Brandon James Routh is an American actor and former fashion model. He grew up in Iowa before moving to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career, and subsequently appeared on multiple television series throughout the early 2000s. In 2006, he gained greater recognition for his role as the titular superhero of the 2006 film Superman Returns. He also had a recurring role in the TV series Chuck, as Daniel Shaw. Following this, he had notable supporting roles in the films Zack and Miri Make a Porno and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. In 2010, he portrayed the eponymous protagonist of another comic book film, Dylan Dog Dead of Night. In 2014, he began a recurring role on Arrow as Ray PalmerAtom which spun off into a guest role on The Flash and a starring role on Legends of Tomorrow.
Routh, the third of four children, was born on October 9, 1979 in Norwalk, Iowa, the son of Catherine LaVonne , a teacher, and Ronald Wayne Routh, a carpenter. Routh was raised in a Methodist family, and has English, Scottish, German, and distant Dutch, ancestry. Routh grew up in Norwalk, approximately 100 miles south of Woolstock, the hometown of George Reeves, the first actor to play Superman on television. During his childhood, Routh thought a fulltime acting career was unrealistic, citing his smalltown background. In his spare time, he played the trumpet and the piano. Routh attended Norwalk High School, where he played sports and participated in music and theatre. He has described himself as a mommas boy and not the most popular kid during his school years. Routh has also noted that during his younger years, he was fond of the Superman films and comic books.