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David Selby

Touched by an Angel

Throughout his career, David Selby has had a strong association with Abraham Lincoln. He portrayed Lincoln on stage while in graduate school at Southern Illinois University and later at Ford's Theatre. He also wrote the play Lincoln and James and later adapted it into the novel Lincoln's Better Angel. On television, David first appeared as a young Lincoln in Flatboatman for the ABC television series Directions in February 1970. He later depicted Abraham Lincoln's final days for the CBS series Touched by an Angel. The episode, titled "Beautiful Dreamer," originally aired on October 25, 1998.

As David has discussed in several interviews, this episode was originally scheduled to be filmed around the time that his mother passed away, and he anticipated that the role would be recast, but the show's producers generously waited for him to be available rather than finding a new Lincoln. David writes about this experience, particularly the way that his final scene resonated with him, in the poetry collection My Mother's Autumn.

"Beautiful Dreamer" (Season 5, Episode 6) is included in the Touched by an Angel: The Complete Series DVD release (paid link).

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