David Selby

Date of Birth
5 February 1941, Morgantown, West Virginia, USA

Birth Name
David Lynn Selby Actor David Selby, highly regarded for his villainous work on both daytime and nighttime soap classics, was born in Morgantown, West Virginia. He attended West Virginia University and graduated with both B.S. and M.A. degrees from West Virginia University, then earned a Ph.D. from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. Following many years on the stock stage (from 1961), David finally attracted infamous attention when he signed on as Quentin Collins, a werewolf, on the gothic daytime drama "Dark Shadows" in 1968.

He inherited heartthrob status briefly with the role and even recorded two songs during the show's run, "Quentin's Theme" and "I Wanna Dance With You." After the series' demise, he made his movie debut with Night of Dark Shadows (1971), the second film based on the cult series. He broached top film stardom in the early 1970s after co-starring with Barbra Streisand in Up the Sandbox (1972) and Ron Leibman in The Super Cops (1974), and continued his high-profiled pace with New York theatre productions of "The Heiress" (1976), with Jane Alexander and Richard Kiley, and "Eccentricities of a Nightingale" (1976) with Betsy Palmer, but things didn't quite pan out. In the 1980s, however, steady TV work helped put an extra shot of adrenalin back into David's career, notably as the cunning Richard Channing on the nighttime soap "Falcon Crest," a role he played from 1982 until 1990. David has graced most of the popular series over the years including "The Waltons," "Police Woman," "Kojak," "Family," "Touched by an Angel," and "Ally McBeal." He has also appeared sporadically in white-collar film support with roles in Dying Young (1991), White Squall (1996) and Surviving Christmas (2004) to his credit.

David continues to perform on stage as well. He portrayed Abraham Lincoln in his own play "Lincoln and James" in 1997 and 1998, and penned the play "Final Assault" which premiered in 2003. He is a staple player in radio drama with the L.A. Theatre Works these days. David and longtime wife Chip have three children.

Claudeis Newman (10 August 1963 - present) 3 children

Named his son, Jamison Selby, after a character on Dark Shadows.

David Selby holds a PhD. in Theater from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale.

Acted for Theatre West Virginia's 'Honey in the Rock' in 1961.

Played the only man, other than her husband, to kiss Olivia Walton during the entire run of The Waltons.

He has written two volumes of poetry "My Mother's Autumn" and "Happenstance." His first book "In and Out of the Shadows" is a career photo retrospective featuring a few of his poems.

Long married (over forty years) to wife Chip, who is also a native West Virginian, they have two daughters and a son, Jamison Selby, who is also an actor. He directed David's play "Final Assault" in Charleston, West Virginia in 2003. David and Chip ran a summer children's musical theatre in New York for ten years before moving to Los Angeles.

He is an honorary member of the West Virginia University Creative Arts Center's Advisory Board, has worked with the Governor's Honor Academy, and has made many guest appearances around the state of West Virginia. In 1989, he was honored as a distinguished alumnus of West Virginia University, and, in May 1992, he received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the College of Communications and Fine Arts at Southern Illinois University. He was given the first Life Achievement Award from the West Virginia University College of Creative Arts in 1998, and he received an honorary doctorate from West Virginia University in 2004.

Quentin Collins, his Dark Shadows character, had his own theme song, "Quentin's Theme (Shadows of the Night)." Selby provided a spoken recitation of the lyrics on the original Dark Shadows soundtrack album. In the 1980s, he sang the lyrics during an appearance on Joan Rivers' late night talk show. On Dark Shadows, the instrumental version was played repeatedly on Quentin Collins' gramophone. The song is often played to introduce David Selby during television and radio interviews and during public appearances.

He is among the 2007 inductees into the West Virginia Broadcasting Hall of Fame, located in the Museum of Radio and Technology in Huntington, West Virginia.

Best known by the public for his role as Richard Channing on "Falcon Crest" (1981).

Had turned down the role of Gary Ewing on "Knots Landing" (1979).

Shares the same birthday with producer Stephen J. Cannell.

Personal Quotes
I think family is very important in West Virginia and has long been so because the mountains made travel difficult in the past, and family members had to depend on each other.

[On differentiating 2 separate "Falcon Crest" (1981) characters, and of his on- and off-screen friendship with Jane Wyman, who played Angela Channing]: They fought each other on, and they delighted it. They relished those fights; and boy, we could do it! I loved Jane Wyman, she epitomized for me, everything that meant to be professional.

[When "Tell Me You Love Me" (2007) was expecting to be canceled]: But I had no idea that they were going to pull the plug so quickly.

I did a lot of personal appearances because I was under contract to ABC.

[On his "Falcon Crest" (1981) character]: Richard Channing is a wonderful character. He was a strong character. He could go out of various situations.

[When responded about how he got along well with the "Falcon Crest" (1981) cast, esp. Jane Wyman, who played Angela Channing]: All of the people. I enjoyed working with all of them. Jane Wyman, Jane was wonderful,... Susan Sullivan, so many of the people... and I got to play with so many, like Kim Novak, some of the old stars, Lana Turner, Gina Lollobrigida, Leslie Caron. It was quite wonderful.

[Of "Falcon Crest" (1981)'s downfall, beginning in 1988]: I think what happened in this show is there were too many changes of producers and writers. Now that is my opinion. And they lost focus. Another person comes in and has an idea: 'Well, I think the show should go in this direction or in that direction,' - whatever. I don't know; maybe, the ratings of that time demanded changes. Of course, now they [the network] would love to have the ratings [of that time]! I obviously did not like her [Susan's] being written off the show. And there were several instances like that. So in a way, I thought the show lost focus the last season, maybe the last couple of years. Especially the last season went into a totally different direction.

[When describing the elements that were pictured on "Falcon Crest" (1981), as well as "Dynasty" (1981), "Dallas" (1978) and "Knots Landing" (1979)]: And that's the '80s! It's sort of a... an example - no, I think 'example' is not the right proper word - it is 'of its time', and it says something about the '80s, you know.

[Of his on- and off-screen chemistry with the "Falcon Crest" (1981) stars]: My memories of that, you know, I loved Jane Wyman, Susan Sullivan, Margaret Ladd. I talked to Lorenzo Lamas about three months ago on the phone; he was getting ready to do another series, as I recall.


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