Most of us know Tom Selleck by many names: Thomas Magnum, Police Chief Jesse Stone, Dr. Richard Burke, and NYPD Commissioner Frank Reagan. Or we know him for his signature mustache. In any case, we know about the A-list actor, however there are a few things we ~don’t know~. As one of Hollywood’s most respected and loved actors, even Tom Selleck has a few flaws (okay, maybe it’s safe to say that he has more than just a few flaws. Let’s dig in and talk about a Hollywood great.
Born in Detroit, Tom Selleck and his family moved to California – despite the fact that they had very little money. Selleck’s mother used to be a housewife while his father worked as an executive and real estate investor – furthermore, it was Tom’s parents that taught him how to properly maintain a respectable work ethic. One that he has since carried with him!
Not The NBA
First of all, while he was attending the University of Southern California on a basketball scholarship, he was paying the bills while he worked as a model. Do we need to point out that he played for the USC Trojans men’s basketball team? Didn’t think so. Moreover Tom Selleck was a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity and the Trojan Knights. While studying for his degree in Business Administration, it was actually a drama coach who recommended to Selleck that he try acting. That’s when Selleck started to study acting at the Beverly Hills Playhouse, under the great Milton Katselas.
The greatness of Tom Selleck doesn’t stop there either – from 1967 to 1973, he actually served in the United States Army. As a result, he was in the 160th Infantry Regiment of the California Army National Guard, and by the time his service was up, he finished as a Sergeant. #notbad
Selleck, now 72 years of age, once said that when he turned 70 just two years ago, it was a defining moment in his life. During a recent interview, Selleck actually admitted the first time that he truly felt like a grown man was once his father passed away in 2001. “I had had a lot of leadership positions, I had been in the military…but you know, in my case, when my father died, I go, “There’s nobody to go to for fatherly advice. You’re on your own, pal,” said Selleck.
Only The Start
Now we’ve already mentioned that Selleck worked as a model but did you know that his his drama coach and college fraternity brothers are the ones who encouraged him to participate in the 60’s show, The Dating Game? Just like that, Selleck became an overnight sensation. So much so that Pepsi phoned him up immediately to request he star in a commercial for him. And my folks, was just the beginning.
With an abundance of minor TV roles roles to his name, it was only a matter of time until Selleck captured the attention of a proper agency. Eventually that became the case because Twentieth Century Fox wanted to sign him on. Particularly their talent department, as they didn’t him to sign elsewhere and Selleck was no fool – he immediately singed on for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and showed up at training class the following day.
Soap Opera Kid
Picture this: it’s the early 70’s and Tom Selleck scores a minor role as Jed Andrews on the hit soap opera The Young and the Restless. However, no one knew that art would imitate life, cause all of those love triangles surrounding Jed Andrews followed Tom Selleck to the real world. Talk about foreshadowing!
At 35, Tom Selleck FINALLY gets his big break when he is cast as the main lead, Thomas Magnum, on Magnum P.I.. Heck, Selleck even relocates to Hawaii but as soon as he arrives, a writers’ strike kicks off and shooting for the pilot is delayed by six months. Meanwhile Selleck needs to make money so he works as a handyman for just $7 an hour! Hey, you gotta do what you gotta do.
While we’re talking about big breakthroughs, Magnum P.I. was on air for eight whole seasons, with 163 episodes. Of course, Selleck’s character easily stands out in a crowd – the Detroit Tigers cap, Hawaiian t-shirts, the mustache(!), the red Ferrari, and the Colt Model 1911A1 .45 ACP Caliber pistol. Classic.
They See Me Rollin’
Now producers had a slight problem when Tom Selleck was cast as Thomas Magnum – his tall frame. As producers had the idea that Magnum should drive around in a Porsche, Selleck’s height made this virtually impossible. Ergo, the classic red Ferrari came into the picture and the rest, as they say, is history.
Nothing But Respect
Larry Manetti, a Magnum co-star, published his memoir in 1996, Aloha Magnum. In Manetti’s memoir, he only said the most amazing things about Tom Selleck – especially regarding his work ethic while shooting in the boiling Hawaiian sun, Selleck’s work with charities, and also his willingness to stick up for other member’s of show.
