On the surface, you might have known him because of his famous mustache. Perhaps, you might also know him through the characters, Thomas Magnum or Dr Richard Burke. But who is the real Tom Selleck?
Growing up, Tom’s parents taught him the importance of great work ethics which he also passed onto his daughter. His father was a real estate investor while his mother was a housewife. His greatest influence was his mother whom he recognized as someone who has always been fair.
Selleck was a basketball scholar who took up Business Administration in the University of Southern California. Aside from doing sports, he was also a part-time model. His love for the arts grew when his drama coach persuaded him to try acting. Selleck, fortunately, followed the advice and studied acting under Milton Katselas of the Beverly Hills Playhouse.
Serving The Country
Apart from his acting prowess, he also served in the U.S. Army. He was assigned to the 160th Infantry Regiment of the California Army National Guard. He was indeed a proud veteran and had always been vocal about it.
You’re On Your Own
The death of his father was considered the turning point in his life. Despite assuming different leadership positions, being on his own made him feel like a grown man as there was no one to turn to for fatherly advice.
The Start Of A Great Career
Through the encouragement of his fraternity brothers and drama coach, Tom auditioned for the reality show, The Dating Game. But he didn’t know that his big break would follow shortly after his appearance on the show when Pepsi booked him for a commercial. The rest was history!
Caught The Attention
Selleck caught the attention of Twentieth Century Fox. The film company became eager in getting him, and it’s a good thing that Selleck knew of an opportunity when he saw one. He signed with the company and immediately began acting classes the next day.
Then, he appeared on The Young and the Restless, where he portrayed a minor character called Jed Andrews. Life truly imitates art! The love triangle the character was involved in would happen to the actor in real life.
His big break began at the age of 35. This was no other than Thomas Magnum from Magnum. While they were filming in Hawaii, the production had to stall due to a writer’s strike. Because of this, he worked as a handyman to make ends meet.
Because of his infamous look, Detroit Tigers baseball cap, and Hawaiian t-shirts and, of course, his signature mustache, Magnum P.I. became a huge success. The series came to a close after eight seasons and a total of 163 episodes.
Who would forget the red Ferrari that Thomas Magnum drives around? However, not many may know that it was supposed to be a Porsche. But because of Selleck’s tall stature, they had to make these changes. Talk about a blessing in disguise!
Only Had Good Things To Remember
His Magnum costar Larry Manetti published a memoir called Aloha Magnum in 1996. When things like these happen, it would usually be filled with scandals! However, that did not apply to Tom Selleck. In fact, Manetti only had good things to say about the actor. He praised Selleck’s fantastic work ethic and how great a friend he was to the cast and crew members.
Hollywood Walk Of Fame
Is it a surprise that Tom Selleck has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame? Probably not. He earned it, after all! He was given the spot in 1986 and it clearly would not have happened without Magnum P.I. For the fans, head on to 6925 Hollywood Boulevard to see it!
There is really no one perfect for Thomas Magnum but Tom Selleck himself! It might have been another blessing in disguise as the role was supposedly for Kevin Dobson. But the latter declined. It certainly worked to Selleck’s benefit!
No Other Projects
It might have been difficult for a fast-rising star since he was forbidden to take any role while shooting Magnum P.I. He even turned down the main character in Raiders of the Lost Ark due to schedule conflicts! Here’s the kicker: he could have been able to do it if he knew that the writer’s strike would happen. Ouch.
It Was Too Late
In 1982, Tom Selleck was offered to star alongside Julie Andrews in the film Victor/Victoria. However, he was indecisive so by the time he decided to take the role, he was already locked in his Magnum contract.
Selleck was hands-on and outspoken with how the character was written. Originally, the character was a charming debonair, not unlike James Bond. Selleck convinced the writers to downplay it to an average Joe. We’re glad he was able to change the direction and we’re sure the production team is, too!
Tom Selleck was first married to a model named Jacqueline Ray. Divorced loomed, though, after 11 years of being together. Selleck, then adopted Ray’s son, Kevin and still remained close even after his separation with the model.
A Celebrity In Its Own Right
Considered as one of the most famous mustaches in Hollywood, you would say his mustache is a celebrity on its own. We bet you wouldn’t recognize him without it. However, there’s another man who people mistake him for.
Mistaken For Other Celebrities
Being considered as one of the famous actors in Hollywood with an iconic mustache, he was also mistaken for other celebrities. Here’s what the actor had to say about it: “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.”
