Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
Thomas William "Tom" Selleck (born January 29, 1945) is an American actor and film producer known for starring as private investigator Thomas Magnum in the television series Magnum, P.I. (1980-1988) and Peter Mitchell in Three Men and a Baby and Three Men and a Little Lady. Before that, he had a recurring role as Lance White, the favorable and naive partner of Jim Rockford (played by James Garner) on The Rockford Files. He plays Police Chief Jesse Stone in a series of made-for-TV movies based on Robert B. Parker novels. Since 2010, he has been a primary cast member as NYPD Commissioner Frank Reagan in the drama Blue Bloods on CBS.
Selleck has appeared in more than 50 film and television roles since Magnum, P.I., including Three Men and a Baby, Quigley Down Under, Mr. Baseball, and Lassiter. He appeared as Dr. Richard Burke on Friends and as A.J. Cooper on the TV series Las Vegas.
Selleck was born in Detroit, Michigan, in 1945, to Martha Selleck (née Jagger), a housewife, and Robert Dean Selleck, who was an executive and real estate investor. Selleck is of mostly English ancestry, including recent immigrant ancestors. Tom Selleck's father was of primarily English ancestry but had distant German ancestry as well, while his mother was of English descent. Through an entirely paternal line Selleck is a direct descendant of English colonist David Selleck who moved to Massachusetts from Somerset, England in 1633. Through this line, Tom Selleck is the 11th generation of his family born in North America. Selleck's family moved to Sherman Oaks, California, during his childhood. He has an elder brother named Robert, a sister named Martha, and a younger brother named Daniel. Selleck graduated from Grant High School in 1962.
While working as a model, Selleck attended the University of Southern California on a basketball scholarship where he played for the USC Trojans men's basketball team. He is a member of Sigma Chi fraternity and a member of the Trojan Knights. While Selleck was acquiring a degree in Business Administration, a drama coach suggested he try acting. He then studied acting at the Beverly Hills Playhouse, under Milton Katselas. Upon receiving a draft notice for the Vietnam War, Selleck joined the California National Guard. He served in the 160th Infantry Regiment of the California Army National Guard from 1967 to 1973.
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, Coma, and The Seven Minutes. He appeared in a number of TV series, mini-series and TV movies. Still struggling as an unfamiliar, television actor, Selleck had a recurring role in the 1970s as "too good to be true" private investigator Lance White in The Rockford Files. An avid James Garner fan, since childhood, who watched his mentor's show, Selleck's Lance was very trusting and always lucky, much to the annoyance of Jim Rockford. 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". Despite appearing in only 2 episodes, and in later interviews, Selleck credited Garner "as a mentor," and continued to stay friends with him, for over 35 years, until Garner's death in 2014. Upon his death, he said of his TV private investigator: "Jim was a mentor to me and a friend, and I will miss him." Two years after Garner's death, Selleck said, prior to filming his then 6th season of his top-rated series, Blue Bloods: "It’s kind of like my mentor, who never wanted to hear he was my mentor (James Garner), I don’t accept the mentor role. That they feel that way is, I think flattering although it adds a certain amount of pressure."
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 role of Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark, which then went to Star Wars alumnus Harrison Ford. It turned out that the 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 starred in the 1972 B-movie Daughters of Satan, and then 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. Other leading roles include Three Men and a Little Lady; High Road to China; Lassiter; Her Alibi; An Innocent Man; Folks!; Christopher Columbus: The Discovery; Mr. Baseball; In & Out and The Love Letter.
Selleck is an avid outdoorsman, marksman and 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 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.
Selleck played the role of Thomas Magnum in 1980 after filming six other TV pilots that were never sold. Magnum was a former U.S. Navy Officer, a veteran of a Special Operations unit, "SEAL" in the Vietnam War, and later a member of the "Naval Intelligence Agency" (a fictional version of the Office of Naval Intelligence), who had resigned his commission with the Navy to become a private investigator living in Hawaii. The show would go on for eight seasons and 163 episodes until 1988, winning him an Emmy Award 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 308 GTS 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 confirmed that he was the most popular choice by fans to play the role of Magnum in the once-rumored Magnum, P.I. movie.
In the mid-nineties, Selleck played the role of Richard Burke, Monica's older boyfriend, starting 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 having children, though Selleck did make a few extra appearances in later episodes.
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.
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 nine films, with the most recent released in October 2015. In addition to his portrayal of the films' protagonist, Selleck now acts as producer for the series. The fifth film, Jesse Stone: Thin Ice, was not adapted from Parker's novels, but was an original story by Selleck.
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 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.
Selleck has 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.
Selleck 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).
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.
