When "Arrow" began in late 2012, no one could have ever imagined just how successful this series would be. Now, nearly a decade later, the show has spawned an entire television universe consisting of 11 original television series with nearly 40 seasons and over 600 episodes and counting. If one were to play every episode in the Arrowverse play back-to-back without interruption, it would take nearly a month for it to finish. And it was all thanks to that CW show about Oliver Queen.
It’s not surprising that many "Arrow" stars launched into successful careers after they left the show. What is surprising, however, is just how many actors from "Arrow" have not yet managed to make that leap. For actors who stuck with the show until its very end in January 2020, the pandemic that gripped the world just two months later likely didn’t help. Even so, these cast members haven’t acted since "Arrow" ended and here is why.
David Ramsey – John Diggle
David Ramsey is best known for as Mayor Carter Poole on "Blue Bloods," Anton Briggs on "Dexter," and John Diggle on "Arrow." John was an Army veteran-turned-bodyguard, who was hired to protect Oliver Queen by his parents in Season 1.
John was the first person who Oliver trusted with his secret, making John the first member of Team Arrow and Oliver’s most trusted confidant. He maintained this role throughout the entire series, essentially functioning as its second lead, and eventually earned the codename "Spartan." By the end of the series, John was ready to retire alongside his wife Lyla and their two children, but the series left John with a mysterious green box that many theorized was a Green Lantern ring.
Apart from a single cameo on "The Flash" in 2020, David Ramsey hasn’t appeared in anything since — but according to recent interviews, Ramsey isn’t quite finished with the Arrowverse just yet. In addition to rumors of a "Green Lantern" television series starring the actor, Ramsey is set to reprise the role of John Diggle in 2021 for five episodes across "Superman & Lois", "DC’s Legends of Tomorrow," "Supergirl," and "Batwoman." His appearances will fill the role of the Arrowverse’s annual "crossover" and will explore the mystery and aftermath of his character’s series-ending cliffhanger.
Katie Cassidy – Laurel Lance
The daughter of 1970s popstar David Cassidy and fashion model Sherry Williams, Katie Cassidy starred in a number of horror films, including "When a Stranger Calls," "Black Christmas," and the 2010 "A Nightmare on Elm Street" remake. She also had a supporting role in Liam Neeson’s "Taken" and recurring roles in "Gossip Girl," "Melrose Place," and "Supernatural."
In "Arrow," Katie Cassidy played Laurel Lance, a lawyer and high school sweetheart of Oliver Queen. The show didn’t keep the pair romantically linked for long, but Laurel eventually transformed into the Black Canary in Season 3. After Laurel’s death in Season 4, Cassidy left the show for a short time before returning as the sometimes-evil doppelganger of Laurel Lance from an alternate universe.
Though she hasn’t appeared on-screen since "Arrow" ended, she has been quite busy. The show’s final season had a backdoor pilot for a series titled "Green Arrow and the Canaries" that would have featured Cassidy as one of its three major leads. That series was ultimately cancelled, which "Arrow" creator Marc Guggenheim partially attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic, though plans to move it to HBO Max were considered.
Her personal life has also likely kept the actress busy. Cassidy filed for divorce in January of 2020 and finalized the settlement in March 2021. She has since begun selling original NFTs of her personal photography. Cassidy is set to make her return to the screen for the first time since the pandemic began in Mel Gibson’s indie spy thriller "Agent Game."
Paul Blackthorne – Quentin Lance
Born in England, Paul Blackthorne’s first major role was the Bollywood film "Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India." From there, he’s had recurring roles in "ER," "24," "Big Shots," and "Lipstick Jungle." Blackthorne also played the lead, Harry Dresden, in the 2007 television series, "The Dresden Files."
In "Arrow," Blackthorne played Quentin Lance, the proud father of Laurel and Sara Lance. At the beginning of the show, Quentin hates Oliver, blaming him for Sara’s disappearance, and hunts the Hood as an illegal vigilante. The pair eventually learn to respect each other, though their alliance ebbs and flows over the course of the series. Quentin’s job shifts throughout the series as well, rising from a police detective all the way to the Mayor before his death at the end of Season 6.
After his initial departure from "Arrow" in 2018, he starred as Detective Tom Hackett in "The InBetween." Since his return in the show’s final season at the end of 2020, Blackthorne has yet to appear on-screen since the pandemic began, though he has several projects in the works. He has a role in "Margrete — Queen of the North," an upcoming film about the Scandinavian queen of the same name. He also has a recurring role in an upcoming television series called "Home Invasion" and will lend his voice in an upcoming animated film titled "Pierre the Pigeon Hawk."
Willa Holland – Thea Queen
The child of a cinematographer and an actress, as well as the stepdaughter of Brian De Palma, Willa Holland began her life in show business at a remarkably young age. She began modeling at age seven and starring in commercials by eight. She found her first significant acting role as Kaitlin Cooper on "The O.C." before joining the cast of "Gossip Girl" and the "Kingdom Hearts" video game series.