An Agent Of Its Own
Though Stephen Colbert was thrilled to have Magnum PI on his show, he seemed to be more excited about his mustache! The two even joked about the mustache having an agent of its own. Colbert hilariously joked, “It [the mustache] precedes you into the room by about 30 seconds!”
Rooting For His Mustache
Stephen Colbert even went to further lengths than that to joke about Selleck’s mustache. He asked, “I know you have never expressed any desire to run for public office, but what about your mustache because I would vote for that thing!” The audience, as well as Tom Selleck, loved the joke.
Biggest Box Office Hit
Before Magnum finished its run, Selleck appeared in the comedy Three Men and a Baby alongside Ted Danson and Steve Guttenberg. Though Magnum was the biggest break of his acting career, the flick supplemented his popularity. The movie actually went on to become the biggest box office hit that year!
The Ghost – Jimmy Fallon
During his guesting in the Jimmy Fallon show, Selleck was asked about the controversial story of a boy who died in the house where they filmed Three Men and a Baby. Selleck got the audience laughing when he exposed that the movie was actually shot on a set they had built for the movie. “Well, we shot it on a sound stage. They built the set and all.”
A Love Of His Life
Around the same time in1987 while filming Magnum P.I., Tom Selleck and Jillie Mack exchanged vows. The couple has been together since then. The two have a daughter named Hannah and they lived in California.
Fairly Minor Roles
Did you know that his parents and wife made appearances in Magnum P.I.? It’s true! Selleck made it happen. They were fairly minor roles, but who doesn’t love family affairs on set? Jillie Mack was in Rembrandt’s Girl from the fourth season of the show.
A Proud Republican
Selleck is not the one who is reserved with his political affiliations. He is a proud Republican and even endorsed John McCain. Aside from that, he is a member of the National Rifle Association. He’s actually on the Board of Directors as well!
He Kept Mum About His Vote
While he might have been involved in politics before, he was mum during the 2016 election. He’s not missing in action, however. The actor actually wrote a letter to Dallas Police Department Chief David Brown to express his appreciation for Brown’s leadership during the Dallas police shooting that year.
That’s A Lot Of Money
Throughout his acting career, the actor has been in over 50 films and television shows. Ironically, his net worth was only $25 million, which is rather small compared to the other stars of his stature.
Supposedly, Selleck could have been Mitch Buchannon on Baywatch. Interestingly enough, the actor turned it down because he did not want to become a sex symbol. That is the reason why the part was given to David Hasselhoff instead.
Dr. Richard Burke
His stint in the hit TV show Friends also made him famous. He portrayed Dr. Richard Burke, the ophthalmologist that Monica Geller dated for some time. He received an Emmy nomination for the Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series award!
Interview With Rachael Ray
In an interview with celebrity chef, Rachael Ray, Tom Selleck described a funny story regarding an unusual fan. While he was at the eye doctor (ironic for Friends fans), the woman sitting behind the desk couldn’t figure out how she knew him. After Selleck offered numerous TV shows, he finally hit the nail on the head when he suggested that she knew him as Dr. Burke from Friends.
When David Letterman first got an interview with Selleck in 1993, the conversation shifted to the lack of success he had in Japan. He shared that he felt lonely during the four months spent in Japan, but he also said that nobody recognized him there.
More recently, he has appeared on the small screen as police commissioner Frank Reagan on Blue Bloods. Here’s an interesting tidbit: it is not unusual for him to be saluted by actual officers whenever he steps out of the set. Officers should salute every police commissioner, so it’s a testament to his terrific acting skills that he gets mistaken for a real one. Props!
A Funny Man
Selleck was dear to his fellow actor Donnie Wahlberg. The latter had many things to say about the actor. “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 is so funny. Everybody feels so much lighter and happier.”
A Steamy Fling
We’re glad that he had a great marriage, but he was quite the heartbreaker when he was a single guy. According to Marie Helvin’s memoir, she and the actor were engaged in a steamy fling. Here is an excerpt: “When I visited Hawaii once, Tom Selleck was shooting for Magnum PI. We met and a bit of an affair started, then Selleck came to London, we had dinner and went back to his hotel. But the next morning, I sent him a letter to break off this relationship because I was worried about my married life. Later on after a week, he joined Musical Cats backstage and met his wife-to-be.”
