Tom Selleck's Amazing Life

Tom Selleck's Amazing Life

Oct 29, 2020James Montalvo

You'll know him as Magnum P.I., Monica's lover from Friends, or the Chief from Blue Bloods. To everyone else, he's the legendary actor, Tom Selleck. Behind all of his amazing roles and his storied Hollywood career, Selleck has an even more interesting private and personal life. Here are a few of those interesting things that will tickle your interest!

Image Credits: Getty Images/Vince Bucci

HE STARTED WITH A BASKETBALL SCHOLARSHIP

Standing at a staggering 6'4, Tom Selleck is a pretty tall guy. In fact, he was tall enough to play Division 1 college ball for the University of Southern California. By no means was he a basketball prodigy that just decided to have a career in Hollywood instead. But he was good enough to earn himself a scholarship.

Image Credits: Getty Image/Andrew H. Walker

HE DUELED WITH KAREEM

While playing basketball at the University of Southern California, Tom played against some of the best young talents the American collegiate sports program had to offer. One of these talents came from rival school UCLA. He was named Lew Alcindor, who ended up changing his name to Kareem Abdul-Jabar, the legendary LA Lakers player.

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HE IS A PROUD VETERAN

In the mid-60s, just as he was testing the waters of the entertainment industry, Tom Selleck was drafted into the military during the Vietnam War. To avoid being deployed to the dangers of war, he later decided to volunteer for the 160th infantry regiment of the California National Guard. 

Image Credits: Getty Images/Hulton Archive

SERVED IN OTHER WAYS

Joining the California National guard meant that he showed other ways of support by featuring on their recruiting posters and videos. He told Military: "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."

Image Credits: Getty Images/Pascal Le Segretain

IT TOOK A WHILE BEFORE HE BECAME A STAR

Tom Selleck became a household name in the 80s thanks to Magnum P.I., but before we get to the success and fame that the show gave him, you'll have to know that it wasn't easy sailing for the actor beforehand. He did land an acting contract with 20th Century Fox in the late 1960s but it would really amount to much.

Image Credits: Getty Images/CBS Photo Archive

THE CONTRACT DIDN'T PAY MUCH

The contract he landed with 20th Century Fox was only for $35 a week plus the inclusion of acting training. Between then and Magnum P.I., Selleck would be cast for 6 pilots for different tv shows that were never picked up by the studios. He would make dozens of one-off appearances in various tv shows. 

Image Credits: Getty Images/CBS Photo Archive via Getty Images/Chris Reardon

ONE OF HIS CHILDREN IS ADOPTED

Selleck has two children, a boy, and a girl. His son, Kevin Selleck, isn't his biological son. Kevin was born to Jacqueline from a previous relationship. His real name is Kevin S. Shepard, but Tom was such a loving and caring step-father that he legally adopted Kevin. What a guy!

Image Credits: Getty Images/Ilya S. Savenok

HE WAS SKEPTICLE TO PLAY MAGNUM P.I.

We can't deny that Magnum P.I. tuned Tom Selleck into the world-famous actor that he is today. However, back when the show was just an idea, Selleck wasn't completely sold on it. There were more than a few shows on the air that had a quirky private eye for the premise and he didn't want to get boxed in. Boy, was he wrong? 

Image Credits: Getty Images/WireImage/M. Caulfield

COULD HAVE BEEN A DIFFERENT ICONIC CHARACTER

We can't stress enough that the time wherein Selleck landed the role of Magnum P.I. came with immense timing. As Selleck has shared, it coincided with him doing an audition and screen tests for two legendary filmmakers, Steven Spielberg and George Lucas. They were in the midst of casting someone for this role in a film called Raiders of the Lost Ark. He could have been Indy! Imagine that. 

Image Credits: Getty Images/Jamie McCarthy

JEALOUSY DOUSED THE FLAMES

In a dramatic turn of events, Selleck and Ray decided to call it quits shortly after the latter's appearance as Lisa on the former's show. It was speculated that Ray could not handle all the attention that her beau was getting from different women thanks to his growing fame. Within ten years, she would be married and divorced three times.

Image Credits: Getty Images/Fotos International/Frank Edwards

THE CAT BURGLAR THAT STOLE HIS HEART

Selleck was awestruck by one particular cast member from the musical, Cats. It was the actress that played the character of Rumpleteazer. Her name was Jillie Joan Mack, and she was only 25-years-old when she met Tom Selleck. Despite their thirteen-year age gap, the two hit it off, and well, the rest is pretty much history. 

Image Credits: Getty Images./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images/Ron Galella, Ltd

TYING THE KNOT IN SECRET

It would take four years of dating before Tom felt like it was the right time for him and Mack to get married. And even then, the actor and his fiance wanted to keep it low-key. Even the person officiating the ceremony didn't know who he was marrying until the very last minute. They had their names reserved as “Tom Jenkins” and “Suzie Mark".

Image Credits: Getty Images/Darlene Hammond

HE WAS AN EXTREMELY BUSY MAN

At the height of his fame, Tom was extremely busy with all the projects that he was landing. However, the peak of his career also came at a time where he also became the father of an infant. By then he was working 90 hours a week on his tv show, then had a film to shoot whenever he had a break. 

Image Credits: Getty Images/Ron Galella

GIVING IT ALL UP FOR FAMILY

Selleck ended up doing something that most actors in his position rarely do, and that's back away from fame. In 2012, he revealed in an interview with People Magazine, “I quit Magnum to have a family. It took a long time to get off the train, but I try very hard to have balance.” Well, he was already famous and rich, so it does make sense.

Image Credits: Getty Images/Vince Bucci

HERE'S WHAT HE DID WHILE AWAY

Okay, so he wasn't completely away from the acting scene. He decided to reduce his working hours, and take up smaller, and less time demanding roles to be with his family. He also relocated his family to a 65-acre ranch in Ventura, California. It was a complete 180-degree change to his lifestyle. One that benefited his family life. Worth it!

Image Credits: Getty Images/Frazer Harrison

HE'S SELLING AVOCADOS

If you think taking his acting career a couple of gears down affected his earning capacity greatly, you're so wrong. Selleck took advantage of his giant 65-acre ranch and started growing and selling avocados. Yup, on top of acting he's got himself a business, and let's be real, avocados are awesome.

Image Credits: Getty Images/Corbis via Getty Images/Lance Staedler

HIS DAUGHTER IS INTO HORSES

What else can you expect to see at a farm? If you guessed horses, then you're right! His daughter has a passion for horses. In fact, she has grown up to become an accomplished equestrian. Moreover, she has also taken advantage of her father's ranch by starting up a horse breeding business with Tom.

Image Credits: Instagram/hannahselleck

GOING BLUE

It seems that Selleck's time away from big, long-term productions gave him the hunger to act some more. In 2010, he joined the cast of Blue Bloods, a police drama featuring a multigenerational law enforcement family. On the show, he plays Frank Raegan, a police commissioner, and stars alongside Donnie Wahlberg. 

Image Credits: Getty Images/CBS via Getty Images/Craig Blankenhorn

ONE OF LONGEST HOLLYWOOD RELATIONSHIPS

Selleck and Mack are an example of the rare Hollywood relationship that lasts. August recently marked the couple's 33rd anniversary. Other celebrity marriages that run nearly as long as theirs are Tom and Rita Hanks and Denzel and Pauletta Washington, who have been married since 1988 and 1983, respectively. 

Image Credits: Getty Images/Kevin Winter

Which of these Tom Selleck Facts did you just find out about now? Got any more stories about the Magnum P.I. that are worth sharing? Let us know in the comment section and make sure to check out some of the other stories we've written on Amomedia. 

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