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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Born Today: Tom Selleck

Sex symbol with a mustache: while women would not vote him the "sexiest man alive" as they once did, the detective-oriented actor is still going strong

Tom Selleck

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Tom Selleck
Tom Selleck 2010.jpg
Tom Selleck at the 26th TCA Awards, 2010
Born Thomas William Selleck
January 29, 1945 (age 69)
Detroit, Michigan USA
Alma mater University of Southern California
Occupation Actor, Film producer
Years active 1969–present
Spouse(s) Jacqueline Ray
(m.1971–1982; divorced)
Jillie Mack
(m.1987– present)
Thomas William "Tom" Selleck (born January 29, 1945) is an American actor and film producer. He is best known for his starring role as the private investigator Thomas Magnum in the television series Magnum, P.I. (1980 to 1988), based in Hawaii. He also plays Police Chief Jesse Stone in a series of made-for-TV movies based on Robert B. Parker novels. Since 2010, he has appeared as NYPD Police Commissioner Frank Reagan in the drama Blue Bloods on CBS-TV.[1]

Selleck has appeared in more than fifty film and television roles since his initial success with Magnum, P.I., including a co-starring role in the highest-grossing movie of 1987, Three Men and a Baby; Quigley Down Under; Mr. Baseball; and Lassiter, to name a few. Selleck has also appeared as Dr. Richard Burke on Friends, where he played the on-again, off-again love-interest of Monica Geller (Courteney Cox), and A.J. Cooper on Las Vegas.

Early life

Selleck was born in Detroit, Michigan, the son of Martha S. (née Jagger),[2] a housewife, and Robert Dean Selleck (died 2001), who was an executive and real estate investor.[3][4][5] His father was of English and distant German ancestry, and his mother was of English descent.[6][7] Selleck's family moved to Sherman Oaks, California, during his childhood. Tom's siblings include brother Robert (born 1944), sister Martha (born 1953) and brother Daniel (born 1955). Selleck graduated from Grant High School, in 1962.[8]

Along with modeling, Selleck attended the University of Southern California on a basketball scholarship where he played for the USC Trojans men's basketball team.[9] He is a member of Sigma Chi fraternity[10] and a member of the Trojan Knights. While he majored in business administration, a drama coach suggested Selleck try acting. He then studied acting at the Beverly Hills Playhouse, under Milton Katselas.

Selleck served as a soldier in the 160th Infantry Regiment of the California Army National Guard[11] and his unit was activated for the Watts Riots in Los Angeles.


Early work and Magnum P.I.

Magnum P.I. publicity photo, 1980
Selleck's first TV appearance was as a college senior on The Dating Game in 1965, and again in 1967. Soon after, he appeared in commercials for products such as Pepsi-Cola.

He began his career with bit parts in smaller movies, including Myra Breckinridge and The Seven Minutes. He also appeared in number of TV series, mini-series and TV movies. Selleck also had a recurring role in the 1970s as "too good to be true" private investigator Lance White in The Rockford Files. Lance was very trusting and always lucky, much to the annoyance of Jim Rockford, the show's star private eye played by James Garner. White would frequently say to Rockford, "Don't worry Jim, clues will turn up" and then a clue would just turn up, much to Rockford's consternation, for whom obtaining clues required hard work and hard knocks. Selleck's character was based on one played in Garner's earlier TV series Maverick (1957) by Wayde Preston in the episode "The Saga of Waco Williams".[citation needed]

Selleck, an accessible but relatively untested actor, spent years receiving little interest from the entertainment industry. His big break came when he was cast in the lead role as Thomas Magnum in Magnum, P.I.. The producers would not release the actor for other projects, so Selleck had to pass on the equally enticing film project for the role of Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark, which then went to rising star Harrison Ford. The choice between the roles of Indiana Jones and Magnum actually haunted Selleck so much that before making the decision, he consulted his best friend on what to do.[citation needed] Together they came to the conclusion taking the high road and honoring the first contract with Universal Studios was the career-savvy direction. It turned out shooting of the pilot for Magnum was delayed for over six months by a writers' strike, which would have enabled him to complete Raiders.


