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Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Aquaman in Hollywood

With the Oscars just around the corner, I thought it was time to get to a post I've wanted to put together for a long while: a history of all the actors who have played Aquaman in both animated and live action form.

I've had a label on the sidebar for a while, called "Aquaman in Hollywood", but that was just links to various actors' IMDB pages. I've been wanting to do something more detailed and substantial, and now that we've just added a new Aquaman to the list (courtesy his appearance in Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths) I decided to sit down and put all this together. So here we go:

sgThe Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure - Filmation Marvin Miller (1913-1985) The first actor to play Aquaman in any form, Miller provided the voice of the King of the Seven Seas for every episode of the show during its 1968 run. The half-hour Aquaman segments were later rebroadcast under the title Aquaman.

Miller has hundreds of credits to his name, both as a voice actor and an on-screen one. He appeared in series like Adam-12, Mission: Impossible, Kolchak, Land of the Lost, and did voice work in shows like The F.B.I., The Pink Panther Show, Electra Woman and Dyna Girl, even an episode of Saturday Night Live.

Marvin Miller's IMDB page

sgThe Super Friends - Hanna-Barbera Norman Alden (b. 1924) To many Aquaman fans of a certain age (like me) Norman Alden's voice simply is the voice the of Aquatic Ace. He voiced the character during the first season of Super Friends (where he also essayed other roles, including a guest appearance by Green Arrow).

In addition to his work on Super Friends, Alden has appeared in hundreds of TV series like Gunsmoke, The F.B.I., Mannix, The Streets of San Francisco, Electra Woman and Dyna Girl (them again!), and Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman. He's also appeared in movies such as Tora! Tora! Tora!, K-Pax, The Patsy, and Ben. One of his more recent appearances was as color blind cameraman Bill in the classic Ed Wood.

Mr. Alden was nice enough to an interview with Shrine, back in 2007, which you can listen to here.

Norman Alden's IMDB page


sgThe Super Friends - Hanna-Barbera William Callaway (Birth/Death dates unknown) William "Bill" Callaway took over the role of Aquaman from Norman Alden, and continued to play the character through all subsequent iterations of the show, starting with the classic Challenge of the Super Friends, and continuing through the final series, The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians.

Callaway had a long career as a voice actor, appearing in series like G.I. Joe, Smurfs,
Defenders of the Earth, and The Incredible Hulk. On screen, he appeared in shows like Taxi, Eight is Enough, and Gunsmoke. In movies, he had roles in Annie Hall, Rabbit Test, and Fun With Dick and Jane.

William Callaway's IMDB page

sgSuperman: The Animated Series - Warner Bros. Miguel Ferrer (b. 1955) After many years away from television screens, Aquaman made a guest appearance on the Superman animated series, in an episode titled "A Fish Story", voiced by Miguel Ferrer.

Ferrer is a very recognizable face, with hundreds of credits to his name, like Twin Peaks, Robocop, Point of No Return, and The Stand. An avowed comic book fan, Ferrer has the distinction of having played the super-villain The Weather Wizard twice: once on Superman: The Animated Series, and (sort of) in the little-seen, never-aired live-action Justice League TV pilot.

Miguel Ferrer's IMDB page

sgJustice League Unlimited - Warner Bros. Scott Rummell (birth date unknown) The new, "tougher" Aquaman made his debut on the Justice League Unlimited animated series, first appearing in the two-part episode "The Enemy Below", voiced by Scott Rummell.

Rummell, according to IMDB, doesn't seem to have many animation credits outside of his role as Aquaman, which he repeated in subsequent episodes of the show. According to his website, he's done numerous voice over narrations for commercials and movie trailers, most recently on TV spots for movies like Shutter Island and The Blind Side.

Scott Rummell's IMDB page

sgSmallville - Warner Bros. Alan Ritchson (b. 1982) Actor Alan Ritchson holds a special place in Aquaman history, having been the first actor to ever play a live action version of the character.

