Tom Selleck

Tom Selleck:

Thomas William "Tom" Selleck (born January 29, 1945) is an American actor, screenwriter and film producer, perhaps best known for his starring role as Hawaii-based private investigator Thomas Magnum on the television show Magnum, P.I.. He has appeared extensively in television series roles, including as Dr. Richard Burke in Friends and A.J. Cooper in Las Vegas. In addition to his series work, Selleck has appeared in more than fifty made for TV and general release movies, including Mr. Baseball, Quigley Down Under, and Lassiter. His most recent work is in the film Five Killers, along with Katherine Heigl and Ashton Kutcher.

Selleck was born in Detroit, Michigan, the son of Martha S. (née Jagger), a homemaker, and Robert D. Selleck, an executive and real estate investor. The family, of paternal Serbian and maternal Scottish extraction, moved to Sherman Oaks when Selleck was growing up. His siblings include brothers Robert (born 1944) and Daniel (born 1950), and sister Martha. Selleck graduated from Grant High School in 1962.

Along with modeling, Selleck attended the University of Southern California on a basketball scholarship where he played for the Trojans. He is a member of Sigma Chi fraternity and a member of the Trojan Knights. While he majored in business administration, a drama coach suggested Selleck try acting. He then studied acting at the Beverly Hills Playhouse, under Milton Katselas.

Selleck served in the 160th Infantry of the California Army National Guard and was activated for the Watts Riots.

Selleck's first TV appearance was as a college senior on The Dating Game in 1965 and again in 1967—he lost both times. Soon after, he appeared in commercials for products such as Pepsi-Cola.

He began his career with bit parts in smaller movies, including the over-the-top Myra Breckinridge and Russ Meyer's The Seven Minutes with co-stars including Wayne Maunder and Harold J. Stone. He also appeared in number of TV series, mini-series and TV movies.  

Selleck also had a recurring role in the 1970s as Lance White in The Rockford Files. Lance was very trusting and always lucky, much to the annoyance of Jim Rockford, the show's star private eye played by James Garner. White would frequently say to Rockford, "Don't worry, Jim, clues will turn up" and then a clue would just turn up, much to Rockford's consternation, for whom obtaining clues required hard work and hard knocks. Selleck's character was based on one played in Garner's earlier TV series Maverick (1957) by Wayde Preston in that series' highest-rated episode, "The Saga of Waco Williams."

Selleck, after years of little interest, was cast as Thomas Magnum in Magnum, P.I.. Magnum, P.I. producers would not release the actor and he had to pass on the film role, which then went to Harrison Ford. The decision of choosing the role of Indiana Jones vs. Magnum actually haunted him so much that before making the decision, he consulted his best friend on what to do. Together they came to the conclusion that honoring the contract with Universal Studios was the honorable thing to do. It turned out that the shooting of the pilot for Magnum was delayed for over six months (due to a writers' strike,) which would have enabled him to complete the role as Indiana Jones.

Coincidentally, while Selleck was waiting in Hawaii for Magnum, P.I. to commence, Steven Spielberg and George Lucas were in Hawaii as well to shoot scenes for Raiders of the Lost Ark. Selleck later went on to star in High Road to China, one of the many adventure films inspired by the success of Raiders that emerged in the early to mid-1980s.

He starred in the 1979 TV movie Concrete Cowboy with Jerry Reed. Selleck starred in a number of film roles during and after Magnum; among the most notable were as an acrophobic police detective in Runaway, as a stand-in father in Three Men and a Baby, and as an American cowboy in the Australian western Quigley Down Under, a role and film that he considers one of his best. His other films include Three Men and a Little Lady, High Road to China, Lassiter, Her Alibi, An Innocent Man, Folks!, Christopher Columbus: The Discovery, Mr. Baseball, In & Out and The Love Letter.

In the early 1990s, Selleck held a press conference to say that he was not gay after a Queer Nation poster allegedly tried to out him. He also sued a tabloid for printing a story that he was gay, which later was settled with an apology and a financial sum that Selleck donated to the University of Southern California journalism program to promote ethics in media.

He insisted that he was not anti-gay, however, saying "I would have had the same problem, felt the same kind of righteous indignation, if somebody had said I was having an affair with some actress I had never met," and would later portray an openly gay character in In & Out with Kevin Kline.

Selleck has also appeared in a number of made-for-TV movies in recent years. In particular, he has sought to help bring back to popularity of the western, often playing one of that genre's typical characters but thrust into a modern context.

