The terms “Hollywood” and “marriage” don’t always work well together. In fact, when star couples usually get divorced, fans are often not so surprised. These days, there are as many celebrity divorces as there are movies and TV shows. However, things have gone a little different for Tom Selleck.
Selleck Speaks Up
The iconic Magnum P.I. star has recently opened up on his marriage with actress and dancer Jillie Joan Mack. But was it a happy ending for the couple? Tom Selleck has details to share…
Everyone Wants A Piece Of Him
Let’s face it – if you grew up in the 80s, you probably had a poster of Magnum P.I. on your wall. Either because you wanted to be with Tom Selleck, or you simply want to be him. The culmination of this actor’s reputation as a heartthrob came in 1998 when he was selected by People Magazine as one of the 50 most beautiful men on the planet. Naturally, stars such as Sean Connery, Brad Pitt, Denzel Washington, and Mel Gibson have also made the cut.
Why Did He Love Cats?
Shortly after his divorce with Ray, Selleck was a 38-year-old man and pretty lonely. When he was filming in London, his crew took him to a production of Cats because they were aware of how excited he was to see the musical at some point. Amazingly though, he kept going back to watch it, seeing it over a dozen times during his stay in London. What exactly was it that kept him coming back for more?
It turns out that there was one particular star of the show that stood out for him. It was the vibrant Rumpleteazer, played by 25-year-old Jillie Joan Mack. After finally getting to introduce himself to the young actress, the pair scheduled a date, with Selleck taking Mack out for dinner. At this stage, her contract with Cats was up, and she had few commitments to deal with. Needless to say, the pair hit it off, and Mack wanted to see a lot more of Selleck.
In Love With A Superstar
It was a huge decision for her, but Mack no longer had something tying her down in London. Also, she was now romantically involved with an A-list celebrity. So she seized the opportunity to pack her bags and move to Hawaii. Obviously, this was because Selleck was still in the thick of shooting Magnum P.I.. It wouldn’t take long before Mack was appearing everywhere with Selleck. This included the red carpet at the Emmys, as well as Selleck’s 1986 Hollywood Walk of Fame induction.
Joining The Cast
Tom Selleck was so integral to the success of Magnum P.I. that, with time, he was able to influence many creative decisions about the show. Not only did he have a say in some of the story choices, he also decided who to cast on several occasions. One of those lucky individuals who ended up on the show was none other than Jillie Mack. She ended up playing an English girl in a party scene on the episode “Rembrandt’s Girl.”
Matched Made In Secret
After half a decade together, the couple completely took their fans by surprise when they revealed that they had got hitched in secret. In 1987, Bob Selleck, Tom’s brother, organized their wedding in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, including a 24-hour wedding chapel. They got married under the nicknames “Tom Jenkins” and “Suzie Mark.” The imposters got married on August 7th and even the minister didn’t know who these two actually were. Yet there was so much more to this bizarre marriage…
It was only moments before the recital of the vows when the couple revealed their true identities to avoid legal issues. Selleck even made sure that the photographer took polaroids so that negatives would not get leaked. “They were both nervous, like any other couple about to get married,” wedding officiant Rev. David Immel said. “He was very concerned that the service be heartfelt, very concerned for her that the service be meaningful. He is a very warm, caring man.”
We’re Having A Baby
Just a year later, Selleck and Mack had a child together. Their daughter, Hannah Margaret, brought a new dimension to both of their lives that Selleck decided to make some drastic changes in his life. He made some big sacrifices so that he could be there for his wife and baby girl. “I quit Magnum to have a family,” he said. “It took a long time to get off the train, but I try very hard to have balance.”
Perfect Home For Hannah
After moving to Ventura County, California and purchasing a 65-acre ranch, Selleck took a break to focus on family life and his wife believed that their new ranch was the perfect place for the family to grow together. “We both thought it was the best environment for [Hannah] to grow up,” Mack added. It seems like the decision paid off. Nowadays, Hannah is actually something of an equestrian star. Growing up with horses gave her a passion for riding.
Learning From Mistakes
Despite the fact that Selleck has been in the limelight for a long time, he has consistently refused let his stardom interfere with his family. He saw the damage it did to his previous relationship and even back in the 80s, he admitted that he wanted to right his wrongs. “I’ve found it very difficult to expose my private life and live with it,” he said. “It’s important to nurture your marriage. I think wanting time away from work has been good for that.”
“Coffee” With Sophia Loren?
Like many married people, Selleck had to tread lightly when it came to socializing with other women. Naturally, Mack was apprehensive when she found out that Italian actress Sophia Loren was actually their neighbor at one point. “If I was on my way to Home Depot and she was out on the driveway in her bathrobe and she said exactly these words: ‘Thomaso, would you like a cappuccino?’ I could go in,” he said. Those were the rules established by his wife.
