Photo Courtesy of CBS
The series charts the lives of two feuding families in the wine-making industry, the Channings and the Gilbertos. Set in the fictional Tuscany Valley – based on Napa Valley – the story centers on the Falcon Crest vineyards and winery.
Matriarch Angela Channing Jane Wyman) rules with an iron fist and allows no one to get in her way. In the opening episode Angela’s brother, Jason Gioberti, dies from a fall in the winery. When his son Chase (Robert Foxworth) returns home with his family to claim his inheritance of part of the winery and vineyards, the battle lines are drawn.
Angela Channing (Jane Wyman) – Angela has two daughters and a grandson, and is determined to preserve the family heritage for her heirs. She intends to make Falcon Crest wine the best in the world, and won’t stop until she does.
Chase Gioberti (Robert Foxworth) – Chase is the nephew of Angela Channing and a source of constant irritation to her. After returning to Tuscany Valley from New York after his father’s death, he decides to stay and run the winery. He is married with two children. A Vietnam vet, he was once a commercial airline pilot and still enjoys flying. Chase is an upstanding and caring man, but don’t cross him – he has a temper!
Lance Cumson (Lorenzo Lamas) – Lance is the grandson of the powerful Angela Channing and the son of Angela’s daughter, Julia. A party boy, Lance at first cares more about money than working for the success of Falcon Crest. He is forced by his grandmother to marry the selfish heiress Melissa Agretti (Ana Alicia), so that Angela can acquire the Agretti vineyards. As the show progresses Lance begins to mature, showing signs of becoming the kind of heir that Angela expects.
Maggie Gioberti (Susan Sullivan) – Maggie is the wife of Chase Gioberti and a freelance writer. She is as strong as she is warm and kind-hearted, often lending a shoulder for others to cry on. She fully supports her husband’s plans to create a new life for their family in the Tuscany Valley.
Photo Courtesy of CBS
Richard Channing (David Selby) – Richard is the illegitimate son of Angela’s husband, Douglas Channing and on his death, he inherits half of his father’s newspaper, the “San Francisco Globe”. Through the series Richard transforms from villain and arch-enemy of both Chase and Angela to one of the show’s best-loved and most sympathetic characters.
Julia Cumson (Abby Dalton) – Julia is Angela’s oldest daughter and the mother of Lance. The wine-maker at Falcon Crest, Angela is suffocated by the iron grip her mother exerts on her life. Angela drives away Julia’s husband, Tony Cumson, and Julia later sets off on a dangerous new path with dramatic consequences.
Melissa Agretti (Ana Alicia and Delores Cantu) – Melissa is the daughter of the late Carlos Agretti of the Agretti Vineyards, and is soon married to Angela’s grandson and heir, Lance Cumson. Melissa is rich, spirited, selfish and beautiful. She is devoted to her son, Joseph, but her greatest passion is for wealth and power and she’ll do whatever it takes to get them.
Emma Channing (Margaret Ladd) – Emma is the fragile youngest daughter of Angela Channing. A tragic past involving an accident that led to her Uncle Jason’s death has left her guilt-ridden and vulnerable, yet she is a kind and loving woman who acts with the best of intentions. Angela has always done everything she can to control her youngest child, despite the wishes of Emma herself.
Cole Gioberti (William R. Moses) – Cole is the son of Chase and Maggie Gioberti. About the same age as his cousin, Lance, the two inevitably become rivals – including for Melissa Agretti. When his father inherits part of Falcon Crest, Cole forgets about his desire to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps and become an archeologist, and instead assists his father to run the vineyards. He is kind, loving and loyal.
Terry Hartford (Laura Johnson) – Terry is the calculating younger sister of Maggie Gioberti. A former call-girl who’s set her sights on becoming wealthy and influential, she’ll use whatever tools she has at her disposal – including lies or blackmail – to achieve her ends.
Vicki Gioberti (Jamie Rose and Dana Sparks) – Vicki is the daughter of Chase and Maggie Gioberti. She has issues dealing with men and is less than thrilled at the move to Tuscany Valley, struggling to find her niche.
