Actor John Wesley Shipp has been a key fixture on CW’s The Flash since it began in 2014. However, Shipp’s journey with the Scarlet Speedster goes back much further.
From 1990-1991, he played the role of Barry Allen/The Flash on a CBS series of the same name. The show ended in the same year that the current TV Barry Allen, Grant Gustin, was born.
Shipp’s co-stars Amanda Pays and Alex Desert have also appeared on Gustin’s Flash, as different versions of their characters although having the same names.
Casual fans of the newer series may even be confused who Shipp is even playing. Much like his co-stars, Shipp has gotten the opportunity to play characters that would not be possible for a series grounded in reality.
To date, Shipp has played three major roles on The Flash. He has played Barry Allen’s father, Henry, since season one and his Earth-3 doppelganger, Jay Garrick/The Flash from the second season finale.
In 2018, Shipp reprised his role as the 1990s-era Flash in the Elseworlds crossover, continuing the following year for Crisis On Infinite Earths.
While the three roles are very different from one another, Shipp brings the same fatherly/mentor-like presence to each of them, especially with Barry Allen.
While these men have different lives, backstories and even names, the similarities are there despite not being on the surface.
The Flash airs Tuesdays on The CW.