You are probably familiar with Tom Selleck. How can we ever forget Thomas Magnum or Dr. Richard Burke, after all! Perhaps it is his mustache that you know him for. Regardless, he sure is one of the greatest actors Hollywood has ever seen. Despite his fame, there are plenty of things that fans do not know about him. Let’s take a closer look at the personal life of this living legend. Read on to know more about his family, the lawsuit, and older works!
His family moved from Detroit to California when he was a young boy. His father was a real estate investor, while his mother was a housewife. They taught him the importance of a great work ethic and this was something that he would remember for the rest of his life. He has even passed it onto his daughter. When his mother died in 2017, Selleck said, “She’s always been there and always been very fair — even when she said, ‘Wait till your father gets home,’ which usually was for good reason.”
Not The NBA
Selleck went to the University of Southern California on a basketball scholarship. On the side, he worked as a model. He was actually enrolled under the Business Administration program but his drama coach told him to try acting. Selleck, fortunately, followed the advice and studied acting under Milton Katselas of the Beverly Hills Playhouse.
Surprisingly, he also served in the U.S. Army for quite some time. He was assigned to the 160th Infantry Regiment of the California Army National Guard. Selleck has spoken about his time in the military proudly, “I am a veteran, I’m proud of it. I was a sergeant in the U.S. Army infantry, National Guard, Vietnam era. We’re all brothers and sisters in that sense.”
Selleck said that turning 70 years old was a turning point in his life. It was apparently the first time that he felt like a grown man ever since his father passed away. He revealed, “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’.”
Only The Start
We already know that Selleck had a modeling gig, but did you know that he was on The Dating Game? His fraternity brothers and drama coach were the ones who encouraged him to audition for the reality show. After his appearance on the show, Pepsi got in touch and booked him for a commercial. It would turn him into an overnight sensation! This was the beginning of a great career, though no one knew it at the time.
Selleck would eventually attract the attention of Twentieth Century Fox. They were clearly invested in getting him and it’s a good thing that Selleck knew an opportunity when he saw one. He signed with the company and immediately began acting classes the next day.
Soap Opera Kid
He would next appear 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.
He was able to get his biggest role at the age of 35. We’re talking about Thomas Magnum from Magnum, of course! After taking on various small roles, he finally landed the job that would propel him to a new level of fame. Did you know that he went to Hawaii for the role only for production to stall? Due to a writer’s strike, they had to delay filming. During that time, Selleck did some work as a handyman in order to make ends meet!
Magnum P.I. was a huge success. It came to a close after eight seasons and a total of 163 episodes. Who wouldn’t be able to recognize the man with his signature mustache, Detroit Tigers baseball cap, and Hawaiian t-shirts?
They See Me Rollin’
Of course, we will never forget the red Ferrari Thomas Magnum drives around. Fun fact: the character was initially going to have a Porsche! However, Selleck’s tall stature was simply not made for such cars. That’s why they changed it to a red Ferrari! We’re sure that the sales department of Ferrari is grateful for Selleck’s physique!
Nothing But Respect
His Magnum costar Larry Manetti published a memoir called Aloha Magnum in 1996. When things like this 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 amazing work ethic and how great a friend he was to the cast and crew members.
Is it really any 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!
We simply cannot imagine anyone else as Thomas Magnum in Magnum, P.I. Did you know that the part was actually supposed to go to Kevin Dobson? It’s lucky that the TV actor declined the role in the end. It certainly worked to Selleck’s benefit!
While shooting Magnum, P.I., the actor was not allowed to do other projects. It must have been difficult for the actor whose popularity was then at an all-time high. He actually had to turn 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.
Swing And A Miss
In 1982, he was approached by the production team of Victor/Victoria. He was initially apprehensive to take the role but eventually decided that he wanted to work on the film. Sadly, it was already too late since the production of Magnum had already begun.
Selleck was outspoken when it comes to the writing of his character. Thomas Magnus was actually written differently from the one we saw on television. The writing team had the character down as a charming debonair, not unlike James Bond. Selleck spoke to them and convinced them to make more like the average Joe. We’re glad he was able to change the direction and we’re sure the production team is, too!
Tom Selleck married model Jacqueline Ray after one year of dating. However, they would eventually file for divorce after spending 11 years together. He actually adopted her son Kevin and they would remain close even after the separation. We bet not every stepfather would have done the same thing.
A Superstar of It’s Own
You can’t know Tom Selleck without knowing the mustache! After all, this is one facial feature that is internationally-known. It is honestly a celebrity in its own right. We bet you would not be able to recognize him if he didn’t have it. That’s simply how involved it is to his persona. However, there’s another man who people mistake him for.
Agree to Disagree
While the mustache is iconic, it is also the reason that Selleck is mistaken for other celebrities. There was one man in particular that he got all the time. 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.”
