Charles Shaughnessy, born and raised in London, England, came from a show business family. His father was the principal writer and script editor on "Upstairs, Downstairs" and his mother was an actress. He started acting in school plays while in grade school, but, after graduating from Eton College, got his Bachelor’s degree in law at the Magdalene College of Cambridge University.
While at Cambridge, he joined the famous "Footlights Revue" comedy group. Upon graduation, Shaughnessy returned to his first love, acting, and enrolled in drama school in London. After a year touring in repertory, he was cast in the Agatha Christie television series "Partners in Crime." He then won the lead role in the BBC drama series "Jury."
Romance brought the actor to America and he moved to Hollywood to marry Susan Fallender, an actress he had met in drama school. Shaughnessy first covered the Los Angeles Theatre scene, appearing at The Mark Taper Forum, the LAAT, and the Ahmanson opposite the late Alan Bates in A Patriot for Me. He was then cast in the role of Shane Donovan in the daytime series "Days of Our Lives." He stayed with the series for eight years and won three Soap Opera Digest Awards.
He later starred in the successful CBS show "The Nanny" opposite Fran Drescher. After a six year run, he has since appeared in a number of feature films including "Denial" with Jason Alexander and Patrick Dempsey, “Second Chances,” “The Painting,” “Kids in America” and “Audrey.” On TV he has starred in many movies such as "A Kiss So Deadly" with Charlotte Ross, "Dayo" with Elijah Wood, "Moms Got A Date With A Vampire" with Caroline Rhea, "Get A Clue" with Lindsay Lohan and “Everything to Gain” with Sean Young. Many will have recently enjoyed his recurring role of St. John Powell in the multi-award winning series “Mad Men.”
In the world of voiceover, Charles has contributed his work to standards like “Rugrats,” “The Wild Thornberries,” “Duckman,” and “Johnny Bravo.” He was the voice of Pietro in “The Tales of Despereux” and recently worked on the soon-to-be-released film “Your Highness.” For the past five years you could also hear him most evenings as the voice of Land Rover.
Shaughnessy’s many stage appearances include the Triple Tony Award winning Broadway musical Urinetown, Pasadena Playhouse’s acclaimed production of Orson’s Shadow as well as favorites like Camelot, My Fair Lady and Spamalot!
Finally, Shaughnessy was able to make use of his very expensive education by being a runner-up in the Celebrity Jeopardy: Round of Champions, winning $100,000 for “1736: A Family Crisis Center.” Grateful for all that his career has given him, Shaughnessy spends a lot of time bringing the life-tools of Improvisation to Youth at Risk groups. Recently, he was honored to be elected to the Advisory Board at The Robert F. Kennedy Children’s Action Corps in Massachusetts.
Shaughnessy lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two girls.