Dean Cain

“Superman” Star Dean Cain Gave Up a Movie Career to Raise His Son Alone

Dean Cain is an American actor, producer, TV presenter, and former footballer. He’s well known for his breakout role of Clark Kent/Superman in the TV series Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman in 1993. However, despite his successful acting career, he put everything on hold when he became a single father. He and his ex-girlfriend Samantha Torres had a fraught custody battle over their son, Christopher, in 2003. But in 2011, Cain won full custody.

Dean Cain Fought to Become a Single Father

Christopher was born on June 11, 2000, and named after Cain’s adoptive father. Christopher and Cain share a strong bond, especially since Cain was determined not to be like his own biological father who had abandoned their family. “I never knew him, never met him. My original given name was Tanaka, but when my mom remarried when I was 4, I took his name, which is Cain,” he said.

In addition to fathering Christopher, Dean Cain kept his home open for Torres’ two other children, Isabelle and Elija, who are Christopher’s half-siblings. “I’d do anything for those two,” he said. “It can be defined as a broken home, but if you hang out at our house that’s the last thing you’ll think.

In a 2014 interview with ABC News, Cain gushes about his love for Christopher. “I think he’s pretty proud of dad, but to be honest, I’m pretty proud of him. I think he’s my favorite human being on the planet. My best day would be just to wake up, and me and my son have a great day at home… having no plans and hanging out with my son is my favorite day.” [1]

In addition to being a great dad, he’s a regular chef. “I cook every meal for my child. If I don’t cook, he doesn’t eat,” he joked. “I cook a very mean steak. I’m also very good at taking the nine leftovers I have and turning it into something… We’ll go to a steak restaurant and sit down and have a steak, and my son will go, ‘Dad, your steaks are better!'” 

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“A father first and an actor second”

Despite being a single dad, Dean Cain was determined to be the “fun dad” as well. “You know that saying ‘Momma says don’t play ball in the house?’ Well, we play. We chase each other, you can walk on virtually any piece of furniture.” [2]

It was a challenge to balance his fatherly responsibilities with work. This is why Cain chose smaller roles as he raised Christopher. “…A series just takes over your whole life, and that’s why, as a father, I would not be the lead actor on any other show for the past 18 years,” he said in a 2018 interview with Closer Weekly. “I have turned down the lead so many times, because I won’t do it until my son graduates and he graduates at the end of this month.”

But at the same time, he had enjoyed the diversity of his career during those years, which included travel shows, political meetings, documentaries, and small roles in films. “The last 18 years of my career,” he continued, “have been predicated upon being a father first, and an actor second. I’ve been fortunate enough to do that, but that kind of forced me to diversify to some degree. …I’m blessed to be able to have the ability to do so many different things, and yet still be a father first. People are, like, ‘Haven’t you been aspiring for anything?’ Yeah, I’ve aspired for a life!’[3]

Proud to be Superman

If acting and sport accomplishments weren’t enough, Dean Cain is also a Princeton graduate with a bachelor’s degree in history. His comprehensive exams were on war and diplomacy. “I love literature and I love stories,” he said. “History is one big story.”

When asked about his iconic role, he is proud to be a part of the line of actors who’ve played the superhero. “That’s a badge of honor for me, I’m very proud of that,” he said. “Obviously, Superman being the main one [among parts I’ve played], how can I not be proud of being associated with the greatest American icon of all time.”

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  1. “5 Things You Don’t Know About Dean Cain.ABC News. Michael Rothman. December 6, 2014
  2. “Dean Cain: Being a Working Single Dad Is ‘Difficult’.” People. Janine Rayford Rubenstein. December 2, 2020
  3. “Dean Cain Loves ‘Lois & Clark’, but There Is Much More to His Life (EXCLUSIVE).Closer Weekly. Amby Ed Gross May 27, 2018