Phillip Erikson (Mel Ferrer) – Phillip is the lawyer of Angela Channing. He is devious and single minded in furthering Angela’s reputation and he’ll use blackmail, bribery or whatever else is needed to do it.
Pamela Lynch (Sarah Douglas and Martine Beswick) – Pamela is Richard Channing’s personal assistant and a former employee of the Cartel (a mafia-like group). Though she does have a softer side she is more often deceitful and scheming, with a flair for getting what she wants.
Greg Reardon (Simon MacCorkindale) – Greg is a British lawyer who also works for Angela Channing. Unlike her other lawyer, Phillip Erikson, Greg doesn’t always fall in line with Angela’s methods – an approach that doesn’t go down well with Angela.
Photo Courtesy of CBS
Gustav Riebmann (Paul Freeman) – Gustav is the unscrupulous head of the evil and deadly Cartel, a position he gained by murdering his own father. He moves to Tuscany Valley to set in motion a dastardly plan that will affect the lives of everyone there.
Father Christopher Rossini (Ken Olin) – Father Rossini is a priest and the illegitimate son of Julia Cumson. Angela told teenage mother Julia that her baby had died at birth, and sent her son to be raised in a Catholic orphanage in Connecticut. When the truth begins to be uncovered there are seismic consequences for all concerned.
Peter Stavros (Cesar Romero) – Peter is a Greek billionaire industrialist and, in their youth, was an ex-boyfriend of Angela Channing. Despite the passing of the years, he quickly re-establishes his importance in Angela’s life when he reappears in Tuscany Valley.
Eric Stavros (John Callahan) – Eric is the arrogant playboy son of billionaire Peter Stavros.
Dan Fixx (Brett Cullen) – Dan is the son of former friends of Angela’s, Tucker and Elizabeth Fixx. He returns to Tuscany Valley in need of work after a stint in an Oklahoma prison. Angela sees the opportunity for a win-win: she’ll give him a job as manager of her spa and he’ll spy on her guests and report back to her. What could be better?
Frank Agretti (Rod Taylor) – Frank is an old acquaintance of Angela, as well as Melissa’s uncle. When he returns to Tuscany Valley Melissa wants nothing to do with her long-lost relative, but Angela is happy to see him. That happiness is soon dashed when she finds out that he is dying of pancreatic cancer and has only a short time left to live.
Nick Agretti (David Beecroft) – Nick is the son of Frank Agretti and cousin of Melissa. He also has a teenage son named Ben, the result of a relationship with Anna Cellini, an Italian heiress.
Pilar Ortega (Kristian Alfonso) – Pilar is the daughter of Cesar, Falcon Crest’s winery foreman. She and Angela’s grandson, Lance, enjoyed a teenage fling, but only time will tell if their romance will be rekindled.
Lauren Sharpe (Wendy Phillips) – Lauren is the second cousin of Maggie Gioberti and becomes a love interest to the powerful Richard Channing.
Michael Sharpe (Gregory Harrison) – Michael is a cold-blooded businessman who will go to almost any lengths to win a fight. He is also Lauren’s brother and the second cousin of Maggie Gioberti.
Genele Ericson (Andrea Thompson) – Genele is the lover of Michael Sharpe and niece of Frank Agretti.
Chao-Li (Chao-Li Chi) – Chao-Li is Angela Channing’s ever faithful majordomo, driver and friend. Though their friendship gets little screen time, it outlasts most of the relationships on the series.