Tom and Mimi
After the affair, he also dated Mimi Rogers. She would eventually marry Tom Cruise, but only after dating Selleck. The two were in a stormy relationship that lasted for a year.
Grilled By Rosie
While Selleck was on Rosie O Donnell’s show to promote the 1999 film The Love Letter, O’ Donnell would grill him about his beliefs on gun ownership. He did not have any of it, however. He simply told her, “It’s your show, and you can talk about it after I leave.”
Selleck appeared in the 2010 film Killers, where he starred alongside Ashton Kutcher and Katherine Heigl. Kutcher already knew what kind of actor he wanted to play the character of Mr. Kornfeldt. According to him, “I call Mr. Kornfeldt ‘Sir’ in the script a lot. 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 daunting?” The answer would be none other than Tom Selleck himself.
Selleck realized that everyone needs a break once in a while. He thought of the same thing when he was unable to make time for his wife and daughter while filming Magnum. His love for his family is admirable. Not everyone is willing to do the same thing!
Selleck spilled his secret to his successful marriage. He said, “I’ve found it very difficult to expose my private life and live with it. It’s important to nurture your marriage. I think wanting time away from work has been good for that.”
So Many Reasons
In a recent interview with Closer Weekly, he talked about wanting to leave Magnum P.I. >, “Magnum, P.I. went to 163 shows and we still had ground to cover, and I wasn’t tired of it. I was tired of it because I was in every shot,” he explained. In contrast, Blue Bloods was not as demanding since not every scene focused on his character.
He Knows His Priorities
There was more to it, however. “I quit Magnum to have a family. It took a long time to get off the train, but I try very hard to have balance,” he explained. This shows a different side of Selleck as a man who knows his priorities and sets out to follow them.
Nurture Your Marriage
Though Selleck had a divorce, there is no doubt that his second marriage is for keeps. Having been together for over 30 years show how she really is his greatest love. How do they do it? Selleck said, “It’s important to nurture your marriage. I think wanting time away from work has been good for that.”
We Are Married
In 1987, the two surprised both the general public and the media by getting married under wraps. Tom’s brother Bob was the one who organized the wedding in a Lake Tahoe chapel. They didn’t use their real names on the registrar, however! The couple pretended to be “Tom Jenkins” and “Suzie Mark.” Even the minister was unaware of their identities until the ceremony itself!
They Were Nervous
“They were both nervous, like any other couple about to get married. He was very concerned that the service is heartfelt, very concerned for her that the service is meaningful. He is a very warm, caring man,” the wedding officiant narrated. Tom Selleck sure sounds like a fantastic guy!
My Daughter, Hannah
As a father, Tom Selleck adores his daughter Hannah. Her parents wanted her to experience a normal childhood, so they tried to evade publicity for their personal lives. These days, she is an equestrian! Hannah occasionally does modeling for her sponsors and friends.
A Simple Girl
The couple did not raise Hannah to be a socialite. She lived most of her life on the family farm. She was able to learn about hard work there. Similarly, it was where she learned how to love horses. “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 accomplishments outside of whatever my parents had done,” said Hannah.
It seemed like starting a family on their 65-acre farm was the right decision. According to Jillie, “We both thought it was the best environment for [Hannah] to grow up.” After seeing how well Hannah turned out, we concur!
Hannah loves horses, so there’s no question of how she ended up becoming an equestrian. Her life would not be the same without this passion. “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 great and a great experience,” she said. “It is a costly 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.”
The family lives on their 60-acre avocado farm. It is a vast place to run, so it must always be essential to ensure everything is still in check. However, to what extent will they go to ensure that everything is going smoothly? A few years ago, California experienced a drought, and Tom Selleck did something questionable during this period. He paid a truck to transfer water worth approximately $1.4 million from a hydrant! The authorities would find out about it later on.
Ignoring The Case
The Calleguas Municipal Water District filed a lawsuit against Selleck in 2015. A private investigation would reveal that he hired a tanker truck to transport water from the said town. In two years, Selleck did this a total of 12 times! He had been previously sued, but the actor simply ignored the case.
Cost Of The Investigation
The water district agency hired the services of a private investigator. The bill amounted to a whopping $22,000! Tom Selleck would choose to settle and only had to pay $21,000. It was not even enough to cover the cost of the investigation.
We have previously mentioned his stepson Kevin. The two have been close ever since the younger man had been a teenager. Sadly, he faced many difficulties as an adult. His music career did not take off, and he would have a lot of financial problems. These circumstances have negatively affected his relationship with his stepfather.
