Tom Selleck was born on January 29, 1945 in Detroit, Michigan. Selleck, a member of Sigma Chi Fraternity, attended the University of Southern California in the mid-1960s. At this time, Selleck was working part-time as a model and appearing in TV ads -- as well as serving in the National Guard (he was activated during the Watts Riots in 1965). His work in commercials drew the attention of 20th Century Fox, who signed him to a contract in 1967.

The next six years saw Selleck appearing in guest or minor roles in TV series (including Lancer and ABC's Bracken's World) and taking bit parts in movies. His first film role was as "Stud" (a bit part in a scene with Mae West) in the 1970 disaster Myra Breckinridge. Selleck followed up this "success" with supporting roles in forgettable movies, like The Seven Minutes, Daughters of Satan and Terminal Island

Selleck's first break occurred in 1974, when Selleck joined the cast of the popular soap The Young and the Restless. His turn on Jed Andrews, unfaithful husband -- are there any other kinds in soap operas? -- drew the attention of casting agents. Soon after, Selleck was everywhere, often guest starring in popular TV series like Marcus Welby, M.D., The Streets of San Francisco and Charlie's Angels. He was able to be more choosy with his movie role, as well. Selleck shows up in the World War II epic Midway, Michael Crichton's Coma and made for TV movies like Returning Home (opposite Dabney Coleman) and Bunco (with Robert Urich).

The late 1970s saw Selleck enter into what would become one of his favorite genres, the western. He starred in the TV adaptation of the Louis L'Amour novel The Sacketts and the western-themed The Concrete Cowboys.

Selleck was cast in his defining role in 1980, as Thomas Magnum in the hit CBS series Magnum, P.I.. Selleck's Magnum had the ideal life: drink beer, oogle women, drive a Ferrari (without having to worry about paying insurance on it), live in a Hawaiian mansion, go for helicopter rides and occasionally stop a scheming husband from morgaging the house to pay a mafia gambling debt. Selleck played the part well, lending depth to his role (Magnum, Rick and T.C. served in the Vietnam War together) and making ladies swoon...even with that nasty, hairy chest of his. The series was a ratings success, usually placing in the top 25 shows during its eight-year run. Selleck won an Emmy (Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series) for the show in 1984. The series was cancelled following the 1987-88 season.

Magnum established Selleck as a bankable leading actor. Unfortunately, he didn't necessarily pick the best scripts; the poor box offices of High Road to China, Lassiter and the Michael Crichton futuristic clunker Runaway are a testament to that fact. When Selleck was offered good material, like when Steven Spielberg and George Lucas offered him the role of Indiana Jones in 1981, Selleck was tied down with his obligations to Magnum P.I. Oops.

Selleck's film career was stagnant until 1987, when he appeared in Three Men and a Baby (directed by Leonard Nimoy, of all people) with Ted Danson and Steve Guttenberg. The film was an unexpected commercial success, spawning a 1990 sequel. Selleck went back to making movies in earnest, this time picking more likeable fare. The result was a series of funny, somewhat-memorable films that didn't make shitloads of money for the studios, but didn't bankrupt them either. Samples of Selleck's oeuvre from the early 1990s include: the Paulina Porizkova vehicle Her Alibi, Quigley Down Under, Folks! (with Don Ameche) and the gaijin-makes-good baseball flick Mr. Baseball.

Since 1992, Selleck has eased back on his workload, preferring to make made-for-TV westerns than big budget, high-profile movies. He hasn't strayed far from the public eye, though. Selleck garnered excellent reviews wth his recurring role on NBC's Friends as Dr. Richard Burke, Monica's (Courtney Cox) much older boyfriend. Selleck also turned heads by playing an openly gay reporter wooing Kevin Kline in the 1997 film In & Out. The role was an odd choice for Selleck, as he vehemently fought allegations during the 1980s stating he was homosexual.

Capitalizing on the good press from Friends, Selleck was cast in a new sit-com, The Closer with Ed Asner and Penelope Ann Miller in 1998. The show received negative reviews, and was cancelled after 10 episodes. The bad press didn't stop there. While promoing his movie The Love Letter in May 1999, Selleck made an appearance on the Rosie O'Donnell Show. O'Donnell, an anti-firearms activist, criticized Selleck for his appearance in a NRA advertisement in the wake of the Columbine shootings, and for his support of the organization. What was supposed to have been a pulpy talk-show spot turned into a nasty argument, which carried over into the press the following days.

Selleck's most recent work was the 2001 TV western Crossfire Trail (another L'Amour adaptation) opposite Virginia Madsen and Wilford Brimley. Brimley is a frequent Selleck co-star; the pair previously worked together on In & Out and High Road to China.

Selleck has been married twice: to Jacquelyn Ray (1970 - 1982) and dancer Jillie Mack (1987-present). Selleck has a son with Ray, Kevin, and daughter from his marriage to Mack, Hannah.


TV Series:
Friends (1996-present)
The Closer (1998)
Magnum, P.I. (1980-88)
The Young and the Restless (1974-75)
Bracken's World (1970)

Movies:
Crossfire Trail (2001, TV)
Running Mates (2000, TV)
The Love Letter (1999)
Big Guns Talk: The Story of the Western (1997, TV)
Last Stand at Saber River (1997, TV)
In & Out (1997)
Ruby Jean and Joe (1996, TV)
Open Season (1996)
Broken Trust (1995, TV)
Kino's Storytime - V. 1 (1995)
Folks! (1992)
Christopher Columbus: The Discovery (1992)
Mr. Baseball (1992)
Three Men and a Little Lady (1990)
Quigley Down Under (1990)
Her Alibi (1989)
An Innocent Man (1989)
Three Men and a Baby (1988)
Lassiter (1984)
Runaway (1984)
High Road to China (1983)
The Shadow Riders (1982, TV)
Divorce Wars (1982, TV)
The Chinese Typewriter (1980, TV)
The Concrete Cowboys (1979, TV)
The Sacketts (1979, TV)
Coma (1978)
The Gypsy Warriors (1978)
Superdome (1978, TV)
The Washington Affair (1977)
Bunco (1976, TV)
Most Wanted (1976, TV)
Midway (1976)
Returning Home (1975, TV)
Terminal Island (1973)
Daughters of Satan (1972)
The Seven Minutes (1971)
Myra Breckinridge (1970)
The Movie Murderer (1970, TV)


Sources:
Hollywood.com Celebrity Biography - Tom Selleck -- http://www.hollywood.com/celebs/bio/celeb/344329
Internet Movie Database -- http://us.imdb.com/Name?Selleck,+Tom
E! Online Fact Sheet - Tom Selleck -- http://www.eonline.com/Facts/People/Bio/0,128,14187,00.html

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