David Selby

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David Selby
David Selby at The Dark Shadows Festival.jpg
Selby in 2011
David Lynn Selby

(1941-02-05) February 5, 1941 (age 77)
Years active1968–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 most well known for playing Quentin Collins in the daytime soap opera Dark Shadows (1969–71), and Richard Channing in the prime-time soap opera Falcon Crest (1982–90). Selby has also had prominent roles in the television show Flamingo Road (1981–82), and the feature film Raise the Titanic (1980). 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 on February 5, 1941, in Morgantown, West Virginia, the son of Sarah E. (née McIntyre) 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.


Midway through his career at WVU, David joined the cast of Honey in the Rock, a new civil war drama at Grandview State Park near Beckley, West Virginia, where he portrayed the Rev. Gordon Battelle, a Methodist minister who advocated for separation from Virginia. He brought his Dark Shadows character to film with the second Dark Shadows film, 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, with the health-related absence of the show's original 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 reprised the role of Quentin Collins for a new series of Dark Shadows audio dramas from Big Finish Productions.

In 2009, for the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birthday, Selby appeared onstage with 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. Selby also had played Abraham Lincoln in the Touched by an Angel episode titled "Beautiful Dreamer" that aired in October 1998.

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

In 2012, he co-starred in Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, a two-part direct-to-video animated film adaptation of the 1986 graphic novel The Dark Knight Returns, portraying Commissioner James Gordon.

In 2017, Selby had a recurring role in FX's Marvel Comics X-Men drama, Legion.


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.


Year Title Role Notes
1971 Night of Dark Shadows Quentin Collins / Charles Collins
1972 Up the Sandbox Paul Reynolds
1973 U-Turn Scott Laithem
1974 The Super Cops Robert Hantz
1979 Rich Kids Steve Sloan
1980 Raise the Titanic Dr. Gene Seagram
1981 Rich and Famous Doug Blake
1991 Dying Young Richard Geddes
1992 Grave Secrets: The Legacy of Hilltop Drive Shag Williams TV movie
1993 The Shot Gordon Sunshine
1994 Intersection Richard Quarry
1995 Headless Body in Topless Bar Bradford Lumpkin
1996 White Squall Francis Beaumont
1996 D3: The Mighty Ducks Dean Buckley
2004 Shadow of Fear Mr. Steve Palmer
2004 Surviving Christmas Horace Vangilder
2004 The Affair Vincent
2005 Larva Fletcher Odermatt TV movie
2006 End Game Shakey Fuller
2006 Unknown Police Captain Parker
2007 Spin Rob Polan
2010 Inhale Henry White
2010 The Social Network Gage
2012 Dark Shadows Guest
2013 Are You Here Karl Stevens
2015 Equals Leonard
2017 Newness Artie Hallock
2017 Smartass Herman


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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