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 Sarah 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. 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 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.