First appearing in the 2005 Smallville episode "Aqua", Ritchson returned to the show as Aquaman (known here as Arthur Curry, or "A.C.") on subsequent episodes. Since then, he's appeared on several other TV series, and currently is a regular on the series Blue Mountain State.

Alan Ritchson's IMDB page

sgAquaman - Warner Bros. Justin Hartley (b. 1977) Surprisingly, Aquaman was tapped by the Smallville producers Alfred Gough and Miles Millar to headline his own series. The show wasn't a spin-off exactly, since the Arthur Curry in the 2006 Aquaman pilot is not the same character that we saw on Smallville.

Even more confusingly, Arthur Curry was recast, and the role was filled by Justin Hartley, who (at the time of the pilot's ultimate release on DVD) to that point had been playing Oliver Queen/Green Arrow on Smallville!

As all Aquaman fans know by now, the Aquaman pilot was not picked up as series, despite Smallville being one of the WB Network's biggest hits. Hartley went on to play Green Arrow on Smallville (where he has since become a regular), and has made other appearances on shows like Passions, CSI: NY, and Cold Case.

Justin Hartley's IMDB page

sgJustice League: The New Frontier - Warner Bros. Alan Ritchson (b. 1982) Actor Alan Ritchson leapfrogged his Smallville co-star Justin Hartley's turn as Aquaman, returning to voice the character in the cameo appearance he made at the end of the Justice League: The New Frontier animated movie.

Ritchson is uncredited in the movie. Aquaman appears in later scenes in the film, but has no lines.

Alan Ritchson's IMDB page

sgBatman: The Brave and the Bold - Warner Bros. John DiMaggio (b. 1968) Aquaman's most sustained role on television in the last couple of decades has come via his numerous appearances on the Batman: Brave and the Bold animated series, which debuted in 2008.

Taking a decidedly different, lighter tone on the character, DiMaggio infuses this King of the Seven Seas with bluster, confidence, and a never-ending desire for adventure. Along with Blue Beetle and Green Arrow, Aquaman is one of the most frequent guest-stars on the series.

Before B:BATB, DiMaggio was most famous for his role as Bender on Futurama, but has also done work on Chowder, Ben 10, and American Dad.

John DiMaggio's IMDB page

sgJustice League: Crisis on Two Earths - Warner Bros. Josh Keaton (b. 1979) Aquaman makes a small appearance in this DTV animated movie, appearing in his classic uniform, this time voiced by actor Josh Keaton, who had a larger role in the movie as The Flash.

For a young man, Keaton has an extraordinarily long list of credits, both as an on-screen actor and voice actor for TV series and video games. He played Peter Parker on The Spectacular Spider-Man, and has also worked on King of the Hill, Ben 10, Will & Grace, The Young and the Restless, and The Secret World of Alex Mack.

Josh Keaton's IMDB page

sgJustice League: Heroes - Playsation Bryce Johnson (b. 1977) Aquaman never seems to get in on the action when it comes to DCU-based video games, but he is a playable character in the Justice League: Heroes game from Playstation, voiced by action Bryce Johnson.

Johnson has maintained a career going back and forth between live action work and voice over duties--he's appeared in shows like Nip/Tuck, The Mentalist, CSI: NY, Pretty Little Liars, and something intriguingly called Simian Undercover Detective Squad. He also played Dr. Strange in the self-titled animated movie from a few years ago.

Bryce Johnson's IMDB page


sgYoung Justice - Warner Bros. Phil Lamarr (b. 1967) With the debut of the animated series Young Justice--featuring the brand-new Aqualad as part of the team--we get another animated Aquaman, this time played by voice actor veteran Phil Lamarr.

Lamarr has appeared in numerous live action projects, but in the last decade or so his voice has been heard in dozens (hundreds?) of animated shows, like Star Wars: The Clone Wars, The Avengers, Family Guy,
Futurama, Chowder, King of the Hill, The Spectacular Spider-Man, and as Aquaman's fellow JLAer John Stewart on Justice League.

