Tom Selleck doesn’t need an introduction. The now-78-year-old actor has been in show business for decades, and despite his recent health scares, he doesn’t seem to have any plans on retiring. In recent years, he’s starred in the successful series Blue Bloods.
Selleck’s appearance has been quite a trademark, and we have all gotten used to how he looks. However, now, fans are shocked about one thing that has been removed: His iconic mustache.
Tom Selleck wasn’t sure he wanted to be an actor growing up. Born January 29, 1945, in Detroit, Michigan, his family moved to California, where he grew up in the San Fernando Valley.
Tom Selleck – early life
Selleck dreamt about enrolling at the University of Southern California (USC), but his family couldn’t afford the tuition.
In 1962, he graduated from Grant High School. After enrolling at Los Angeles Valley College, he lived at home with his parents to save money.
In his early days, it seemed more likely that Tom would have a career in athletics instead of acting. He was an up-and-coming basketball player and dreamt about going pro. With that in mind, one can only imagine how happy he was after being awarded a basketball scholarship at the University of Southern California.
“I never did school plays. I had no interest,” Tom told AARP in 2015.
After some time, Selleck understood that basketball probably wouldn’t be his future career. However, he had a backup plan and took a side job to help pay his tuition. The aspiring student first landed some gigs in television commercials and appeared on The Dating Game.
Tom Selleck was offered a spot on 20th Century Fox’s talent program shortly after. He started crafting his skills, but after two years, he took leave for six months of active duty.
Upon returning, Selleck was dropped. But instead of giving up, he was confident he would make it as an actor.
In the early 1970s, he landed smaller parts in many television series. Then, approaching his mid-30s, Selleck starred in six television pilots. Despite that, his big breakthrough didn’t arrive.
Tom Selleck in ‘Magnum, P.I.’
According to Tom, that was why many thought he was an overnight success when he landed the role of Thomas Magnum in Magnum, P.I.
In reality, he had struggled and fought desperately hard.
“The luckiest thing that happened was that I didn’t get a real job until I was 35,” Selleck explained.
“When I was 25, I looked 35 but sounded 15. There are a lot of very good actors who make it as younger leading men but don’t graduate — because the audience won’t accept them as grown up.”
Magnum, P.I. became a huge success. The crime drama television series aired between 1980 and 1988 and brought Tom instant celebrity status. He was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series five years in a row – he finally won it in 1984. If it wasn’t for the show, he may have quit acting for good.
Tom reached cult status through Magnum, P.I., and his career ever since has been nothing short of an incredible success story. Other credits include films like Three Men and a Baby and In & Out. He was also introduced to a new generation of fans when he starred as Monica Geller’s older boyfriend, Richard Burke, beginning in Season 2 of the hit comedy series Friends.
In 2010, Selleck got the role of Frank Reagan on the drama series Blue Bloods, which opened a new and exciting chapter for him. The show has aired for 13 seasons.
“I never thought I’d be lucky enough to do a show that had that long a run. Maybe Magnum, P.I. could have reached that number because nobody wanted to cancel it. I was the guy causing the divorce,” Selleck explained.
Tom Selleck says his back is “messed up”
“I’d done the number one movie [Three Men and a Baby] in the US and I wanted to have a family. The number of series that have done as many episodes as Blue Bloods is a tiny, tiny percentage. This is a validation that we’re all fighting the good fight. All the actors are very committed to the work. So, it’s a number that gives reward for the professionalism of this entire cast.”
In many films and series, actors have their own stunt-person. Often, it can be a dangerous job, but for a few, having someone else perform their stunts is simply out of the question.
Selleck’s done most of his stunts himself in the past, but that has come at a cost. He says his body is not what it used to be.
“My back’s kind of messed up,” Selleck shared.
“When you do stunts in movies—I do a lot of them—you’re taking a risk, but you’re also sitting around a lot. So you might do a fight scene, and then you sit in your chair, and it’s not like you have a personal trainer saying, “Okay, we’re ready to go, but Tom needs ten minutes of stretching and warm-up.”
