John Wesley Shipp (born January 22, 1955 in Norfolk, Virginia) is an American actor known for his various television roles.
Primarily, he is heavily associated to the iconic DC Comics hero The Flash, appearing in many of its television adaptations. So far, he has played Barry Allen himself in the short-lived CBS show (notable for being the first time the character appeared as the lead in live-actionnote ), voiced Barry's Arch-Enemy Eobard Thawne/Professor Zoom in an episode of Batman: The Brave and the Bold, and played both Barry's father, Henry, and the first Flash in the comics, Jay Garrick, in the 2014 reboot of the series on The CW.
Outside of The Flash franchise, he is well-known for his work as Mitch Leery, the father of the titular Dawson's Creek, and for his several roles in daytime Soap Operas including Kelly Nelson on Guiding Light, and Douglas Cummings on As the World Turns (which earned him his first Daytime Emmy Award).
He appeared in:
- Guiding Light (1980-84) as Kelly Nelson
- Fantasy Island (1983) as Todd Skylar
- As the World Turns (1985) as Douglas Cummings
- Santa Barbara (1986) as Martin Ellis
- One Life to Live (1989, 2010, 2012) as Blanchard Lovelace, Eddie Ford
- The Flash (1990-91) as Barry Allen / The Flash, Pollux
- The NeverEnding Story II: The Next Chapter (1990) as Barney
- All My Children (1992) as Carter Jones
- Loving (1992)
- NYPD Blue (1994) as Officer Roy Larson
- Sisters (1994-95) as Lucky Williams
- JAG (1995, 2004) as Gunnery Sergeant Granger, Colonel Marcus Sutter
- Dawson's Creek (1998-2001) as Mitch Leery
- The Outer Limits (2001) as Coach Peter Shotwell
- CSI: NY (2006) as Patrick Quinn
- The Closer (2007) as Chris Conroy
- Batman: The Brave and the Bold (2010) as Eobard Thawne / Professor Zoom (voice)
- Drop Dead Diva (2011) as Doug Bailey
- Teen Wolf (2012-13) as Mr. Lahey
- Arrowverse as various characters
- Blindspot (2017) as Dr. Katz
Tropes in his works:
- Acting for Two:
- Creator Breakdown: While he is fond of his time on The Flash, he openly resents the costume, citing that it was both very difficult to wear and to move in while on it.
- Heroic Build: His natural physique helps in his superhero, sportsman, cop or/and military roles. It's also a reason why he commonly plays Mr. Fanservice characters in his early days.
- Mr. Fanservice: His earlier roles tend to showcase how much of a Hunk he is.
- Playing Against Type: As the shamelessly abusive Mr. Leahy in Teen Wolf, who spends his running time garnering zero sympathies from the audience and is unceremoniously killed in the second episode he appears in.
- Remake Cameo: He played The Flash in his first leading role in live-action. In Batman: The Brave and the Bold, he voices Eobard Thawne, the Flash's archenemy from the comics. In the reboot series, he plays Jay Garrick, the first Flash in the comics, in addition to playing the titular hero's father (who is Garrick's Alternate Self).
- Star-Making Role: Originally (and for the critics), As the World Turns. Modern audiences tend to know him for either The Flash or Dawson's Creek, though.
- Tall, Dark, and Handsome: He stands 6'1, and is often cast as a Mr. Fanservice in his youth.
- You Look Familiar:
- Has a guest role on One Life to Live before returning and playing a Recurring Character twenty one years later.
- He guested twice on JAG as two different characters.
- Given that the 1990s Flash series is retroactively integrated into the Arrowverse, then he plays the titular hero of the former series and his supposed Evil Knockoff Pollux, then both Henry Allen and Jay Garrick in the 2014 Flash series.