Phil Lamarr's IMDB page


*Whew*! That's a lot of info for one post, but I wanted to have one page on the Shrine where all of Aquaman's portrayals have been cataloged. I plan to update this page every time Aquaman makes an animated or live-action appearance, so if you ever want to check back in, simply click the "Aquaman in Hollywood" label on the sidebar!


Randy said...

Maybe I am in a minority, but as far as Superfriends era Aquaman goes, Bill Callaway was my favorite of the two. Whenever I read a comic, I have always pictured Callaway's voice as Aquaman.

rob! said...


Clearly, Callaway's voice is probably the one most remembered as Aquaman, since Alden only did the voice for a season or two, and Callaway lasted much longer--about a decade's worth of SF episodes.

But Alden was MY first Aquaman, and since I got to talk to him directly, he'll always be my favorite. :)

Diabolu Frank said...

Also, Miguel Ferrer played the Wizard Wizard in opposition to David Ogden Stiers' Martian Manhunter in the live action Justice League pilot, only to voice act as J'Onn J'Onzz in Justice League: The New Frontier.

Amazingly, in just the last decade or so, I could probably whip up a near comparable list to this. How'd that happen?

Rick Duncan said...

Excellent as usual. I hesitate to suggest more work for you, but since I know you're a completist, I will. ;) I think Aqualad has had three incarnations "in Hollywood": Filmation in Aquaman (and as a Teen Titan, which may be separate), the long haired Aqualad in Teen Titans: Go, and Batman: B&B.

Um, then there's Mera...

wich2 said...

Rob, your usual good stuff (rough drafts for The Book, no?)

Two things:

1. Marvin Miller's most famous TV gig was as star of the quirky '50's show THE MILLIONAIRE; but that great, chocolaty voice had worked since the '30's in Radio. Mainly as an announcer, but also acting, in such well-known shows as THE WHISTLER, DUFFY'S TAVERN, and THE CISCO KID.

2. Wouldn't the A-man's "most sustained role on television" still be the Lead in the Filmation series? How many eps. were there of that, compared to the Costar shots on B & B?

-Craig W.

Wings1295 said...

Great post, Rob! More actors have portrayed Aquaman than I thought. And yeah, Alden is my Arthur, too.

Sonofdoyle said...

What about Adrien Grenier in Entourage? Or does that not count since it was a movie within a show?

Admin said...

Justin Hartley was Aquaman before he became Green Arrow. So he did not "go back" to his role because he was given the role after the Aquaman pilot was not picked.

And the pilot was due to the success of Alan Ritchson's first stint as Aquaman in Smallville.

rob! said...


Thanks! I thought about covering Mera and Aqualad, but this post was long enough!


Point well taken on the "sustained" thing. I meant to say "of the last couple of decades", since Aquaman's been only a guest-star since the SF ended. Post amended!


I thought about that, but I decided to include only the times when Aquaman as a character is being directly portrayed--not an actor playing Aquaman, know what I mean?

rob! said...


Oh. I can only go by what info I can find, and since the IMDB lists Hartley's debut as GA in 2006, and the Aquaman pilot in 2007, that's why I made that leap.

Admin said...

I see. Well, just letting you know. I run a Smallville site that's why I know this. Just thought I'd let you know.

rob! said...


Ok, cool. I amended the post a bit to reflect that confusion. Thanks!

JasonMotesBowles said...

Adrian Grenier also crossed my mind, but it is just a tad of a stretch, since he was playing Vincent Chase playing Aquaman. Fine line to walk, that one!

Shellhead said...

I think you forgot one. Aquaman has appeared on Family Guy a couple times and had a few lines. And Aquaman has appeared on Robot Chicken in a few skits where he also had a few lines. Now both of these could probably be filed under the "Aquaman is lame because he talks to fish" category, but it was the Aquaman character and both instances were more substantial than the Crisis semi-cameo.
Just sayin'.

Unknown said...

nice review of Aqua-media! but what's up with Arthur having a mullet-esque looke in his two latest movie appearance? just sayin!