“And I think the price,” he added, “I see it with peers, I talk to them sometimes. You just see the price of all those stunts. They weren’t that hard, but I think it’s the stop-and-go of all that stuff.”
Selleck once revealed that he doesn’t like going to the gym, though he’s trying to keep fit by working at the family ranch in Ventura, California.
“I have a 63-acre ranch, and I do not all, but a lot of, the grunt work. Clearing brush, planting trees. We’ve got about a hundred ancient oaks I planted. I’ve probably planted a thousand trees myself.”
Tom Selleck – iconic mustache
While Tom Selleck has a great interest in horses outside his ordinary work, he is also on the brink of becoming a writer.
Speaking with TV Insider last year, the star actor revealed he is writing a book.
“I’m halfway done. It’s about my 50 years in show business. The tentative title is, Don’t Know Where I’m Going, But There’s No Use Being Late. I doubt if I’ll change it. That’s the story of an actor’s life. You finish your job, a show or a movie, and you’re unemployed. It’s fun. I hope the book is kind of funny because I don’t take myself that seriously. A sense of humor is almost essential for a long career as is a sense of humor in your work,” he said.
Since Tom Selleck became a household name through Magnum P.I., his mustache has been iconic. It has become one of those things that you associate with Selleck, and he was worried that the facial hair would significantly affect his career. Tom felt like he was stuck with it forever.
“After Magnum, I think I went, ‘Oh my gosh!’ I’m going to live with mustache questions for the rest of my life,” he once said.
“Most of the time I got hired they said the mustache is okay, but you gotta shave it off for the job. I was born without it and I’m prepared to work without it.”
Meanwhile, Selleck joked that he might have gotten the Blue Bloods job only because of the facial hair.
“Well, it meant a job on Blue Bloods,” he said. “The director said maybe you can play this guy without a mustache. I said, ‘Sure, I was born that way.’”
Tom Selleck ditches signature mustache – almost unrecognizable
The mustache has, as mentioned, been iconic for Selleck. But now, he is unrecognizable as he has shaven it off.
The 78-year-old actor had not been spotted in public for more than a year when he was photographed driving his silver pickup truck near his residence.
Tom Selleck hasn’t been spotted in public for many, many months. However, on a rare public outing at the end of September, he was photographed while driving his pickup truck near his house, Page Six, who had gotten hold of the pictures, reported.
Selleck was pretty much unrecognizable, as he had ditched his signature mustache. Instead, he rocked a full beard as he ran errands in the San Fernando Valley.
It goes without saying that Tom’s career is one to admire. But another thing to celebrate is his loyalty to his wife, Jillie Mack. While many celebrity marriages come and go, the pair have been happily married for over 35 years.
In an interview with Closer Weekly, Selleck recalled the first time he met Jillie Mack at a performance of the musical Cats, in which Mack was starring. It was the 1980s after Selleck’s decade-long marriage to model Jacqueline Ray ended.
While Selleck says he’s not as smooth with the ladies as his on-screen counterparts, he approached his future wife backstage, though she was the one who made the first move.
Tom Selleck – family
“She had to go on [stage]. I was hemming and hawing, and she finally asked, ‘Do you want to meet for a cocktail?’” Selleck recalled.
The date apparently went well, and Selleck and Mack were married in 1987 in a private ceremony. One year after their wedding, their daughter Hannah was born.
Ever since, Selleck has put his family ahead of stardom and has tried to keep his personal life out of the Hollywood spotlight.
In fact, he even let his acting career take a back seat to ensure he had adequate time to spend with his wife and beloved daughter.
“I quit Magnum to have a family,” Tom Selleck told People in 2012.
“It took a long time to get off the train, but I try very hard to have balance, and this ranch has helped me do that.”
“We both thought it was the best environment for Hannah to grow up,” Jillie Mack added.
Tom – a great fan of nature and the outdoors – was keen on sharing his passion with his daughter. Soon enough, he’d passed it on to her!
Tom and his wife Jillie live on the 65-acre ranch in Ventura, and Hannah was brought up there. Both father and daughter share a passion for horses; later on, the two had a side business breeding horses.
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