Tom Selleck Has Spent 10 Years Filming 'Blue Bloods' — Introducing His Long Journey

Feb 23, 2021 by apost team

When most people hear the name Tom Selleck, what comes to their minds is a man with a mustache, a Hawaiian shirt and a baseball cap. Of course, if you’re familiar with 1980s pop culture, then it’s possible you know of Thomas Magnum, the private investigator in the popular '80s television series known as “Magnum, P.I.” Selleck is the man behind the role, and he executed it so flawlessly that he won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor.

What some people don’t know is that the celebrity has spent a decade acting in the acclaimed “Blue Bloods” in which he plays the role of Frank Reagan, the NYPD commissioner. Keep reading to discover Selleck’s journey before the show and how he got into the show.

Selleck is an American film producer, actor and Army National Guard veteran. The star was born in Detroit, Michigan, on Jan. 29, 1945, to Martha Selleck, a housewife, and Robert Dean Selleck, an executive and real estate investor. Although his dad was of English ancestry, he had distant German ancestry, too. His mother was purely English.

Selleck began acting after he made his first successful television appearance on a game show known as “The Dating Game” in 1965. At the time, he was only a college senior. After a remarkable performance, he began getting offers to play minor roles in different television series, movies and mini-series. He also got offers to play parts in commercials for Right Guard Deodorant, Pepsi-Cola, Revlon’s Chaz cologne, Close-Up, Marlboro cigarettes and aperitif Dubonnet.

Selleck Had Extensive Acting Experience Before “Blue Bloods”

Tom Selleck (2011), (James Devaney/WireImage/Getty Images)

After a while, the actor got major roles in several Western films. The first one was his role as a cowboy in “The Sacketts,” a 1979 film. The same year, he starred in another film called “Concrete Cowboys” and then “The Shadow Riders” in 1982. His outstanding performance in the 1997 film “Last Stand at Saber River” won him a “Western Heritage Award.”

Nonetheless, Selleck achieved his big break when he was called to take up the lead role in the 1980 series, “Magnum P.I.” The show went for eight seasons until 1988, and courtesy of his performance on the show, he won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor. Throughout the filming of the show, Selleck remained active in movies as well. During this time, he starred in “Runaway” as a police detective and in “Three Men and a Baby” as a stand-in dad.

During the 1990s, Selleck appeared in other highly acclaimed films, including “Three Men and a Little Lady,” the popular “High Road to China,” “Her Alibi,” “An Innocent Man,” “Christopher Columbus: The Discovery,” “Folks!,” “The Love Letter” and “Mr. Baseball.” The actor was also featured on the television series “Friends” in which he played Monica's love interest, Richard Burke.

In February 1998, Selleck accepted the lead role in “The Closer,” a CBS sitcom. He then played his final cowboy roles in the TNT movie “Crossfire Trail” in 2001 and the 2003 motion picture “Monte Walsh.” Selleck has also played the role of a lawman called Jesse Stone in several television movies based on novels written by Robert B. Parker.

Selleck in “Blue Bloods”

Tom Selleck (2016), (Bobby Bank/GC Images/Getty Images)

In September of 2007, he joined the NBC drama “Las Vegas” before starring in “Blue Bloods” on CBS starting in 2010.

The actor has been acting on the CBS drama series “Blue Bloods” for over a decade.

When the show’s pilot aired in 2010, it tested well with audiences, and the show has now gone onto its 11th season with no signs of stopping yet. While talking to People, Selleck said, “I don’t think there is an endpoint."

"I think there is a lot of life in the show, as long as you let your characters grow and get older.” According to Selleck, the life of a show depends on how the characters are written. Clearly, in his opinion, a show can have a long life if the characters grow with it and get older along the way.

Selleck also admits to feeling that the cast members have had a “kinship” with one another. He says that he loves them all and that they’re all friends. Notably, some of his onscreen family members include Donnie Wahlberg, Will Estes and Bridget Moynahan. During his interview, he talked about how the dinner party scenes feel like reunions for the cast.

“Our dinner party scenes are like a reunion of friends,” he told People. “Sometimes it’s hard for the directors to get us to concentrate. We do the work, and we do it well, but we’re also screwing around and kidding each other and catching up. What we have is truly a blessing.” Like many other shows, "Blue Bloods" has seen numerous ups and downs from the cast members and some great onscreen moments. Nonetheless, the “Magnum, P.I.” star shared that he doesn’t have any particular favorite episode. 

