John Wesley Shipp Celebrates 30th Anniversary of Original Flash TV Show Debut

While fans of The CW's The Flash best know John Wesley Shipp for his roles as Barry's father Henry Allen and Jay Garrick, the Flash of Earth-3 on the popular Arrowverse series, the actor has a much longer history with the Scarlet Speedster. Back in 1990, Shipp starred as Barry Allen in the beloved, but sadly short-lived CBS series, The Flash. That series debuted 30 years ago today on September 20, 1990 and now, Shipp is celebrating the occasion that became, for him, the "role of a lifetime".

On Twitter, Shipp shared a short thread of posts marking The Flash's big television anniversary, sharing an old clipping featuring critics' praise for The Flash while also reflecting on how that role has helped shape his career.

"30 years ago - Thursday 9/20/90 - and event impacted my trajectory in ways unimagined at the time. Forever grateful to @DannyBilson Paul De Meo @warnerbrostv @ViacomCBS for this role of a lifetime," he wrote. "During a 40+ career (and counting!) hat has spanned Daytime Drama, Broadway, off-Broadway, regional theatre, prime time, radio and film, The Flash has remained a force, putting me in touch with many wonderful artists and supporters all over the world that I otherwise might never have met. And magically, the journey continues ... thank you from my heart for this adventure."

In addition to Shipp as Barry Allen/The Flash, the 1990 series starred Amanda Pays as STAR Labs scientist and Barry's love interest Christina "Tina" McGee and Alex Désert as Julio Mendez as Barry's Central City Police co-worker and friend. The series ran for just one season of 22 episodes, but during its short run saw some memorable appearances, including from Mark Hamill as James Montgomery Jesse/The Trickster. While The Flash's run was brief, it's remained a beloved fan-favorite, something that's made Shipp's appearances on The CW's The Flash all the sweeter. While the actor has played various characters on the series, Shipp got the chance to suit up again as his 1990's version of The Flash in 2018 as part of the "Elseworlds" crossover event as well as The CW series' 100th episode, something that delighted not just fans but Shipp himself.

"I tell people it took me 28 years to get a hundredth episode, and it only took Grant a little over four years, so I guess we all know who the fastest man alive is," Shipp joked during an interview with in 2018.


"It still astounds me that one season of a show that we did 28 years ago still has this much resonance with the genre fans," Shipp said. "I'm glad nobody told me 28 years ago. I might not have been able to go on. But from this side of having done it, watching everybody's reaction, it makes my heart very full."

What do you think about Shipp's celebration of The Flash's 30th anniversary? Let us know in the comments!