Yes, Tom Selleck does indeed have a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. An award that was awarded to him back in 1986. All his work on Magnum skyrocketed his career in ways that he probably didn’t even consider. Get over to 6925 Hollywood Blvd and see Selleck’s star!
Trying to imagine anyone but Tom Selleck as Thomas Magnum is like choosing your favorite ice cream brand – it’s impossible. Be that as it may, Tom Selleck actually was not the first choice to play the lead – in fact, it was offered to Kevin Dobson, but he turned it down.
When Selleck signed on to play Thomas Magnum in Magnum, P.I., producers wanted him involved only on the show and that’s it. What does this mean? Well, the producers would not allow Selleck to work on any other projects! Therefore when Selleck was offered the part of Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark, he had to say no. And everyone knows how Harrison Ford’s skyrocketed after Indiana Jones! But did you know that because filming for the show was delayed by six months, Selleck actually could have done the film!
Swing And A Miss
Speaking of missed opportunities, Selleck was also offered to star opposite Julie Andrews in the 1982 Victor/Victoria film. However he was incredibly indecisive so by the time he did decided that he wanted the part, unfortunately he was already locked in his Magnum contract. Yes, the same contract that cost him the part of Indiana Jones.
When it came to his Magnum P.I. character, Selleck had quite the impact on the creative team. See, he suggested that they tweak his character’s James Bond-ish charming typecast into someone is an average guy and is more approachable. Well it goes without saying that it worked – the audience loved Thomas Magnum.
Former model Jacqueline Ray and Tom Selleck dated for about a year when they eventually exchanged vows. During this time, Selleck also adopted her son, Kevin. However after 11 years, the pair eventually divorced. Although Selleck has remained in close contact with his step-son.
A Superstar of It’s Own
Ahem, if there’s one thing we don’t need to point out it’s Tom Selleck’s mustache – that thing practically deserves to be in a museum. Without his trademark mustache, he is practically unrecognizable, but you knew that. In his life, he’s only shaved it off a handful of times.
Agree to Disagree
Sometimes even the great Tom Selleck gets mistaken for other actors. However there is one actor he gets mistaken for all the time. “There was a time I could have been mistaken for Burt Reynolds. I had a mustache and so did he. But he was the number one star in the world, so there wasn’t really much confusion.” Oh, it could be worse.
A year before Magnum wrapped up, Selleck starred alongside Steve Guttenberg and Ted Danson in the comedy film Three Men and a Baby. Thanks to Magnum, Selleck was already a huge star but this film cemented his success even further. Not to mention but Three Men and a Baby was actually the biggest motion picture box office hit of the year, bringing in more than $170 million in the States alone.
A year before Magnum P.I. aired its final season, Tom Selleck and Jillie Mack became husband and wife! About a year after they said “I Do”, their daughter Hannah was born. As of late, the Selleck family resides in California on their fancy 60 acre avocado farm.
Jillie Mack even had a small role on Magnum P.I.! She appeared in fourth season, in the episode “Rembrandt’s Girl”. Although Mack wasn’t the only Selleck family member to appear on the show, Tom’s parents even had a brief gig on the show.
Celebrities tend not to be openly vocal about their political views, and for reasons we can understand, however that’s not the case when it comes to Tom Selleck. Openly, he has come out as a Republican and in the 2008 presidential bid, he endorsed John McCain. Ever since, Selleck considers himself a ‘registered independent with a lot of libertarian leanings.’ Furthermore the Magnum P.I. star is also a longtime member of the National Rifle Association (NRA) – actually he is also on the Board of Directors and is a public spokesman.
Neither Here Nor There
Even though Selleck is heavily involved with politics, he did not support Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump in the 2016 Presidential election. Instead he wrote a letter to the former Dallas Police Department Chief David Brown – to thank him for his grace and leadership during the 2016 Dallas police shooting.
Now Tom Selleck has been an actor since 1969, to date he’s appeared in more than 50 film and TV roles. Furthermore he even has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. So you’d think his net worth would be seriously large but instead, it’s just $25 million. And yes, while $25 million sounds HUGE, in today’s standards, it’s not much.