After marrying Jillie, Selleck mentioned that he became more aware of his interactions with other women. Jillie was a little worried when Sophia Loren moved in next door! “If I was on my way to Home Depot and she was out on the driveway in her bathrobe, and she said exactly these words: ‘Thomaso, would you like a cappuccino?’ I could go in,” he explained. We’re sure that Selleck is no longer the lady’s man he used to be.
It might be true that Selleck had many scandals of his own, but the actor follows a robust ethical code. He explained, “I try very hard to conduct myself ethically because that’s important to my stability now. We’re a culture that’s so centered on the individual. The culture says that basically nothing is more important than the way you feel.”
Worst Supporting Actor
Selleck made a guest appearance on The Chevy Chase Show in 1993. For the sketch, he asked to be given the 1992 Razzie Award for the Worst Supporting Actor for his portrayal of King Ferdinand in Christopher Columbus: The Discovery. When he was given the award, he jokingly asked the audience members to “blow me a raspberry.”
One Of A Kind
He proved that he is one of a kind. When the last season of Magnum, P.I., was on the air, Universal Studios decided to give Selleck a $350,000 bonus to treat himself. He would use the money to buy expensive watches and cars. However, he also gave $1,000 worth rewards to every member of the cast and crew!
When interviewed in 1980, Selleck was asked why he did not agree to appear in the film version of Magnum P.I. His answer? “I tell you what worries me — because I love “Magnum” and we have loyal fans — if they take these T.V. show titles, buy them, and spend $100 million on special effects, and then they make fun of them and trivialize it. Later they try to 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.”
We already know about his fantastic acting skills, but did you know that he is also a skilled volleyball player? He played both indoor and beach versions of the sport. He is the outside hitter of the Outrigger Canoe Club. One of his teammates said, “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.”
Shaved It Off!
1997 was a memorable year for Tom Selleck fans because it was the year that the actor decided to shave it off! Why would he do that, you ask? For art! He starred in In & Out, which required him to go without it. After this, he would not shave it unless a role required it.
Selleck’s acting is not limited to the big and small screen. He has also appeared in the theater! He played the main character in Broadway’s A Thousand Clowns. Critics were harsh on Selleck since they believed Jason Robards, Jr. was able to give more justice to the role. The playwright Gardner came to his defense and explained that Selleck portrayed Murray the way he imagined the character should be like.
Unsurprisingly, Selleck is a firearms collector, marksman, and outdoorsman. These qualities have made him fitting for Western films. He starred in films like Crossfire Trail, Quigley Down Under, The Sacketts, and The Shadow Riders.
International Mustache Hall Of Fame
It would probably not be a surprise that the International Mustache Hall of Fame inducted Tom Selleck. The induction happened in 2015. It should go without saying that the actor was included in the Film and Television category!
Ellen DeGeneres’ Show
When Tom Selleck made an appearance on Ellen Degeneres’ show, he was surprised when he came out to see the audience. The seemingly excited crowd wore mustaches as a tribute to the Magnum P.I. actor.
During Dolly Parton’s show back in 1987, Parton, as well as her audience, were surprised when a mystery guest stood up to ask a question. When Dolly Parton realized who was standing there, she quickly invited him onto the stage and the rest was history!
Cheer And Laughter
Dolly Parton joked that it was difficult for the audience to recognize Selleck with long pants on since he was usually wearing shorts for the shooting of Magnum PI. And without missing a beat she suggested that he take them off so that he would feel at home. He quickly started blushing as the crowd roared with cheer and laughter.
We already know that Selleck missed out on Indiana Jones, but there’s another iconic character that he almost portrayed. We’re talking about the titular character of The Terminator! Like the former, he had to turn it down due to Magnum, P.I.
Sharing His Blessings
We have already learned about his innate kindness so you probably already know that he was a philanthropist. The actor apparently loves to share his blessings. At the moment, he works at The Joseph & Edna Josephson Institute of Ethics, Character Counts Coalition, National Fatherhood Initiative, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and New York City’s Student/Sponsor Partnership Program. Whew, that’s quite the list!
A Magnum P.I.sequel about his daughter will be spearheaded by Eva Longoria. The spin-off will be an all-female team. The story follows Magnum’s daughter Lily as she heads the firm. Now, this sounds really exciting!