David Selby

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This article is about the American actor. For the Australian wheelchair basketballer, see David Selby (basketball).
David Selby
Born David Lynn Selby
(1941-02-05) February 5, 1941 (age 74)
Morgantown, West Virginia
Occupation Actor
Years active 1968–present
Spouse(s) Claudeis Newman (1963–present), 3 children

David Lynn Selby (born February 5, 1941) is an American film, television and stage actor. He is perhaps most well known for playing Richard Channing in the primetime soap opera Falcon Crest from 1982-90. Selby has also had prominent roles in the television shows Dark Shadows, Flamingo Road, and the 1980 film Raise The Titanic. Also a published writer, Selby has written several books including novels, memoirs, and collections of poetry.

Life and career[edit]

Youth and education[edit]

Selby was born in Morgantown, West Virginia, the son of Sarah E. McIntyre Selby and Clyde Ira Selby, a carpenter.[1] He attended West Virginia University in his hometown, earning Bachelor of Science and Master's degrees in theater, followed by a Ph.D. from Southern Illinois University.


He eventually brought his Dark Shadows character to film with the second Dark Shadows movie, Night of Dark Shadows, released in 1971, after the TV series' cancellation. In 1973 he played Roger Castle in the 1977 miniseries Washington: Behind Closed Doors. In 1979, Selby also turned down the role of Gary Ewing on Knots Landing, hence, the role was ultimately given to Ted Shackelford who then initially portrayed the role on Dallas. In 1981, Selby played the villainous Michael Tyrone on the final season of the NBC primetime serial Flamingo Road. Immediately after its cancellation in 1982, Selby joined the cast of Falcon Crest as Richard Channing. When Richard was originally written into Falcon Crest, he was considered an antagonist. However, over the years the character became more of a protagonist and by the final season he was the central character of the show in the absence of the show's main star Jane Wyman.

Selby's film credits include Up the Sandbox (1972) with Barbra Streisand, U-Turn (1973), The Super Cops (1974), Rich Kids (1979), Raise the Titanic (1980), Rich and Famous (1981), Intersection (1994), White Squall (1996), D3: The Mighty Ducks (1996) and Surviving Christmas (2004). In 2010, he appeared in The Social Network as the attorney representing the Winklevoss brothers. He has recently reprised the role of Quentin Collins for a new series of Dark Shadows audio dramas from Big Finish Productions.

On the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birthday, Selby appeared onstage with President Barack Obama and portrayed Lincoln in a scene from the play The Heavens are Hung in Black at the historic reopening of Ford's Theatre. He played Abraham Lincoln again in the Touched by an Angel episode, "Beautiful Dreamer".

He appeared in the Mad Men (season 3) episode, "The Arrangements", and in the film Equals.

More recently, in Batman: The Dark Knight Returns (film), a 2012 two-part direct-to-video animated film adaptation of the 1986 comic book The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller, Selby portrayed Police Commissioner James Gordon.


His writing includes the plays Lincoln and James and Final Assault as well as the poetry collections My Mother's Autumn and Happenstance. His novels are Lincoln's Better Angel and The Blue Door. A Better Place combines memoir and social commentary to discuss Selby's West Virginia upbringing. In 2010, Selby published My Shadowed Past, chronicling what it was like to work on Dark Shadows during the turbulent late 1960s and early 1970s.


West Virginia University in 1998 awarded Selby its first Life Achievement Award from the College of Creative Arts, and an honorary doctorate in 2004.


  1. ^ "David Selby Biography (1941-)". Filmreference.com. 1963-08-10. Retrieved 2014-06-04. 

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