Just like we can hardly imagine anyone but Tom Selleck as Thomas Magnum, we also can’t imagine anyone but David Hasselhoff as Mitch Buchannon in the 90’s TV show Baywatch. Why are we bringing this up? Well, turns out that Selleck was actually offered the part of Mitch Buchannon before the Hoff. However, Selleck turned it down because he did not want to turn into a sex symbol. Oh.
Dr. Richard Burke
During the mid-90’s, Selleck portrayed, well honestly, one of greatest divorced ophthalmologists in the world, Dr. Richard Burke on the hit show Friends. Furthermore, when it comes to ranking Monica’s boyfriends, Richard always comes in at number one or number two, depending on which fan you ask. Furthermore his 10 episode appearances actually earned him a nomination for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series. Nice!
Since 2010, Selleck has been playing the role of Police Commissioner Frank Reagan on the TV drama series Blue Bloods. Oh, and when he wears his uniform out in the real world, he gets saluted by real NYPD officers! Why? Because that is what they are supposed to do when they see the Police Commissioner and seeing as that’s who he portrays on the show, it makes sense. It’s a sign of respect.
During an interview Donnie Whalberg opened about his co-star’s sense of humor, “He can [be funny], yes, usually after he makes sure everyone understands what’s important. It would feel like Christmas on a Tuesday night in August when my dad started telling jokes and it’s the same thing with Tom, when he starts with his oddball jokes and his weird rhymes that he tells from 1930 that are so funny. Everybody feels so much lighter and happier.”
An Affair To Remember
Long before Tom Selleck became a married man, he was a heart-breaker! With that being said, he had a bit of an affair with the very married former model Marie Helvin – she even spoke about him in her autobiography, and how their fling even almost destroyed her marriage, “On one of my visits to Hawaii, the whole place was in uproar because Tom Selleck was there filming Magnum, P.I. We met – and I found myself very attracted to him…Then Tom Selleck came to London. Our affair had been very much a Hawaiian fling, but I still agreed to have dinner with him and go back to his hotel… The next morning, I sent him a letter – by bike – saying that my marriage was breaking up and we ought to call it off. A week or so later, he happened to be taken backstage at the musical Cats, where he met his wife-to-be.”
Tom and Mimi
Mimi Rogers, as most of you know, married the legendary Tom Cruise in 1990 however before this, she and Tom Selleck were an item. Rogers was a recent divorcee when she met Selleck – needless to say, they had a wild year together.
Grilled By Rosie
While Selleck was promoting his film 1999 The Love Letter, he was asked to appear on Rosie O’Donnell’s show and so he did. However, he believed he was there to talk about when his show when O’Donnell continuously grilled him about where he stood on gun ownership. She continued to bombard him with questions to which he finally replied, “It’s your show, and you can talk about it after I leave.”
During filming of Magnum, Selleck was very stressed and had little of a successful work-life balance. Many long hours on set meant that he couldn’t be home enough so when his daughter Hannah was born, he needed a break. He felt that it was crucial he was home with his family more than working as an actor.
2010 was Selleck’s most recent film role. He starred alongside Katherine Heigl and Ashton Kutcher in Killers, the action comedy film. When casting for the film, Kutcher (who produced the film) was absolutely determined to find someone intimidating to play Mr. Kornfeldt. Kutcher said, “I call Mr. Kornfeldt ‘Sir’ in the script a lot,” he said. “And I was thinking, ‘Who am I going to call Sir?'” Who’s a bigger guy, who’s got an intimidating thing, but doesn’t have to try to be intimidating?” Drum-roll please….Tom Selleck, duh.
Recently Selleck was interviewed by Closer Weekly and he further opened up about his reason of wanting to leave the show, “Magnum, P.I. went to 163 shows and we still had ground to cover, and I wasn’t tired of it. I was tired from it because I was in every shot.” His work in Blue Bloods is perfect because he isn’t in every shot so that means that he doesn’t have to work every day.
