John Wesley Shipp

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John Wesley Shipp
John Wesley Shipp in 2019
Shipp at GalaxyCon Minneapolis in 2019
Born (1955-01-22) January 22, 1955 (age 68)
Years active1980–present

John Wesley Shipp (born January 22, 1955[1][2]) is an American actor known for his various television roles. He played the lead Barry Allen on CBS's superhero series The Flash from 1990 to 1991, and Mitch Leery, the title character's father, on the drama series Dawson's Creek from 1998 to 2001. Shipp has also played several roles in daytime soap operas including Kelly Nelson on Guiding Light from 1980 to 1984, and Douglas Cummings on As the World Turns from 1985 to 1986 (which earned him his first Daytime Emmy Award).[3] He portrays Barry Allen's father Henry, Earth-2 Flash Jay Garrick, and Earth-90's Barry Allen/The Flash on the current series entitled The Flash on the CW network.

Early life[edit]

Shipp was born in Norfolk, Virginia.[1][2] His father was a farmer who returned to school when Shipp was young, and after attending the seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina, he became the pastor of a small church outside Wake Forest.[4] Shipp later gave a keynote speech to the graduating class of Wake Forest Rolesville High School Class of 1999 to recount the tale of his father's attempts to integrate the community in the late 1960s.[4]

Shipp attended Butler High School in Louisville, Kentucky and then attended Indiana University.[5]


Shipp began his career with a regular role on the daytime soap opera Guiding Light, playing Dr. Kelly Nelson[6] from 1980 to 1984.[7] Shipp followed this with more roles in daytime, playing Douglas Cummings[8] on As the World Turns from 1985 to 1986 (which earned him his first Daytime Emmy Award in 1986), and Martin Ellis on Santa Barbara in 1987 (for which he won his second Daytime Emmy Award), followed by Blanchard Lovelace on One Life to Live in 1989, and Carter Jones on All My Children in 1992. He also had guest appearances on primetime series, such as playing a peeper on an episode of Fantasy Island in 1983.

A muscular man with brown hair.
Shipp, early in his career
A man with dark hair, wearing blue T-shirt with jeans also holding an art piece of The Flash.
Shipp in 2010, at Florida Supercon

Shipp won the title role of Barry Allen/The Flash on the CBS series The Flash, which aired in the 1990–91 season.[9][10][11] He followed this with the recurring role of Lucky on the NBC series Sisters from 1994 to 1995.[12] Shipp also appeared on stage in the 1990s, starring in Erik Jendresen's The Killing of Michael Malloy in 1993.[13] In 1998, he was cast as Mitch Leery, the father of the lead character Dawson, on The WB drama series Dawson's Creek;[14] Shipp remained part of the series' main cast through its first four seasons, exiting in 2001.[15]

In November 2010, Shipp returned to daytime in the short-term role of villainous Eddie Ford on One Life to Live,[16] who was killed off in a murder mystery in mid-December. In the summer of 2011, he guest-starred on the Lifetime series Drop Dead Diva, playing the ex-husband of the character played by comedian Kathy Griffin. Shipp filmed three episodes of the MTV series Teen Wolf as the abusive father of Daniel Sharman's character, which aired during the summer of 2012. Also in 2012, he starred in the independent film Hell and Mr. Fudge, with Mackenzie Astin and Eileen Davidson.[17]

Shipp returned to involvement with The Flash in the 2010s. He was cast in a "mysterious" role on The CW series The Flash in early 2014,[18][19] which was later revealed to be the recurring role of Henry Allen, the father of titular character.[20][21] In the second-season finale of The Flash, Shipp played Jay Garrick, an alternate universe counterpart of The Flash.[22][23] He also provided the voice to the villain Professor Eobard Thawne, the Reverse-Flash, in a 2010 episode of the animated series Batman: The Brave and the Bold.