Surprising many of his fans, Selleck unexpectedly played the role of General Dwight D. Eisenhower in the History Channel's 2004 made-for-TV movie Ike: Countdown to D-Day. The movie showed the planning, politics, and preparation for the 1944 Invasion of Normandy, and Selleck was critically lauded for playing a cool, calm Eisenhower.

Most recently, Selleck has appeared in a recurring role on the acclaimed ABC drama Boston Legal as Ivan Tiggs, the troubled ex-husband of Shirley Schmidt (Candice Bergen), and as novelist Robert B. Parker's character Jesse Stone in several CBS made-for-TV movies, earning a 2007 Emmy nomination for Jesse Stone: Sea Change.

Selleck played the role of Thomas Magnum in 1980 after six failed TV pilots. The show would go on for eight seasons and 162 episodes until 1988, winning him an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series in 1984. Selleck was famous for his moustache, a Hawaiian-style aloha shirt, and Detroit Tigers baseball cap. Magnum drove a Ferrari 308 GTS.

Selleck has confirmed that he is the most popular choice by fans to play the role of Magnum in the rumoured upcoming Magnum P.I. movie.

In February 1998 Selleck accepted the lead role in a sitcom for CBS called The Closer. In it he played Jack McLaren, a legendary publicist heading up a brand new marketing firm. His costars included Ed Asner, David Krumholtz, and Penelope Ann Miller. Despite the high pedigree, and the expectations for his first series since Magnum, P. I., low ratings caused the show to be cancelled after 10 episodes.

Selleck became extremely popular with fans when portraying cowboy roles in Western films, starting with his role as Orrin Sackett in the 1979 film The Sacketts, opposite Sam Elliott, Jeff Osterhage, and Western legends Glenn Ford and Ben Johnson. He was easily accepted playing a cowboy, and the roles seemed to "fit" him. He followed The Sacketts with The Shadow Riders in 1982, then with Lassiter in 1984. Quigley Down Under is probably one of his best known Western films, however he also won a "Western Heritage Award" for his 1997 role in Last Stand at Sabre River. His last two cowboy roles to date were in the 2001 TNT movie Crossfire Trail (based on a Louis L'Amour novel of the same name), and the 2003 motion picture Monte Walsh.

Selleck played the recurring role of Dr. Richard Burke on Friends, a love interest to the character of Monica Geller (Courteney Cox). Richard Burke is an ophthalmologist who is 21 years older than Monica and close friends with her parents. Monica and Richard have a very close and deep relationship until Monica discovers that Richard is not willing to have more children, when the two break up. However, later on, he returns, telling Monica he still loves her and would do anything to be with her, all the while knowing she was in a serious relationship with Chandler Bing (Matthew Perry).

Monica later chooses Chandler over Richard. Richard Burke appears in Seasons 2, 3 and 6 of Friends and is referred to often throughout the series. The role helped revitalize Selleck's career, garnering him a 2000 Emmy Award nomination for "Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series". Friends producers apparently had to stop having live audiences on the set, as the audience became too excitable when Selleck was appearing.And it was difficult to control the excitement of the audience in the scene where Tom is shirtless in bed with Monica.

He joined the cast of the NBC drama Las Vegas in the season five premiere on September 28, 2007. He played A.J. Cooper, the new owner of the Montecito Casino. He replaced James Caan who left the cast in the same episode. This is his first regular role on a drama show since he played Thomas Magnum on Magnum, P.I.

On April 28, 2000, he received an honorary doctorate from Pepperdine University. He was chosen because of his outstanding character and ethic. He is a board member of the non-profit Joseph and Edna Josephson Institute of Ethics and co-founder of the Character Counts Coalition. Selleck received a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1986. The star is situated at 6925 Hollywood Blvd.

* Golden Apple Awards - 1982 Male Star of the year
* Golden Apple Awards - 1983 Male Star of the year
* People Choice's Award - 1984 Favourite Male TV Performer
* 36th Primetime Emmy Awards (1984) - Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
* People Choice's Award - 1985 Favourite Male TV Performer
* People Choice's Award - 1985 Favourite All-Round Male Entertainer
* 42nd Golden Globe Awards (1985) - Best Performance by an Actor in a TV-Series-Drama

In 1993, during the brief run of the late night The Chevy Chase Show on Fox, Selleck guest-starred. As a gag, he asked to be presented his 1992 Worst Supporting Actor Razzie award for his performance as King Ferdinand of Spain in Christopher Columbus: The Discovery. When the Razzie was presented to him on the air, Selleck took it in stride and asked the entire studio audience to "blow me a raspberry." Thus Selleck became the third person in Razzie history to voluntarily accept one of the Worst Achievements in Film statuettes. In the United Kingdom fishing village of Brixham Devon, a residential street is named after the star.

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