Tom Selleck did quite a few commercials: for Right Guard deodorant in 1971, with Farrah Fawcett in 1972 for the apertif Dubonnet, and another in 1977 for the toothpaste Close-Up. He was also in a Safeguard deodorant soap commercial (date not available). 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's Natural orange juice. In 2012, Selleck was featured in Coldwell Banker's television ad campaign focusing on homeownership. On August 1, 2016, American Advisors Group (AAG), the leading reverse-mortgage lender, announced the premiere of its new television commercial campaign naming Selleck as the company’s new national spokesperson following the death of Fred Thompson, their previous spokesperson. The commercials began running across cable and national networks including ABC, NBC and CBS. AAG Debuts New Reverse Mortgage Commercial, Information Kit Featuring New Spokesperson, Tom Selleck
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, etc.
On April 28, 2000, he received an honorary doctorate degree 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. Selleck received a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1986. The star is situated at 6925 Hollywood Blvd.
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.
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 (born 1957). They have one daughter, Hannah Margaret Selleck (born December 16, 1988). The family lives in Thousand Oaks-Westlake Village, California on a 60-acre (24 ha) avocado farm.
In a 2012 interview with People, 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." Selleck has also stated he dislikes avocados.
He was 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 teammate Dennis Berg, in the summer 2011 issue of Volleyball USA magazine, said of Selleck, "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."
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 Detroit Tigers.
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 grueling 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.
Selleck is a devout Christian and attributes the success he has had in his career and life to his faith in Jesus Christ.
To promote his film The Love Letter, Selleck was invited to be on The Rosie O'Donnell Show on May 19, 1999. Unexpectedly, he found himself defending an ad in which he appeared supporting the National Rifle Association (NRA) and his position on gun ownership. After questions from O'Donnell, Selleck said, "It's your show, and you can talk about it after I leave."
Selleck is a member of the Board of Directors and public spokesman of the NRA. After his close friend Charlton Heston stepped down—due to failing health—as the highly visible public spokesman of the NRA in 2003, Selleck stepped up in comparable manner to succeed him. In 2002, Selleck donated the rifle he used in Quigley Down Under (a custom 13-pound, single-shot, 1874 Sharps Rifle, with a 34-inch barrel), 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.
For a number of years, Selleck appeared in television advertising for National Review (he also subscribes to The New Republic). He endorsed Senator John McCain in the 2008 presidential election. Selleck describes himself as "a registered independent with a lot of libertarian leanings." In a 2012 magazine article about his career, he mentioned that he likes the fact that his character on Blue Bloods and his Reagan family members are visibly practicing Catholics, while adding that he is not very religious himself.
In the 2016 Presidential election, Selleck did not support either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, instead writing in former Dallas Police Department Chief David Brown, saying that he was deeply touched by the grace and leadership Brown showed through the 2016 Dallas police shooting.
|The Movie Murderer||Mike Beaudine||TV movie|
|1972||Daughters of Satan||James Robertson|
|1973||Terminal Island||Dr. Milford|
|1974||Case of Rape, AA Case of Rape||Stan||TV movie|
|1975||Returning Home||Fred Derry||TV movie|
|1976||Midway||Aide to Capt. Cyril Simard||War Film|
|The Washington Affair||Jim Hawley|
|The Gypsy Warriors||Captain Theodore Brinkenhoff|
|1979||The Chinese Typewriter||Tom Boston||TV movie|
|Concrete Cowboys||Will Eubanks||Western movie|
|The Sacketts||Orrin Sackett||Western TV movie with Sam Elliott, Jack Elam, Ben Johnson, Jeff Osterhage, John Vernon,
L.Q. Jones, Paul Koslo, Slim Pickins, Pat Buttram, and Louis L'amour as Himself
|1982||Divorce Wars: A Love Story||Jack Sturgess|
|The Shadow Riders||Mac Traven||Western TV movie with Katherine Ross, Harry Carey, Jr., Sam Elliott, Ben Johnson,
Jeff Osterhage, R.G. Armstrong, Gene Evans, and Geoffrey Lewis.
