The Cast Of ‘Falcon Crest’ Then And Now 2023


UPDATED 6/7/2023

So far, we’ve covered the two Big D’s: Dallas and Dynasty. So, naturally, we had to get to the third part of the ’80s Prime Time Soap Trifecta, Falcon Crest! The more refined soap was set in California’s fictional Tuscany Valley and revolved around the struggle for power and control of that valley between two families – two very wealthy families — the Giobertis and the Channings. Airing from 1981 to 1990, it was certainly one of the most popular primetime dramas of the 1980s, even if it didn’t set out to be one, while Falcon Crest was armed with a beloved cast. Creator Earl Hamner, Jr. did not intend to create another primetime soap, but by season two, they scrapped the self-contained episode goal and began the long-running drama.


It’s time to head back to the vineyard and the castles to see what the cast of Falcon Crest got into during the 1990s and beyond. Who would you side with among this powerful bunch? Along the way, keep an eye out for some tie-ins with the latest batch of beloved dramas, some of these belonging to the crime drama.

Jane Wyman (Angela Channing)

Jane Wyman over the years / Everett Collection

Angela Channing is the family’s powerful matriarch who is constantly scheming to keep her family’s winery under her control. She is a strong and determined woman, but she is also very manipulative, which carried over to the actress’s control over the show itself. Reportedly, Wyman was as ruthless as her character on the show and former co-stars have claimed that she drove them off the show. But hey, maybe she just got carried away with her Angela Channing.

DR. QUINN, MEDICINE WOMAN, Jane Seymour, Jane Wyman, 1993-98, episode ‘Elizabeth Quinn’ aired 1/9/93, (c)CBS Television/courtesy Everett Collection

RELATED: The Cast Of ‘Dallas’ Then And Now 2021

Jane first began acting in 1932 and what a career she had, with her big break being 1937’s Public Wedding, but she gained critics’ attention with 1947’s The Yearling, earning her first Oscar nomination. Then the following year she took home the Academy Award honors for her unforgettable performance of a deaf and mute individual in Johnny Belinda. The ‘40s and ‘50s were really jam-packed with tons of A-list films for Jane.

Jane would eventually make the transition into TV work, appearing on shows like Checkmate and Wagon Train, but she said, “Something happened in the sixties. It seemed that the time didn’t permit women to be part of it except in a sort of secondary sort of way which I resented.” So she went into semi-retirement in 1962.

She came out of that semi-retirement for Falcon Crest, her second-to-last acting role, and one of her most influential. She was nominated for a Golden Globe in ‘83 and ‘84, winning the second time and beating two powerful ladies from Dynasty, Linda Evans and Joan Collins. Sounds like their dynasty was over.

In 1989, Jane collapsed on the Falcon Crest set and was hospitalized due to complications from diabetes and liver issues. She was advised by her doctors to quit acting altogether. Against her doctor’s advice, she returned to the show for three more episodes, but the final season is the only one in which Jane doesn’t dominate the screen.  Her final acting role was an appearance on the show Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman in 1993.

Jane was married five times, the middle husband being President Ronald Reagan throughout the 1940s. The couple had three children together. Jane Wyman died in September of 2007 at the age of 90 in her sleep from natural causes.

Lorenzo Lamas (Lance)

Lorenzo Lamas from the cast of Falcon Crest and after / Everett Collection / ImageCollect

Lance is the black sheep of the family, Angela’s heir, and grandson once a rebellious teenager constantly getting into trouble, he eventually settles down and becomes a successful businessman.

Actor Lorenzo Lamas / ImageCollect

Lorenzo Lamas began acting in the late ‘60s with a pretty quiet career until he managed to secure a last-minute, non-speaking role as a jock in the 1978 musical Grease. He went on to have a number of guest-starring roles on various shows like Sword of Justice and even Fantasy Island.

Then came Falcon Crest. During his tenure, he managed to secure a leading role in the film Body Rock in 1984, which was poorly received, and he’d end up winning the Razzie Award for Worst Actor – yikes. He also performed a song for the film’s soundtrack, which performed surprisingly well on the charts, peaking at #85 on the Billboard Hot 100.

His later career consisted of him going down the path of a B-movie action hero. This included the Snake Eater trilogy and 1995’s Gladiator Cop. Lorenzo also played the lead role of Reno Raines in the series Renegade.

We just saw him in 2022 on the show Sons of Thunder, and today at 65 years old, he’s got a lot on his hands. But that’s just his personal life. Lamas has been married five times but nothing ever stuck. Except in a strange way. His fifth wife, who was 30 years younger than he, and one year younger than his daughter Shayne, also an actress and winner of Season 12 of The Bachelor — well, his young bride actually carried a baby for Shayne leading to the daughter’s second child. All that, coming from a guy who one night, due to his having an open relationship with his girlfriend, spent a night with the Playboy cover models the Barbi Twins. This guy has stories to tell.

David Selby (Richard Channing)

David Selby over the years / Everett Collection / ImageCollect

Richard Channing is the illegitimate son of Angela’s ex-husband. He inherits most of his father’s shares, so with his fortune and power, he seeks revenge against both Angela and Chase for treating him like an outcast.

David Selby after Falcon Crest / Birdie Thompson/AdMedia / ImageCollect

David Selby, aside from Falcon Crest, may be best known for his debut role in Hollywood as Quentin Collins on the TV show Dark Shadows. After the show was subsequently canceled, he’d reprise his role in the second feature film based on the series, 1971’s Night of Dark Shadows.

