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Tom Selleck Admits To “Messed Up” Health Issues After Doing His Own Film Stunts For So Long

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Tom Selleck Admits To “Messed Up” Health Issues After Doing His Own Film Stunts For So Long

Tom Selleck has enjoyed a highly productive run in the entertainment industry.

The star of Magnum, P.I. and the upcoming Blue Bloods season is clearly still enthusiastic about his work.

Over the years, Selleck has taken on a variety of challenging assignments.

The 77-year-old actor, however, has a history of carrying out his own stunts, a fact that has now come back to haunt him.

Tom Selleck wasn’t always sure he wanted a career in acting. A native of the San Fernando Valley, he was born on January 29, 1945, in Detroit, Michigan.

Tom Selleck – early life

Selleck’s family couldn’t afford to send him to college, so he never got the chance to follow his dream of attending USC.

He finished high school at Grant in 1962. He moved back in with his parents after enrolling at Los Angeles Valley College so he could save money.

Tom’s early life made an athletics profession appear like the more likely path than an acting one.

He aspired to make it to the NBA as a promising young basketball player. That’s why it’s easy to envision his elation upon learning that he had been offered a full basketball scholarship to USC.

“I never did school plays. I had no interest,” Tom told AARP in 2015.

However, achieving success as a collegiate basketball player was a tall order.

In seven games during the 1965–1966 season, he played for the USC Trojans and was credited by KSL with a paltry four points. He went scoreless in three games the next year.

Tom was a “agile and quick performer who adds depth on front line,” according to the USC school guide. “Business administration major is good jumper with fine mobility. Rapidly improving shooter has impressed coaches with his hustle in practice. Needs to work on defense.”

Tom tried his best, but his taller, heavier teammates were too much for him.

“I was pretty good, but I wasn’t good enough,” Selleck recalled.

Tom Selleck – start of acting career

Selleck knew deep down that a career in basketball wasn’t likely to materialize. However, he was prepared and worked part-time to cover his educational expenses.

The student’s first acting jobs were in TV advertisements, and she even had an appearance on “The Dating Game.”

It wasn’t his finest hour, but it would have far-reaching consequences for his future.

It was “humiliating and embarrassing,” he said, remembering his time on the dating show. “I lost. Twice. I wasn’t particularly funny or glib.”

However, not long after that, 20th Century Fox offered Selleck a seat on their talent program.

He invested two years into honing his technique before leaving for six months of military service.

When Selleck came back, he was no longer needed. However, instead of giving up, he remained optimistic and kept working toward his acting goals.

In the early 1970s, he appeared in numerous guest roles on various television shows.

In his early to mid-30s, Selleck starred in no less than six television pilots.

Nevertheless, the breakthrough he was hoping for never materialized.

Tom claims that this is why so many people viewed his casting as Thomas Magnum in Magnum, P.I. as an overnight success.

Breakthrough on ‘Magnum P. I’

In actuality, he had exerted tremendous effort and suffered mightily.

“The luckiest thing that happened was that I didn’t get a real job until I was 35,” Selleck explained.

“When I was 25, I looked 35 but sounded 15. There are a lot of very good actors who make it as younger leading men but don’t graduate — because the audience won’t accept them as grown up.”

Magnum, P. I ended up becoming really successful.

Tom became an overnight sensation because to his starring role in the 1980s-’88s criminal drama series.

He received five consecutive nominations for the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series before ultimately taking home the trophy in 1984.

After more than ten years of trying, Selleck was about to give up on his acting career.

“I think if Magnum hadn’t worked out, I’d never have worked again in this business,” he admitted. 

Tom’s career has been nothing short of phenomenal since he gained cult fame thanks to Magnum.

Films like “Three Men and a Baby” and “In & Out” are among his other credits.

Starting with Friends’ second season, he was also introduced to a whole new audience as Richard Burke, Monica Geller’s older boyfriend.

An exciting new chapter in Selleck’s career began in 2010 when he was cast as Frank Reagan on the television series Blue Bloods. The show’s 13th season has been ordered and will debut in the fall.

Tom Selleck’s struggles with back pain

Selleck has a net worth of $45 million, as reported by Celebrity Net Worth.

Each actor in a film or TV series usually has their own stunt double. It’s not uncommon for stunt work to be risky, but for a select few, hiring help is out of the question.

There was a price to pay for Selleck doing most of his own stunts in the past. He claims he is no longer in his prime physical condition.

“My back’s kind of messed up,” Selleck shared.

“When you do stunts in movies—I do a lot of them—you’re taking a risk, but you’re also sitting around a lot. So you might do a fight scene, and then you sit in your chair, and it’s not like you have a personal trainer saying, “Okay, we’re ready to go, but Tom needs ten minutes of stretching and warm-up.”

“And I think the price,” he added, “I see it with peers, I talk to them sometimes. You just see the price of all those stunts. They weren’t that hard, but I think it’s the stop-and-go of all that stuff.”

Despite his dislike of the gym, Selleck does his best to stay in shape by helping out on the family ranch in Ventura, California.

“I have a 63-acre ranch, and I do not all, but a lot of, the grunt work. Clearing brush, planting trees. We’ve got about a hundred ancient oaks I planted. I’ve probably planted a thousand trees myself.”

Tom Selleck – wife, marriage, daughter Hannah

Tom’s impressive resume speaks for itself. His devotion to Jillie Mack, his wife, is another cause for celebration.

They’ve been married for 35 years, which is a long time for a celebrity couple.

Selleck recounted meeting Jillie Mack for the first time at a performance of the musical Cats in an interview with Closer Weekly.

It was the 1980s, and Selleck’s divorce from model Jacqueline Ray followed a decade of marriage.

Even though Selleck claims he isn’t as well looking in real life as he is on TV, he did make a pass at his future wife backstage.

“She had to go on [stage]. I was hemming and hawing, and she finally asked, ‘Do you want to meet for a cocktail?’” Selleck recalled.

It seems like things went well on the date because in 1987 Selleck and Mack tied the knot in a small ceremony. Hannah was born to them a year after their wedding.

Selleck has prioritized his family over his career in the entertainment industry ever since.

“I quit Magnum to have a family”

In fact, he put his acting career on hold to be there for his wife and daughter as much as possible.

“I quit Magnum to have a family,” Tom Selleck told People in 2012.

“It took a long time to get off the train, but I try very hard to have balance, and this ranch has helped me do that.”

“We both thought it was the best environment for Hannah to grow up,” Jillie Mack added.

Tom, an avid outdoorsman, was eager to introduce his daughter to his favorite pastime. It didn’t take long for him to give it to her!

Hannah was raised by her parents, Tom and Jillie, on their 65-acre Ventura ranch.

Both the dad and the teen are equestrian enthusiasts, and they even ran a small horse breeding operation together.

Hannah continued her pursuit of professional riding and did exceptionally well.

She has earned multiple medals at grand Prix level tournaments over the years.

In the 2015 Longines Masters of Los Angeles, Hannah Selleck placed in the top five in St. Moritz, Switzerland, Belgium, the Netherlands, and the Canadian Pacific Grand Prix.

Passion for horses

In 2018, Selleck had an accident that resulted in the fracture of her tibia and fibula.

She was afterwards advised that she might never run again; fortunately, this turned out to be untrue.

Later on, she turned her interest in horses into Descanso Farm, a thriving breeding and training facility.

She and her dad, Tom, have a shared love of horses that I hope will endure for a long time.

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We hold Tom Selleck in high regard and hope for nothing but the best for him and his loved ones in the years to come.

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