Photo Courtesy of CBS
|Angela Channing||Jane Wyman|
|Lance Cumson||Lorenzo Lamas|
|Chao-Li Chi||Chao Li|
|Richard Channing||David Selby|
|Maggie Gioberti||Susan Sullivan|
|Emma Channing||Margaret Ladd|
|Melissa Agretti||Ana Alicia|
|Chase Gioberti||Robert Foxworth|
|Cole Gioberti||William R. Moses|
|Julia Channing||Abby Dalton|
|Terry Ranson||Laura Johnson|
|Joseph Gioberti||Jason Goldberg|
|Eric Stavros||John Callahan|
|Greg Reardon||Simon MacCorkindale|
|Vicki Gioberti||Jamie Rose and Dana Sparks|
|Phillip Erikson||Mel Ferrer|
|Dan Fixx||Brett Cullen|
|Peter Stavros||Cesar Romero|
|Pamela Lynch||Sarah Douglas|
|Pilar Ortega||Kristian Alfonso|
|Father Bob||Bob Curtis|
|Linda Gioberti||Mary Kate McGeehan|
|Tony Cumson||John Saxon|
|Michael Channing||Robert Hy Gorman|
|Frank Agretti||Rod Taylor|
|Sheriff Dan Robbins||Joe Lambie|
|Jordan Roberts||Morgan Fairchild|
|Dr. Michael Ranson||Cliff Robertson|
|Gustav Riebman||Paul Freeman|
|Father Christopher Rossini||Ken Olin|
|Nick Agretti||David Beecroft|
|Lauren Sharpe||Wendy Phillips|
|Michael Sharpe||Gregory Harrison|
|Genele Ericson||Andrea Thompson|
Photo Courtesy of CBS
|Robin Agretti||Barbara Howard||1985-1986|
|Lorraine Prescott||Kate Vernon||1984-1985|
|Dwayne Cooley||Daniel Greene||1985-1986|
|Kevin Channing||Brandon Kasper||1988-1989|
|Cassandra Wilder||Anne Archer||1985|
|Meredith Braxton||Jane Badler||1986-1987|
|Dina Wells||Robin Greer||1986-1987|
|Erin Jones||Jill Jacobson||1985-1987|
|Diana Hunter||Shannon Tweed||1982-1983|
|Sheriff Floyd Gilmore||John Bennett Perry||1985-1986|
|Cindy O’Conner||Cindy Riegel||1985-1988|
|Nick Hogan||Roy Thinnes||1982-1983|
|Kit Marlowe||Kim Novak||1986-1987|
|Tommy Ortega||Dan Ferro||1988-1989|
|Jeff Wainwright||Edward Albert||1986-1987|
|Ben Agretti||Brandon Douglas||1988-1989|
|Vince Karlotti||Marjoe Gortner||1986-1987|
|Race Track Announcer||Alan Buchdahl||1984-1986|
|Gabriel Ortega||Danny Nucci||1988-1989|
|Amos Fedders||Michael Fox||1988-1989|
|Gabrielle Short||Cindy Morgan||1982-1988|
|Sheriff Jack North||John Aprea||1987|
|Kevin Channing||Jesse Stock||1989-1990|
|Helen Whitaker||Laurel Schaefer||1986-1987|
|Carly Fixx||Mariska Hargitay||1988|
|Lori Stevens||Maggie Cooper||1982-1988|
|Brian||Thom Adcox Hernandez||1989-1990|
|Mrs. Miller||Lesley Woods||1984-1987|
|Cesar Ortega||Castulo Guerra||1986-1989|
|Gus Nunouz||Nick Ramus||1981-1982|
|Ed Meyers||Phillip Baker Hall||1989-1990|
|Ralph Delaney||John H. Fields||1983-1986|
|Danny Sharpe||David Sheinkopf||1989-1990|
|Joel McCarthy||Parker Stevenson||1984-1985|
|Mario Nunouz||Mario Marceline||1981-1982|
|John Costello||Roger Perry||1982-1985|
|Connie Giannini||Carla Borelli||1985|
|MBA #1||David Trim||1989-1990|
|Sydney St. James||Carla Gugino||1989-1990|
|Damon Ross||Jonathan Frakes||1985|
|Vince Caproni||Harry Basch||1982-1984|
|Darryl Clayton||Bradford Dillman||1982-1983|
|Rosemont||Roscoe Lee Browne||1988|
