Who else ruled the ’80s as much as the man with the stache did? Tom Selleck was all over the airways, but he’s most notably known for his role in Magnum, P.I., but fans loved him in the films too, including Three Men and a Baby.
Even with such a mass appeal, the Michigan-born star loved staying discreet and staying out of the limelight. Until recently when he decided to open up about his marriage with Jillie Joan Mack. Selleck found success in Hollywood but managed to keep his wits about him. Find out all about Magnum right now.
Selleck Growing Up
Born in Detroit, Michigan, in 1945, Tom Selleck can tell you why he has the morals and desires he has today thanks to his upbringing. Selleck says his childhood was balanced and that his family loved him deeply.
They loved him, but they also allowed Selleck to grow and figure things out on his own. It wasn’t long before the family packed up their bags and made a move to California to start over.
The Man Can Do It All
There wasn’t much that Selleck couldn’t do. Anything he touched, he excelled at like he practiced his whole life doing it. The future star ended up attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he majored in Business Administration.
He was good enough at basketball to earn a scholarship to play for the university, but that wasn’t all he did. While he put points on the board, he also worked as a model on the side. It wouldn’t be long before a drama coach inspired him to try acting. That’s when he decided to hone his skills at Beverly Hills Playhouse.
Selleck Goes Sigma Chi
As one of the oldest fraternities, Sigma Chi has over 200 chapters across America. Selleck chose to join them and remains one to this day, but that isn’t something you walk away from anyway.
Throughout his entire college career, the actor was a very busy man, but all that hard work would end up paying off. The basketball team, Sigma Chi, and modeling weren’t enough to keep this man satisfied.
Putting Himself Out There
As he managed to maneuver through all his college responsibilities and side hustles, it was soon time for Selleck to put his skills to the test. This was when Selleck impressed at a theater school.
After leaving an impression, he started to get roles in local commercials! Little did he know this would turn into a snowball effect that he would never see coming. The Michigan native appeared on the show The Dating Game, which led to him getting a deal with Twentieth Century Fox.
A Lover Of Hockey
Selleck might’ve earned a scholarship for basketball, but the star enjoys an icier game even more. Like most stars, Selleck has hobbies of his own; one includes enjoying hockey whenever he can.
One of his favorites pastimes is going to Staples Center to watch the Los Angeles Kings play on the ice. That’s his beloved team, and he has a history of showing them love, especially players like Alexander Frolov and Anze Kopitar.
For His Country
Remember how Selleck secured a deal with Twentieth Century Fox? Well, as fast as he inked that deal, he already had to give it up for something greater than entertainment.
In 1967, Selleck got drafted for the Vietnam War and would serve all way through 1973! It got in the way of his acting career, but it didn’t prevent him from reaching the greatness awaiting him. Like a good American, he was proud to serve. “I am a veteran, I’m proud of it. I was a sergeant in the U.S. Army infantry, National Guard, Vietnam era,” Selleck said.
Selleck Had To Deal With Hollywood
Much like when he was younger, Selleck had to learn about Hollywood himself. The star wanted to live a normal life, but it isn’t always that easy when you’re in the limelight.
He witnessed how fame slowly hurts his relationships and admitted his wrong-doings. “I’ve found it very difficult to expose my private life and live with it,” he said. “It’s important to nurture your marriage. I think wanting time away from work has been good for that.”
Returning From The War
After serving his country, Selleck made a triumph return to America and acting. It was time to chase his dreams, but there was a bump in the road he didn’t expect.
Selleck thought Fox would bring him back like he never went to Vietnam, but that wasn’t the case. They fired him the moment he got drafted, which put Selleck in a tough spot. He was back to the drawing board, but he was one lucky man.
The Big Break He Needed
Fox didn’t want him, but that was a blessing in disguise. Things didn’t seem too bright, but Selleck soon found light in his situation when he started to fill his schedule with opportunities.