Words of Wisdom
Selleck has actually been married twice, but the second time has been his biggest success. His biggest love. For 30 years, Jillie Mack has been his wife. Recently he opened up about what the key to a successful marriage is, “It’s important to nurture your marriage..I think wanting time away from work has been good for that.”
Now in 1987, Selleck and Jill stunned fans and reporters alike when they secretly got hitched! It was Selleck’s brother, Bob, who organized their wedding in a 24-hour wedding chapel in Lake Tahoe, Nevada. Furthermore they said “I Do” using the aliases “Tom Jenkins” and “Suzie Mark.” Only minutes before the ceremony did the minister learn their true identities!
My Daughter, Hannah
Don’t act surprised to learn that Tom Selleck cherishes his daughter, Hannah, more than anything in the world. Growing up, her parents kept her out of the spotlight and she was primarily raised around horses which explains why the 28 year old is an equestrian. Moreover, while she does a bit of a modeling, it’s either for her friends or her sponsors.
As we mentioned, Hannah wasn’t raised among other celebrities, she wasn’t brought up to be a socialite! As a result, her life on the farm with her family taught her about hard work and her love for horses only grew, “As a kid they tried to raise me as normally as possible given my dad’s line of work. Those horses have been a great way for me to have my own accomplishments outside of whatever my parents had done,” Hannah says about her parents.
Now Hannah’s passion for horses has truly transformed her life, “I have a small breeding program in California where I’m developing young horses to bring along and sell. It’s a business that so far has been really great and a great experience. It is a very expensive sport, so that is why my dad encouraged and invested in this breeding operation. They have been very supportive. The prices of horses have become astronomical. So that’s why it’s so much more rewarding to bring a horse along on your own.”
We briefly mentioned that the Selleck family live on a 60 acre farm and they all work incredibly hard to ensure it runs smoothly. However the real question is, how far would they, or Tom Selleck himself, to ensure it stays that way? When California experienced a severe drought a few years back, Selleck did something that he really shouldn’t have. Basically the allegation is that he hired a truck to transfer around $1.4 million dollars worth of water from a hydrant in a nearby town in order to keep his avocado farm running. However this crime shortly caught up with him!
On The Other Side
In 2015, he was sued by the Calleguas Municipal Water District for illegally transporting water over the district boundaries and then back to his avocado farm. Furthermore a private investigator discovered that a tanker truck from a neighboring district would fill up from a fire hydrant and head to Selleck’s farm. Thus proving that Selleck was breaking the law. Additionally, district officials claim Selleck obtained water from a hydrant about 12 times in a span of two years and that they had previously sued when a cease and desist order was ignored.
Now the water district agency when ahead and hired a private investigator which cost around $22,000 in order to fully document the alleged misconduct by the Selleck farm. When a settlement agreement was reached, Selleck wound up paying $21,000 – just enough to cover the investigative costs incurred.
Kevin, Tom’s stepson from his first marriage, is still close to the Magnum star to this day. Ever since he was a teenager, the pair have developed a special bond. However Kevin’s problems as a teenager followed him well into adulthood, that coupled with his recent financial problems and failed music career, has seriously hardened his mood and hurt his relationship with his stepdad.
While appearing as a guest star in 1993 on The Chevy Chase Show, Selleck asked to participate in a skit where he would receive his 1992 Worst Supporting Actor Razzie award for his role of King Ferdinand of Spain in Christopher Columbus: The Discovery. When presented with the Razzie on air, Selleck made plenty of jokes and also asked the studio audience to “blow me a raspberry.”
Heart of Gold
When Magnum, P.I. was filming its 8th and final season, Universal Studios gave Selleck a bonus of $350,000. With the bonus, he purchased some extravagant gifts such as Rolex watches, Porsches, but most noteworthy were the $1,000 bonuses that he gave to the whole cast and crew of Magnum, P.I.. #whataguy
Turns out that Tom Selleck is quite the accomplished indoor and beach volleyball player! No, we aren’t kidding either. He once played as the outside hitter position for the Outrigger Canoe Club down in Honolulu, Hawaii. In 2011, a teammate of his said in Volleyball USA magazine, “Tom was a great teammate, appreciative of being included with such a talented and experienced group, practicing and playing hard when his Magnum schedule permitted…. He was very patient with all of us, and we relished the big crowds that replaced the usual sparse number of players’ friends and spouses at the national tourney matches.”