Selleck at the 1992 Cannes Film Festival.
Selleck starred in the 1979 TV movie Concrete Cowboys with Jerry Reed. He starred in a number of film roles during and after Magnum; among the most notable were as an acrophobic police detective in Runaway; as a stand-in father in Three Men and a Baby; and as an American 19th century sharpshooter in the Australian western Quigley Down Under – a role and film that he considers one of his best. His other films include Three Men and a Little Lady; High Road to China; Lassiter; Coma; Her Alibi; An Innocent Man; Folks!; Christopher Columbus: The Discovery; Mr. Baseball; In & Out and The Love Letter.

Selleck is an avid outdoorsman, and a marksman and knowledgeable firearms collector. These interests led him to leading-man cowboy roles in Western films, starting with his role as cowboy and frontier marshal Orrin Sackett in the 1979 film The Sacketts, opposite Sam Elliott, Jeff Osterhage, and Western legends Glenn Ford and Ben Johnson. He followed The Sacketts with The Shadow Riders in 1982, then portraying a cat burglar in 1930s London in Lassiter in 1984. Quigley Down Under is probably one of his best known Western films, although he also won a "Western Heritage Award" for his 1997 role in Last Stand at Saber River. His last two cowboy roles to date were in the 2001 TNT movie Crossfire Trail (based on a Louis L'Amour novel of the same name), and the 2003 motion picture Monte Walsh.

He most recently appeared in the film Killers, along with Katherine Heigl and Ashton Kutcher.


Magnum P.I.

Selleck on the Red Carpet at the 61st Annual 
Academy Awards in 1989
Selleck played the role of Thomas Magnum in 1980 after six failed TV pilots. Magnum was a former U.S. Navy Officer, a veteran of a special operations unit in the Vietnam War, who had resigned his commission with the Office of Naval Intelligence and become a private investigator living in Hawaii. The show would go on for eight seasons and 162 episodes until 1988, winning him an Emmy Award[12] for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series in 1984. Selleck was famous for his mustache, a Hawaiian-style aloha shirt, a Detroit Tigers baseball cap, and the Colt Model 1911A1 .45 ACP Caliber pistol his character carried. Magnum drove a Ferrari 308GTSi in the series. The model became so identified with the role that Ferrari fans now refer to the red-painted model as a "Magnum" Ferrari.

Selleck has confirmed that he is the most popular choice by fans to play the role of Magnum in the rumoured upcoming Magnum P.I. movie.[13]


In the late nineties, Selleck played the role of Richard Burke, Monica's boyfriend, at the end of the second season of the hugely successful TV series Friends. Richard was a divorced ophthalmologist who was a friend of Monica's parents, and at first the relationship was hidden from her parents. The relationship eventually ended over Richard's reluctance to commit to raising a family, though Selleck did make a few extra appearances in later shows.

The Closer

In February 1998, Selleck accepted the lead role in a sitcom for CBS called The Closer. In it he played Jack McLaren, a legendary publicist heading up a brand new marketing firm. His costars included Ed Asner, David Krumholtz, and Penelope Ann Miller. Despite the high pedigree, and the expectations for his first series since Magnum, P. I., low ratings caused the show to be canceled after ten episodes.

Jesse Stone series

Since 2005, Selleck has starred in the role of transplanted lawman Jesse Stone in a series of made-for-TV movies based on Robert B. Parker's novels. To date, the series comprises eight films, with the most recent released on May 20, 2012.[14] In addition to his portrayal of the films' protagonist, Selleck now also acts as producer for the series. The fifth film, Jesse Stone: Thin Ice, was not adapted from Parker's novels, but rather an original story by Selleck.[15]

Las Vegas

He joined the cast of the NBC drama Las Vegas in the season-five premiere on September 28, 2007. He played A.J. Cooper, the new owner of the Montecito Casino. He replaced James Caan, who left the cast in the same episode. This was Selleck's first regular role on a drama show since he played Thomas Magnum on Magnum, P.I..