|Mr. Padgett||Don Matheson||1984|
|Dr. Otto Foster||Thomas Callaway||1983-1984|
|Jay Spence||John David Carson||1987-1988|
|Deputy Sheriff||Rick Camp||1986-1987|
|Douglas Channing||Stephen Elliott||1981-1982|
|Carlo Agretti||Carlos Romero||1982-1983|
|B. Riley Wicker||Henry Jones||1985-1986|
|Lucas Crosby||Geoffrey Lewis||1984|
|Sheila Hogan||Katherine Justice||1982-1983|
|Connie Johnson||Diane Behrens||1989-1990|
|Max Hartman||John Carter||1983-1986|
|Dr. Hal Lantry||Ron Rifkin||1983|
|Michael Channing||Taylor Brigode||1988|
|Nick Massoud||Shahurad Vossughi||1989-1990|
|Charley St. James||Mark Lindsay Chapman||1989|
|Anna Cellini||Assumpta Serna||1989|
|Daniel Cabot||Allan Royal||1988-1989|
|Jace Sampson||Stuart Pankin||1989-1990|
|Sheriff Turk Tobias||Robert Sampson||1981-1982|
|Curtis Estabrook||Gary Imhoff||1987-1988|
|Julian J. Roberts||John McMartin||1985-1986|
|Kenneth Lone||Ryan MacDonald||1984-1990|
|Grey Suit||Tom Dahlgren||1988|
|Al Hurley||Mike Genovese||1985|
|Walker Daniels||Robert Ginty||1989-1990|
|Julius Karnow||Norman Parker||1989-1990|
|Senator Peter Ryder||Charles Frank||1988|
|Dr. Arthur Hooks||Raymond St. Jacques||1983|
|Fred Wilkinson||Dick O’Neill||1987|
|Sofia Stavros||Julie Carmen||1985-1986|
|Malcolm Sinclair||Alan Feinstein||1989|
|Dr. Randall||Barbara Tarbuck||1986-1987|
|Judge Pat Ambrose||Stephen Burleigh||1987-1988|
|Claudia||Jane Marla Robbins||1988-1989|
|Wendell||Mark Dakota Robinson||1987|
|Guy Stafford||Jeff Kober||1986-1987|
|Deputy Duffy||Brad Harris||1984-1989|
|John Remick||Ed Marinaro||1987-1988|
|Jacqueline Perrault||Lana Turner||1982-1983|
|Diane ‘Cookie’ Nash||Janet Julian||1989|
|Anna Rossini||Celeste Holm||1985|
|D.A. Caroline Earle||Bibi Besch||1985-1986|
|Norton Crane||Jordan Charney||1984|
|Sheriff George Buckman||Danny Chambers||1987-1988|
|Amanda Croft||Anne Jeffreys||1982-1983|
|Harriet Roberts||Marian McCargo||1985-1986|
|Harriet Anderson||Angela Paton||1988-1989|
|Dr. Estelle Kramer||Concetta Tomei||1986|
|Bank Manager||Stanley Ralph Ross||1987-1989|
|Corene Powers||Victoria Racimo||1983|
|Len Potts||John Rixey Moore||1987-1988|
|MBA #2||Charles Randolph-Wright||1989|
|Nick Marlowe||Ian Giatti||1986-1987|
|Charlotte Pershing||Jane Greer||1984-1985|
|John Osborne||Richard Venture||1983|
|Francesca Gioberti||Gina Lollobrigida||1984|
|Tucker Fixx||Robert Donner||1987-1988|
|Miguel Aviles||Jay Varela||1988-1989|
|Judge Frank Leeds||James Ray||1983-1986|
|Lawrence Mishima||Robert Ito||1988-1989|
|Sheriff Sanchez||Ronald G. Joseph||1988-1989|
|Alan Caldwell||George McDaniel||1984|
|Mike Harris||Arthur Taxier||1984-1985|
|Sabrina Cross||Starr Andreeff||1986|
|Katherine Demery||Joanna Cassidy||1982|
|Mrs. Fraser||Betty McGuire||1988-1989|
|Deputy Matthews||Chuck Lindsley||1986-1989|
|Roland Saunders||Robert Stack||1987|
|Dr. Beth Everdene||Mary Ann Mobley||1988|
|Johnny Sacco||James DiStefano||1990|
|Liz McDowell||Lauren Hutton||1987|