Starring in a handful of TV pilots, he eventually landed the role in Magnum P.I. It was a perfect match for the stud since it was about a veteran, something Selleck really was. He becomes a private investigator in Hawaii, and that was a match made in heaven for Selleck.
A Love For Cats
Selleck’s crew decided to take him to a production of Cats while they filmed in London in 1983. They knew he was eager to see it, so they finally set it up for the star.
After seeing it once, he became hooked. During his stay in London, Selleck returned to the production multiple times like a fiend in the night. He even told Jane Seymour (his co-star at the time) how much he loved it.
The Reason Behind His Cats Obsession
Was Cats magnificent enough to force Selleck back to seeing it so many times? Jane Seymour told People, “I thought [Cats] was good, but I couldn’t see going back a dozen times” the way Selleck had.
There was someone that caught the actor’s eye, and her name was Jillie Joan Mack. Selleck finally got the chance to introduce himself to the 25-year-old, and the two scheduled a date night. Mack’s contract with the play was at the tail end, so she had other commitments to look forward to, but she couldn’t get enough of Selleck.
Selleck’s Image Grew
Not only did Selleck have a way with the ladies, but he also had a lot of others keeping their eyes on him. The Magnum P.I. show launched him into the stratosphere, making him a hot ticket among viewers. Walls had his face plastered all over them!
When the year 1998 came, People magazine helped increase Selleck’s worth by listing him as one of the 50 most beautiful men on Earth.
Mack And Selleck Sitting In A Tree
Selleck and Mack began spending more time together and while the Magnum actor attracted the eyes of many women, he only had eyes for Mack. Since she didn’t have any more reasons to be in London, she packed her bags and moved to Hawaii.
Selleck filmed the show on the beautiful islands, so she followed him. Soon enough, these two couldn’t be separated. They were everywhere together, including all the red carpets.
A Rough Start
After his time serving the country and getting let go at Fox, the beginning phases of Magnum P.I. didn’t go so smoothly for everyone involved. There were a lot of issues around funding, and the writers even went on strike!
Still, that didn’t prevent the show from getting stellar reviews from fans, but that was thanks to Selleck. Critics took a liking to the show as well, so that’s how you know the love is real. Selleck would go on to win an Emmy in 1984 for this role, but more would follow.
Selleck Received Crucial Advice From James Garner
One of the opportunities Selleck had before landing the Magnum P.I. role was the James Garner show. That was one of the stepping stones that led him to Magnum, but he wasn’t keen on being the investigator when it first came to him.
Selleck hated the idea initially, but Garner told him, “Well, I’m not gonna give you any advice, except this: You don’t have any power. You’ve never done a show… if they want you, and they do, you’ll never have any more power than you do right now.”
Recruiting A New Cast Member
Since Selleck was the undoubted star of the series, he earned the ability to make decisions regarding the direction of the series. He had the power to decide who was on the cast, so he picked someone special.
Mack ended up on the show thanks to Selleck’s power and would appear as an English girl partying it up during an episode called “Rembrandt’s Girl.”This was only the start of their lovely relationship.
A Surprise For All
It didn’t feel like it was too long, but Selleck and Mack took everyone by surprise after five years with one special announcement. The big secret was that they secretly got married!
Selleck’s brother, Bob, organized the holy matrimony in 1987 in Lake Tahoe, Nevada. They would use the nicknames Tom Jenkins and Suzie Mark for the wedding that happened on August 7th. Even the minister didn’t know the couple!
Wanting Things To Be Heartfelt
It was in secret, but Selleck wanted things to revolve around love. The two of them ended up revealing their true selves before reciting their vows to avoid legal issues. Selleck asked the camera person to use a Polaroid for an added precaution so the negatives wouldn’t get leaked.
“He was very concerned that the service be heartfelt, very concerned for her that the service be meaningful,” wedding officiant Rev. David Immel said. “He is a very warm, caring man.”
Bringing A Little Girl Into This World
It wasn’t too long after the wedding when Mack and Selleck decided to have a child. One year later, the two welcomed a daughter named Hannah Margaret. This would shift the dynamics of their relationship, but was it for the better?
