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David Lynn Selby (born February 5, 1941) is an American film, television and stage actor. He is best known for playing Quentin Collins in the daytime soap opera Dark Shadows (1968–71), and Richard Channing in the prime-time soap opera Falcon Crest (1982–90). Selby also had prominent roles in the television series 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.

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

(1941-02-05) February 5, 1941 (age 78)
Years active1968–present
Spouse(s)Claudeis Newman (1963–present, 3 children)

Early lifeEdit

Selby was born 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, Selby 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.


Early TV and film roles (1960s and 1970s)Edit

In 1968, Selby joined the cast of the TV series Dark Shadows as werewolf Quentin Collins. After the series' cancellation in 1971, Selby played a different, non-werewolf, version of "Quentin Collins" in the second feature film based on the show, Night of Dark Shadows, released later the same year. (He would again reprise the role from the series for a new series of Dark Shadows audio dramas from Big Finish Productions, beginning in 2006).

In 1972, Selby co-starred with Barbra Streisand in the movie Up the Sandbox. He continued to appear in a number of films and television guest roles during the 1970s including U-Turn (1973), The Super Cops (1974) and Rich Kids (1979), and episodes of The Waltons (1974), Police Woman (1975) and Kojak (1976). He was also part of an all-star cast in the Emmy Award-winning miniseries Washington: Behind Closed Doors (1977).

In 1979, Selby declined the role of Gary Ewing in the TV series Knots Landing, which went to Ted Shackelford.


Selby was nominated for a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actor for his role in the 1980 film Raise the Titanic, which despite its established cast — including Jason Robards and Alec Guinness — was met with a negative reception from critics and audiences along with poor box-office takings.

In 1981, Selby played the villainous Michael Tyrone in the final season of the NBC prime-time serial Flamingo Road. Immediately after its cancellation in 1982, he joined the cast of Falcon Crest as Richard Channing, the son of matriarch Angela Channing (played by Jane Wyman). Originally considered an antagonist of the series, Richard gradually became more of a protagonist and by the final season he was the central character of the show (in part due to the health-related absence of Wyman). Selby was nominated for six Soap Opera Digest Awards for his role of Richard (winning one). In all, Selby appeared in 209 episodes of the series, second only to co-star Lorenzo Lamas, who was the only actor to feature in all 227 episodes.

Later careerEdit

Selby continued in numerous film and TV roles during the 1990s and 2000s including Dying Young (1991), White Squall (1996) and Surviving Christmas (2004), and episodes of series such as Cold Case (2007) and Mad Men (2009). To mark the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birthday in 2009, 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 had also played Abraham Lincoln in a 1998 episode of the series Touched by an Angel, titled "Beautiful Dreamer").

Selby made an appearance in the 2012 film adaptation of Dark Shadows, one of four cast members from the original series to feature in the movie. The same year, 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.


Selby is also an accomplished writer. His work includes the plays Lincoln and James and Final Assault, as well as the poetry collections My Mother's Autumn and Happenstance. Novels he has written include 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, he published My Shadowed Past, chronicling what it was like to work on Dark Shadows.


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



Year Title Role Notes
1971 Night of Dark Shadows Quentin Collins/Charles Collins Film debut
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 Nominated — Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actor
1981 Rich and Famous Doug Blake
1991 Dying Young Richard Geddes
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
2006 End Game Shakey Fuller
2007 Spin Rob Polan
2010 Inhale Henry White
2010 The Social Network Gage
2012 Dark Shadows Guest
2012 Batman: The Dark Night Returns, Part 1 Commissioner Gordon (voice) Direct-to-video
2013 Batman: The Dark Night Returns, Part 2
2013 Are You Here Karl Stevens
2015 Equals Leonard
2017 Newness Artie Hallock
2017 Smartass Herman
2019 Back Fork Bill


Year Title Role Notes
1968-1971 Dark Shadows Quentin Collins (also Grant Douglas) TV series; 312 episodes
1974 The Waltons Joshua Williams TV series; "The Romance"
1975 Police Woman Nate Fesler TV series; "No Place to Hide"
1975 ABC's Wide World of Entertainment Jack 243 TV series; "The Norming of Jack 243"
1976 Kojak Sgt. Jimmy O'Connor TV series; "An Unfair Trade"
1977 Washington: Behind Closed Doors Roger Castle Miniseries
1977 Telethon Roy Hansen TV movie
1978 Family Michael Kagan TV series; "More Than Friends"
1979 The Night Rider Lord Thomas Earl TV movie
1979 Love for Rent Phil TV movie
1980 Doctor Franken Dr. Mike Foster TV movie
1981-1982 Flamingo Road Michael Tyrone TV series; 18 episodes
1982-1990 Falcon Crest Richard Channing TV series; 209 episodes
Soap Opera Digest Award: Outstanding Actor in a Leading Role: Prime Time (1989)
Nominated — Soap Opera Digest Award: Outstanding Actress/Actor in a Comic Relief Role on a Prime Time Serial; Outstanding Villain on a Prime Time Serial; Outstanding Actor in a Leading Role on a Prime Time Serial (1986)
Nominated — Soap Opera Digest Award: Outstanding Actor in a Leading Role: Prime Time (1988)
Nominated — Soap Opera Digest Award: Outstanding Villain: Prime Time (1990)
1988 King of the Olympics: The Lives and Loves of Avery Brundage Avery Brundage TV movie
1992 Grave Secrets: The Legacy of Hilltop Drive Shag Williams TV movie
1992 Lady Boss Martin Swanson Miniseries
1997 Soldier of Fortune Xavier Trout TV movie
1997-1999 Soldier of Fortune, Inc. TV series; 9 episodes
1997 Alone Paul TV movie
1997 Promised Land Rowdy Sullivan TV series; "Cowboy Blues"
1998 Touched by an Angel Abraham Lincoln TV series; "Beautiful Dreamer"
2001 Ally McBeal Mr. Rohr TV series; "I Want Love"
2002 The Griffin and the Minor Canon The Griffin (voice) TV movie
2002 Thieves Donovan TV series; "The Green and the Black"
2005 Larva Fletcher Odermatt TV movie
2006 The Black Hole Ryker TV movie
2007 Tell Me You Love Me Arthur Foster TV series; 9 episodes
2007 Cold Case Dom Barron '07 TV series; "Boy Crazy"
2008 Raising the Bar Richard Patrick Woolsey III TV series; "Richie Richer"
2009 Mad Men Horace Cook, Sr. TV series; "The Arrangements"
2011 Deck the Halls Luke Reilly TV movie
2013 Rizzoli & Isles Senator Malcolm Humphrey TV series; "We Are Family"
2016 Dr. Del Grover TV movie
2017-2018 Legion Brubaker TV series; 4 episodes
2018 Castle Rock Josef Desjardins TV series; "The Box"


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

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