John Wesley Shipp

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John Wesley Shipp
John Wesley Shipp 2016.jpg
John Wesley Shipp in 2016.
Born (1955-01-22) January 22, 1955 (age 61)
Norfolk, Virginia, U.S.
Occupation Actor

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 both Barry Allen's father, Henry, and Jay Garrick on the current The Flash series 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, he became the pastor of a small church outside Wake Forest, North Carolina.[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 man with dark hair, wearing blue T-shirt with jeans also holding an art piece of The Flash.
John Wesley Shipp at Florida Supercon in 2010

Shipp won the title role of Barry Allen/The Flash in CBS's The Flash, which aired in the 1990–91 season.[9][10][11] He followed this with the recurring role of Lucky on NBC's Sisters from 1994–95.[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 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's The Flash series in early 2014,[18][19] which was later revealed to be the recurring role of Henry Allen, the father of titular character.[20] In the second-season finale of The Flash, Shipp played Jay Garrick, an alternate universe counterpart of The Flash.[21] He also provided the voice to the villain Professor Zoom ("The Reverse-Flash") in a 2010 episode of the animated series Batman: The Brave and the Bold.



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
2008 Karma Police Barrington Freeman
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 Completed
2016 Night Sweats Nick Frankenthaler Post-production


Year Title Role Notes
1980 The Dirtiest Show in Town TV movie
1981–1984 Guiding Light Kelly Nelson
1983 Fantasy Island Todd Skylar
1984 Summer Fantasy Callahan TV movie
1985–1986 As the World Turns Doug Cummings
1987 Santa Barbara Martin Ellis
1989 One Life to Live Blanchard Lovelace
1990–1991 The Flash Barry Allen/The Flash Lead role;
also portrayed evil Flash clone Pollux in episode "Twin Streaks"
1991 Baby of the Bride Dennis TV movie
1991 Danger Team Spec TV movie; Voice role
1992 All My Children Carter Jones
1992 Human Target Garner St. John
1994 NYPD Blue Officer Roy Larson
1994 Golden Gate Kenny Scanlon TV movie
1994 Green Dolphin Beat Terry Lattner TV movie[22]
1994–1995 Sisters Lucky Williams Recurring role
1995 JAG Gunnery Sergeant Granger
1996 Deadly Web Dr. Stanton TV movie[23]
1996 Strangers Jack
1997 Lost Treasure of Dos Santos Jack TV movie
1997 Soldier of Fortune, Inc. Griffin
1998–2001 Dawson's Creek Mitch Leery Main role (seasons 1–4)
1999 Road Rage Jim Carson TV movie[24]
2001 The Outer Limits Coach Peter Shotwell
2004 JAG Colonel Marcus Sutter
2005 Palmetto Pointe Michael Jones
2006 CSI: NY Patrick Quinn
2007 Christie's Revenge Uncle Ray Colton TV movie
2007 The Closer Chris Conroy
2010 Batman: The Brave and the Bold Professor Zoom Voice role
2010, 2012 One Life to Live Eddie Ford
2011 Drop Dead Diva Doug Bailey
2012–2013 Teen Wolf Mr. Lahey
2014–present The Flash Dr. Henry Allen / Jay Garrick Recurring role

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 [25]
1987 Daytime Emmy Award Outstanding Special Guest Performer in a Drama Series Santa Barbara Won [26]


  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'". 
  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. ^ Abrams, Natalie (May 24, 2016). "The Flash reveals man in the iron mask!". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved May 25, 2016. 
  22. ^ Scott, Tony (June 27, 1994). "Review: 'Fox Night at the Movies Green Dolphin Beat'". Variety. Retrieved May 18, 2016. 
  23. ^ Scott, Tony (April 15, 1996). "Review: 'Nbc Monday Night at the Movies Deadly Web'". Variety. Retrieved May 18, 2016. 
  24. ^ Speier, Michael (October 1, 1999). "Review: 'Road Rage'". Variety. Retrieved May 18, 2016. 
  25. ^ "'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... 
  26. ^ 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]