Who Plays James Olsen On 'Supergirl'? Mehcad Brooks Is Familiar To ‘True’ & ‘Desperate’ Fans

It's a bird! It's a plane! It's... Oh, never mind, it's just nerdy photojournalist Jimmy Olsen. Clark Kent's Daily Planet coworker moves from Metropolis to National City for CBS's upcoming Supergirl , and he's another in a long line of adaptations of the character. Previously iterations of Jimmy Olsen have been portrayed by Marc McClure (Superman: The Movie), Justin Whalin (Lois & Clark), Aaron Ashmore (Smallville), and Sam Huntington (Superman Returns). This time, 34-year-old actor Mehcad Brooks is stepping into the role; only, instead of a young bow-tie sporting photographer, he's an older handsome Pulitzer Prize winner. Oh, and he likes to go by "James," thank you very much. But who exactly is Mehcad Brooks, and where do we know him from?

After graduating from the University of Southern California, the Austin, TX native (who is also the son of NFL wide receiver Billy Brooks) got his start as so many attractive young actors do: with guest parts on popular television shows like Malcolm In The Middle, Boston Public, and Cold Case. But it wasn't long before Brooks was translating his charismatic six-foot-three frame into series regular roles — and soon, TV networks were "desperate" to get their hands on him. Here are some places you might have seen him in the past.

Desperate Housewives

Following those aforementioned guest roles, Brooks' first starring gig was on the second season of ABC's Desperate Housewives. He played Matthew, the son of mysterious new neighbor Betty Applewhite (Alfre Woodard). Although he seemed like a perfect gentleman on the outside, and even dated Bree's daughter Danielle, it was revealed that he was actually a murderer. He was shot by police during a standoff in the Season 2 finale.

Glory Road

The actor's first major feature film role came in the 2006 Disney basketball drama, where he played the real life captain of the Texas Western Miners, Harry Flournoy. Although Brooks has focused primarily on television, some of his other film roles include supporting parts in 2007's In The Valley Of Elah (starring an Oscar-nominated Tommy Lee Jones) and 2014's About Last Night.

True Blood

After a recurring role on The CW's The Game, Brooks' next regular role was on HBO's vampire drama. He joined at the end of the first season as Benedict "Eggs" Tally, the bewitched follower of Michelle Forbes' Maryann the maenad. Eggs and Tara struck up a steamy romance, but it was cut short when Brooks' character was shot to death in the Season 2 finale — again!

Calvin Klein Ads

Around the time that his stint on True Blood was finishing up, Brooks became an underwear model for Calvin Klein. This turned him overnight from a semi-known TV star into a recognizable sex symbol. He made it onto People magazine's list of Sexiest Men Alive that year alongside True Blood co-stars Stephen Moyer and Alexander Skarsgård.

Necessary Roughness

Brooks hit a rough patch after True Blood, being cursed by a double-whammy of starring roles on swiftly-cancelled TV shows. First came the ABC midseason legal drama The Deep End (given the boot after six episodes) and then the highly-promoted ABC mockumentary series My Generation (axed after a mere two episodes). Thankfully, his next job stuck: as series regular Terrence "T.K." King on USA's sexy sports drama.

Will Brooks make a good Jimmy — sorry, James — Olsen? Watch the actor talk about his take on the character, and then tune into the Supergirl premiere this Monday at 8:30 p.m. ET on CBS:

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Images: Framegrab/CBS; ABC; HBO; USA