His Mustache’s Agent
Stephen Colbert was thrilled to have Magnum PI on his show, but he made it seem like he was even more excited about his mustache! The two joked about the mustache having an agent of his own even! Colbert hilariously joked, “It [the mustache] precedes you into the room by about 30 seconds!”
Mustache For President
Stephen Colbert even went to further lengths than that to joke about his 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.
Before Magnum finished its run, Selleck appeared in the comedy Three Men and a Baby with Ted Danson and Steve Guttenberg. Selleck had Magnum to thank for how well his career was going, but the flick only supplemented his popularity. The movie actually went on to become the biggest box office hit that year!
Jimmy Fallon – The Ghost
When Selleck joined Jimmy Fallon on his show, Fallon questioned him 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.”
Around the same time, Tom Selleck and Jillie Mack exchanged vows. The couple has been together since then. The two have a daughter named Hannah and they live in California.
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.
Not every artist is willing to divulge their political affiliations. Selleck is not one of these celebrities. He is a proud Republican and he 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!
Neither Here Nor There
While he might have been involved in politics before, Selleck did not express support during the 2016 election. He has kept quiet about who he voted for between Clinton and Trump. 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.
Throughout his career, the actor has been in over 50 films and television shows. Despite all of this, his net worth is only at $25 million. That probably sounds like a lot of money to us regular folks, but it is also rather small when you compare it to other stars of his stature.
Did you know that he could have been Mitch Buchannon on Baywatch? Yes, the actor could have played the lead in the 90’s hit series! So why did he turn it down? Interestingly enough, it was because Tom Selleck did not want to become a sex symbol. This is the reason why the part was given to David Hasselhoff instead.
Dr. Richard Burke
Everyone loves the TV show Friends and his portrayal of Dr. Richard Burke certainly helped. He played the ophthalmologist that Monica Geller dates for some time. He even received an Emmy nomination for the Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series award!
Visiting 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 where she knew him from. After Selleck offered numerous TV shows of his, he finally hit the nail on the head when he suggested that she might know 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 was having in Japan. Aside from sharing that he felt lonely during the four months he spent in Japan, 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 are meant to salute every police commissioner, so it’s a testament to his terrific acting skills that he gets mistaken for a real one. Props!
Since we’re talking about Frank Reagan, his fellow actor Donnie Wahlberg 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 are so funny. Everybody feels so much lighter and happier.”
An Affair To Remember
We’re glad that he has 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 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 not without first dating Selleck. The two were in a stormy relationship that lasted for a year.
Grilled By Rosie
Selleck would go on Rosie O Donnell’s show to promote the 1999 film The Love Letter. Or so he thought! 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 playing 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 intimidating?” The answer would be none other than Tom Selleck himself.
Everyone needs a break every now and then. Selleck realized the same thing when he was unable to make time for his wife and daughter while working on Magnum. It was admirable of him to prioritize his loved ones over his work. His love for his family is admirable. Not everyone is willing to do the same thing!
Selleck lets us in on the secret to his successful marriage. “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.”
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 from 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.
Not The Only Reason
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 is a man who knows his priorities and sets out to follow them.
Words of Wisdom
Selleck might have undergone divorce before, but there is no doubt that his second marriage is for keeps. She is his greatest love. They have been together for 30 years now and the couple is still going strong. 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.”
It was in 1987 when 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 both nervous, like any other couple about to get married. He was very concerned that the service be heartfelt, very concerned for her that the service be 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 regular childhood so they tried to evade publicity when it comes to their personal lives. These days, she is an equestrian! Hannah occasionally does modelling for her sponsors and friends.
The couple did not raise Hannah to be a socialite. In fact, she lived most of her life on the family’s 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 own 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 simply loves horses so there’s no question 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 really great and a great experience,” she said. “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.”
The family lives on their 60-acre avocado farm. It is a huge place to run so it must be important to ensure that everything is always in check. However, to what extent will they go to ensure that everything is going smoothly? Just 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 water hydrant! The authorities would find out about it later on.
On The Other Side
A lawsuit was filed by the Calleguas Municipal Water District against Selleck in 2015. A private investigation would reveal that he hired a tanker truck to transport water from the said town. In a span of two years, Selleck apparently did this a total of 12 times! He had been previously sued, but the actor simply ignored the case.
The water district agency apparently hired the services of a private investigator. The bill would amount to $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. Apparently, 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. Apparently, 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 strong ethical code. He explained, “I try very hard to conduct myself in an ethical way, 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.”
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.”
Heart of Gold
Here is more proof that this man is one of a kind. When the last season of Magnum, P.I. was on 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 bonuses 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 — 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.”
We already know about his amazing 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.”
Say It Ain’t So
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 the 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 on stage! 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.
It would probably not come as a surprise that Tom Selleck was inducted to the International Mustache Hall of Fame. This happened in 2015. It should go without saying that the actor was included in the Film and Television category!
