Oct. 16, 2001
60 min.
The CW TV Network

Top Contributors

Smallville tv show photo


A young Clark Kent struggles to find his place in the world as he learns to harness his alien powers for good and deals with the typical troubles of teenage life in Smallville. His journey to become Superman!

Watch Preview

Characters: #9 of 46 (Full List)
Previous Next

Lionel Luthor Smallville
75 Fans

Lionel Luthor

Add to My Characters
  Played by:
John GloverJohn Glover
John Soursby Glover, Jr. (born August 7, 1944) is an American actor, known for a range of villainous ...

Character Bio

Lionel Luthor photo
"The real test of a hero is knowing when the greater good will be served by an evil act. To save the Earth, the cost of one life is the price that must be paid".

Lionel Luthor was extremely rich, powerful, manipulative and intelligent; he was prone to forming numerous Machiavellian schemes. For most of his appearances, he was obsessed with obtaining power and control over everything he encountered. With all these character traits, Lionel's actions may be described as sociopathic, but his attitude is that of a narcissist. If a person dared to back out of their "agreement" with Lionel, they were met with swift retaliation (costing them their job, blacklisting their family members. Lionel's attitude can even be seen in his trademark long hair: He is so powerful he can appear however he likes without being called on it.

Lionel seemed intent on controlling Lex as much as possible, to mold him into his own conquering, amoral image. Lionel saw himself as a modern Philip of Macedonia, and named his firstborn son Lex after Philip's son, Alexander the Great. His second legitimate son was named Julian; perhaps an homage to Julius Caesar.

Lionel's personality transformes completely, resulting in a more caring (but still manipulative) man, such as when he was upset about his driver's murder and covered him up with his coat. Lionel still shows these feelings all the way up to the sixth season when he admits his feeling towards Martha Kent. Lionel's ruthless tendencies would sometimes resurface, when someone would threaten his son Lex, or Clark. Although he was no longer self serving, he still treated those around him as if they were his enemy, the only exceptions being Clark, Martha, and anyone who knew of his Kryptonian heritage.

Vessel of Jor-El:

Lionel became the Kryptonian vessel of Jor-El, but when the Fortress of Solitude "died", he lost his connection to it. However, Martian Manhunter revealed to Clark Kent that Lionel was still an emissary of Jor-El. Towards the end of his life he tried all that he could to protect Clark. His protection however once more dissolved into control, when Patricia Swann sent him letters through Veritas threatening to expose his past crimes if he did not produce the traveler and, as a result, held Clark captive in a kryptonite cage. All too familiar with Lionel's desire to control, Clark took it the wrong way and began to treat Lionel as an enemy. Lionel realizing that no one trusted him, tried to convince Clark and his friends that he was in serious danger. Though no one believed him, he tried his hardest to help them and did not expose Clark's identity as the traveler to Lex before he was murdered. Towards the end of his life, Lionel revealed he truly had changed to a caring, loyal man.

Jor-El appeared to have "used" Lionel and was connected with him in a much different manner than he was when he was "using" Jonathan Kent, as Jonathan was more of a mouth piece or receptacle in which Jor-El's powers would run through him, and would often hear Kryptonian frequencies and beacons whereas Lionel actually articulated Kryptonian a few times and his connection with Jor-El was so strong that the crystals in the Fortress of Solitude led Zor-El directly to him. At first, he went into coma, and would sometimes get up and walk around strangely and would start drawing Kryptonian glyphs on floors and walls. He eventually recovered from that state and was programmed by Jor-El with vast stores of knowledge on the House of El dynasty, and in extension, Krypton's heritage, and on Kryptonian sciences, customs, culture and teachings.

While Lionel was physical connected with Jor-El, he would exhibit white eyes while Jor-El was directly communicating with people through him, and would often still be seen carving Kryptonian symbols on floors and walls, and would later discover their meaning. After becoming Jor-El's oracle, he obtained many powerful and ancient Kryptonian artifacts, like a Kryptonian flashlight, the Mirror box, Green kryptonite, Black kryptonite, Kara's bracelet, and some expensive necklaces and jewelery, and stored them all in a library vault located inside LuthorCorp Plaza planted outside Metropolis.