Say It Ain’t So
What’s the worst thing Tom Selleck could go? Apart from all the bad, terrible things. Shave his trademark mustache, of course! For the 1997 In & Out film, he got rid of it for the role. Since that film, he has pretty much kept it unless a script called for its removal.
For two months back in 2011, Selleck was played lead of Murray in the Broadway revival of A Thousand Clowns, Herb Gardner’s comedic play. However critics were very negative about his performance, but they did compare it unfavorably to the performance of Jason Robards, Jr., who had won awards in the 60’s for playing the same role. Gardner actually pipped up and said he really prefers Selleck’s portrayal over Robards, saying that “Selleck was the way he had always envisioned Murray.”
Since 2005, Selleck has been playing the part of Jesse Stone, a transplanted lawman, in made-for-TV movies based on Robert B. Parker’s novels. Currently the series has nine films and recently Selleck became the producer for the episodes. Furthermore film five, Jesse Stone: Thin Ice, is not even an adaptation from the novels but in fact an original story that Selleck created.
We’ve seen Tom Selleck on screen plenty of times, but we’ve seen him in a different light as well. Commercials! So far, he has been the face of Right Guard, AT&T, Florida’s Natural orange juice, and American Advisors Group (AAG).
Before he was cast in Western films, Selleck has had a great loves as an outdoorsman, marksman, and firearms collector. As such, he has appeared in The Sacketts, The Shadow Riders, Quigley Down Under, and Crossfire Trail.
During an interview back in 1980, Selleck was asked why he had previoulsy refused a cameo in the film adaptation of Magnum P.I., he said, “I tell you what worries me — because I love “Magnum” and we have loyal fans — is they take these TV show titles, and they buy them and they spend $100 million on special effects, and then they make fun of them and trivialize it. Then they try and get the actor who used to be in it to do some ridiculous cameo to prove to the audience that it’s OK. And I will not do that.”
Drum roll, please! Tom Selleck was indeed inducted into the International Mustache Hall of Fame in 2015! For the inaugural class in the category Film and Television, of course. That was bound to happen eventually!
I’ll Be Back
Yup, Selleck missed out on the role of Indiana Jones AND the title role The Terminator in 1984. And yes, all because of his commitment to Magnum, P.I.. ~sigh~
Umm, this is almost too crazy and wild to believe. But here it is. On August 11, 1997, Tom Selleck became the first ever celebrity guest on The View. That doesn’t even seem real but it so is.
Now seeing as how Selleck was born in January, that makes him an Aquarius. And being an Aquarius, this means that some of his positive qualities include things like truthfulness, curious, affectionate, frank, and imaginative. We totally get that.
While working on Magnum, P.I., Selleck won an Emmy and a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Drama Series. Furthermore he also won four People’s Choice Awards, four Emmy nominations, and six Golden Globe nominations.
When it comes to narrative works, Selleck has done a few. Especially for the series North America, which is a natural history documentary. His voice really does add a touch of life to the series and also helps to enhance the storytelling flow. Yeah, that also makes sense.
Tom Selleck is an avid philanthropist. And by avid, we mean super super avid. To date, he is a board member of The Joseph & Edna Josephson Institute of Ethics; an advisory board member for the Character Counts Coalition; a spokesman for the National Fatherhood Initiative; a committee member of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; and is actively a member of the Student/Sponsor Partnership Program in New York City. And guys, there’s more but no need to gloat.
Female Sequel Series
Recently, Eva Longoria came on board as the executive producer for a spin-off that features an all-female cast which will follow Magnum’s daughter, Lily. Lily comes to Hawaii to take over her father’s firm. And if that’s not a suitable spin-off, we don’t know what is!
No one can ever forget the classy Ferrari 308 Selleck drove on Magnum PI. Well recently that same car was put up for sale at an Arizona auction. The asking price? A cool $250,000. Which also came with a certificate of authentication to prove that Selleck really did drive it. The car sold for $181,500.