After having the baby, the actor chose to make drastic changes for his family. “I quit Magnum to have a family,” he said. “It took a long time to get off the train, but I try very hard to have balance.”
Finding A Fit For Hannah
Family was a backbone for Selleck’s life. He took it seriously and decided to move his family to Ventura County, California (right outside the Los Angeles area). There, he bought a 65-acre ranch. Mack thought this was the best place to raise their daughter and have a family.
“We both thought it was the best environment for [Hannah] to grow up,” Mack said. It’s no surprise that his daughter grew up to be an equestrian star!
Was It “Just Coffee?”
Being married means sticking to your vows and not getting caught up in situations that could harm the marriage. Getting seen with other women might be a cause for others to speculate.
Sophia Loren was Selleck’s neighbor, and this made Mack uneasy. She still allowed her husband to remain friendly with Loren, no matter how she felt. “If I was on my way to Home Depot and she was out on the driveway in her bathrobe and she said exactly these words: ‘Thomaso, would you like a cappuccino?’ I could go in,” Selleck said.
Looking At What Matters
Keeping a successful marriage in America isn’t an easy task. Selleck managed to do this, all while having a thriving career in Hollywood. Maybe it had to do with his state of mind.
His priority was to keep nurturing the relationship with his true love. He understood that love is something that needs attention if you want it to last. “It’s important to nurture your marriage,” he said. “I think wanting time away from work has been good for that.”
Failure In A Past Relationship
It’s probably impossible for couples to remain in the honeymoon phase while together and things can get rocky when that feeling fades away. Selleck had a past marriage where there were plenty of ups and downs.
He was once with Jacqueline Ray and they adopted a son together. You might think that should be enough to keep a pair together, but it wasn’t for these two. They ended up getting a divorce in 1982.
An Ultimate Sacrifice
After calling it quits, Selleck knew he had the power to hop back into Hollywood when he wanted. If he had expressed interest, studios would’ve called him nonstop, and that’s a fact.
As good as that might sound to some, Selleck kept his focus on the two he adored the most; his daughter and wife. Selleck experienced how celebrity life could harm your real life, so he learned from it. His family is what matters to him the most.
The Happy Family
It isn’t easy juggling the fame and your family when you’re as big of a star as Selleck was, but he did it like he was a circus act. His family didn’t let the success get to them.
There aren’t a ton of fancy cars in his garage and he doesn’t have the nicest mansions in the world. He converted the ranch he lived on into an avocado farm and that’s where he spends most of his time. Stepping away from the spotlight helped him keep a level head.
Still Going Strong After 30 Years
If you want to know what a happy marriage looks like, Selleck and Mack can show you. They’re still together and going strong after three decades, and you have to credit the savvy life choices Selleck made.
Selleck spoke with the NY Daily News and said, “Jillie and I have a pretty good partnership. We don’t do anything or make any decisions without consulting each other.” That is a solid foundation to have with the one you love.
The Recluse Star
Other than the 2010 series Blue Bloods, Selleck hasn’t been on the screen much. You can call him a recluse star if you will, but he now spends the bulk of his time on the avocado ranch.
Going from 60 to 30 acres, the farm is still the place to be, even though Selleck isn’t too fond of the fruit. “So I like to get outside and work on the farm, from fixing roads to clearing brush,” he said.
Bringing Home The Hardware
Is it much of a surprise that Selleck had a phenomenal on-screen presence? It was that skill mixed with amazing writers that helped him see loads of commercial success with Magnum P.I.
The series was nominated for a ton of awards, and Selleck even won the Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a TV Series in 1985. His acting even helped his co-star land an award in 1982 for Best Supporting Actor.
The Big Man On Campus
Magnum P.I. wasn’t the only show where Selleck showed his face and a fabulous mustache. He never got type-casted and he was far from a one-hit-wonder. After he ended his run as the detective for 162 episodes, Selleck was free to try other jobs.