|Alicia Nunouz||Silvana Gallardo||1981-1982|
|Marin Dimitrov||Theodore Bikel||1987-1988|
|Shannon Taylor||Tahnee Welch||1987-1988|
|Chris Agretti||Chris Young||1989|
|Steve Barton||Michael C. Gwynne||1982-1983|
|Claudia Chadway||Salome Jens||1987|
|Kathryn Anderson||Daphne Ashbrook||1983-1988|
|Francine Hope||Melba Moore||1987|
|Ian St. James||David Hunt||1989|
|Dr. Cook||Russ Marin||1982-1988|
|Frank Stan||Andrew Masset||1982-1987|
|Mr. Green||Michael Goodwin||1987|
|Officer Kuvic||Donald Nardini||1988-1990|
|Cynthia Wallace||Jennifer Bassey||1989|
|Paul Hartford||Andrew Duggan||1984-1985|
|Li Ying||Rosalind Chao||1986|
|Ronald Castie||Matthew Faison||1986|
|Dr. Huston||Paul Kent||1987-1988|
|Judge Jay Holder||Norman Bartold||1985|
|Phillippe-Hubert||Frank M. Benard||1985-1986|
|Max Hartman||Ned Wilson||1982|
|Christopher Harris||Robert Gould||1988-1989|
|Young Cassandra||Marcie Friedman||1985|
|Jason Gioberti||Harry Townes||1981-1982|
|Joanna Finch||Rachelle Carson||1987|
|Anne Bowen||Susan Blakely||1990|
|Carl Reed||Dana Elcar||1981-1982|
|Foster Glenn||Buck Henry||1987-1988|
|Carlton Travis||Eddie Albert||1987|
|Nicole Sauguet||Leslie Caron||1987|
|Madame Malec||Ursula Andress||1988|
|Jovan Dmytryk||Frank Runyeon||1990|
|Henri Denault||E.G. Marshall||1982-1983|
|Justin Nash||Lee Bergere||1989|
|Commissioner Witken||John McLiam||1986|
|Adeline Romanov||Sandy Freeman||1987|
|Ned Vogel||David Spielberg||1989|
|Paul Espinoza||James Victor||1981|
|Howard Graves||David Haskell||1987|
|Dr. Banning||Tom Williams||1982|
|Col. Anand||Brian George||1987|
|J. Benson Landale||Edward Winter||1984|
|Det. Bitterman||Norman Alden||1983|
|Brad Newton||Donald May||1985|
|Nellie Maxwell||Camilla Carr||1988|
|Justin Nash||Peter MacLean||1988-1989|
|Dr. Ambrose||Belinda Balaski||1989|
Photo Courtesy of CBS
Earl Hamner is the creator of Falcon Crest as well as the popular show The Waltons.
David Selby and Jane Wyman grew close while co-starring on Falcon Crest together. When Wyman died in 2007, Selby was devastated.
Lorenzo Lamas is the only actor to have been in all 227 episodes of Falcon Crest.
Ana Alicia (Melissa Agretti) appeared in two episodes of the series Renegade with former co-star Lorenzo Lamas.
Actress Morgan Fairchild was kidnapped and held against her will on two separate occasions in the 1970’s.
Falcon Crest had a habit of casting former Hollywood royalty for guest spots and other small roles.
Robert Foxworth (Chase Gioberti) was originally cast as J.R. Ewing on the popular series Dallas. Foxworth however, did not want to play such a “hard” character and asked that J.R. be softened. In the end, he was replaced with the talented Larry Hagman.
Cesar Romero (Peter Stavros) played the character of the Joker on the ABC television series in the late 60’s. He refused to shave off his moustache for the role, so the thick white face make-up used for the part was spread over the top of it.