In "Arrow," Holland played Thea Queen, Oliver’s younger sister. In the beginning, Thea was an edgy, rebellious teen due to the loss of her father and brother. When Oliver returned, their relationship was constantly strained by the lies Oliver kept telling to cover for his super-heroic activities. This eventually drove her to train under Malcolm Merlyn, but when Oliver finally told her the truth, Thea thanked him and began fighting crime at his side as Speedy.
Holland originally left "Arrow" during Season 6. Executive producer Marc Guggenheim told Entertainment Weekly that Holland asked for a reduced role to have "some more time for herself[.]" Despite the fact that she returned in a recurring role for the show’s final season, it seems that she has done exactly that. The only acting work she’s taken on has been to reprise her previous role as the English voice of Aqua in the "Kingdom Hearts" video game series, and she has no other upcoming projects scheduled at this time. Holland has kept herself almost completely out of the limelight, and her fans will just have to wait and see if that changes any time soon.
Colton Haynes – Roy Harper
Colton Haynes first made a name for himself as Jackson Whittemore on "Teen Wolf," but had been acting and modeling since the age of 15. In "Arrow," Colton Haynes played Roy Harper, the Green Arrow’s first and greatest sidekick in the comics.
Roy begins the show as a street tough who dates Oliver’s sister Thea, but after Roy is injected with Mirakuru (a rage-inducing super-soldier serum), he begins fighting crime at Oliver’s side. Once he’s cured of the super drug, Roy begins training to become the red archer known as "Arsenal." Roy eventually fakes his death and leaves the city in a plot to save Oliver’s life, but Roy continues to make recurring appearances throughout the remainder of the show.
After Haynes originally left "Arrow" in order to work on his physical and mental health, he went on to appear in a number of projects, including "American Horror Story," "Rough Night," and a return to "Teen Wolf." Though he eventually returned to the CW DC drama, he has only recently begun working again, appearing in the film "Triumph." He’s also set to co-star in a comedy series titled "I Run Hot" alongside Eliot Glazer.
Juliana Harkavy – Dinah Drake
Before she joined the cast of "Arrow," Juliana Harkavy was most well known for her roles in "Dolphin Tale," "To Write Love on Her Arms," and "The Walking Dead." She had a small roll in the proto-Arrowverse show "Constantine" in 2014 before she was eventually cast in "Arrow" as Dinah Drake.
Drake is a Central City Police Detective who received super-sonic screaming powers when the particle accelerator exploded in the first episode "The Flash." Although the character’s name is an homage to the original Black Canary in the comics, their backstories are otherwise completely unrelated. Dinah was introduced in Season 5 to replace the late Laurel Lance as the new Black Canary. She served as a member of Team Arrow until the show’s end, first as a vigilante and later as an official member of the Star City Police Department.
By the time "Arrow" ended, Harkavy was set to continue playing Dinah Drake in a new spinoff titled "Green Arrow and the Canaries" as one of its three leads. Due to the pandemic, however, the CW ultimately passed on the series, leaving Harkavy without any announced upcoming projects or any real headlines — though this may change as the pandemic begins to end and productions start ramping up once again.
Susanna Thompson – Moira Queen
Susanna Thompson has appeared in a variety of movies, including "Little Giants" and "Dragonfly," but is best known for her television work, where she’s played significant roles across a number of popular television franchises. Notable appearances include Lt. Col. Hollis Mann in "NCIS," the Borg Queen in "Star Trek: Voyager," and Dr. Lenara Khan in "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" – the last of whom was part of the franchise’s first on-screen lesbian kiss.
In "Arrow," Thompson played Oliver’s mother, Moira Queen, a complicated character who helped commit unspeakable evil in order to protect her children. Before the show began, Moira and Robert Queen were forced to help Malcolm Merlyn destroy Starling City, and when they refused, Malcolm had Robert killed and Oliver trapped on the Island for five years. When Oliver returned, Moira helped her son defeat Malcolm but was tried as an accomplice to his crimes. She was eventually acquitted and even ran for Mayor before Slade Wilson killed her towards the end of season 2 as a part of his grand plan to completely dismantle Oliver’s life.
After her first departure in 2014, Thompson appeared again as Lt. Col. Hollis Mann in "NCIS" before eventually joining the cast of "Timeless" in a recurring role from 2016 to 2018. After her return for final season of "Arrow," however, Thompson hasn’t appeared in any other series or films and has no currently announced projects. It’s unknown whether this is due to the pandemic or her tendency to devote time to her private life in between roles.
