Cassidy Freeman is an American actress best known for her role as Lex Luthor's handpicked successor Tess Mercer on the action-drama series "Smallville. " In high school, Freeman, a talented singer and pianist, immersed herself in musicals and choral groups. After studying theater at Northwestern University and Middlebury College, she did brief stints as a stage actor in Washington D.C. and New York City, before landing in Los Angeles and joining the Sight Unseen Theatre Group. In L.A., Freeman began earning small TV and film parts, including guest appearances on the popular crime dramas "Cold Case" and "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," and a supporting role on the Justin Lin-directed action parody "Finishing the Game: The Search for a New Bruce Lee," a satire based on the legendary 12 minutes' worth of footage martial arts hero Lee filmed for his last movie before his untimely death. In 2008, Freeman was cast as a series regular on the popular D.C. Comics-based series "Smallville," as a new antagonist for the young Clark Kent.