Over the years, Supergirl has brought a wide array of characters from the DC mythos to life. And as fans have noticed, they've enlisted quite a few familiar faces to play them.
Supergirl is no stranger to the world of "legacy casting", which has become a term for casting familiar actors from past DC Comics properties in new roles. While the larger Arrowverse of shows has done it quite a bit, Supergirl has arguably done it the most, bringing in actors from wide arrays of movies, television, and animated series that are tied to the DC Comics mythos.
"We love it, and we think the fans love it," executive producer Robert Rovner said late last year. "We love seeing people that we know and are familiar with step into other roles. And what’s great about them is that they’re all wonderful actors as well. So, you get the excitement of seeing them in the new role but they also bring a lot when they take on these new characters."
So, in honor of Supergirl's third season being back in full swing -- and featuring another DC alum in next week's episode -- we thought we'd look back at some of the show's best legacy casting.
Perhaps the most prominent legacy casting, in terms of how much it's been a core part of the show, has been Helen Slater as Supergirl's adopted mother, Eliza Danvers.
Slater is perhaps best known for playing the Girl of Steel in the original Supergirl film, which was set in the world of Christopher Reeve's Superman movies. While this wasn't the first DC legacy role for Slater -- as she previously appeared on Smallville -- her Supergirl casting added a whole other element to the show's status quo.
Eliza has had a role in some of the show's more heartwarming moments, both for Kara's storyline and in Alex's (Chyler Leigh) various revelations, and in hammering home Supergirl's message of female relationships and family.prevnext
Alongside Slater, Supergirl's pilot episode introduced fans to a new role for Dean Cain as Supergirl's adopted father, Jeremiah Danvers.
Cain previously portrayed Clark Kent/Superman on Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, the fan-favorite series that aired from 1993 to 1997. But Cain's Supergirl role has been something else altogether, with Jeremiah having ties to Season tTwo's evil Project Cadmus.
At the moment, it's unknown exactly when Cain will return to the world of Supergirl, with him previously appearing in the episode "Exodus." And while Season Two didn't provide a reunion between Cain and a certain DC Comics co-star, who knows what his next appearance will bring.prevnext
While not the most obvious of legacy casting, Supergirl's first season brought another DCTV veteran into the mix in Constantine's Charles Halford.
Halford previously played Chas Chandler, the right-hand man of John Constantine (Matt Ryan), in the fan-favorite NBC series. Just a few months after, he appeared in Supergirl's "Human for a Day" episode, playing the Red Saturnian alien Jemm.
In a way, Halford has the unique honor of playing two completely different characters within the context of the Arrowverse, now that Constantine is (in a roundabout way) part of the universe's canon.prevnext
Another notable DC live-action alum that made her way to Supergirl's first season is Smallville's Laura Vandervoort.
The fan-favorite actress played Kara Zor-El for 23 episodes of Smallville, causing fans to speculate about when she would jump into the Arrowverse. Fans got their wish late into Supergirl's first season, when Vandervoort played Indigo/Brainiac 8.
Sadly, Vandervoort's character was killed in the Season One finale. But with Brainiac 5 recently entering the world of Supergirl, some sort of Coluan family reunion could maybe be possible.prevnext
Season Two kicked its legacy cameos off in a pretty big way with an appearance from former Wonder Woman Lynda Carter.
Lynda Carter impacted a generation of fans with her work on the Wonder Woman series, with a legacy that can still be felt in last year's Wonder Woman film. Within the world of Supergirl, Carter played President Olivia Marsden, Earth-38's American president with a delightful extraterrestrial secret of her own.
While Carter has yet to appear on Supergirl's third season, her impact can still be felt -- namely in the awesome new job for Cat Grant (Calista Flockhart).prevnext
Season Two's Big Bad also brought a piece of highly-anticipated legacy casting to life with Teri Hatcher finally entering the world of Supergirl.
Hatcher played Lois Lane on the aforementioned Lois & Clark, causing fans to eagerly anticipate her return to the DC Comics world. About halfway through Season Two, fans got their wish with Hatcher playing Rhea, an evil Daxamite and mother of Mon-El (Chris Wood).prevnext
Season Two's finale gave fans an almost blink-and-you'll-miss-it cameo, with General Zod appearing to taunt Superman (Tyler Hoechlin) in a hallucination. But Supergirl ended up bringing a pretty familiar face in for the job.
Mark Gibbon is no stranger to the world of the Super family, having played multiple roles on episodes of Smallville and an oil rig worker in Man of Steel.
Along with Halford, Gibbon earns the honor of playing two Arrowverse roles, with him previously playing "Ops Leader" during a Season Two episode of Arrow.prevnext
While this might not be the most obvious piece of legacy casting, Supergirl's third season brought a DC animated series alum into the fold.
Chad Lowe made his Supergirl debut in the episode "The Faithful", and has continued to play cult leader Thomas Coville throughout Season Three. But before that, Lowe played Billy Batson/Shazam in the beloved animated series Young Justice and also had a small role in the Superman animated series.prevnext
Another DC animated alum who has made his way into Supergirl's third season is Carl Lumbly.
Many regard Lumbly's various animated roles to be the definitive portrayal of J'onn J'onnz/Martian Manhunter, making his Supergirl role as Martian Manhunter's father a pretty perfect jump. Lumbly made his debut early on in the season, and has since been trying to reconnect with his son, who is played by David Harewood.prevnext
And finally, tomorrow's episode of Supergirl is set to include its latest piece of legacy casting with Superman: The Movie alum Sarah Douglas.0comments
Douglas is best known for playing Ursa in both Superman and Superman 2, and has earned quite a few fans in the decades since. In Supergirl, Douglas is set to play Jindah Kol Rozz, a character who doesn't have a clear DC Comics proxy just yet.
At the moment, it's unclear how Douglas' character will factor into the episode, although the title being "Fort Rozz" does help. Either way, Supergirl fans won't have to wait too long to find out.prev