One Of The Greatest Actors
Most people know who Tom Selleck is, whether he was playing Dr. Richard Burke or Thomas Magnum. Maybe it’s the mustache that you recognize. Either way, no one can deny that he’s one of the best actors to be in Hollywood.
Even with his fame, there’s still a lot that fans don’t know about him. We’ll delve a bit deeper into his life and you might be surprised at what we find.
Tom’s family moved to California from Detroit when he was very young. His father was a real estate investor and his mom was a full-time housewife. They showed him how to have a good work ethic which stayed with him for the rest of his life. He’s even tried passing it down to his daughter.
When Selleck’s mother died in 2017 he 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.”
Selleck attended the University of Southern California with his basketball scholarship. To make some money he worked as a model. At his University, he was enrolled in Business Administration but his drama coach said he had much more potential in acting.
Selleck took this advice to heart and decided to start studying acting. His teacher was Milton Katselas from the Beverly Hills Playhouse.
The U.S. Army
Selleck was also in the army surprisingly enough. He was in the 160th Regiment of the California Army National Guard.
Selleck never regretted his time in the military and is actually quite proud. He said: “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 revealed that when he turned 70 his life changed. He said it was the first time he felt like he had fully grown up ever since his father had passed away years before.
He said: “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’.”
Just The Start
So Selleck used to be a model, but he was also on The Dating Game. He was spurred on by his friends and his drama coach, they said it would be a good idea if he auditioned for the show.
After he was in the show he was contacted by Pepsi, who wanted him in a commercial. This commercial blew up and was just the beginning of Selleck’s long career that we know today.
Twentieth Century Fox finally saw Selleck and became interested. They seemed adamant that they wanted Selleck for a role.
They were seemingly invested in him and Selleck wasn’t going to pass up on an opportunity like that. He immediately signed for the studio and started acting classes the very next day.
His next appearance would be on The Young and the Restless. He had a minor role where he played the character Jed Andrews. The character gets involved in a complicated love triangle.
There’s no such thing as coincidences as the love triangle his character fell into would eventually happen to the actor as well!
Selleck eventually landed the role that would be the biggest of his career at only 35. This role was Thomas Magnum from Magnum. After a few minor roles, he struck it so big his career would be elevated to huge proportions.
He went to Hawaii for the role of Magnum but production was halted. This was because of a writer’s strike which delayed the shooting of the show. Selleck had to start working as a handyman to sustain himself while the production was halted.
Magnum P.I. was an incredible success and had a total number of eight seasons and 163 episodes. This is where his amazing mustache grabbed audiences’ attention.
Who wouldn’t be able to spot his mustache as it became his signature style? He also started rocking a Detroit Tigers Baseball hat and Hawaiian shirts.
No one will ever forget that Ferrari that Magnum owned and would cruise in. The character was actually going to drive a Porsche. The only problem was that Selleck was way too tall for the car.
So they decided to change the car from a Porsche to a beautiful red Ferrari. The sales department at Ferarri must be happy that Selleck has a big stature.
The costar of Magnum P.I. was Larry Manetti and he wrote a memoir about his time on the show titled Aloha Magnum. Normally these memoirs contain lots of scandals.
But the best part of that the things that Manetti had to say about Selleck was in fact, only good. He wrote about Selleck’s amazing work ethic and professionalism while on set and how he became an amazing friend to everyone on the show.
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 Its 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.
Selleck said that he couldn’t be happier with his wife and raising a daughter with her brings new light into his life.
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.