Charles Shaughnessy

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The Lord Shaughnessy
Shaughnessy in 2007
Charles George Patrick Shaughnessy

(1955-02-09) 9 February 1955 (age 69)
London, England
Alma materMagdalene College, Cambridge
Years active1983–present
Susan Fallender
(m. 1983)
RelativesDavid Shaughnessy (brother)

Charles George Patrick Shaughnessy, 5th Baron Shaughnessy (born 9 February 1955) is a British actor. His roles on American television include Shane Donovan on the soap opera Days of Our Lives, Maxwell Sheffield on the sitcom The Nanny, and the voice of Dennis the Goldfish on Stanley for which he won a Daytime Emmy Award. He had recurring roles as Christopher Plover on The Magicians and St. John Powell on Mad Men. Shaughnessy is a series regular on ABC daytime soap opera General Hospital in the role of villain Victor Cassadine; he signed a long-term contract to remain part of the show indefinitely.

Along with his brother, David Shaughnessy, and Ophelia Soumekh, he is a partner in 3S Media Solutions Inc.

Early life[edit]

Shaughnessy was born on 9 February 1955 in London, the son of Alfred Shaughnessy, a television writer who was the scriptwriter for Upstairs, Downstairs, and actress Jean Lodge. His brother, David Shaughnessy, is also an actor and a television producer and director. His great-grandfather Thomas Shaughnessy, the 1st Baron Shaughnessy, was an American-Canadian railway administrator of Irish descent. Charles inherited the title when his second cousin Michael (1946–2007), the 4th Baron Shaughnessy, died without issue.[1]

Having been born into a show-business family, Shaughnessy started appearing in plays during primary school. After attending Eton College, he read for a law degree at Magdalene College at the University of Cambridge where he wrote a thesis on the House of Lords.[2]

While at Cambridge, he joined the Footlights club. After graduating, he decided to return to acting and enrolled in a London drama school, which led to his touring in a repertory company. He moved to the United States and married the actress Susan Fallender in 1983, with whom he has two daughters, Jenny (born 1990) and Maddy (born 1995).[3]

He appeared as Shane Donovan on the soap opera Days of Our Lives from 1984 to 1992. His character's romance with Patsy Pease's character, Kimberly Brady, made the duo into a soap supercouple and revived interest in Days among teenage viewers in the 1980s. In 1986, he appeared with Betty White and Bert Convy on Super Password, and in January 1993, Shaughnessy appeared in an episode of Murphy Brown as the title character's date to the inaugural ball.

Shaughnessy portrayed Maxwell Sheffield opposite Fran Drescher on CBS's The Nanny from 1993 to 1999. He and Drescher resumed acting together in Drescher's next sitcom, Living with Fran, wherein Shaughnessy appeared fairly frequently as her philandering but needy ex-husband, Ted. Living with Fran was cancelled on 17 May 2006, after two seasons.

In 1996, Shaughnessy reunited with another Days of Our Lives co-star—Charlotte Ross, who portrayed Shane's daughter, Eve Donovan—in the TV movie A Kiss So Deadly. Ross played the roommate of Shaughnessy's daughter (Dedee Pfeiffer); Shaughnessy's character, although married, forms an obsessive, Lolita-esque relationship with Ross. When she tries to break it off, Shaughnessy's character murders Ross's character; gradually, his daughter uncovers the truth.

Shaughnessy appeared (in a dual role) in the Disney Channel 2002 made-for-TV movie Get a Clue. He was also in the 2000 made-for-TV Halloween movie Mom's Got a Date with a Vampire starring Caroline Rhea; she guest-starred on The Nanny in 1998 as part of a cross-over with Hollywood Squares. That same year, Shaughnessy made two appearances on The WB's Sabrina (starring Rhea, Melissa Joan Hart, and Beth Broderick), playing two different characters. He played Alec Colson in the 8th-season episode "Covenant" of Stargate SG-1. He also voiced Dr. Quintaine in the PC game Freelancer.

Shaughnessy appeared on an episode of NBC's Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and is also the voice of Dennis the Goldfish on the Disney Channel cartoon series Stanley. On 11 May 2002, Shaughnessy won a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program for his portrayal of Dennis.

On 8 August 2008, Shaughnessy portrayed the murder victim (Samuel, Guru) in Murder 101: The Locked Room Mystery. As of September 2008, his voice was heard in television commercials for Range Rover cars. In December 2008, he provided the voice of Pietro in The Tale of Despereaux. He also portrayed the Cockney English accent for "The Boss" in the game Saints Row 2.

