Tom Selleck


Actor

About

Also Known As
Thomas William Selleck
Birth Place
Detroit, Michigan, USA
Born
January 29, 1945

Biography

Actor and producer Tom Selleck would forever be cemented as one of the biggest sex symbols of the 1980s, thanks to a pleasant eight-year stint zipping around Oahu in a Ferrari in the top-rated series "Magnum, P.I." (CBS, 1980-88). As often happens with long-running, star-making roles like "Magnum," audiences were initially unwilling to accept him as anything other than an adventurous wis...

Family & Companions

Jacquelyn Ray Selleck
Wife
Actor, model. Married in 1970; separated in 1979, six months before Selleck filmed the "Magnum, P.I." pilot; subsequently divorced in 1982.
Jilly Joan Mack
Wife
Actor, dancer. Married on August 7, 1987.

Biography

Actor and producer Tom Selleck would forever be cemented as one of the biggest sex symbols of the 1980s, thanks to a pleasant eight-year stint zipping around Oahu in a Ferrari in the top-rated series "Magnum, P.I." (CBS, 1980-88). As often happens with long-running, star-making roles like "Magnum," audiences were initially unwilling to accept him as anything other than an adventurous wise-cracking detective, but Selleck eventually nabbed big screen roles with films like "Three Men & A Baby" (1987), "Mr. Baseball" (1992) and "In & Out" (1997), which played up the actor's natural tendency towards playful, aw-shucks charm. Television, however, proved to be his most solid platform, with the 6'4" Selleck's all-American Marlboro Man looks maintaining a steady presence in cable Westerns, historical miniseries, a popular recurring role on "Friends" (NBC, 1994-2004), a turn as the new owner of the Montecito Resort and Casino on the NBC drama "Las Vegas" (NBC, 2003-08), and a string of made-for-TV "Jesse Stone" movies (NBC, 2005- ). Selleck's charm proved more potent than simple nostalgia, and audiences continued to welcome him in any role he essayed.

The man who would spend a decade inextricably linked with bright Hawaiian shirts was born in the decidedly un-tropical city of Detroit, MI, on Jan. 29, 1945. Four years later, Robert and Martha relocated their young family to Sherman Oaks, in California's San Fernando Valley. Selleck enjoyed a stable upbringing and excelled in baseball and basketball, harboring dreams of playing professional sports; instead enrolling in business at a local junior college after graduation from Grant High School. He was trying to build up grades to transfer to USC when a friend suggested that an acting class would be an easy "A" on his transcript. With the encouragement of the teacher, Selleck began auditioning for commercials, which he continued to do even after he was accepted into USC and landed a position on the USC Trojans basketball team. In 1967, just three classes short of graduating with a business degree, Selleck quit USC and signed a contract with 20th Century Fox. While waiting for that contract to turn him into a star, he joined the National Guard and was scheduled to ship off to fight in Vietnam when the infamous riots broke out in Watts. Selleck was fortunately reassigned to the Los Angeles neighborhood for riot control.

Selleck resumed commercial auditions, did print and fashion modeling, and continued training with famed acting coach Milton Katselas at the Beverly Hills Playhouse. Fox eventually dropped him, but Selleck worked tirelessly to support himself in search for that big break. In 1970, he launched his film career by playing the "Stud" ogled by Mae West in the notorious "Myra Breckenridge" (1970) campfest. He also landed a recurring role in the primetime drama "Bracken's World" (NBC, 1969-70). A slew of B-movies like "Daughters of Satan" (1972) and Russ Meyers' "The Seven Minutes" (1971) followed, while the late 1970s were marked by half a dozen failed pilots but also a co-starring role opposite Sam Elliott in the Western miniseries "The Sacketts" (NBC, 1979).