Blue Bloods

Blue Bloods is an American police procedural/drama series on CBS, filmed on location in New York City. Frank Reagan (Selleck) is the Police Commissioner; the series follows the Reagan family of police officers with the New York City Police Department. The show premiered on September 24, 2010.

Other work

Selleck has also appeared in a number of made-for-TV movies in recent years. In particular, he has sought to help bring back to popularity the western, often playing one of that genre's typical characters but thrust into a modern context.
Selleck was offered the lead role of Mitch Buchannon in Baywatch, but turned down the role because he did not want to be seen as a sex symbol. The role eventually went to David Hasselhoff.
Surprising many of his fans, Selleck unexpectedly played the role of General Dwight D. Eisenhower in A&E's 2004 made-for-TV movie Ike: Countdown to D-Day. The movie showed the planning, politics, and preparation for the 1944 Invasion of Normandy, and Selleck was critically lauded for playing a cool, calm Eisenhower.
Selleck appeared in a recurring role on the acclaimed ABC drama Boston Legal as Ivan Tiggs—the troubled ex-husband of Shirley Schmidt (Candice Bergen)—and as novelist Robert B. Parker's character Jesse Stone in several CBS made-for-TV movies, earning a 2007 Emmy nomination for Jesse Stone: Sea Change.


In 2001, Selleck played the lead role of Murray in a Broadway revival of Herb Gardner's comedic play A Thousand Clowns. It ran for only two months. Critics, though far from uniformly negative about Selleck's performance, generally compared it unfavorably to that of Jason Robards, Jr., who won awards in the 1960s for playing the character on the stage and in a movie version. (It remains the role with which Robards is most identified.) Playwright Gardner, however, actually preferred Selleck to Robards in the part, and even said that Selleck was the way he had always envisioned Murray.


Selleck did the voice-over for the 1993 AT&T advertising campaigns titled "You Will." These advertisements had a futuristic feel, and posed the question of, "What if you had the technology to ______ ? Well, you will ... and the company that will bring it to you? AT&T." As of December 30, 2007, he began doing commercial voice-overs for Florida orange juice, a move that one writer quipped would have a "magnum" impact on sales (referring to the actor's role in Magnum, P.I).[16] As of March 2012, Selleck is featured in Coldwell Banker's new television ad campaign focusing on the deepest, most personal meanings of homeownership.[17]

The Practical Guide to the Universe

In the mid-1990s, Selleck hosted a special series on TLC called The Practical Guide to the Universe, in which he talked about the stars, planets, galaxies, and other things in the universe.

Awards and accolades

On April 28, 2000, he received an honorary doctorate from Pepperdine University. He was chosen because of his outstanding character and ethic. He is a board member of the non-profit Joseph and Edna Josephson Institute of Ethics and co-founder of the Character Counts Coalition.[18] Selleck received a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1986. The star is situated at 6925 Hollywood Blvd.[19]
  • Golden Apple Awards – 1982 Male Star of the year
  • Golden Apple Awards – 1983 Male Star of the year
  • People's Choice Award – 1984 Favourite Male TV Performer
  • 36th Primetime Emmy Awards (1984) – Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
  • People's Choice Award – 1985 Favourite Male TV Performer
  • People's Choice Award – 1985 Favourite All-Round Male Entertainer
  • 42nd Golden Globe Awards (1985) – Best Performance by an Actor in a TV-Series-Drama
  • National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum – 2010 Inductee into the Hall of Great Western Performers
In 1993, during the brief run of the late night The Chevy Chase Show on Fox, Selleck guest-starred. As a gag, he asked to be presented his 1992 Worst Supporting Actor Razzie award for his performance as King Ferdinand of Spain in Christopher Columbus: The Discovery. When the Razzie was presented to him on the air, Selleck took it in stride and asked the entire studio audience to "blow me a raspberry." Thus Selleck became the third person in Razzie history to voluntarily accept one of the Worst Achievements in Film statuettes.

Personal life

From 1971 to 1982, Selleck was married to model Jacqueline Ray. During that time, he adopted her son, Kevin Shepard (born 1966).

