September 10th, 2012
09:19 AM ET
Dean Cain hasn’t played Superman for 15 years, but he’s still a hero for many fans.
Hundreds of people turned up last weekend at Atlanta's Dragon*Con to hear him reflect on his years in the 1990s hit “Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman.”
The actor, charming as ever, made the ATL geek fest especially unforgettable for Ruby Rinekso of New York, who was planning to propose to his girlfriend, Jennifer Haviland, at the convention.
Rinekso, 39, wanted to pop the question to Haviland, 33, during the DC Comics Characters Photo Shoot, where con-goers dressed as characters from the DC franchise (including Superman) gathered.
The couple had been together for 11 years, and were dressed as Batman and Batgirl at the photo shoot. Rinekso got permission from Allen Lee Hansard, head of The Superhero Costuming Forum, to do the proposal then.
Three of Rinekso’s friends, aware of his plan, said they would try to get Cain to attend the September 1 photo shoot and hand him the ring. Rinekso doubted this would happen - “whatever, go ahead and try, but make sure my ring gets back to me,” he thought.
Just as he was about to give up hope, he heard, "Will you please give a round of applause to Dean Cain!"
Rinekso was shaking in his bat cowl as Cain narrated the proposal. “My feelings were extreme joy, nervousness, and speechlessness,” he told CNN in an e-mail.”Both Jennifer and I can't believe he would take the time to do this.”
He uploaded an adorable video chronicling the experience to CNN iReport.
Remembering 'Lois & Clark'
The next day, at Cain’s fan panel, Rinekso shook Cain’s hand and hugged him. The crowd wildly applauded and cheered as Cain recounted the proposal.
Cain thoughtfully acknowledged every question he received from audience members, and even knew some of their names from past conventions. Fans applauded after every answer he gave, including when he spoke about what Superman represents:
“Here you have a guy coming in from another planet who was raised in small town America, on small town values," Cain said. "And what he says, ‘Truth, justice, and the American way,' I think that’s what he represents. I think that’s about as wholesome as it gets. And that to me is the essence of Superman and the essence of America.”
Remembering the “Lois & Clark” audition process, he said that he had to kiss 12 different women trying out for the part of reporter Lois Lane, and that Teri Hatcher (now also famous for “Desperate Housewives”) was the last one.
“She was certainly the best kisser of the bunch, and she was the best actress of the bunch. I knew that it was hers,” Cain said.
What he's doing now
Cain, 46, revealed to the audience that he’s single, much to the excitement of female fans. He has a 12-year-old son named after his adoptive father Christopher Cain.
Superman may be Cain’s most iconic role, but he’s had stints in other shows, too. Recently, he played himself on “Don’t Trust the B-- in Apartment 23” and competed against James Van Der Beek in a fictionalized version of “Dancing with the Stars.” The real “Dancing With the Stars” has asked Cain to appear several times, but he has refused (much to the dismay of many Cain fans), but he will appear in more episodes of “Don’t Trust the B--.”
You can also see Cain on “Stars Earn Stripes,” a reality show where celebrities play for military and veterans charities. His partner on the show is Navy SEAL Chris Kyle.
So who are Cain's real-life heroes? One fan wanted to know.
“My dad’s Chris, my son’s Chris, and my ['Stars Earn Stripes'] partner’s Chris,” Cain told the Dragon*Con audience. “So apparently, my hero is Chris.”
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