Could you tell us about your charity?
I'm playing for the 1736 Family Crisis Center. It's, a, um, a wonderful shelter for families that are escaping abuse or danger from home. Um, and I got involved in it because, you know, at this time, when there's so much trouble, economic trouble, the one thing you want is to be able to count on the people you love, the people you're closest to, and when you can't count on those, and you have to escape from your very own home as a child or a spouse, uh, I--I felt like that's--that's something I want to really help if I can. So, uh, I looked around at 1736, and I had something to do with them before, and I just think they do a terrific job.
What would winning $1,000,000 mean to your charity?
You know, that's the most exciting thing about this, is what you can do for a charity like that, it's private, uh, nonprofit, relies on donations, it isn't a very big--it's not a big international, um, agency, it--so every dollar will count. And, uh, I just can't even imagine what they'll be able to do with that amount of money. It's just going to be terrific.
Are you more or less nervous to play Jeopardy! this time?
It was a long time ago, so it's--I'm a little rusty. So a little nervous. But excited, you know, it's--it's going to be fun.
Did you prepare differently for this appearance than the last time?
No, I stopped taking the newspaper some time ago, so, that might not have been a very good idea. But, um, I did actually read the Sunday papers pretty carefully. Just in case.
What stands out in your memory about your previous appearance?
Uh... just good memories. It was fun! You know? Winning was fun. So, um... Uh, just relax--trying to keep myself relaxed, and, uh, not t--jump the buzzer, and, um... think carefully before I answer, and may the best man win.
How does it feel to win Celebrity Jeopardy! again?
Ah, I'm feeling great. Walking on air. And what a time of year to--to uh, to do this for, y'know, people. It's--it's just fantastic. I'm very happy.
How are you going to celebrate?
Um, you know, uh, I think, uh, yes, you know, it's my wife's birthday next weekend, and I think we'll go celebrate her birthday and my triumph here at Celebrity Jeopardy!, and, uh, I can't wait to get down to, uh, to my charity, to 1736, and--and see what we can start doing with that money.
What did you think of your competition?
Fantastic game. I mean, Chris and David, we were--we were like mano-a-mano right down to the wire. And then Chris coming up the end like that, right from--from behind--it was really exciting. I mean, it really was. It coulda gone any--either way. That last Final Jeopardy! coulda gone any way at all.
Was there a point when you knew the game was "in the bag"?
No. And that woulda been fatal. [Laughs] Trust me, with those two, it woulda been fatal.
What advice do you have for other contestants?
Uh, y'know, it--it's hard to stay calm, but that's the best. Your clicking in works better if you're just calm and you get into that rhythm. If you try to anticipate, you're gonna cut yourself out.
What was the best part of your Celebrity Jeopardy! experience?
Uh, meeting--I mean, this sounds like a cliché, but actually, chatting and hanging out with David and Chris. I mean, uh, and, uh, I'm a perfect fan of both of them, and, uh, I see them on the TV all the time, so it's, uh, y'know, even--even us in the business are fans of other people, so that's been a real thrill.
"As Shane Donovan on Days of Our Lives, he won three Soap Opera Digest Awards and, later, costarred on The Nanny. Recently, he appeared on AMC's hit series Mad Men. Please welcome..."
Playing on behalf of 1736 Family Crisis Center.
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 BA in Law at the Magdalene College of Cambridge University. "Despite a lifelong love of the theater, I thought it was about time someone in my family did something sensible," he said.
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 on The Nanny he has since appeared in the feature film Denial with Jason Alexander and Patrick Dempsey, Second Chances, The Painting and most recently Kids in America as well as several TV movies, including A Kiss So Deadly with Charlotte Ross, Dayo with Elijah Wood and for Disney, Mom's Got a Date with a Vampire with Caroline Rhea and Get a Clue with Lindsay Lohan and Everything to Gain with Sean Young (which he shot in Montreal). He will soon be seen in a recurring role on AMC's hot new show Mad Men.
Charles has done many animated series, but most recently, was proud to receive an Emmy for his voice work as Dennis the goldfish in the animated Disney cartoon Stanley.
Charles' 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 and My Fair Lady.
Charles has enjoyed a varied career on stage and in front of the camera, but is most grateful for his beautiful wife, Susan and his two girls, Jenny and Maddy, who make it all worthwhile.