By 1980, the strikingly good-looking and admirably hard-working Selleck had appeared in over 50 commercials, had over a dozen film and TV credits to his name, and was feeling confident about the increasing quality of his acting work. That is why when Universal called on him to anchor yet another action series pilot, Selleck was boldly honest about his opinion of the script for "Magnum P.I." He wanted something more from the clichéd main character - a flawless, James Bond-type womanizer - so negotiated rewrites that transformed Thomas Magnum into a fallible, goofy, and much more endearing private detective. Selleck's instinct to imbue a tall, handsome, heroic-looking figure with humility, humor, and an admitted lack of all the answers, was spot-on and the script came to life. So did Selleck's career. Before shooting had even begun on the pilot, Selleck was offered the lead as Indiana Jones in "Raiders of the Lost Ark" (1981). Taking the role would have meant reneging on a freshly-inked contract with CBS, and after much soul-searching, the ethical actor decided to honor his commitment to the network. The rest was history, for both Selleck and the penultimate Indiana Jones, Harrison Ford.

"Magnum, P.I." debuted in the fall of 1980 and quickly rose to the top of the ratings charts for its compelling blend of mystery, action and comedy. The show chronicled the life of former Navy Seal and Vietnam veteran Thomas Magnum, who lived on the lush Hawaiian estate of a famous novelist and was responsible for its security. The undemanding job allowed the charming adventurer plenty of free time to locate missing persons and break up drug smuggling rings; it also allowed him free use of a Ferrari 308 GTS. The estate's live-in manager - a by-the-book former British sergeant major Jonathan Higgins (John Hillerman) - was also part of the deal, and the love-hate relationship between the polar opposites was an endless source of entertainment. Also crucial to the show's appeal was Magnum's camaraderie with veteran buddies T.C. (William Moseley), who operated a helicopter shuttle service, and Rick (Larry Manetti), manager of a local bar with handy ties to the underworld. The show was notable for being among the first to feature characters who were Vietnam veterans, and regularly included references to their experiences both during wartime and readjustment to civilian life. Selleck earned an Emmy award for "Magnum" in 1984, a Golden Globe award in 1985, and People's Choice Awards in 1984 and 1985.

"Magnum" catapulted Selleck into stardom practically overnight, and despite the fact that he was well into his thirties, his face graced the covers of teenybopper magazines. Hot off the success of his TV gig, he ventured back into feature films several times during his show's run, delivering a dashing performance as a hard-drinking pilot in the period adventure "High Road to China" (1983), and - in one of his biggest box office roles - as an unwitting co-father to an abandoned baby in the comedy "Three Men and a Baby" (1987). For the most part, Selleck's cinematic turns in "Her Alibi" (1989) and "Mr. Baseball" (1993) were neither critical nor audience favorites, though 1990's "Quigley Down Under," where he played an Aussie-bound American gun-for-hire who discovers that his target is tribal Aborigines, were cited as his best feature work then to date.

Selleck had served as executive producer on the last two seasons of "Magnum," so in 1989, he resumed that title for eight "B.L. Stryker" (ABC, 1989-90) TV films starring Burt Reynolds. He also produced a number of other TV movies including "Revealing Evidence" (NBC, 1990) and "Silverfox" (ABC, 1991). After his show went off the air in 1988, Selleck kept a low profile for the next few years, unsatisfied with the roles he was being offered and enjoying the freedom to spend time with wife Jillie Mack and their young daughter.

But in 1996, he surprised and delighted audiences with a return to series TV in the recurring role of Richard on the hit sitcom "Friends" (NBC, 1994-2004), playing a family friend-turned lover of Monica Geller's (Courteney Cox-Arquette). The well-received run (critics and fans commented on how well preserved he was, still sporting his omnipresent moustache) reinvigorated Selleck's career, ramping him up for another round of Westerns - his favorite genre - with executive producer and star status in "Ruby Jean and J " (USA, 1996) and "Last Stand at Saber River" (USA, 1997). Selleck found himself in the headlines that same year when he took a supporting role in the big screen comedy "In & Out," starring Kevin Kline as a college professor desperately trying to set the record straight after being "outed" during the Academy Award acceptance speech of a former student. For Selleck's role as a gay newspaper reporter who shares an onscreen kiss with the film's star, a real life newspaper tabloid inaccurately proclaimed Selleck to be gay. Selleck successfully sued the tabloid and donated his settlement to a university program promoting ethics in journalism, but it was not his only run-in with an unkind press. Several years prior he had been forced to hold a press conference confirming his heterosexuality after a gay magazine falsely outed him.

