Happy birthday, Tom Welling: Why the 'Smallville' star was the perfect Clark Kent

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tom-welling-smallville-birthday.jpg Happy birthday, Tom Welling!

The "Smallville" star turns 37 on Saturday (April 26). To celebrate, let's take a look back at why Welling was the perfect Clark Kent on The WB/CW series that lasted for 10 seasons.

Even though Clark was the last son of Krypton with the whole world on his shoulders and powers that would make anyone feel like they were better than everyone else, Welling still managed to portray the boyish wonder that made a teenage Clark feel relatable to us mere humans:

He always pulled off his costumes/disguises, whether he was on the job at the Daily Planet:

Or back home on the farm doing his chores:

Or saving the day:

No matter who held his romantic interest, he had off-the-charts chemistry with each and every costar. Like his adorable (yet all-too-short) relationship with his BFF Chloe (Allison Mack) in high school:

Or his complicated, long-term, on-again, off-again epic love story with Lana (Kristin Kreuk):

Or his even more complicated, frenemies-turned-BFFs-turned-soul-mates evolving relationship with Lois (Erica Durance):

Every time he revealed "his secret" to a friend or love interest, he played it with the right mix of nerves, confidence, hope and fear. And yet, each time he brought something different to the table. Like with his best friend Pete (Sam Jones III):

Or Chloe:

Or Lana:

Or Lois:

And then there was Clark's friendship with his future enemy Lex Luthor (Michael Rosenbaum). In the beginning, Welling gave Clark so much hope about his doomed friendship with Lex that it was almost easy to forget that they would both end up as rivals later in life. And it all started with that fateful car crash:

And when Clark finally took to the skies in the series finale, Welling made it feel earned after 10 seasons of buildup:

So happy birthday, Tom Welling!

Photo/Video credit: The CW