On August 7, 1987, Selleck married Jillie Mack.[20] They have one daughter, Hannah Margaret Selleck[21] (born December 16, 1988).[10][22] The family lives in Fallbrook, California, and Thousand Oaks, California.[23] Selleck has a summer residence in Jonesboro, Maine. In the 1980s—specifically around the time of filming Three Men and a Baby—Selleck also owned a home on upscale Lakeshore Road in Burlington, Ontario, a city southwest of Toronto.

Selleck lives on an avocado farm. In an interview with Good Housekeeping, Selleck talked about living and working on his farm, "So I like to get outside and work on the farm, from fixing roads to clearing brush. I hate going to the gym, so sweating outdoors sure beats sitting on a stationary bike staring at my navel. And I work cheaper than anyone I could hire to do it."
He is an accomplished indoor and beach volleyball player playing the outside hitter position for the Outrigger Canoe Club, Honolulu. (Son Kevin attended Selleck's alma mater, USC, and became a volleyball team All-American in 1990.) Outrigger Canoe Club team mate Dennis Berg, in the summer 2011 issue of Volleyball USA magazine, said of Selleck, "Tom was a great team mate, 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."[24]

Selleck is an avid ice hockey fan and has been seen attending Los Angeles Kings games at the Staples Center. He lists Anze Kopitar and Alexander Frolov as two of his favorite players. He was once a minority owner of his favorite baseball team since childhood, the Baltimore Orioles.

One of Selleck's Magnum co-stars, Larry Manetti, in his 1996 memoir Aloha Magnum, was lavish in his praise of Selleck. Manetti lauded Selleck for his extraordinary work ethic on a gruelling show (shooting for hours in the midday Hawaiian sun), Selleck's work with Hawaiian charities and his willingness to go to bat for the program's cast and crew members.

In February 2009, Selleck joined the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund as national spokesman for the new Education Center being built on the National Mall.[11]

Political views and the NRA

To promote his film The Love Letter, Selleck was invited to be on The Rosie O'Donnell Show on May 19, 1999. However, he found himself defending an ad in which he appeared supporting the National Rifle Association (NRA) and his position on gun ownership. Selleck said, "It's your show, and you can talk about it after I leave." O'Donnell was highly criticized; it was criticism which led her to make a statement to Selleck by saying, "For him feeling embarrassed and humiliated by me, I strongly do apologize to him personally, but I do not apologize for my feelings about the issue of gun control."[25]
Selleck is a member of the Board of Directors and public spokesman of the NRA.[26] After close friend Charlton Heston stepped down—due to failing health—as the highly visible public spokesman of the NRA in 2003, Selleck has stepped up in comparable manner to succeed him.[27] In 2002, Selleck donated the rifle he used in Quigley Down Under (a custom 13-pound [6 kg], single-shot, 1874 Sharps Rifle, with a 34-inch [86-cm] barrel),[28] along with six other firearms from his other films, to the National Rifle Association, as part of the NRA's exhibit "Real Guns of Reel Heroes" at the National Firearms Museum in Fairfax, Virginia.[26]

For a number of years, Selleck appeared in television advertising for National Review (he also subscribes to The New Republic).[29] He endorsed Senator John McCain in the 2008 presidential election. Selleck describes himself politically as "a registered independent with a lot of libertarian leanings."[30] In a 2012 magazine article about his career, he mentioned that he likes the fact that his character on Blue Bloods and his family are visibly practicing Catholics, while adding that he is not very religious himself.