On 5 May 2009, Shaughnessy made a guest appearance in the series The Mentalist episode "Miss Red" as the manager of a private club. He also appeared on the popular TV show Hannah Montana as a talent show judge modeled after Simon Cowell in the episode "Judge Me Tender".

Shaughnessy returned to Days of Our Lives in May 2010, in a storyline associated with the funeral of Alice Horton (played by Frances Reid), briefly reuniting him with his former co-star Patsy Pease (Kimberly). This plot development was necessitated by the real-world death of the actress who had long portrayed Mrs. Horton, as the producers were aware that the audience would not accept the portrayal of the character by anyone else.

In August–September 2010, Shaughnessy appeared as King Arthur in Monty Python's Spamalot! at The Ogunquit Playhouse in Ogunquit, Maine. In January 2011, he won the Broadway World Boston Theater Award for Best Lead Actor in a Musical (Large Theater). Since 2010, Shaughnessy has starred on the soap opera web series The Bay as Elliot Sanders.[4] On 6 December 2010, he reunited with Fran Drescher as a guest on her limited-run daytime show, The Fran Drescher Show.

In June 2011, Shaughnessy appeared as Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady at the North Shore Music Theatre in Beverly, Massachusetts, and returned there to play Georges in La Cage aux Folles in fall 2013 . He made a guest appearance on the first-season finale of Fran Drescher's TV Land sitcom, Happily Divorced, first airing on 17 August 2011.

Shaughnessy returned to Days of Our Lives for a limited run in May 2012 as Shane Donovan, in a storyline involving his return to the ISA and interacting with Hope and Bo Brady and Stefano DiMera. His co-star Patsy Pease did not appear as Shane's wife, Kimberly, in this story arc; nor did Charlotte Ross, who had played Shane's daughter, Eve. He also returned in November 2013 for a three-episode arc, in which Shane and Kimberly deal with their daughter's drug use.

On 23 January 2014, it was announced that Shaughnessy would assume the lead role in the play Harvey at the New Theatre in Overland Park, Kansas, after original star Judge Reinhold was offered the opportunity to leave the production.

In August 2014, Shaughnessy made a guest appearance on the Disney Channel show Dog with a Blog as business tycoon Tom Fairbanks, a man who wanted to buy Stan, the title character, and use him as the spokes-dog for his animal rescue campaign.[5]


Television and film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1983 Jury Julian Spears 13 episodes
Agatha Christie's Partners in Crime John Rennie Episode: "The Affair of the Pink Pearl"
1984–1992, 2002, 2010, 2012–2013, 2016–2017, 2023 Days of Our Lives Shane Donovan /
Drew Donovan (1988–1989, 2017)
Main role
1989 Til We Meet Again Armand Sadowski Miniseries
1993 Mad About You Michael Episode: "Swept Away"
Murphy Brown Michael Episode: "Back to the Ball"
1993–1999 The Nanny Maxwell Sheffield Main role
1994 Duckman Wolfgang 'Cannibal Lechter' Kracker
1996 A Kiss So Deadly Tom Deese TV film
Everything to Gain Andrew Keswick
1998 Second Chances Dr. Hugh Olson
2000 Sabrina, the Teenage Witch Alec
James Hexton
Episodes: "You Can't Twin", "Witchright Hall"
Mom's Got a Date with a Vampire Dimitri Denatos
2001–2004 Stanley Dennis the Goldfish (voice) Main role
2002 Get a Clue Detective Meaney / Falco TV film
2004 Stargate SG-1 Alec Colson Episode: "Covenant"
2005 All Grown Up! Airline Rep (voice)
Kids in America Sergeant Carmichael
Mystery Woman: Vision of a Murder Dr. Drummond
2005–2006 Living With Fran Ted Reeves Recurring role
2006 National Lampoon's Dorm Daze 2 Professor Rex Cavendish
Veronica Mars Budd Rose Episode: "Lord of the Pi's"
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Martin Trenway Episode: "Recall"
2007 Saints & Sinners August Martin Main role
2008 Polar Opposites David
The Tale of Despereaux Pietro (voice)
2008–2009 Mad Men St. John Powell Recurring role: 5 episodes
2009 Hannah Montana Byron Episode: "Judge Me Tender"
The Wishing Well Bosley television movie
The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack Mr. Pants (voice) Episode: "Fancy Pants"
2010 CSI: NY Mr. Christensen Episode: "Sanguine Love"
The Suite Life on Deck Jean-Claude Benoit Episode: "Rollin' With the Holmies"
Audrey Jacques
2010–2014 The Bay Capt. Elliot Sanders Recurring role
2011 Ricky and Ravi (Are in Between Jobs) Richard Paddle Short film
Your Highness Narrator/Soul of the Maze
William & Kate: The Movie Flight Instructor TV film
Happily Divorced Gregory Sherwood Episode: "Torn Between Two Lovetts"
Love's Christmas Journey Mr. Weaver TV film
2012 Castle Nigel Wyndham Episode: "The Limey"
Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated Ned Fussbuster/Creepy Voice (voice) Episode: "The Hodag of Horror"
Victorious Mason Thornesmith 2 episodes
Liz & Dick Anthony Asquith TV film
2013 This Magic Moment Doyle Duncan
2013–2014 Sullivan & Son Darryl 2 episodes
2014 Super Fun Night Rupert Royce
Moontrap: Target Earth Richard Kontral
My Dad Is Scrooge Judge
Dog with a Blog Tom Fairbanks Episode: "The Mutt and the Mogul"
2014 Revenge Charles Dawson Episode: "Ambush"
2016–2019 The Magicians Christopher Plover Recurring role: 6 episodes
2017 NCIS Balthazar Kilmeany Episode: "The Tie That Binds"
Good Behavior Royce Jasper Episode: "It's No Fun If It's Easy"
My Christmas Prince King Frederick TV film
2018 Ghosted Kenneth Lenier 2 episodes
Danger One Akkerman
The Cool Kids Murray Episode: "Thanksgiving At Murray's"
Christmas with a Prince King Edward
Buttons: A Christmas Tale Mr. Browning
2019 Harry & Meghan: Becoming Royal Prince Charles
Modern Family Dr. Stieglitz Episode: "Yes-Woman"
2019–2020 Just Roll with It Sir Liam Gooch 3 episodes
2021–2023 General Hospital Victor Cassadine Recurring role
2021 Days of Our Lives: Beyond Salem Shane Donovan / Drew Donovan TV miniseries