But his most notorious battle came years later in 1999, when during an appearance on "The Rosie O'Donnell Show" (syndicated, 1996-2002), he and an emotional and opinionated O'Donnell sparred over gun control issues in an interview segment, following Selleck's appearance in a National Rifle Association ad for the powerful organization. The interview had occurred shortly on the heels of the Columbine school shooting that had shocked a nation. So unsuspected was the on-air attack from O'Donnell, that after the dust had settled, the card-carrying NRA member denied accusations that he was the right-wing heir to NRA president Charlton Heston's throne, citing his support of a wide variety of non-partisan organizations and maintaining political identification as a registered Independent. The situation soured him on life in the public eye.

Selleck's continuing popular appearances as Monica's ex on "Friends" led CBS to cast him in his first sitcom, "The Closer" (CBS, 1998), in which he co-starred with Ed Asner as a pair of advertising executives. The show had its charm - not to mention an unusual song and dance fantasy sequence with guest star Bernadette Peters who earned an Emmy nomination - but the show was short-lived at only 10 episodes. Selleck retreated to tried-and-true Western territory with "Louis L'Amour's Crossfire Trail" (USA, 2001), which reached the largest audience (7.7 million homes) ever for an original cable movie, and "Monte Walsh" (USA, 2003), both of which he executive-produced. More unexpected than Selleck's appearance as Monica's boyfriend on "Friends" was his totally bald appearance as General Dwight D. Eisenhower in "Ike: Countdown to D-Day" (USA, 2004). Selleck's portrayal of the great military strategic thinker navigating through one of the most pivotal moments in U.S. history, helped garner the production six Emmy nominations.

In 2005, Selleck began a long-term role as executive producer and star of a series of TV movies based on the "Jesse Stone" detective novels by Robert B. Parker. Selleck was proudly responsible for the gritty, film-like feel of "Stone Cold" (USA, 2005), "Night Passage" (2006) and "Death in Paradise" (2006), and earned an Emmy nomination for playing the restless, demon-haunted, small town cop in 2007's "Sea Change." Selleck's positive reception led to a long overdue return to prime drama - in fall of 2007, he was slated to join the cast of "Las Vegas" (NBC, 2003-08), taking over as the new owner of the Montecito Resort & Casino. Ironically, just as Selleck was enjoying the peak of his post-Magnum career - and at an age where many actors would be resting on their laurels - Imagine Entertainment announced the 2009 release of a big screen version of "Magnum P.I.," starring Matthew McConaughey in the title role. Selleck turned down an offer to participate in the film, feeling that audiences had finally allowed him leave the role in the past and move on to other, just as rewarding parts. As he continued the popular "Jesse Stone" string of TV movies, he returned to the big screen in the romantic action comedy "Killers" (2010) as Katherine Heigl's good-natured father (and Catherine O'Hara's patient husband), oblivious to the fact that his daughter marries a secret spy (Ashton Kutcher) with a killer past and future.

Filmography

 

Cast (Feature Film)

Jesse Stone: Lost in Paradise (2015)
Jesse Stone: Benefit of the Doubt (2012)
Jesse Stone: Innocents Lost (2011)
Jesse Stone: No Remorse (2010)
Killers (2010)
Jesse Stone: Thin Ice (2009)
Jesse Stone: Sea Change (2008)
Meet the Robinsons (2007)
Voice
Jesse Stone: Death in Paradise (2006)
Jesse Stone: Night Passage (2006)
Robert B. Parker's Stone Cold (2005)
Monte Walsh (2003)
Monte Walsh
Twelve Mile Road (2003)
Stephen Landis
Crossfire Trail (2001)
Running Mates (2000)
The Love Letter (1999)
Big Guns Talk: The Story of the Western (1997)
In & Out (1997)
Last Stand at Saber River (1997)
Ruby Jean and Joe (1996)
Joe
Broken Trust (1995)
Tim Nash
Christopher Columbus: The Discovery (1992)
Mr. Baseball (1992)
Folks! (1992)
Quigley Down Under (1990)
Matthew Quigley
3 Men and a Little Lady (1990)
Her Alibi (1989)
Phil Blackwood
An Innocent Man (1989)
Three Men and a Baby (1987)
Lassiter (1984)
Runaway (1984)
High Road to China (1983)
Divorce Wars: A Love Story (1982)
Jack Sturgess
The Shadow Riders (1982)
The Concrete Cowboys (1979)
Superdome (1978)
Coma (1978)
The Washington Affair (1977)
Midway (1976)
Most Wanted (1976)
Tom Roybo
Returning Home (1975)
Fred Derry
A Case of Rape (1974)
Terminal Island (1973)
Myra Breckinridge (1970)
Stud