|1983||High Road to China||Patrick O' Malley||With Wilford Brimley|
|1984||Lassiter||Nick Lassiter||With Jane Seymour, and Bob Hoskins.|
|Runaway||Sgt. Jack R. Ramsay|
|1987||Three Men and a Baby||Peter Mitchell|
|1989||Her Alibi||Phil Blackwood|
|Innocent Man, AnAn Innocent Man||Jimmie Rainwood|
|1990||Quigley Down Under||Matthew Quigley||Australian Western|
|Three Men and a Little Lady||Peter Mitchell|
|1992||Folks!||Jon Aldrich||Nominated—Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actor|
|Christopher Columbus: The Discovery||King Ferdinand V||Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actor|
|Mr. Baseball||Jack Elliot|
|1995||Broken Trust||Judge Timothy Nash||Thriller TV movie|
|Open Season||Rock Maninoff|
|1996||Ruby Jean and Joe||Joe Wade||Western TV movie|
|The Magic of Flight||Narrator||IMAX Documentary|
|1997||Last Stand at Saber River||Paul Cable||Western TV movie|
|In & Out||Peter Malloy||Nominated—Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy
Nominated—MTV Movie Award for Best Kiss
|1999||Love Letter, TheThe Love Letter||George Matthias|
|2000||Running Mates||Gov. James Reynolds Pryce||TV movie with Teri Hatcher, Robert Culp, and Bruce McGill.|
|2001||Crossfire Trail||Rafael "Rafe" Covington||Western TV movie|
|2003||Touch 'Em All McCall||Touch McCall||TV movie|
|Monte Walsh||Monte Walsh||Western TV movie|
|Twelve Mile Road||Stephen Landis||TV movie|
|2004||Reversible Errors||Larry Starczek||TV movie|
|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|
|Jesse Stone: Death in Paradise||Jesse Stone||TV movie|
|2007||Meet the Robinsons||Cornelius Robinson||Voice|
|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|
|2011||Jesse Stone: Innocents Lost||Jesse Stone||TV movie|
|2012||Jesse Stone: Benefit of the Doubt||Jesse Stone||TV movie|
|2015||Jesse Stone: Lost in Paradise||Jesse Stone||TV movie|
|1969||Lancer||Dobie||Episode: "Death Bait"|
|Judd for the Defense||Deputy||Episode: The Holy Ground: The Killing Parts 1 & 2|
|1971||Sarge||Captain Denning||Episode: "The Combatants"|
|1973||The Wide World of Mystery||Mark Brolin||Episode: "Shadow of Fear"|
|The FBI||Steve||Episode: "The Confession"|
|Owen Marshall: Counselor at Law||Brinkley||Episode: "Snatches of a Crazy Song"|
|1974||Marcus Welby, M.D.||Lt. Rogers||Episode: "Feedback"|
|1974- 1975||Young and the Restless, TheThe Young and the Restless||Jed Andrews||Unknown episodes|
|1975||Marcus Welby, M.D.||Sgt. Ed Brock||Episodes: Dark Fury Parts 1 & 2|
|Mannix||Don Brady||Episode: "Design for Dying"|
|Streets of San Francisco, TheThe Streets of San Francisco||Jimmy Desco||Episode: "Spooks for Sale"|
|1976||Most Wanted||Tom Roybo||Episode: "Pilot"|
|Charlie's Angels||Dr. Alan Samuelson||Episode: "Target: Angels"|
|1978||Taxi||Mike Beldon||Episode: "Memories of Cab 804: Part 2"|
|1978- 1979||Rockford Files, TheThe Rockford Files||PI Lance White||Episodes: "White on White and Nearly Perfect", & "Nice Guys Finish Dead"|
|1979||Concrete Cowboys||Will Eubanks||Episode: "A Fine Romance"|
|1980- 1988||Magnum, P.I.||Thomas Sullivan Magnum IV||159 episodes
Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Television Series Drama
People's Choice Award for Favorite Male TV Performer
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Television Series Drama
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
|1981||Christmas in Hawaii||Himself||TV movie|
|1982||Simon & Simon||Thomas Magnum||Episode: "Emeralds Are Not a Girl's Best Friend"|
|1983||James Bond: The First 21 Years||Himself||TV movie Documentary|
|1984||Muppet Babies||Himself||Episode: "What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up?"|
|1985||50th Presidential Inaugural Gala||Himself||TV movie|
|The Merv Griffin Show||Himself||episode: 1-2-1985|
|1986||Murder, She Wrote||Thomas Magnum||Episode: "Magnum on Ice: Part 2"|
|1988||The World's Greatest Stunts: A Tribute to Hollywood Stuntmen||Himself||TV movie Documentary|
|1995||The Annual Artist Rights Foundation Honors Steven Spielberg||Himself||TV movie|
|1996||Way Out West||Himself||TV movie Documentary|
|1996- 1997,2000||Friends||Dr. Richard Burke||10 episodes
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series
|1997||Big Guns Talk: The Story of the Western||Himself||TV movie Documentary|
|1998||Closer, TheThe Closer||Jack McLaren||10 episodes|
|2003||Intimate Portrait||Himself||Episode: Dana Delaney|
|Time Machine: When Cowboys Were King||Himself||TV movie Documentary|
|2004||Biography||Himself/Narrator||TV series Documentary episode: Dwight D. Eisenhower: Supreme Commander-in-Chief|
|Biography||Himself||TV series Documentary episode: Tom Selleck: More Than Magnum|
|2005||The Young and the Restless||Jed Andrews||unknown episodes|
|2006||Boston Legal||Ivan Tiggs||4 episodes|
|2007- 2008||Las Vegas||A.J. Cooper||19 episodes|
|2010- present||Blue Bloods||NYPD Police Commissioner
Nominated - People's Choice Award for Favorite TV Crime Drama Actor
|2013||North America||Narrator||7 episodes|
Tom Selleck supports the following charitable causes: Women's Issues, Children, Health Education, Cancer, Hunger, Education, Poverty, Arts Education.