John Glover (actor)

John Soursby Glover Jr. (/ˈɡlʌvər/; born August 7, 1944) is an American actor, known for a range of villainous roles in films and television, including Lionel Luthor on the Superman-inspired television series Smallville. In 1993, he co-starred in the dark comedy Ed and His Dead Mother with Steve Buscemi and Ned Beatty.

John Glover
Glover in 2009
Born (1944-08-07) August 7, 1944
Alma materTowson University
Years active1960–present
Adam Kurtzman (m. 2016)

Early life

Glover was born in Kingston, New York[1] but raised in Salisbury, Maryland, the son of Cade (née Mullins) and John Soursby Glover, a television salesman.[2][3] Glover attended Wicomico High School and acted at Towson University.[4]

Glover began his career at the Barter Theatre in Abingdon, Virginia, and later studied acting at the Beverly Hills Playhouse under Milton Katselas.[5]


Glover began his career in television, playing a mentally disturbed kidnapper who kidnapped Joanne, the lead character on Search for Tomorrow. One of his early film performances was a small but pivotal role as a U.S. diplomat in White Nights. Other notable roles include Alan Raimy in 52 Pick-Up, Bryce Cummings in Scrooged, Daniel Clamp in Gremlins 2: The New Batch, a mobster in Payback, an advertising spokesman in RoboCop 2, Derek Mills in Night of the Running Man, the Riddler in Batman: The Animated Series, Doctor Jason Woodrue in Batman & Robin, Verad in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Invasive Procedures", the Devil in the series Brimstone, and a recurring role in The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd as Cousin Jerry, from Bal'mer, a relative whom no one actually seemed to know.

In 1987, he appeared in the Miami Vice episode "Lend Me an Ear" as Steve Duddy. He also appeared in two episodes of Murder, She Wrote, the first one being "One White Rose for Death" in which he played East German Franz Mueller. Mueller wishes to defect to the United States, but his sister is a celebrated concert violinist. They both become caught up in a case of murder at the British Embassy. The other episode was "When Thieves Fall Out," where he played Andrew Durbin, a man wrongly accused of stealing bonds. He appeared in the TV movie An Early Frost in 1985, the first TV film to confront the issue of AIDS, and received an Emmy nomination for his performance as a gay AIDS patient. In 1986, he appeared in the TV film Apology with Lesley Ann Warren.

He appeared in the role of Max Brodsky, an inmate in concentration camps and later a fighter for Israel's independence, in Ian Sharp's 1989 TV miniseries Twist of Fate (also known as Pursuit). That same year, he played a hard driving, low on morals District Sales Manager in HBO's Traveling Man. He also received a 1994 Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for his appearance in Frasier.

Glover is perhaps best known for the role as Lionel Luthor on Smallville from 2001 to 2008 where he first appeared as a guest actor in the show's first season and then appeared as a full cast member from seasons two to seven. He later returned in 2010 and 2011 for the tenth and final season as a parallel universe version of the character.[6]

He had a small appearance in the Woody Allen film Annie Hall in a flashback in which he tells the title character, "Touch my heart. With your foot." He had a recurring role in Law & Order: Criminal Intent as Declan Gage, an old friend and mentor to Detective Robert Goren. On ABC's Brothers & Sisters he played Henry (the boyfriend of Saul Holden) in 2009. In Heroes he had a brief appearance as Samson Gray, the father of Sylar.

He had made notable appearances on stage, winning a Tony Award for Featured Actor in a Play for his dual roles in the Broadway play Love! Valour! Compassion!, which he reprised in the film version. In 2004, he performed with the Philadelphia Theatre Company staging of Edward Albee's The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?

He also appeared as "man in the chair/narrator" in The Drowsy Chaperone on Broadway during summer 2007. He played the role of "Lucky" in a new Broadway production of Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot, for which he earned a Tony Award nomination for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play. In 2014 he appeared as Leonato in the Shakespeare In the Park production of Much Ado About Nothing.[7]

He played Telemachus in Yuri Rasovsky's Peabody Award-winning radio dramatization of The Odyssey of Homer and has played in several radio plays of the LA Theatre Works. Glover is receiving increasing recognition for narrating audiobooks. In 2011, he performed the audiobook version of Ghost Story, the thirteenth novel in Jim Butcher's The Dresden Files series. In October/November 2011, he performed in David Bar Katz's drama The Atmosphere of Memory at the Bank Street Theatre in NYC, co-starring with Ellen Burstyn in a LAByrinth production. He most recently played the role of "Uncle Ben" in the 2012 Broadway production of Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman, directed by Mike Nichols. He is seen rehearsing the role of John Kreese in behind-the-scenes pre-production footage from The Karate Kid, indicating he may have been considered for that role.[8] In 2013 Glover starred in the horror anthology Sanitarium. He also guest starred in an episode of Agent Carter.[9]

Glover has done various voiceovers for several projects related to Tron: Legacy: villainous character Abraxas in Tron: Evolution, and Dyson in Tron: Uprising. In 2014, he guest starred on The Blacklist episode "Berlin".