Despite portraying a variety of roles who have fallen on various ends of the moral spectrum, Selleck is actually someone with a strong code of ethics. So much so that he is quite a religious person. “I try very hard to conduct myself in an ethical way, because that’s important to my stability now,” he said. “We’re a culture that’s so centered on the individual. The culture says that basically nothing is more important than the way you feel.”
The actor can trace his desire to help today’s youth back to his own childhood. Born in 1945 in Detroit, Michigan, Selleck feels like he came from a balanced upbringing. Although the second child of four believes that his family cared deeply for him, he was given much independence and responsibility to fend for himself and find his way in the world. Shortly after he was born, the Sellecks packed up their bags and headed to California to start afresh.
Tom Of All Trades
Young Tom excelled at virtually everything he did, attending the University of Southern California and studying Business Administration. While he was there, he even got a basketball scholarship, playing for the USC Trojans men’s basketball team. It was during this time as well that Selleck worked as a model, which shouldn’t be much of a surprise. Eventually, aa drama coach encouraged the young man to try acting. So he ended up learning how to act at the Beverly Hills Playhouse.
Star In The Making
Everything was going smoothly for Selleck. With a degree on the way, a thriving role in the college basketball team and even work as a model, it was natural for Tom to start looking at his career options. After impressing in theater school, the young actor started to get a few roles here and there in local commercials, and even some national ones. After appearing on the show The Dating Game, Selleck got a deal with Twentieth Century Fox. But things changed quickly…
Army Got In The Way
In 1967, Selleck’s lucrative movie deal was snatched from his grasp when he got drafted into the U.S. Army for the Vietnam War. He ended up serving in the 160th Infantry Regiment until 1973. Although it got in the way of his true dreams, Selleck was proud to serve. “I am a veteran, I’m proud of it. I was a sergeant in the U.S. Army infantry, National Guard, Vietnam era,” he said. “We’re all brothers and sisters in that sense.”
Returning To Darkness
The time had come – Selleck’s service had come to an end, and it was time to return home to make his dreams finally come true. He expected things to be a formality; he would renew his time with Twentieth Century Fox and his first motion picture appearance would be underway. However, this was far from what actually happened. It turns out that the studio fired Selleck after he was drafted, which meant that he needed to go back to the drawing board.
It seemed that, despite this major setback, fame and fortune were written in the stars for Tom. His schedule started to become full of opportunities. After starring in over half a dozen TV pilots, he finally got his big break with a show by the name of Magnum P.I. The show was perfect for Selleck, as it depicted a veteran who becomes a private investigator on the beautiful island of Hawaii. It was almost as if the role was written for him!
There is no denying that although Selleck hit the jackpot with Magnum P.I., it didn’t get off to the easiest of starts. Certain problems came along such as funding issues and even the writers of the show went on strike at one stage! This didn’t stop Selleck from helping the show hit incredible ratings and receive rave reviews from fans and critics alike. After winning an Emmy for “Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series” in 1984, many awards and nominations would follow.
Due to Tom Selleck’s incredible screen presence, along with great writers and a fantastic supporting cast, Magnum P.I. went on to be a commercial and a critical success. Not only has the show been nominated for Emmy awards, but Tom Selleck also won the Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a TV-Series – Drama in 1985. It wasn’t just Selleck who was taking home the gold. John Hillerman, who played Higgins, also won a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor in 1982, as well as an Emmy in 1987.
Not A One Trick Pony
Make no mistake about it – Tom Selleck is not Hollywood’s version of a one-hit wonder. Although Magnum P.I. eventually came to an end, with 162 episodes under his belt, Selleck was free to pursue other jobs. He ended up having a role in Friends as Monica’s much older boyfriend. That wasn’t all though – he starred in shows such The Closer and Las Vegas. Most recently, he was the main star of Blue Bloods as NYPD Police Commissioner Frank Reagan.
It is no secret that Tom Selleck is a politically conscious individual. In recent times, the retired actor has described himself as “a registered independent with a lot of libertarian leanings.” That’s not all though. Selleck is also an avid member of the National Rifle Association (NRA). He even got questioned about his views on firearm ownership by Rosie O’Donnell on her show, to whom he said, “It’s your show, and you can talk about it after I leave.”
Although Tom Selleck is renowned for being one of the most iconic custodians of a mustache in film and TV, there are many other performers who have donned the upper facial hair in the last few decades. Some other notable actors to make the mustache as fashionable include the likes of Nick Offerman, of Parks and Recreation fame, and Will Ferrell, who portrayed the hilarious character of Ron Burgundy in the classic comedic movie The Legend of Ron Burgundy.
