Tom Selleck Biography

Tom Selleck photo

Born: January 29, 1929

Tom Selleck

Date of Birth: January 29, 1945

Magnum, P.I. himself Tom Selleck has been in show business for nearly 50 years, starring in some of Hollywood's most beloved movies and television shows, including the eponymous TV classic Magnum, P.I.

Tom was born Thomas William Selleck in Detroit, Michigan to Martha, a housewife, and Robert, a real estate investor. Tom, his parents and three siblings moved to Sherman Oaks, California when he was just a child, a move that would directly contribute to his eventual career as an actor.

He would go on to graduate from Grant High School in 1962 and attend the University of Southern California on a basketball scholarship. The young man not only had a gift for sports, but his good looks and 6'3'' frame also afforded him work as a model during his college years. Despite majoring in business administration, Tom took the advice of a drama coach and began pursuing acting. He studied drama at the prestigious Beverly Hills Playhouse under Milton Katselas and although it wasn't an acting job, he made his first TV appearance in 1965 on The Dating Game. After college, he served as a soldier in the 160th Infantry Regiment of the California Army National Guard from 1967 until 1972.

Tom began his acting career with small roles in television shows such as Lancer and Judd for the Defense. His film debut came in 1970 in the sex-change comedy Myra Breckinridge, which starred Mae West and Farrah Fawcett. During the mid-to-late 1970s he would go on to appear in a number of TV series, such as The Young and the Restless and Charlie's Angels, as well as the TV movies A Case of Rape (1974), Returning Home (1975) and The Sacketts (1979). He also had supporting roles in a few movies, including Midway (1976) and Coma (1978).

It wasn't until 1980 that Tom would land the TV show for which he would become the most recognized: the CBS crime series Magnum, P.I.. The role was both a blessing and a curse for the up-and-coming actor. The producers of the show would not release Tom from his contract to appear in other projects, so he was forced to pass on the role of Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), which went to Harrison Ford. Despite this setback, Tom would star as private investigator Thomas Magnum in the series for the next eight years, appearing in 162 episodes. He would win both an Emmy and a Golden Globe for his work.

Tom managed to appear in a handful of movies during his time as Magnum, most notably starring alongside Ted Danson and Steven Guttenberg in the massively popular comedy Three Men and a Baby (1987). The film would be Tom's biggest big screen hit to date, earning over $160 million at the domestic box office and taking home the 1988 People's Choice Award for Favorite Comedy.

The well-known actor would continue to star in many movies and TV shows after the end of Magnum, P.I. in 1988 (including the 1990 sequel Three Men and a Little Lady), but he couldn't seem to find the same level of mainstream success. That is, until 1996, when he hit the small screen as Dr. Richard Burke in the TV classic Friends. This is the Emmy nominated role for which Tom would become most known by Generation Y viewers. He would star in the series for one full season, followed by sporadic guest appearances in later seasons.

In the years after Friends, Tom starred in a couple of short-lived television series — the drama The Closer (1998) and the dramedy Las Vegas (2007-2008). He's also starred in a slew of TV movies over the past decade, including the Jesse Stone series, a string of eight mystery crime films that aired on CBS from 2005 to 2015.

The veteran actor can currently be seen in the CBS cop drama Blue Bloods alongside Donnie Wahlberg.

Tom has been married twice, first to model Jacqueline Ray from 1971 to 1981. Next he would marry his current wife Jillie Mack in 1987, with whom he has one daughter named Hannah. The family divides their time between their main residences in Falbrook and Thousand Oaks, California, and their summer residence in Jonesboro, Maine.


Killers (2010)
Meet the Robinsons (2007)
The Love Letter (1999)
Mr. Baseball (1992)
Christopher Columbus: The Discovery (1992)
Folks! (1992)
Three Men and a Little Lady (1990)
Quigley Down Under (1990)
An Innocent Man (1989)
Her Alibi (1989)
Three Men and a Baby (1987)
Runaway (1984)
Lassiter (1984)
High Road to China (1983)
Divorce Wars: A Love Story (1982)
The Gypsy Warriors (1978)
Coma (1978)
The Washington Affair (1977)
Midway (1976)
Terminal Island (1973)
Daughters of Satan (1972)
Myra Breckinridge (1970)
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