Personal life

Glover married sculptor Adam Kurtzman in 2016,[10] having been dating since 1993.[11] According to Glover, he slept with Freddie Mercury and John Oates in the 1970s.[10]

Glover is involved with the Alzheimer's Association. His father had Alzheimer's.[11]



1977Annie HallActor Boy Friend
1978Somebody Killed Her HusbandHerbert Little
1979Last EmbraceRichard Peabody
1980The American Success CompanyErnst
1980Mountain MenNathan Wyeth
1980Melvin and HowardFreese – Attorney #2
1981The Incredible Shrinking WomanTom Keller
1982A Little SexWalter
1984The Evil That Men DoBriggs
1985White NightsWynn Scott
1986A Killing AffairSheb Sheppard
198652 Pick-UpAlan Raimy
1986Willy/MillyFred Niceman
1988MasqueradeTony Gateworth
1988Rocket GibraltarRolo Rockwell
1988ScroogedBrice Cummings
1988The Chocolate WarBrother Leon
1989Meet the HollowheadsHenry Hollowhead
1990Gremlins 2: The New BatchDaniel Clamp
1990RoboCop 2Magnavolt salesman
1993Ed and His Dead MotherA. J. Pattle
1994In the Mouth of MadnessSaperstein
1995Night of the Running ManDerek Mills
1995AutomaticGoddard Marx
1997Love! Valour! Compassion!John Jeckyll, James Jeckyll
1997Batman & RobinDr. Jason Woodrue
1998Dead BrokeSam
1998The Broken GiantBennett Hale
1999Macbeth in ManhattanRichard / Director
2001The BodyJesus Christ Street Actor
2001On the EdgeYuri Moskivin
2002Mid-CenturyBill Gates
2004A Kiss at Kerouac's GraveWill
2005The Civilization of Maxwell BrightOgden
2013SanitariumGustavSegment: "Figuratively Speaking"
2013Sweet TalkProfessor / Count
2015You Bury Your OwnDetective Gillespie
2016We Go OnDr. Ellison
2019Shazam!Mr. Sivana[12]


1984George WashingtonCharles LeeEpisode: "Charles Lee"
1986The New Twilight ZoneThe Alien AmbassadorEpisode segment; “A small talent for war
1989Breaking PointDr. GerberTV movie
1991Tales from the CryptUndertakerEpisode: "Undertaking Palor"
1992Drug Wars: The Cocaine CartelLoco GarrisonTV movie
1993FrasierNed MillerEpisode 10"
The Legend of Prince ValiantKing Edward
Episode: "The Blackest Poison"
Episode: "Nothing but the Tooth"
Star Trek: Deep Space NineVeradEpisode: "Invasive Procedures"
1992–1994DinosaursBabysitter / Prosecutor / Lucius
3 episodes
Batman: The Animated SeriesEdward Nygma / The Riddler
3 episodes
1998Superman: The Animated SeriesEpisode: "Knight Time"
The New Batman AdventuresEpisode: "Judgement Day"
1998–1999BrimstoneThe Devil / Angel13 episodes
2001–2011SmallvilleLionel Luthor / Darkseid / Jor-El / Clark Kent145 episodes
2009HeroesSamson GrayEpisode: "Shades of Gray"
2011–2015The Good WifeJared Andrews4 episodes
2012–2013Tron: UprisingDyson
4 episodes
2014PerceptionThe DevilEpisode: "Possession"
2015Marvel's Agent CarterSSR InformantEpisode: "The Iron Ceiling"
2019The Good FightJared Andrews1 episode
Tales of the CityBill SchwartzEpisode: "Next Level Sh*t"
EvilByron DukeEpisode: "3 Stars"

Video games

YearTitleVoice roleNotes
1994The Adventures of Batman & RobinThe Riddler
2003Wallace & Gromit in Project ZooHelp Points
2010Tron: EvolutionAbraxas / Jalen


1999Night ShiftStephen King
The Lawnmower ManStephen King
Gray MatterStephen King
Thank You for SmokingChristopher Buckley
2009Level 26: Dark OriginsAnthony E. Zuiker
2010Worst CaseJames Patterson and Michael Ledwidge
The Bride CollectorTed Dekker
The TempestWilliam Shakespeare
Red HarvestJoe Schreiber
2011Gideon's SwordDouglas PrestonLincoln Child
Dracula (Dramatized)Bram Stoker and Charles Morey


  1. To Smile—and Still Be Glover : Actor's Villainy in 'Grass Roots' Makes Room For Shakespeare
  2. Daily Times Archived September 24, 2014, at the Wayback Machine Who’s who from Salisbury
  3. Daily Times Actor John Glover returns to Salisbury for a cause
  4. John Glover Biography – Yahoo! Movies Archived April 30, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  5. "John Glover on The Beverly Hills Playhouse Acting School". Retrieved July 29, 2014.
  6. "Lionel Luthor Returning to Smallville". Retrieved August 20, 2010.
  7. Brantley, Ben. "Lily Rabe in 'Much Ado About Nothing' in Central Park". New York Times. Retrieved October 28, 2015.
  8. "THE KARATE KID 1983 READ THRU PART 1". Retrieved January 14, 2013.
  9. Jose Molina (writers) & Peter Leto (director) (February 3, 2015). "The Iron Ceiling". Marvel's Agent Carter. Season 1. Episode 5. ABC.
  10. Rosenbaum, Michael (June 18, 2019). "John Glover". Inside of You with Michael Rosenbaum (Podcast). Unqualified Productions. Retrieved June 18, 2019.
  11. Windy City Times – Out in Smallville: Smallville's John Glover
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