In 2015, Shipp also began lending his voice to the unique role of Sheriff Burns on the podcast drama "Powder Burns". It ran from 2015 to 2018, and was written and produced by David A. Gregory, and was recognized by the Voice Arts Awards and the Audio Verse Awards.[24]

Shipp returned to the stage in 2016 as Juror #8 in Judson Theatre Company's production of Twelve Angry Men.[25] He also performed the same role in a 2017 reading of the play at Brookfield Theatre for the Arts. [26]



Year Title Role Notes
1990 The NeverEnding Story II: The Next Chapter Barney Bux
1994 Soft Deceit John Hobart
2002 Second to Die Jim Bratchett
2005 Starcrossed Lane Short film
2009 Port City George
2009 Grotesque Father Fahey Short film
2010 Separation Anxiety Sr. Palmer
2012 Hell and Mr. Fudge Bennie Lee Fudge
2014 Sensory Perception Lt. Thawne
2014 Golden Shoes President of the United States
2016 The Sector Stillwell
2019 Night Sweats Nick Frankenthaler


Year Title Role Notes
1980 The Dirtiest Show in Town N/A Television film
1980–1984 Guiding Light Kelly Nelson Regular role
1983 Fantasy Island Todd Skylar Episode: "The Songwriter" / "Queen of the Soaps"
1984 Summer Fantasy Callahan Television film
1985–1986 As the World Turns Doug Cummings Regular role
1986 Santa Barbara Martin Ellis Recurring role
1989 One Life to Live Blanchard Lovelace Recurring role
1990–1991 The Flash Barry Allen / The Flash
  • Lead role
  • Episode: "Twin Streaks"
1991 Baby of the Bride Dennis Television film
1991 Danger Team Spec Television film; voice role
1992 All My Children Carter Jones 1 episode
1992 Human Target Garner St. John Episode: "Designated by Chance"
1994 NYPD Blue Officer Roy Larson 2 episodes
1994 Golden Gate Kenny Scanlon Television film
1994 Green Dolphin Beat Terry Lattner Television film
1994–1995 Sisters Lucky Williams Recurring role, 10 episodes
1995 JAG Gunnery Sergeant Granger Episode: "War Cries"
1996 Deadly Web Dr. Stanton Television film
1996 Strangers Jack Episode: "Visit"
1997 Lost Treasure of Dos Santos Jack Television film
1997 Soldier of Fortune, Inc. Griffin Episode: "Alpha Dogs"
1998–2001 Dawson's Creek Mitch Leery Main role (seasons 1–4); recurring role (season 5)
1999 Road Rage Jim Carson Television film
2001 The Outer Limits Coach Peter Shotwell Episode: "Lion's Den"
2004 JAG Colonel Marcus Sutter Episode: "What If"
2005 Palmetto Pointe Michael Jones Recurring role, 5 episodes
2006 CSI: NY Patrick Quinn Episode: "Sweet 16"
2007 Christie's Revenge Uncle Ray Colton Television film
2007 The Closer Chris Conroy Episode: "Culture Shock"
2010 Batman: The Brave and the Bold Professor Zoom Voice role; episode: "Requiem for a Scarlet Speedster!"
2010 One Life to Live Eddie Ford 18 episodes
2011 Drop Dead Diva Doug Bailey Episode: "He Said, She Said"
2012 One Life to Live Eddie Ford 1 episode
2012–2013 Teen Wolf Mr. Lahey 4 episodes
2014–2023 The Flash Dr. Henry Allen / Jay Garrick Recurring role
2017 Blindspot Dr. Katz Episode: "Draw O Caesar, Erase a Coward"
2018 Supergirl Barry Allen / The Flash Episode: "Bunker Hill" (cameo)
2018 Arrow Barry Allen of Earth-90 / The Flash Episodes: "Unmasked" (cameo), "Elseworlds, Part 2"
2019 Ruby Herring Mysteries: Her Last Breath John Herring Television film
2020 Ruby Herring Mysteries: Prediction Murder John Herring Television film
2021–2022 Stargirl Jay Garrick / The Flash Episodes: "Summer School: Chapter Nine", "Frenemies – Chapter Thirteen: The Reckoning"

Awards and nominations[edit]

At the 14th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards in 1987, Shipp won the Outstanding Guest Performer Award (in a category that included Celeste Holm, Eileen Heckart, and Terrance Mann) becoming the only actor with consecutive wins from two different daytime dramas.[4]

Year Award Category Nominated work Result Refs
1986 Daytime Emmy Award Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series As the World Turns Won [27]
1987 Daytime Emmy Award Outstanding Guest Star in a Drama Series Santa Barbara Won [28]