Joining the Show Wasn’t an Easy Decision

Tom Selleck (2017), (Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)

More precisely, Selleck was asked what his favorite episode was in a video shared on the "Blue Bloods" Twitter account. His answer was direct. He said that he doesn’t have any favorite episode.

However, he didn’t shy away from sharing his favorite moment from the show. "Special for me was being able to shoot at the 9/11 Memorial," Selleck explains. "We were the first film company to ever be able to do that.

Although it’s very easy to think that Selleck chose the project based on the script alone, that wasn’t the case. The star needed more than presenting him with an irresistible character after his eight successful seasons on “Magnum, P.I.” He also needed some form of guarantee that his family wouldn’t suffer when he became the head of the Reagan family. During an interview with Collider back in 2010, Selleck admitted to having hesitated to join the cast at first, as the show was being filmed in New York City, which was far away from his ranch in Ventura, California.

“The first question out of my mouth was, ‘Where are you shooting it?’ and then we tried to discuss how that would work,” he said. When he discovered that the CBS work would be an ensemble show, he decided to accept the role of Frank Reagan. "It was an ensemble that clearly was going to require talented actors," he continued. "Having done a lead, as I did in Magnum, being in every shot, I know it's a tough road. Magnum was never canceled." 

Selleck Found the Right Balance

Les Moonves, Will Estes, Len Cariou, Tom Selleck, Bridget Moynahan, Donnie Wahlberg, Leonard Goldberg, Robin Green, Mitchell Burgess (2010), ( Jim Spellman / Contributor/Getty images)

"I left it after eight years because I was tired from it, not tired of it. It's always been a consideration, but this really just seemed to fit perfect. The script was terrific. The idea that it was going to shoot in New York caused a family consideration, but it was too good to pass up."

He knew that he would not need to be in New York City more than half the time, and he therefore found the opportunity to join the show too good to let pass.

The show has been going well since 2010, and Selleck is glad that it has enabled him to continue pursuing his acting passion without compromising his private life on his California ranch. Actually, the star revealed to People that his ranch has played a huge role in keeping him sane.

He also said that since he was not required to be in all the scenes of the show, he was able to strike the perfect balance between family and work. "I'm a fairly private person," he explained. "And I've always treasured the balance between work and time with my family. It's always about them."

He finds it important to live on the ranch with his wife, Jillie Mack, and spend as much time as possible with his kids. Selleck always says that family time keeps him grounded, and it’s also something he treasures. This is the reason why he felt so fortunate to have found a show that allowed him to work without having to sacrifice the happy life he’s built for himself outside of busy Hollywood. 

Tom Selleck (2017), (Daniel Zuchnik/WireImage/Getty Images)

Notably, the actor has considered the ranch a retreat since 1988 when he decided to leave “Magnum, P.I.” at the peak of his success just to lead a quieter life with his family. He learned that fame can be stifling, and he didn’t want to suffer the consequences.

“I knew intellectually what it would mean in terms of being a public person, but until you’ve lived it, there’s no way to understand it,” he admitted to People. “I had a feeling of, ‘I don’t think I’m cut out for this.’ 

“I quit Magnum, not because I didn’t like it or I was tired of it. I was tired from it. And I wanted a three-dimensional life because I didn’t have one.”

In many ways, Selleck has shown his audience members and fans that no matter what they achieve, they need to understand their limits and value family time. Although the actor has clearly achieved what many actors dream of so far, he is still conscious of the critical work-life balance.

Whether Selleck will last until "Blue Bloods'" series finale remains to be seen, especially given the show's staying power. The series' 11th season premiered on Dec. 4, 2020, attracting more than 6 million viewers. 

In a 2020 interview with PopCulture, Wahlberg, Selleck's co-star on the show, seems convinced the show hasn't yet run its course. 

"I just know that we're having more fun than we've ever had on the show," Wahlberg told the publication. "It's still the number one show on Friday night for 10 years and it's been a great run and I don't see it stopping anytime soon."  

What do you think about Selleck's acting career? What's your favorite Selleck role? Let us know — and be sure to pass this on to friends, family members and fellow Tom Selleck fans!

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