Daniel Selby has had multiple careers throughout his life including acting, modeling and singing but over the years he has found his true passions – writing and home nursing.
Selby currently resides in Marshalltown, but that’s not where his story begins. He was born and raised in California, but since moving here in 1988 he has called Hawkeye State home and considers himself Iowan. He started his career early, shooting his first commercial for Fig Newtons in 1971 at the age of just six after his mother, Carole Evans, noticed how much he enjoyed acting.
Over the years, Selby did many commercials in California before finally trying his hand at modeling for companies like Sears and JCPenney, but found it just wasn’t a good fit for him.
“I wasn’t really interested in doing that. That wasn’t so exciting. Standing on a set and having your picture taken just isn’t as exciting as learning dialogue,” Selby said.
While he ruled out modeling, Selby found he could perform anywhere, so he continued acting in Iowa, shooting commercials, training videos, and several independent films that he said he “really enjoyed.” Selby has appeared in IOWA (2012), Revenge: A Love Story (2014) and Kultus (2015), among others.
Selby said he never wanted to act for fame or recognition, but rather for pleasure, much like his mother, a country and western singer.
“I never wanted to be a big name or anything. I just loved playing. It was fun being someone else for a while,” Selby said.
Selby also has an extensive bibliography, including a self-published biography and more recently four books detailing the complete discography of various musical artists – The Complete Dolly Parton Illustrated Discography, The Complete Osmond Family Illustrated Discography, The Complete Barry Manilow Illustrated Discography and The Complete Helen Reddy Illustrated Discography – published by BearManor Media.
He wrote the book about the Osmond family because of his friendship with Marie Osmond and wanted to do something for all of them. He then went on to push the other three and currently has an agreement with BearManor Media to write 12 more discography books. The latest, due for release in December, will cover Anne Murray.
Selby also released nine music albums between 1976 and 1985, which are a mix of original songs and covers, and a Christmas album a few years ago.
Although Selby has explored multiple career paths over the years, his favorite has been healthcare because giving back to his community is important to him. He has worked in the home health care field for about 30 years and is currently employed as a housekeeper at the Iowa Veterans Home.
“The people there are just wonderful. I sympathize with all of the veterans I’ve met, even the ones who are a bit cranky,” Selby said. “I love this work.”
Selby does a little of everything at IVH, helping residents and staff wherever he can, but once he has completed certain required courses he hopes to expand his responsibilities even further. Of all he has researched, Selby said that what he loves most is writing and mentoring people.
Selby has gathered a wide range of life experiences, and his greatest realization to date is that most people deserve the benefit of the doubt.
“With all these different projects, you meet a lot of different people. You know, people are basically good. We hear a lot more about the bad people and that sticks in our minds because it’s awful, some of the things that are happening in this world today,” Selby said. “I learned that people are generally good.”
While Selby is retiring from acting, he plans to continue working at IVH and writing as much as possible.
Contact Susanna Meyer at 641-753-6611 or
PHOTO INVOLVED — Daniel Selby, left, pictured with his girlfriend Marie Osmond, right, began writing books on music artist discography after writing his first discography book on the Osmond family. Daniel Selby has explored many different careers in his life, ranging from acting to modelling, singing, writing and home nursing. He now resides in Marshalltown and works at the Iowa Veterans Home.
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