Happy Birthday Tom Selleck: Relive the TV Icon’s Best Moments

by Emily Morgan

Before Tom Selleck and his iconic mustache were timeless fixtures in the entertainment industry, he worked towards a business degree and had plans to become a United Airlines manager. Little did he know that he was on his way to bigger and better things. 

To celebrate the esteemed actor’s 76th birthday, we’re looking back at some of his best moments. 

Tom Selleck’s Early Commercials

Before making it big as a T.V. and movie star, Tom Selleck was a successful commercial actor and model in both T.V. and print ads. In his first commercial, we get a rare glimpse of Selleck without the ‘stache during a Safeguard Soap advertisement. 

In addition, he appeared in other commercials for cologne, toothpaste, deodorant, and Pepsi. 

Even today, a much older Selleck still acts in commercials. He’s recently appeared in multiple advertisements for Reverse Mortgage Loans.


In 1984, Selleck transitioned from acting in Westerns for sci-fi thrillers. In Michael Crichton’s Runaway, robots have taken over the jobs usually held by humans. The rebellious robots tend to escape, and Sergeant Ramsay must track down and disable the “runaway” bots. Faced with the challenge of robots killing humans, Ramsay and his new partner must stop them. Kiss’ Gene Simmons also stars as the film’s villain. 

In & Out

While Selleck’s role as a clean-shaven newscaster in the film was on the small side, his role played a critical part in the plot.  

“I just thought it was a great opportunity to be in an ensemble piece with a character who was interesting to me because, if you know the movie, he had to be the guy you love to hate or hate to love,” Selleck told The A.V. Club. 

Tom Selleck In An Innocent Man

In the 1989 film, Selleck plays Jimmie Rainwood, a man wrongly accused of selling drugs after corrupt cops make a tragic mistake. Rainwood, a family man, must survive prison, which takes an inevitable toll on him. Once on parole, he seeks revenge on the crooked cops. 

Quigley Down Under

In 1990, Selleck returned to the Western genre and took his rifle skills to the Australian outback in Quigley Down Under. 

Selleck stars as an American sharpshooter hired to take out Aborigines, a detail he’s unaware of until he arrives. 

After refusing to complete the job, he’s left for dead in the desert with a woman called Crazy Cora. Coincidentally, the Aborigines rescue them, and Quigley sets out on an adventure to stop the villain who hired him.

Tom Selleck as Jesse Stone

Since 2005, Selleck has played the role of Jesse Stone in the film franchise based on the famous detective novels. In 2015, Jesse Stone: Lost in Paradise debuted on Hallmark. 

In an interview, Selleck commented on the part, “Jesse is a rather noble character; he often does the wrong thing for the right reason. People just root for him. It’s his flaws in the face of a lot of adversity that make people respond.”

‘Blue Bloods’

In 2010, Selleck began his most recent role as New York Police Commissioner Frank Reagan from the successful CBS series “Blue Bloods.” Now in its 11th season and over 200 episodes under its belt, fans can’t get enough of Selleck’s character as the Reagan patriarch.

In 2017, Selleck’s portrayal earned him a People’s Choice Award for “Favorite TV Crime Drama Actor” for his work on the show.

‘Magnum P.I.’

Of course, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention the role that shot Selleck into worldwide fame. The show became a global success with its picturesque Hawaiian setting and Selleck’s portrayal of the private investigator from 1980 to 1988. 

In 1988, the show became classified as a top-rated show in the history of syndicated reruns. Selleck later confirmed that he was the most popular choice by fans to play Magnum’s role in the rumored Magnum, P.I. movie.