Year Title Role Notes
1970 Myra Breckinridge Stud
1970 The Movie Murderer Mike Beaudine TV movie
1972 Daughters Of Satan James Robertson
1973 Terminal Island Dr. Milford
1974 A Case of Rape Stan TV movie
1975 Returning Home Fred Derry TV movie
1976 Midway Aide to Capt. Cyril Simard
1977 Bunco Gordean TV movie
1977 The Washington Affair Jim Hawley
1978 Coma Sean Murphy
1978 Superdome Jim McCauley
1978 The Gypsy Warriors Captain Theodore 'Ted' Brinkenhoff
1979 The Chinese Typewriter Tom Boston TV movie
1979 The Sacketts Orrin Sackett TV movie
1982 Divorce Wars: A Love Story Jack Sturgess
1982 The Shadow Riders Mac Traven
1983 High Road to China Patrick O' Malley
1984 Lassiter Nick Lassiter
1984 Runaway Sgt. Jack R. Ramsay
1987 Three Men and a Baby Peter Mitchell
1989 Her Alibi Phil Blackwood
1989 An Innocent Man Jimmie Rainwood
1990 Quigley Down Under Matthew Quigley
1990 Three Men and a Little Lady Peter Mitchell
1992 Folks! Jon Aldrich Nominated—Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actor
1992 Christopher Columbus: The Discovery King Ferdinand Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actor
1992 Mr. Baseball Jack Elliot
1995 Broken Trust Judge Timothy Nash TV movie
1996 Ruby Jean and Joe Joe Wade TV movie
1997 Last Stand at Saber River Paul Cable TV movie
1997 In & Out Peter Malloy Nominated—Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy
Nominated—MTV Movie Award for Best Kiss (with Kevin Kline)
1999 The Love Letter George Matthias
2000 Running Mates Gov. James Reynolds Pryce TV movie
2001 Crossfire Trail Rafael "Rafe" Covington TV movie
2003 Touch 'Em All McCall Touch McCall TV movie
2003 Monte Walsh Monte Walsh TV movie
2003 Twelve Mile Road Stephen Landis TV movie
2004 Reversible Errors Larry Starczek TV movie
2004 Ike: Countdown to D-Day Gen. Dwight D Eisenhower TV movie
2005 Stone Cold Jesse Stone TV movie
2006 Jesse Stone: Night Passage Jesse Stone TV movie
2006 Jesse Stone: Death in Paradise Jesse Stone TV movie
2007 Meet the Robinsons Cornelius Robinson Voice
2007 Jesse Stone: Sea Change Jesse Stone TV movie
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie
Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film
2009 Jesse Stone: Thin Ice Jesse Stone TV movie
2010 Jesse Stone: No Remorse Jesse Stone TV movie
2010 Killers Mr. Kornfeldt
2011 Jesse Stone: Innocents Lost Jesse Stone TV movie
2012 Jesse Stone: Benefit of the Doubt Jesse Stone TV movie
Television series[1]
Year Title Role Notes
1969 Lancer Dobie Episode: "Death Bait"
1973 The Wide World of Mystery Mark Brolin Episode: "Shadow of Fear"
1973 The FBI Steve Episode: "The Confession"
1973 Owen Marshall: Counselor at Law Brinkley Episode: "Snatches of a Crazy Song"
1974–1975 The Young and the Restless Jed Andrews Unknown episodes
1974–1975 Marcus Welby, M.D. Lt. Rogers, Sgt. Ed Brock 2 episodes
1975 The Streets of San Francisco Jimmy Desco Episode: "Spooks for Sale"
1976 Most Wanted Tom Roybo Episode: "Pilot"
1976 Charlie's Angels Dr. Alan Samuelson Episode: "Target: Angels"
1978 Taxi Mike Beldon Episode: "Memories of Cab 804: Part 2"
1978–1979 The Rockford Files PI Lance White 2 episodes
1979 Concrete Cowboys Will Eubanks Episode: "A Fine Romance"
1980–1988 Magnum, P.I. Thomas Magnum 159 episodes
Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Television Series Drama
People's Choice Award for Favorite Male TV Performer (1981, 1983-1985)
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Television Series Drama (1982-1984, 1986-1988)
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series (1982-1983, 1985, 1986)
1982 Simon & Simon Thomas Magnum Episode: "Emeralds"
1986 Murder, She Wrote Thomas Magnum Episode: "Magnum on Ice: Part 2"
1996-2000 Friends Dr. Richard Burke 10 episodes
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series
1998 The Closer Jack McLaren 10 episodes
2006 Boston Legal Ivan Tiggs 4 episodes
2007–2008 Las Vegas A.J. Cooper 19 episodes
2010–present Blue Bloods Frank Reagan 63 episodes
2013 North America Narrator 7 episodes