a recurring role as Casey Manning in the television series Las Vegas. Cain made a return to the Superman franchise, with a special guest role in a seventh season episode of Smallville as the immortal Dr. Curtis Knox, a character based upon the DC Comics villain Vandal Savage. He's #33 on VH1's 40 Hottest Hotties of the '90s. Cain has also made an appearance in the new comical Internet Explorer 8 commercials.