Writer (Feature Film)

Jesse Stone: Benefit of the Doubt (2012)
Writer
Jesse Stone: Innocents Lost (2011)
Writer
Jesse Stone: No Remorse (2010)
Writer
Jesse Stone: Thin Ice (2009)
Story By
Jesse Stone: Death in Paradise (2006)
Teleplay

Producer (Feature Film)

Jesse Stone: Benefit of the Doubt (2012)
Executive Producer
Jesse Stone: Innocents Lost (2011)
Executive Producer
Jesse Stone: No Remorse (2010)
Executive Producer
Jesse Stone: Thin Ice (2009)
Executive Producer
Jesse Stone: Sea Change (2008)
Executive Producer
Jesse Stone: Night Passage (2006)
Executive Producer
Jesse Stone: Death in Paradise (2006)
Executive Producer
Robert B. Parker's Stone Cold (2005)
Executive Producer
Monte Walsh (2003)
Executive Producer
Crossfire Trail (2001)
Executive Producer
Last Stand at Saber River (1997)
Executive Producer
Ruby Jean and Joe (1996)
Executive Producer
Winner Takes All (1990)
Executive Producer
Grand Theft Hotel (1990)
Executive Producer
High Rise (1990)
Executive Producer
Night Train (1990)
Executive Producer
Revealing Evidence (1990)
Executive Producer
Plates (1990)
Executive Producer
The King of Jazz (1989)
Executive Producer
The Dancer's Touch (1989)
Executive Producer
Die Laughing (1989)
Executive Producer
Royal Gambit (1989)
Executive Producer

Misc. Crew (Feature Film)

Jesse Stone: Benefit of the Doubt (2012)
Writer (Tv)

Cast (Special)

Intimate Portrait: Dana Delany (2003)
CBS at 75: A Primetime Celebration (2003)
Special Ops: Operation Desert Storm (2001)
Narrator
Special Ops: Mike Force (2001)
Narration
Intimate Portrait: Linda Dano (2000)
Ted Danson: One Lucky Guy (2000)
Interviewee
The 56th Annual Golden Globe Awards (1999)
Presenter
The Complete History of the U.S. Navy SEALS (1999)
Narration
Intimate Portrait: Marsha Mason (1999)
CBS: The First 50 Years (1998)
Intimate Portrait: Jane Seymour (1998)
Sports on the Silver Screen (1997)
50 Years of Television: A Celebration of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Golden Anniversary (1997)
The Kennedy Center 25th Anniversary Celebration (1996)
Bob Hope... Laughing With the Presidents (1996)
Planet Hollywood Salutes the Top 10 Comedy Movies of All-Time (1995)
Sinatra: 80 Years My Way (1995)
The Great Ones: The National Sports Awards (1993)
Performer
Bob Hope: The First Ninety Years (1993)
50th Annual Golden Globe Awards (1993)
Presenter
The American Film Institute Salute to Elizabeth Taylor (1993)
Performer
58 Days (1992)
Soap Opera Digest Awards (1992)
Presenter
The Kennedy Center Honors: A Celebration of the Performing Arts (1992)
Performer
Over the Influence: Preventing and Recovering Our Kids From Drugs and Alcohol (1991)
Host
A User's Guide to Planet Earth: The American Environment Test (1991)
Welcome Home, America! - A USO Salute to America's Sons and Daughters (1991)
The 24th Annual Victor Awards (1990)
Performer
The 16th Annual People's Choice Awards (1990)
Performer
Sinatra 75: The Best Is Yet to Come (1990)
The 62nd Annual Academy Awards Presentation (1990)
Presenter
The Walt Disney Company Presents the American Teacher Awards (1990)
Performer
The 61st Annual Academy Awards Presentation (1989)
Performer
See Dick and Jane... Lie, Cheat and Steal: Teaching Morality to Kids (1989)
47th Annual Golden Globes (1989)
Performer
An All-Star Celebration: The '88 Vote (1988)
The World's Greatest Stunts: A Tribute to Hollywood's Stuntmen (1988)
The 60th Annual Academy Awards Presentation (1988)
Performer
The 39th Annual Emmy Awards (1987)
Performer
Superstars & Their Moms (1987)
NBC Investigates Bob Hope (1987)
The 38th Annual Emmy Awards (1986)
Performer
The 50th Presidential Inaugural Gala (1985)
Bob Hope Buys NBC? (1985)
Bob Hope Special: Bob Hope's Wicki-Wacky Special From Waikiki (1984)
Bob Hope Special: Happy Birthday, Bob! (1983)
Famous Lives (1983)
Bob Hope Special: Bob Hope's Star-Studded Spoof of the New TV Season -- G Rated -- With Glamour, Glitter & Gags (1982)
Battle of the Network Stars X (1981)
Battle of the Network Stars IX (1980)
Boston and Kilbride (1979)
The Gypsy Warriors (1978)
Bunco (1977)