When Tom Selleck made an appearance on Ellen Degeneres’ talk show, he was surprised when he came out and saw the audience. Of course, the crowd was very excited to have the famous star on the show, and that’s why they prepared a special dedication to him. Most of the audience members wore mustaches as a tribute to the Magnum PI actor.
Surprising Dolly Parton
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. What happened next would not be forgotten very quickly.
Embarrassing One Another
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.
I’ll Be Back
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.
We have already learned about his innate kindness so you probably already know that he is a philanthropist. As philanthropists go, he’s a huge one! 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!
Female Sequel Series
Have you heard that Eva Longoria is spearheading a spin-off of Magnum, P.I.? Yes! What’s more is that it will be an all-female team. The story follows Magnum’s daughter Lily as she heads the firm. We are incredibly excited for it!
The iconic Ferrari from Magnum, P.I. was up for bidding in Arizona at an asking price of $250,000. The lucky winner will be able to take home an authentication certificate along with the vehicle. The car was sold at only $181,500.
We already talked about his acting stint on Friends. But did you know that fans think he is the third best guest character on the show? He came in after Brad Pitt and Paul Rudd!
Selleck has been portraying Jesse Stone since 2005. Of course, we are talking about the TV movie adaptations of Robert B. Parker novels. Right now, there are nine films overall and the actor has begun producing these episodes. The fifth film called Jesse Stone: Thin Ice was actually Selleck’s own story!
Selleck has been approached by many companies for their commercials. Of course, he’s a likeable man so there’s no wonder why! Throughout his career, he was seen in advertisements for AT&T, American Advisors Group, Florida’s Natural Orange Juice, and Right Guide.
Tom Selleck was able to make the news again on August 11, 1997. What did he do? He became the first celebrity to make a guest appearance The View!
Selleck was born on January 29, so his zodiac sign would be Aquarius. For those unfamiliar with horoscopes, Aquarius people are known for being affectionate, curious, frank, imaginative, and truthful. That is certainly an accurate description of the actor, don’t you think?
For his work on Magnum, P.I., Tom Selleck won an Emmy and a Golden Globe for the category Best Actor in a Drama Series. There’s more! He also received multiple Emmy, Golden Globe, and People’s Choice Awards nominations throughout the years. Yep, he is a talented man all right.
In 2007, Selleck would appear as A.J. Cooper, the new owner of the Montecito Casino, on the TV hit show Las Vegas. It would be his first regular acting gig after the success of Magnum, P.I.
Thanks to his great personality and acting skills, he was given an honorary doctorate by Pepperdine University in 2000!
Tom Selleck had always been a fan of the Detroit Tigers. For some time, he even became a minority owner! Impressive.
Did you know that Selleck also did some voice work? Yes, he’s not all about TV, film, and theater! He did a natural history series called North America. We’re sure that his voice was able to enhance the documentary and aid in the narration.
There is one artifact at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History that you will have to make. Do not forget to check out the display featuring the iconic Hawaiian shirt from the TV show. Yes! They decided to give it to the Washington, D.C. museum.
In 2009, Tom Selleck joined the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund and became the Education Center’s new national spokesman.
I Like It
Selleck was asked questions about his career in a recent interview. Apparently, the actor enjoys the fact that his role in Blue Bloods was a practicing Catholic, though he himself is not a religious person.
After his divorce, we’re sure that Tom Selleck was lonely. He would go to London for work around that time. On that trip, he went to see the musical ‘Cats’ with his colleagues. After watching it for the first time, he would return several times! Why was that?
Apparently, he went back because he fell in love with the actress portraying Rumpleteazer! We are, of course, talking about Jillie Joan Mack who was then 25 years old. Selleck would finally introduce himself and the two would have dinner together. After the musical’s run, Jillie had plenty of time to see her new beau!
Mack would eventually decide to relocate to Hawaii! The couple made quite the sight whenever they walked down the red carpet. They looked completely in love with each other. She was present when Selleck received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
It has been over 30 years now since they exchanged vows. In an interview with NY Daily News, Selleck revealed, “Jillie and I have a pretty good partnership. We don’t do anything or make any decisions without consulting each other. And if one of us makes a decision involving Hannah, the other parent completely supports that position, even if you disagree.”
Lots Of Love
Recently, Tom Selleck appears to be staying out of the limelight. It is not because of any negative reason, however—he simply wants to focus on being there for his family. His lady’s man image belongs completely to the past. These days, all he cares about are Jillie and Hannah.
During an interview on The View after Donald Trump became president, Tom Selleck wanted to make a point about the American people as a whole. He said that he respected the way all the candidates showed America that they have more in common than they don’t have, despite all odds. Whoopi Goldberg agreed by saying that it “[Americans] do it better than anyone in the world.”
A Different Twist
On Conan O’Brien show, the two spoke about “The Golden Collar” awards. These are awards given out to pets based on their performances during movies. O’Brien rubbed the fact that Selleck’s dog, “Joe”, didn’t take first place, coming in second after the famous dog “Uggie” from The Artist.