Soap Opera Digest listed Falcon Crest’s eight seasons as “Most Ruined Show”
Laura Johnson (Terry Hartford) was married to actor Harry Hamlin for four years.
Jane Wyman, Margaret Ladd and Lorenzo Lamas were the only original remaining cast members by the show’s final season.
While in college, Susan Sullivan (Maggie Gioberti) worked as a Playboy Bunny.
Due to health issues, Jane Wyman (Angela Channing) missed most of the final season. She did however return for the series’ last three shows, against her doctors’ advice.
Many of the exterior shots and backdrops for the series were filmed at Spring Mountain Vineyard in St. Helena in the Napa Valley. The Vineyard also included a winery and a Victorian mansion called Villa Miraville, which dated from 1884. The Villa Miraville was used for all the exterior shots of Falcon Crest mansion.
Photo Courtesy of CBS
Robert Foxworth and Elizabeth Montgomery (Bewitched) were together for nearly twenty years, and then married for two, before her death in 1995.
Mel Ferrer (Phillip Erikson) was married a total of five times. His fourth wife was legendary screen star Audrey Hepburn. They were married for fourteen years and had one child, a son named Sean.
Lorenzo Lamas (Lance Cumson) has won countless black belts. He put some of those skills to use on-screen in the television series Renegade.
David Selby played the part of Abraham Lincoln on stage, appearing with President Barack Obama on the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. The scene he played was from The Heavens are Hung in Black, and was performed at the historic re-opening of the famous Ford’s Theater.
The Spring Mountain Vineyard produced two different wines with a Falcon Crest label during the run of the television show.
The role of Angela Channing almost went to Jane Wyman’s friend Barbara Stanwyck, but Stanwyck turned it down.
Ana Alicia (Melissa Agretti) is a national spokesperson for The Humane Society.
Esther Williams was the stepmother of Lorenzo Lamas.
It was rumored that Robert Foxworth and Jane Wyman had a running feud with each other while the two were in the show. Supposedly they actually measured their dressing rooms to make sure that neither was bigger than the other.
Although best known as an actress and for her role in daytime soap opera Days of Our Lives, Kristian Alfonso (Pilar Ortega) also had several other successful careers. As a young girl she was a talented figure skater, winning a gold medal at the Junior Olympics. At the age of 13, however, her skating career was gone in an instant as a result of a disastrous tobogganing accident. Not letting this stop her, she moved on to modeling and by the age of 15 had appeared on magazine covers including Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar.
A bout of scarlet fever as a child left Morgan Fairchild (Jordan Roberts) partially deaf.
The role of Kit Marlowe was played by actress Kim Novak, who had a dual role in tribute to her famous dual role in the 1958 movie Vertigo. One scene between her character and Richard Channing (David Selby) was deliberately set at Fort Point near the Golden Gate Bridge in homage to a scene between her and screen legend Jimmy Stewart at that exact spot.
Falcon Crest was not the first meeting of Lorenzo Lamas and Jane Wyman. Wyman had worked with Lorenzo’s father, Fernando, on her TV show from the 1950’s, Jane Wyman Presents The Fireside Theatre, and she had known Lorenzo since he was a baby.
Photo Courtesy of CBS
David Selby turned down the chance to play the character of Gary Ewing on another prime-time soap opera, Knots Landing.
Jane Wyman was the first wife of President Ronald Reagan. They divorced and she remains to this day the only ex-wife of a United States president.
During Ronald Reagan’s entire political career, Wyman stayed silent about their relationship. At his death, however, she said, “America has lost a great president and a great, kind, and gentle man”.
William R. Moses (Cole Gioberti) was married to actress Tracy Nelson for ten years and together they have a daughter named Remington Elizabeth Moses.
Lorenzo Lamas has been married five times, actually taking the last name of his most recent wife, Shawna Craig. His third wife, Kathleen Kinmont was the 17 year old daughter of his Falcon Crest co-star, Abby Dalton. Lamas also has six children.
Morgan Fairchild dated Senator John Kerry in the early 1980’s.