Writer (Special)

Silverfox (1991)
From Story

Producer (Special)

Silverfox (1991)
Executive Producer

Special Thanks (Special)

Silverfox (1991)
From Story

Cast (TV Mini-Series)

Ike: Countdown to D-Day (2004)
Reversible Errors (2004)
Larry Starczek
Louis L'Amour's The Sacketts (1979)

Life Events

1965

Picked out of a TV studio audience to be a contestant on "The Dating Game"

1967

Signed seven-year contract with 20th Century-Fox after leaving college

1970

Played a recurring character in "Bracken's World" (NBC)

1970

Seen in a Pepsi ad by Mae West, who him hired to play a stud in "Myra Breckinbridge," his feature acting debut

1970

First TV-movie, "The Movie Murderer" (NBC)

1971

Had a small role as a publisher in Russ Meyer's "The Seven Minutes," based on Irving Wallace's novel about a pornography trial

1972

First starring role in "Daughters of Satan"

1974

Made occasional appearances on the daytime soap "The Young and the Restless" (CBS) as Jed Andrews

1975

First starring role in TV-movie, "Returning Home" (ABC)

1978

Appeared on two episodes of "The Rockford Files" (NBC) as Lance White, "the perfect detective"

1979

Co-starred in his miniseries debut "The Sacketts" (NBC)

1979

Co-starred in the busted detective show pilot "Boston and Kilbride"

1980

Played the title character, a Vietnam vet-turned-Hawaiian private eye, on the popular CBS series "Magnum, P.I."; executive produced the final two seasons

1984

Played an acrophobic police detective in "Runaway"

1987

First story credit, provided story for the "Limbo" episode of "Magnum, P.I."

1987

Co-stared with Steve Guttenberg and Ted Danson in the comedy hit "Three Men and a Baby"

1988

Formed his own production company T.W.S. Productions

1989

Executive produced a series of "B.L. Stryker" detective movies for ABC

1990

Played an American cowboy in the Australian Western "Quigley Down Under"

1990

Re-teamed with Guttenberg and Danson for the sequel "Three Men and a Little Lady"

1996

Played the recurring role of Dr. Richard Burke, Monica's (Courteney Cox) love interest on the popular sitcom "Friends" (NBC)

1997

Garnered critical praise for his performance as an openly gay TV reporter in the comedy film "In & Out"

1998

Returned to series TV as star of the CBS sitcom "The Closer"

1999

Co-starred in "The Love Letter" with Kate Capshaw

2000

Starred as a presidential candidate in the TNT film "Running Mates"

2001

Made Broadway debut starring in the stage revival of "A Thousand Clowns"

2001

Co-exective produced and starred in "Louis L'Amour's Crossfire Trail" (TNT)

2004

Starred opposite Felicity Huffman and William H. Macy in Scott Turow's crime thriller "Reversible Errors" (CBS)