That’s when he guest-starred on the smash hit, Friends as Monica’s older boyfriend. Then, he played in The Closer and Las Vegas. His most recent starring role was Blue Bloods.
Dealing With Politics
If you’re a fan of Selleck, then you know he’s heavy into politics and has a set of beliefs for dense topics. He recently described himself as “a registered independent with a lot of libertarian leanings.”
Not only that, but he’s also a member of the National Rifle Association. While guest-starring on The Rosie O’Donnell Show, someone asked how he felt about owning firearms. “It’s your show, and you can talk about it after I leave,” he replied.
Living A Just Life
Selleck might have had a few roles where his character wasn’t straight-edge, but that doesn’t mean he lived his life that way. He lives a righteous life with a strong sense of morals.
“I try very hard to conduct myself in an ethical way because that’s important to my stability now,” he said. “We’re a culture that’s so centered on the individual.” Due to that, he didn’t want anything else but to live right.
Life Imitating Art?
As a follower of Selleck, you might’ve noticed that he plays roles that resemble his personality. On the other hand, he plays characters that he wishes to be like. That would explain his Blue Bloods character, who is a proud practicing Catholic.
The same goes for the people who play his family alongside him in these roles. The family in Blue Bloods is passionate about religion, but he isn’t as much as them. Selleck considers this an idealized replica of himself.
Working Like A Horse!
Larry Manetti was a past castmate to Selleck, and he had nothing but high praise for Selleck. Manetti worked with the star on Magnum P.I. and had some talent in him as well.
Manetti went on to write a memoir in 1996 titled Aloha Magnum in which he touched on his admiration for Selleck. He specifically talked about his work ethic, even with the show taking a toll on those involved.
Working Harder Than Most
While filming in Hawaii, Selleck had a bunch of passions. One thing he appreciated a lot was beach volleyball; he was a star athlete in college after all! You normally don’t see celebrities playing this sport.
An old teammate of his said, “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 finished by saying Selleck had a great amount of patience.
Being A Man
He lost his former wife some years before this tragedy, but it helped shape him. Selleck lost his father in 2001, and that’s when he admitted he had to finally become a man.
“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’,” said Selleck.
Dealing With Setbacks
It’s no secret that Selleck’s success came from Magnum P.I. After grinding it out in those commercials and other low tier roles, he landed the role that changed his life forever. It was at the start of this new life where he saw the most issues with his past wife, Ray.
The lifestyle proved too much for Selleck at the start, and that wasn’t the only problem. Producers also forced Selleck to miss out on an Indiana Jones role!
Too Tall For The Ride
You’ve heard of not being tall enough to get on a ride, but the opposite was true for Selleck. The former basketball star was going to drive a red Ferrari at first, but they changed it to a Porsche in Magnum P.I.
Due to his tall frame, it wasn’t the easiest for him to ride around in the fancy sports car. Luckily, when you look back on it, things worked out.
It was 2017 when CBS announced they would reboot the series that made Selleck the man he is today. That’s something that should make someone happy, but there was one issue about it.
Selleck couldn’t reprise his role, so it went to Jay Hernandez. Moviegoers might recognize him from his role in the DC movie Suicide Squad as El Diablo. Selleck couldn’t get too upset at that, since he was the one who started it all.
He Almost Became A…
Did you know that Selleck almost became something no one could have imagined? He might be a jack of all trades, but acting is how the fans grew to love him.
In 1987, he revealed where his attention almost went. “I was planning to go into Architecture,” Selleck continued. But when I arrived [to sign up for courses], ‘Architecture’ was filled up. ‘Acting’ was right next to it. So I signed up for Acting instead.”
The Best Stache Goes To…
If you don’t know Selleck thanks to his acting roles, then you for sure recognize his legendary mustache. It’s part of his lore and something that goes along with his branding.
Others around Hollywood have tried to don the mustache look as well, including Will Ferrell and Nick Offerman. Do you remember Ron Burgandy or Offerman’s character from Parks and Recreation? Those guys have some facial hair that con compete with Selleck!