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Tom Selleck

Tom Selleck

Tom Selleck
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In this special edition bookazine, learn how Tom Selleck became one of America's most beloved stars -- plus, you'll hear about the secret to the success of his 2-+ year marriage, and the inside story of Magnum, Blue Bloods, and more!

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United States
Heinrich Bauer Publishing, L. P.

in this issue

2 min.
why we love tom selleck

In 1970, a clean-shaven young actor named Tom Selleck made his film debut in the long-forgotten comedy Myra Breckinridge opposite the aging (and, somehow, ageless) movie sex goddess Mae West. Selleck’s character was credited as “Stud.” For a long time, that’s how Hollywood saw Thomas William Selleck—as a nameless pretty face. In an industry that likes to compare people to current or past stars, Selleck didn’t quite measure up. He didn’t have as much edge as Paul Newman, as much acting talent as Dustin Hoffman, or as much range as Gene Hackman. What Selleck did possess was enormous likability. With gentle eyes, a quick smile, and a nonthreatening quality that didn’t match his 6-foot-4-inch athletic body, Selleck stood out. But what could you do with him? Was he a movie actor or…

8 min.
natural born athlete

“Risk is the price you pay for opportunity.” Thomas William Selleck was born on January 29, 1945, in Detroit, Michigan. His father, Robert Dean Selleck, Sr., attended one year of college at Ohio Wesleyan University and served in the Army Air Corps during World War II. On April 11, 1942, Bob married Martha Jagger in Detroit. He was 21 years old. Two years later, they welcomed a son, Bob Jr., and a year after that, Tom. Another son and a daughter would later complete the family. Martha Selleck was a homemaker. She raised the kids, keeping them in line, respectful of others, and well fed (her cherry pie and chocolate cake were favorites for the younger Bob and Tom.) “I had a great dad and a great mom, and I could go into…

4 min.
the early years

“It was pretty tough for me to be taken seriously.” Six months after leaving USC, Tom Selleck was working with Fox when he received his draft notice. The year was 1967, and that meant Vietnam. Selleck joined the California National Guard in the 160th infantry regiment. He served from 1967 to 1973, and his time in the military left a strong, positive impression on Selleck. “I am a veteran, I’m proud of it,” he told Military.com. “I was a sergeant in the U.S. Army infantry, National Guard, Vietnam era.” Selleck’s plan was to fulfill his military obligation then resume his acting studies in the Fox training program. But as it turned out, the studio had other ideas. “I did six months active duty in the middle of my time at Fox,” he…

7 min.
the last chance

“I’ll pound roofing nails before I shoot this.” By the late 1970s, Tom Selleck had a résumé filled with commercials, failed pilots, and small guest spots on popular TV shows, including Marcus Welby, M.D., The Streets of San Francisco, Charlie’s Angels, and Taxi. In 1978, he was cast in yet another small TV part: private investigator Lance White on an episode of The Rockford Files. The White character was written to represent everything hero Jim Rockford (James Garner) was not—charming, young, and, despite being less talented, successful. The running joke of the episode was that White was a total lightweight who fooled everyone with charisma—everyone except for Jim Rockford. The role was really just a device for the writers to use Selleck’s apparent perfection as a foil for Garner’s self-deprecating humor. The…

11 min.

“I kept my word. I lived up to the contract.” Dissecting Glen Larson’s script for Magnum to determine what worked and what didn’t, Donald Bellisario felt that the best part was the name Magnum. Solid, sturdy, and a little dangerous, it just sounded like a TV show of its era. It was also a name that could go in obvious directions when applied to a character—or, with a bit of humor, it could be used to create a clever contrast. After his heart-to-heart conversation with Tom Selleck, Bellisario knew that a clever contrast was exactly what Selleck needed to bring out his best work. The character obviously had to look like Selleck if the actor was going to play it, but if he walked, talked, and behaved in a way you’d expect…

2 min.
the car: ferrari 308 gts

THE BACKSTORY Originally, show producers wanted Magnum’s signature ride to be a Porsche 928. They even asked Porsche to produce one with an extra-large sunroof so it would be easier to see Magnum in aerial shots. However, Porsche said no, as it was the German car company’s strict policy not to do custom modifications at a customer’s request—any customer’s request. And reportedly, the producers could have faced legal action if they had made changes to the car for the show. So they shifted to Plan B and turned to Porsche’s rival, Ferrari. That’s how Magnum came to drive the iconic red 308 GTS on the series. THE FALLBACK The Ferrari 308 GTS required plenty of modifications just so the six-foot-four-inch-tall Selleck could fit comfortably in the car. To accommodate the former USC basketball…