Cal Lightman
Lightman 1
Dr. Cal Lightman
Character info
Portrayed by Tim Roth
Age 47 (as of Funhouse)
Gender Male
Hair color brown and gray
Eye color blue
Family Louise Mason (mother)

Emily Lightman (daughter)
Zoe Landau (ex-wife)

First Seen Pilot
Last Seen N/A
Affiliation The Lightman Group

Dr. Cal Lightman is "the world's leading deception expert", and the main character of Lie to Me. He founded the Lightman Group with Gillian Foster and says that he can "tell if you're lying, but not why." He is divorced from Zoe Landau and shares custody of their daughter Emily.

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Personal life Edit

Born and raised in England, Lightman cares greatly for his friend and colleague, Gillian Foster. Lightman and Gillian meet prior to the creation of The Lightman Group when Gillian provides therapy sessions for Lightman. They have a strong sense of trust for each other which is displayed throughout the series. There is an obvious chemistry between them, which is more obvious on his side which has led to moments of jealousy. They also have a rule about staying out of each other's personal lives, no matter what they see or hear.

When Lightman was a child, his mother was in a mental hospital for an unknown disorder. After convincing Doctors of the hospital that she was well enough for a weekend pass to see her children and husband, she commited suicide. In the video of the session with the doctors her facial expressions appeared happy but obviously she was not. Lightman studied the video, trying to see what the doctor missed and this is what led to the discovery of microexpressions. In a few episodes it shows Lightman rewatching the video, and has been noted that he has watched it hundreds and hundreds of time. Torres believes he still feels guilty for his mother's death.

Lightman has had problems with crime in the past, including illicit gambling and robbery, which he did with Terry Marsh, his longtime friend with whom he has a rocky and distant relationship. Terry's family took Lightman in after his mother committed suicide. One time when he and Terry were on the run from the police as kids, Terry acted as a decoy for Lightman, saying to him, "You're supposed to use that brain of yours for something," and then criticizing himself for his way of life. Terry ended up serving three years in prison.

Lightman continues to refuse to completely obey laws. He maintains close ties with FBI Agent Ben Reynolds for a long time, as well as Detective Sharon Wallowski. He regularly uses loopholes in laws as well as minor infractions to help him with his investigations.

Gallery Edit

Characters of the Lie to Me Series
Main Characters
Dr. Cal LightmanDr. Gillian FosterEli LokerRia TorresEmily LightmanBen Reynolds
Recurring Characters
Zoe LandauKarl DupreeAlec Foster