Video games[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2003 Freelancer Professor Roland Quintain
2006 Saints Row Radio Voice
2008 Saints Row 2 Male Character English Voice
White Knight Chronicles: International Edition Eldore [6]
2010 White Knight Chronicles II [6]
2011 Homefront
2012 Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning Cydan, Additional Voices

Awards and nominations[edit]

Soap Opera Digest Awards[edit]

  • Won, 1985, for Outstanding New Actor in a Daytime Serials
  • Won, 1986, for Favorite Daytime Super Couple on a Daytime Serial (shared with Patsy Pease)
  • Won, 1988, for Outstanding Super Couple: Daytime (shared with Patsy Pease)
  • Nominated, 1990, for Outstanding Super Couple: Daytime (shared with Patsy Pease)
  • Nominated, 1991, for Outstanding Hero: Daytime
  • Nominated, 1992, for Outstanding Lead Actor: Daytime

Daytime Emmy Awards[edit]

Broadway World Boston Theater Awards[edit]

  • Won, 2011, for Best Lead Actor in a Musical (Large Theater)


Coat of arms of Charles Shaughnessy
A Coronet of a Baron
Issuing from an Antique Crown Or a Dexter Cubit Arm in Armour and gauntleted grasping a Two-headed Battle-axe all proper
Per fess Gules and Azure in chief two Mill-rinds and in base an Ancient Harp Or within a Bordure engrailed Ermine
Dexter: an Irish Wolfhound proper gorged with a Collar Argent charged with three Trefoils Vert; Sinister: a Beaver proper gorged with a Collar Argent charged with three Maple Leaves Gules
Manu Forti (With a strong hand)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Thomas George Shaughnessy, 1st Baron Shaughnessy". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 27 October 2014.
  2. ^ "The Barons Shaughnessy". The Gazette. 2 September 2008. Archived from the original on 13 September 2010. Retrieved 3 February 2017.
  3. ^ "'Nanny' star Charles Shaughnessy says kissing scenes with Fran Drescher upset his kids". Today. 23 September 2021. Retrieved 30 January 2023.
  4. ^ Logan, Michael (18 February 2011). "Exclusive: Online Soap The Bay Looking For a TV Home". TV Guide. Retrieved 29 September 2015.
  5. ^ "Dog With a Blog: Season 2, Episode 21 The Mutt and the Mogul". TV Guide. Retrieved 3 February 2017.
  6. ^ a b "Charles Shaughnessy (visual voices guide)". Behind The Voice Actors. Retrieved 28 July 2021. A green check mark indicates that a role has been confirmed using a screenshot (or collage of screenshots) of a title's list of voice actors and their respective characters found in its opening and/or closing credits and/or other reliable sources of information.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: postscript (link)

External links[edit]

Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by Baron Shaughnessy
Heir presumptive:
David Shaughnessy