LAST UPDATED: January 13, 2017
This is an attempt to catalogue the various Arrowverse actors who have appeared in previous DC productions. Note that while I’ve tried to keep spoilers to a minimum, in some cases they are unavoidable so if you aren’t caught up, read at your own risk. This list will be updated as more actors appear, new seasons air, and overlooked appearances are discovered. Please do let me know what I’m missing.
At this point I’m limiting things to DC actors, the reason being that actors having appeared previously in a Marvel production doesn’t seem to increase their chances of landing an Arrowverse role. Should that change, I’ll add the Marvel actors in later.
I use Show Name, Show Start Year regardless of whether the actor appeared in that particular year, Character Name/s, Season(s) only for live action shows lasting more than one season, and Whether Cast, Guest (latter two TV), Movie, or Animated Short. For purposes of this list, actors who appear in every or nearly episode of a season are considered Cast regardless of their official classification. To avoid any preferential treatment, actors are listed in order of last name. All prior live action DC work noted; for animated work only the best known work noted as voice actors tend to appear in many productions.
For purposes of this list, the Arrowverse is defined as the four live action superhero shows on the CW in 2016-2018+: Arrow (2012), Flash (2014), Supergirl (2015), and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow (2016). The reason the list counts Supergirl but not Flash (1990) when both have been shown on Flash (2014) to be on parallel Earths is simply because Supergirl is part of the current wave of shows while Flash (1990) is a long ended show. Gotham (2014), while a contemporary of the Arrowverse shows, is on FOX and not connected to the Arrowverse.
Older Work: Superman: The Animated Series (1996) and Justice League (2002): Lex Luthor (Guest) among other DC animated work.
Arrowverse Work: Flash (2014): Wade Eiling (Guest)
Note: Eiling is a corrupt soldier who in the comics is an enemy/sometimes uneasy ally of Captain Atom. While Brown has voiced a number of roles, Superman’s arch nemesis Luthor is by far what he’s most known for DC-wise.
Older Work: Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (1993): Superman/Clark Kent (Cast); Smallville (2001): Curtis Knox (Guest Season 7)
Arrowverse Work: Supergirl (2015): Jeremiah Danvers (Guest Season 1-2)
Note: Cain plays Supergirl’s adoptive father on Supergirl; both this role and his appearance as a villain on Smallville were undoubtedly due to him playing Superman on Lois & Clark.
Older Work: Wonder Woman (1975): Wonder Woman/Princess Diana/Diana Prince (Cast); Smallville (2001): Moira Sullivan (Guest Season 6)
Arrowverse Work: Supergirl (2015): President Olivia Marsdin (Guest Season 2)
Note: While Carter appeared as key Smallville character Chloe Sullivan’s mother in Smallville, it was obviously her role as Wonder Woman that landed her the role of the US President in Supergirl.
Older Work: Flash (1990): Bellows (Cast)
Arrowverse Work: Flash (2014): Mayor Anthony Bellows (Guest Season 1-2)
Note: Bellows was a cop in the first Flash series and a mayor in the new series; it’s unknown if the Arrowverse Bellows was also a cop. Biff Manard, who played his partner Murphy in the original series unfortunately passed on prior to the start of Flash (2014).
Older Work: Flash (1990): Julio Mendez (Cast)
Arrowverse Work: Flash (2014): Capt. Julio Mendez (Guest Season 3)
Note: The Arrowverse Mendez has thus far only been seen in the Flashpoint reality. Both versions work for the police, the original as a forensics scientist alongside Barry Allen, the latter as Captain.
Older Work: Green Lantern: First Flight (2009): Sinestro (Movie)
Arrowverse Work: Flash (2014): Martin Stein (Guest Seasons 1-3); DC’s Legends of Tomorrow: same (Cast Seasons 1-2)
Note: Garber played Green Lantern’s future arch nemesis in a full-length animated movie; Stein is half of the heroic Firestorm gestalt being, though thus far on the Arrowverse shows it’s always been his partner who’s been in control of Firestorm.
Older Work: Flash (1990): The Trickster/James Jesse (Guest); Batman: The Animated Series (1992) and numerous subsequent shows and movies: The Joker (Guest or Movie)
Arrowverse Work: Flash (2014): The Trickster/James Jesse (Guest Season 1-2), The Trickster/James Jesse of Earth-3 (Guest Season 3)
Note: Despite his many years voicing the Joker, it was most likely his Trickster role that got him into Flash (2014). All versions of the Trickster are Flash enemies.