He eventually becomes a direct Kryptonian vessel that Jor-El can inhabit when needed, and is used that way. After this Lionel gained all Kryptonian powers and abilities, and also exhibits their weaknesses. After his son Lex gets possessed by General Zod, Lionel gets disconnected from Jor-El but retains some connection with the entity, as Zor-El was able to locate him through crystals in the Fortress of Solitude. Lionel, in the occupation as Jor-El's emissary, worked alongside John Jones.

Early Life:

Lionel Luthor grew up as the son of Scottish immigrants Lachlan Luthor and Eliza Luthor in Suicide Slums. As a teenager, Lionel conspired with Morgan Edge to kill his parents to collect the insurance money to fund LuthorCorp, and their criminal dealings continued well into their adult years after their lives have taken divergent turns.

Sometime before the 1980s, Lionel married a woman named Lillian. After their marriage, Lionel and Lillian had their first child Alexander "Lex" Luthor in 1980 with a woman named Pamela Jenkins as a nanny to the household. Sometime a year later in 1981, Lionel fathered his second child Lutessa Lena Luthor with Pamela (It's unknown if if Pamela raised her with Lionel without Lillian's knowledge or not). When the girl was nine, Lionel had her placed in Granny Goodness's orphanage.

After Lillian gave birth to their second son Julian Luthor, Lillian smothered Julian to death when he was an infant; Lex took the blame, and Lionel has resented his surviving son ever since. Also Lionel engaged in an affair with Rachel Dunleavy, a nurse hired to care for Lillian as her health declined. The relationship resulted in an illegitimate son whom Lionel had placed with an adopted family. Lex has often been a victim of Lionel's wrath; Lionel frequently puts him in harm's way under the motive of "making Lex stronger."

Lex has survived many attempts on his life and his business. However, all that Lex wanted from Lionel were things that Lionel found foreign: kindness, respect and love.Before the 1989 meteor shower and Julian's birth, Lionel was working on a project called "Veritas," which was discovered in his briefcase by Lillian. Veritas was an "astronomy club" involving the Teagues (Genevieve, Edward and Jason), the Queens (Robert, Laura and Oliver), and the Swanns (Virgil and Patricia) having to do with what they referred to as "The Traveler." Lionel believed the Traveler to be Kal-El.

Lionel bought a Scottish mansion and had it shipped to America to be reassembled. Lionel, along with the rest of the Veritas group hid the Orb in the fireplace of the mansion, to keep it safe.

When on a business meeting in Smallville in 1989, Lionel and Lex were caught in the meteor shower. Lionel found Lex in the cornfield, completely bald, and was helped by the Kents to get him to the hospital. Because of that, Lionel had made it possible for the Kents to adopt Clark, and Jonathan Kent had to make the painful decision to convince Pete Ross' family to sell their property to Lionel to build his LuthorCorp Plant. When Kal-El's ship landed on Earth, he sent a search team to get the Traveler, only to grab a young boy. Believing him to be the Traveler, Lionel took Davis in. Studying him and gathering information, Lionel allowed the boy to stay in the Luthor Mansion. After five days when he realized he grabbed the wrong boy, Lionel had the boy thrown out in the streets of Metropolis.

Episode Screenshots

05x11 - Lockdown
Season 5, Episode 11
01x15 - Nicodemus
Season 1, Episode 15
04x14 - Krypto
Season 4, Episode 14
05x19 - Mercy
Season 5, Episode 19
[More Episodes]

Lionel Luthor Photos

powered by google images
Previous | Next   (1)
Previous: Jimmy Olsen Next: Jonathan Kent
You are successfully logged out.

ShareTV Login

Enter the text in the image shown if you are human.
WARNING: after 2 more failed attempts you will be locked out

Create Account

Verify Password

Verification code (check your email for the verification code)

Verification code has been sent to the following email address:
If you didn't receive the verification code:

1. Check your bulk/spam folder.

2. Try to whitelist our email address (noreply@sharetv.org)

3. Resend verification email

If you mistyped your email address change it here
Create a free ShareTV account to make a personalized schedule of your favorite TV shows, keep track of what you've watched, earn points and more.
Verify your username and email to complete your Registration
Enter the text in the image shown if you are human.
WARNING: after 2 more failed attempts you will be locked out

Forgot Your Password?

Enter the email address you used to create the account and your password will be emailed to you.