Audrey Marie Anderson – Lyla Michaels
In "Arrow," Anderson played Lyla Michaels. She served alongside John Diggle in the army before they retired together, were married, and then divorced. Lyla became an agent of ARGUS and met Diggle again years later while helping him find Deadshot, after which she became a recurring ally for Team Arrow and even became the director of her clandestine organization. When "Crisis on Infinite Earths" hit in 2019, Lyla was transformed by the Monitor into a cosmic superheroine named "Harbinger" who did her best to help end the crisis.
Anderson hasn’t appeared on-screen to-date since the show ended, and there isn’t a clear reason why. It’s safe to assume the pandemic didn’t help matters, but Anderson seems to have kept out of headlines and off of social media regardless. If Ramsey’s John Diggle does become the star of the oft-rumored "Green Lantern" television series, however, it would make sense for Lyla to appear in the show as well. Time will tell.
Jack Moore – William Clayton
Jack Moore played William Clayton, the hidden son of Oliver Queen. Before the show began, Oliver briefly cheated on his then-girlfriend Laurel Lance with a woman named Samantha Clayton. Though the affair was short-lived, it produced a son that Oliver’s mother Moira paid Samantha to keep a secret from everyone — including Oliver. Thus, Oliver didn’t discover his son’s existence till years later when Oliver happened to bump into Samantha and William while in Central City. When Samantha was later killed by one of Oliver’s villains, Oliver and Felicity raised William together through the end of the series.
Before Jack Moore joined the cast of "Arrow" at the age of 12, he only had one credit to his name: Bradford Winter in one episode of "Minority Report." After he joined the "Arrowverse," he played young Asa Fox in "Supernatural" and Josh in TV movie "Republic of Sarah." The young Canadian actor hasn’t appeared in anything else since "Arrow" officially ended. In his late teens, Moore is likely simply finishing or starting school and may take to the screen again at a later date.
David Nykl – Anatoly Knyazev
David Nykl is likely still best known for his role as Dr. Radek Zelenka in "Stargate: Atlantis," though he’s also had significant roles in "The Sleepers," "Cold Squad," and "Call of the Wild." In "Arrow," David Nykl played Anatoly Knyazev, a former KGB agent turned Russian mobster who Oliver helped escape from the island and who later helped Oliver join the Bratva in order to kill a man named Konstantin Kovar.
Anatoly would become a frequent ally of Team Arrow, helping Oliver whenever he needed the kind of assistance that only the underworld can provide. The pair were enemies for a time after Oliver thwarted one of Anatoly’s crimes, though the two had made amends by the series’ end. Since then, Nykl has been working on a comedy time travel movie titled "Time Helmet" and is scheduled to begin appearing at conventions again now that the pandemic is slowing down.
Charlotte Ross – Donna Smoak
Charlotte Ross has been acting her entire life and is best known for her extended roles as Eve Baron Donovan in "Days of Our Lives" and Det. Connie McDowell in "NYPD Blue." She has also had significant parts in "Beggars and Choosers," "The 5 Mrs. Buchanans," "The Heights," and "Hit the Floor."
For "Arrow," Charlotte Ross played Donna Smoak, the mother of tech-guru Felicity Smoak. The two had a strained relationship for much of their lives. Where Felicity was studious and reserved, Donna was loud, outgoing, and shallow. Donna would repeatedly show up on Felicity’s doorstep unannounced and bother her daughter at the most inopportune times, but the two were eventually able to bond after Donna found out Felicity worked with Team Arrow.
Since she left the show in 2017, Ross hasn’t appeared on screens in a series or film, and it’s not clear what she’s been up to in the meantime. According to her social media presence, Ross has spent that time enjoying life with activities like traveling, hiking, and wine tasting. She has also spent time advocating for various animal rights campaigns and getting fit at Barry’s Bootcamp. Though nothing has been announced, Ross has teased on Twitter that she is prepping for a new film now.
Sebastian Dunn – Edward Fyers
Sebastian Dunn is best known for roles in "Downton Abbey," "Blackwood," and, course, "Arrow." Dunn played Edward Fyers, a mercenary who captured and tortured Oliver in the island flashbacks in Season 1. Oliver ultimately escaped and spent the rest of the season opposing Fyers’ operations until eventually killing him in the finale.
Dunn reprised the role for a single episode in 2019 for "Arrow’s" final season, but hasn’t appeared onscreen since, and his activities since then are a bit of a mystery. He appeared in "Blackwood" and "Downton Abby" after "Arrow" but seemingly stopped acting altogether afterwards with the sole exception of his Season 8 appearance. Bizarrely, there is no record of Dunn doing anything else either.
He has only acted once in the last seven years, and apart from that, there’s just … nothing. According to a CV found on Spotlight.com, he has appeared in a number of plays, but it doesn’t provide any dates. His film "Blackwood" was a bomb, but he went on to several roles after that, so it’s unclear whether or not its failure even impacted his career.
He may have called it quits after "Blackwood" bombed, or he might be spending his time writing and directing or acting in plays. He may have switched careers, or he might simply have retired entirely. No matter what, his digital paper trail has gone cold.