Life Imitating Art
One of the fascinating things about some of Tom Selleck’s roles is that sometimes, they are extremely similar to aspects of his own personality. Also, they are sometimes people that he aspires to be like. He recently commented on how his character in the show Blue Bloods is a proud, practicing Catholic. Not only that, but his character’s family members are also as religious fervent as he is. Although he isn’t a particularly religious man in real life, Selleck feels like his character is like an idealized version of himself.
One of the actors who was with Selleck every step of the way during his time on Magnum P.I. was the talented performer Larry Manetti. In his 1996 memoir, Aloha Magnum, Manetti wrote how much he admired Selleck for having such a great work ethic, despite the show taking its toll on the cast and crew both physically and emotionally. That wasn’t all though; Manetti also praised Selleck for the work he did to help many charities in Hawaii.
Loves The LA Kings
One of Tom Selleck’s biggest passions outside of acting is, believe it or not, hockey. The retired actor has been seen on many occasions at the Staples Center, watching his beloved team the Los Angeles Kings. In fact, Selleck has been very vocal in interviews about his love for the sport, even highlighting some of his favorite players, such as Alexander Frolov and Anze Kopitar. He even had shares in his childhood baseball team the Detroit Tigers, at one point.
Balancing Work & Play
When Selleck was based in Honolulu during his time working on Magnum P.I., the actor took up a handful of passions. One of them was beach volleyball. One of his teammates at Outrigger Canoe Club, Dennis Berg, had the following to say about Tom Selleck: “Tom was a great teammate, appreciative of being included with such a talented and experienced group, practicing and playing hard when his Magnum schedule permitted…He was very patient with all of us.”
There is no denying that Selleck, like so many other celebrities, has seen some big twists and turns in the love department. In 1971, he got married to model Jacqueline Ray. However, despite the joy of adopting a son together, this couldn’t keep the spark going in their relationship. Selleck and Ray finalized their divorce in 1982. He even starred in a film called Divorce Wars: A Love Story, which allowed the actor to pour his heart into the role.
There is no denying that Selleck’s rise to fame and fortune through his breakthrough role in Magnum P.I. must’ve have taken its toll on his personal life. Fluctuating between his set, promotional tours, interviews and celebrity parties was bound to put a strain on his relationship with Ray. It wasn’t just his love life that the show had an impact on. The producers forced Selleck to pass on roles such as Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Tom Selleck will probably be delighted to hear that his most prolific show Magnum P.I. is actually getting a reboot very soon. However, he might be a bit upset that he won’t be able to reprise the classic role. Instead, it will be Jay Hernandez who will play the role of Thomas Magnum. Of course, moviegoers might remember Jay Hernandez for his role as the wild comic-book character El Diablo / Chato Santana in the DC movie Suicide Squad.
Still Going Strong
Fortunately, the couple have been married for over 30 years and are still going strong to this day. In an interview with NY Daily News, Selleck revealed just how good things are between them. “Jillie and I have a pretty good partnership. We don’t do anything or make any decisions without consulting each other,” he said. “And if one of us makes a decision involving Hannah, the other parent completely supports that position, even if you disagree.”
Despite the fact that this Hollywood family has withstood the test of time, fame and fortune, they have never let the celebrity lifestyle consume them. You would expect a family helmed by Tom Selleck to be flash, and have lots of stunning houses and cars. The reality though is that the family still reside in their cosey California ranch, which has now been converted into an avocado farm! This also makes sense seeing that Selleck has taken a step back from acting.
Taking A Step Back
Tom Selleck hasn’t actually starred in anything since 2015’s TV movie Jesse Stone: Lost in Paradise. He spends the majority of his time living a low-key life on his avocado farm, which is 30-acres long alone. However, this isn’t news. Despite the fact that the retired actor doesn’t actually like avocados, he has been farming them for over three decades now. “So I like to get outside and work on the farm, from fixing roads to clearing brush,” he said.
After successfully balancing an illustrious career with his marriage with Jillie, it is Selleck’s priority to keep on growing with who he considers to be his one true love. He recognizes that love is something that requires a lot of work, time and patience if one wants it to last. He also realizes how much of an impact retirement has had on his personal life. “It’s important to nurture your marriage,” he said. “I think wanting time away from work has been good for that.”
Selleck knows that he could return to Hollywood in a heartbeat. If he really expressed an interest in returning to the big time, every big studio would be calling his agent’s cell right now. Nevertheless, Tom only has two fans on his mind at this moment in time – his wife and his daughter. After experiencing loss and seeing the damage that his celebrity lifestyle has caused in the past, he came back from it in a big way – and values nothing greater than his family.