Older Work: Superman: The Animated Series (1996) and Justice League (2002): Darkeseid (Guest); The New Batman Adventures (1997): 80s Batman (Guest); Smallville: General Sam Lane (Guest Season 4 & 10).
Arrowverse Work: Flash (2014): Lewis Snart (Guest Season 2)
Note: Darkseid is the main villain of New Gods stories. Sam Lane is Lois Lane’s father while Lewis Snart is Captain Cold’s father
Older Work: Green Arrow (2010): Green Arrow/Oliver Queen (Animated Short)
Arrowverse Work: Arrow (2012): Damien Darhk (Cast Season 4, Guest Season 5); Flash (2014): same (Guest Season 2); DC’s Legends of Tomorrow (2016): same (Guest Season 1, Cast Season 2).
Note: Before playing a foe of Green Arrow, McDonough voiced Green Arrow in a short that appeared as a bonus feature on Superman/Shazam!: The Return of Black Adam (2010).
Older Work: Flash (1990): Tina McGee (Cast)
Arrowverse Work: Flash (2014): Tina McGee (Guest Season 1-2)
Note: Both Tinas are scientists, with the original working for STAR Labs.
Older Work: Superman Returns (2006): Superman/Clark Kent (Movie); The Batman (2004): The Everywhere Man (Guest)
Arrowverse Work: Arrow (2012): The Atom/Ray Palmer (Cast Season 3, Guest Season 4-5); Flash (2014): same (Guest Season 1 & 3); DC’s Legends of Tomorrow (2016): same (Cast Season 1-2)
Note: During the Invasion crossover, we learn that Supergirl resembles Ray’s cousin, likely a nod to Supergirl and Superman being cousins.
Matt Ryan is a special case. He appeared as John Constantine in Arrow season 4 after first appearing as the same character in the 2014 series Constantine, and a CW animated Constantine series has been announced. Therefore, despite Constantine airing on NBC, it is possible that the Constantine on Arrow was the exact same character and not just a parallel Earth version. Also, even if a counterpart, Constantine aired after Arrow started.
John Wesley Shipp
Older Work: Flash (1990): Flash/Barry Allen (Cast)
Arrowverse Work: Flash (2014): Henry Allen (Guest Season 1-2), Flash/Jay Garrick of Earth-3 (Guest Season 2-3)
Note: Shipp originally played Barry’s father on the Flash 2014 series but now plays a version of comics’ original Flash.
Older Work: Batman: The Animated Series (1992): Man-Bat/Dr. Kirk Langstrom (Guest)
Arrowverse Work: Arrow (2012): General Matthew Shrieve (Guest Season 4)
Note: On Arrow, Shrieve only appeared in flashbacks. In the comics Shrieve commanded monsters not unlike Man-Bat.
Older Work: Supergirl (1984): Supergirl/Kara Zor-El/Linda Lee (Movie); Batman: The Animated Series (1992): Talia al Ghul (Guest); Smallville: Lara-El (Guest Season 7 & 10)
Arrowverse Work: Supergirl (2015): Eliza Danvers (Guest Season 1-2)
Note: The former Supergirl plays Supergirl’s adoptive mother on the TV series. She also a Batman enemy/love interest on Batman and Clark’s birth mother on Smallville. Since appearing on Supergirl (2014) she’s also appeared as Clark’s adoptive mother Martha Kent in DC Super Hero Girls movies.
Older Work: Smallville (2001): Kara/Supergirl (Cast Season 7, Guest Season 8 & 10)
Arrowverse Work: Supergirl (2015): Indigo
Note: Vandervoort’s Kara was at least initially more resistant to Earth customs than the other versions of Supergirl, making her somewhat adversarial, though also an ally of Clark. Indigo is a villain.
Michael Jai White
Older Work: Justice League (2002) and Justice League Unlimited (2004): Doomsday (Guest); The Dark Knight (2008): Gambol (Movie); Batman: The Brave and the Bold (2008): Tattooed Man (Guest)
Arrowverse Work: Arrow (2012): Bronze Tiger/Ben Turner (Season 2)
Note: Doomsday was the monster who briefly killed Superman in the comics. Gambol is a mob boss not from the comics. Tattooed Man is a Green Lantern foe. Bronze Tiger works for the black ops government team the Suicide Squad. White also played Green Lantern (John Stewart) in the 2006 video game Justice League Heroes.