David later went on to star alongside Barbra Streisand in the movie Up the Sandbox in 1972 and appeared on some TV shows too like The Waltons in 1974 and the crime drama series Kojak in 1976.

David also played the role of the villainous Michael Tyrone in the final season of Flamingo Road before snagging his Falcon Crest role. David is also an accomplished writer, having published several works in addition to a book called My Shadowed Past, chronicling what it was like to work on Dark Shadows.

Today, David is 82. We last saw him in an episode of NCIS: New Orleans in 2020 he has one film in the works called Todd Tarantula. He and his wife have three children together, one named Jamison Selby, in tribute to a character on Dark Shadows.

Susan Sullivan (Maggie Gioberti)

Susan Sullivan from the cast of Falcon Crest and after / Everett Collection / ImageCollect

Maggie Gioberti moves to the Falcon Crest vineyard after her husband dies. She quickly becomes involved in the family business. Maggie is a strong and determined woman who is not afraid to stand up to her family or the other residents of Falcon Crest. Perhaps that is why her character was canned and she was fired from the show after season eight.

Actress Susan Sullivan / Faye Sadou/AdMedia / ImageCollect

Susan Sullivan first stepped onto the scene in the ‘60s and never stopped acting on TV. Her first big break was in over 300 episodes of the show A World Apart in the early ‘70s. Around the same time, she also starred in the show Another World for over 200 episodes.

The ‘90s brought more success like seven episodes of The George Carlin Show. And then she became Kitty Montgomery on Dharma & Greg.

We recently saw her in the show The Kominsky Method and the Tim Allen-led Last Man Standing.

Today, Susan is 80, and for such an established actress who was once a Playboy bunny; she’s got a pretty good-sized Twitter following too.

Margaret Ladd (Emma Channing)

Margaret Ladd over the years / Everett Collection / ImageCollect

Emma Channing does not work in the family business, which is honestly, probably a good thing, but she’s still emotionally troubled by the goings-on.

Margaret Ladd today / Dennis Van Tine/ STAR MAX 2016 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED / ImageCollect

Margaret Ladd started her Hollywood career in the ‘60s, beginning with the 1960s soap opera A Flame in the Wind.

But after Falcon Crest, she then went on a hiatus of 13 years before appearing in her next role, a small role in the film What’s Up, Scarlet? In more recent years, she’s back acting. We saw her in two episodes of Mozart in the Jungle in 2014, and then in 2016, she was cast in the Woody Allen miniseries Crisis in Six Scenes.

Margaret Ladd is 80 and enjoys married life with husband, playwright Lyle Kessler.

Abby Dalton (Julia)

Abby Dalton from Falcon Crest and today / Everett Collection / ImageCollect

Julia is another one of Angela’s daughters – the chief winemaker of the business.

Dalton today / ImageCollect

Abby Dalton first stepped onto the scene in 1957 and made her big break on the show Hennessey in the late ‘50s, which earned her an Emmy nomination. As that series ended, she then transitioned into The Joey Bishop Show, playing the role of Ellie Barnes, the wife of Joey Barnes, also known as Bishop.

Abby was also cast in the original pilot for what became the ABC series Barney Miller as Barney’s wife – but this version of the show was rejected by the network and the new version of the show had Abby’s role recast to Barbara Barrie.

Following her exceptional Falcon Crest role, she continued the guest roles in various shows like Hotel and Murder She Wrote. Her final role was in the 2008 horror film Prank.

Abby died in November 2020 after a long illness. She was 88 years old.

Robert Foxworth (Chase Gioberti)

Robert Foxworth over the years / Everett Collection / ImageCollect

Chase Gioberti is the son of Jason Gioberti. He eventually comes to claim his inherited portion of Falcon Crest after his father dies. He actually Replaced Clu Gulager for the role of Chase Gioberti – and Clu just passed away in 2022 at the age of 93.

Foxworth from the cast of Falcon Crest / ImageCollect

Robert Foxworth began his Hollywood career in the late ‘60s early ‘70s. He was actually discovered at Washington, DC’s Arena Stage. Thank goodness he got this prime-time soap as he was once offered the role of J.R. Ewing in Dallas, which he turned down, YIkes, what a big miss.

We saw him in several episodes of the show Men at Law in the early ‘70s. Another highlight is his starring role in Gene Roddenberry’s 1974 movie The Questor Tapes, as well as a six-episode arc on HBO’s Six Feet Under.

Into the 2000s, he actually began delving into the world of voice work. Now 81 years old, Robert has made voicework his career, voicing Ratchet for multiple Transformers movies. He and Elizabeth Montgomery lived together for over 20 years before marrying in 1993, a union that could only be enjoyed two years before Montgomery passed away. His son Bo Foxworth is also an actor.

Well, that’ll do it for now, but did we miss any favorite Falcon Crest actors? If so, get in the comments and share who! There’s always time for another round of these; after all, it’s a soap opera. Primetime series. Primetime soap opera. It’s a great show, plain and simple.

Which primetime soap was best? Falcon Crest, Dallas, Dynasty, or another? What do you think would’ve happened if Robert Foxworth took that Dallas role? Would he have been a better J. R. Ewing? Get in the comments and share all your memories of this long-running program.

FALCON CREST, from left: Ana Alicia, Jane Wyman, Lorenzo Lamas, (1982), 1981-1990. ph: Mario Casilli/TV Guide/©Lorimar Television/courtesy Everett Collection
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