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commercial, movie, and television actor
Thomas William Selleck was born to Robert and Martha Selleck in Detroit, Michigan, on January 29, 1945. His family moved to Sherman Oaks, California, while he was still a child, and he graduated from Ulysses S. Grant High School, in Van Nuys, in 1962.
A well-respected baseball player in high school, Selleck had aspirations of becoming a professional athlete. Those aspirations grew during his junior college years, when his skills on the basketball court earned him a scholarship to the University of Southern California, where he majored in business administration. His career plans changed, however, when he took a course in theater arts. Selleck's looks and personality led his theater teacher to suggest he pursue acting, and he subsequently studied at the Beverly Hills Playhouse under Milton Katselas.
Selleck made his television debut in 1965, as a bachelor on The Dating Game; he made another appearance on that show in 1967. Although he failed to win a date both times, Selleck was able to garner a series of television commercial appearances. Those appearances got noticed by 20th Century Fox, which signed him for a weekly series called Bachelor's World. Although that show was never picked up by a network, Selleck still earned a role in the movie Myra Breckenridge (1970), starring Mae West. A series of small film and television roles followed before Selleck got the role that made him famous.
From 1978 to 1979, Selleck played the sly and somewhat comical private eye Lance White on The Rockford Files. Viewers fell in love with the recurring character (and the actor who portrayed him), and the network decided to offer Selleck the lead role in the Hawaii-based Magnum, P.I.; he accepted, and the series ultimately ran from 1980 to 1988. During that time he also starred in several movies, including Lassiter (1984) and Three Men and a Baby (1987).
Magnum, P.I. was followed by several more movies, including Quigley Down Under (1990), Mr. Baseball (1992), and seven Jesse Stone movies, as well as television appearances, including as Dr. Richard Burke in Friends (1996-2000) and as A.J. Cooper in Las Vegas (2007-2008). Since 2010, he has played Police Commissioner Frank Reagan in Blue Bloods.
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This page was last updated on 04/25/2017.