  1. ^ a b "John Wesley Shipp". TV Guide. Retrieved May 18, 2016.
  2. ^ a b "John Wesley Shipp". Retrieved May 18, 2016.
  3. ^ Hirsch, Lynda (August 7, 1999). "Dawson's Creek Dad A Veteran of Daytime". Sun-Sentinel. Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Retrieved May 18, 2016.
  4. ^ a b c Mark Walters (April 29–30, 2006). "John Wesley Shipp Interview". Archived from the original on April 19, 2015. Retrieved May 18, 2016.
  5. ^ "As a matter of fact". The Courier-Journal. January 31, 1982. p. 50. Retrieved October 18, 2016 – via John Wesley Shipp, who created the role of Kelly Nelson in February 1980, is a graduate of Butler High School in Louisville and Indiana University.
  6. ^ GL's "Kelly Nelson" character profile at
  7. ^ "'Guiding Light' alumni". Variety. January 24, 2007. Retrieved May 18, 2016.
  8. ^ ATWT's "Douglas Cummings" character profile at
  9. ^ Buck, Jerry (December 21, 1990). "Actor Seeks Substance Under Hero's Surface". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 21, 2010.
  10. ^ Tucker, Ken (March 29, 1991). "Why you should be watching "The Flash"". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved May 18, 2016.
  11. ^ "Top 10 Comic to TV Adaptations". IGN. June 21, 2007. Retrieved May 18, 2016.
  12. ^ Everett, Todd (April 24, 1995). "Review: 'Sisters a Fighting Chance'". Variety. Retrieved May 18, 2016.
  13. ^ Meeks, Christopher (October 14, 1993). "Review: 'The Killing of Michael Malloy'". Variety. Retrieved May 18, 2016.
  14. ^ Tucker, Ken (January 23, 1998). "Dawson's Creek". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved May 18, 2016.
  15. ^ Levine, Stuart (September 13, 2001). "New face in familiar places". Variety. Retrieved May 18, 2016.
  16. ^ Kroll, Dan J (October 31, 2010). "John Wesley Shipp docks in Llanview". Retrieved May 18, 2016.
  17. ^ Kroll, Justin (June 17, 2011). "Players". Variety. Retrieved May 18, 2016.
  18. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (February 11, 2014). "Original 'Flash' Star Joins CW Reboot; Todd Grinnell & Bret Ernst Cast In 'Mason Twins'". Deadline Hollywood.
  19. ^ Friedlander, Whitney (February 11, 2014). "Original TV Flash to Guest on CW's 'Flash' Reboot". Variety. Retrieved May 18, 2016.
  20. ^ Abrams, Natalie (May 27, 2014). "The Flash: John Wesley Shipp's Role Finally Revealed". TV Guide. Retrieved May 18, 2016.
  21. ^ "Original 'The Flash' Star John Wesley Shipp Suits Up for "Elseworlds"". October 22, 2018. Retrieved October 22, 2018.
  22. ^ Abrams, Natalie (May 24, 2016). "The Flash reveals man in the iron mask!". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved May 25, 2016.
  23. ^ "John Wesley Shipp Wants to Work with This Legend of Tomorrow". Retrieved February 16, 2019.
  24. ^ "Powder Burns: A Western Audio Drama". Retrieved February 16, 2019.
  25. ^ "Twelve Angry Men".
  26. ^ "John Wesley Shipp to Lead Reading of 12 ANGRY MEN".
  27. ^ "'Young and Restless' Wins 3 Daytime Emmy Awards". Toledo Blade. Block Communications. Associated Press. July 18, 1986. p. 19. Retrieved May 18, 2016. In other drama awards, John Wesley Shipp, who plays Douglas Cummings in CBS' "As the World Turns," won for best supporting actor...
  28. ^ Lewis, Errol (November 6, 2014). "ON THE RECORD: David Michaels Talks New Daytime Emmy Categories, Overall Changes and That Red Carpet Situation!". Soap Opera Network. Retrieved May 18, 2016. Actor John Wesley Shipp was the first and last actor to receive the Outstanding Guest Performer in a Daytime Drama Series Emmy Award all the way back in 1987 for his portrayal of Martin Ellis on "Santa Barbara" during the 1986 eligibility year.

External links[edit]