2004

Portrayed General Dwight D. Eisenhower in the A&E TV movie "Ike: Countdown to D-Day"

2006

Guest-starred on several episodes of "Boston Legal" (ABC) as Ivan Tiggs

2007

Portrayed small-town Police Chief Jesse Stone in the CBS movie "Sea Change"; earned an Emmy nomination for Best Actor in a Miniseries or Movie

2007

Joined the cast of NBC's "Las Vegas" as a billionaire who becomes the new owner of the Montecito Resort & Casino

2009

Reprised his role of Police Chief Jesse Stone in the CBS movie "Jesse Stone: Thin Ice"

2010

Acted alongside Ashton Kutcher and Katherine Heigl in the action-comedy "Killers"

2010

Returned to play titular character in the CBS movie "Jesse Stone: No Remorse"

2010

Cast as NYC police commissioner and family man Chief Frank Reagan on the CBS crime drama series "Blue Bloods"

Videos

Movie Clip

Myra Breckinridge (1970) - Get Your Resumès Out First appearance by Mae West, brought out of retirement by a big payday and a contract that let her write her own dialogue and approve her wardrobe, as already-discussed Hollywood agent Leticia Van Allen, with Tom Selleck among her recruits, and clips with Richard Widmark in Kiss Of Death (1947) and Laurel & Hardy in Great Guns, 1941, from Myra Breckinridge, 1970, starring Raquel Welch, from the Gore Vidal novel.
Coma (1978) - I Don't Need A Shrink Maybe they had to cast Tom Selleck for sheer handsomeness, as a knee-surgery patient, when Genevieve Bujold as resident Dr. Wheeler is summoned to meet chief surgeon Harris (Richard Widmark, his first scene), after getting caught accessing confidential records, after her friend went into a coma during a routine procedure, in Coma, 1978.
Terminal Island (1973) - There's Only Seven Of Us Not 100% clear how handsome drug-using mercy-killer doctor Milford (Tom Selleck) has come to be among the band of convicted murderers who have broken off from the main group on the prison island, Don Marshall and Ford Clay their leaders, in Terminal Island, 1973, directed by Stephanie Rothman.
Terminal Island (1973) - Worse Than The Death Penalty The TV news team (Jo Morrow, Richard Stahl, Richard Taylor) does a roll call of the inmates/cast of the new death-penalty alternative, Sean Kenney, Marta Kristen, Barbara Leigh, Clyde Ventura, Phyllis Davis, Tom Selleck and Ena Hartman as Carmen, in director Stephanie Rothman’s Terminal Island, 1973.
Daughters Of Satan (1972) - I'm A Cat Man Cruising back to the compound outside Manila, American Jim (Tom Selleck) encounters a Rottweiler, then his kooky wife Chris (Barra Grant) and the spooky new maid (Paraluman), in Daughters Of Satan, 1972.
Daughters Of Satan (1972) - Pleasures Of The Orient Handsome American museum buyer Jim (Tom Selleck) drops in on the Manila shop run by Carlos (Vic Diaz) and finds the likeness of his wife in a painting of a witch-burning, early in Daughters Of Satan, 1972.

Trailer

Family

Robert D Selleck
Father
Real estate investor. Born c. 1922; served as a first vice president of Coldwell Banker; portrayed Selleck's grandfather on the show; served Selleck Properties in an advisory capacity; died on March 21, 2001 from complications following surgery.
Martha Selleck
Mother
Homemaker.
Robert D Selleck II
Brother
Real estate developer. Born 1944; partners with brother Dan in Selleck Properties.
Daniel F Selleck
Brother
Real estate developer. Born c. 1950; partners with brother Robert in Selleck Properties.
Martha Selleck Ketchum
Sister
Kevin
Step-Son
Born c. 1966; son from his first wife's previous marriage.
Hannah Margaret Mack Selleck
Daughter
Born in 1989; mother, Jilly Mack.

Companions

Jacquelyn Ray Selleck
Wife
Actor, model. Married in 1970; separated in 1979, six months before Selleck filmed the "Magnum, P.I." pilot; subsequently divorced in 1982.
Jilly Joan Mack
Wife
Actor, dancer. Married on August 7, 1987.

Bibliography