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Tom Selleck's incredible five decade career, from heartthrob status to Blue Bloods in photos

The star will cap off his run with Blue Bloods with season 15

Ahad Sanwari
Ahad Sanwari - New York
Senior WriterNew York
May 19, 2024
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Tom Selleck is the name on everyone's lips in Hollywood, following the return of Blue Bloods, the talk of a 15th season to close things out, and the release of his memoir.

The actor, 79, dropped his memoir, You Never Know, on May 7, reliving the most significant events of his life and career, including shooting to fame in the '80s as a TV star, his marriages, and his desire to keep acting.

Take a look back on the star's screen career, from his early roles in the '70s to his current tenure as one of TV's beloved patriarchs, and how much he's transformed…

The Life Of Tom Selleck: From '80s Heartthrob To Family Man


Unspecified - 1974: Anjanette Comer, Tom Selleck appearing in the ABC tv series 'The Wide World of Mystery', episode 'Shadow of Fear''.© Getty Images

Screen debut

After brief appearances in game shows and TV commercials, Tom started making minor appearances in series Bracken's World, Wide World Mystery, and The Young and the Restless.

Tom is pictured here in an episode of Wide World Mystery in 1973 titled "Shadow of Fear."

MORE: Blue Bloods star Abigail Hawk praises Tom Selleck for making her feel so welcome on first day


American actor Tom Selleck as Orrin Sackett in the TV movie 'The Sacketts', directed by Robert Totten, 1979.© Getty Images

The Westerns of the '70s

In the late '70s and early '80s, inspired by his own love for the outdoors, the actor began taking on more roles in Westerns like The Sacketts (pictured here) and Concrete Cowboys.

He continued that trend into the '90s as well, having established himself at that point as a rugged but charming TV mainstay.


Tom Selleck on the set of the TV series 'Magnum'.© Getty Images

Magnum P.I. and shot to stardom

In 1980, Tom skyrocketed to fame when he took on the role of Thomas Magnum in Magnum P.I. (at the cost of Indiana Jones, no less), playing the role for eight years.

He became well known as an action star thanks to the series, but his easy charm and good looks also made him a sex symbol of the '80s, despite not being interested in that title himself.


Lights, camera, movies!© Alamy

Lights, camera, movies!

As his profile grew, so did his roles in movies, taking his comedic chops and quick wits to the silver screen with hits like Quigley Down Under (1990) and Mr. Baseball (1992).

His best remembered movie role is 1987's Three Men and a Baby, a commercial success that launched an entire franchise.


FRIENDS -- "The One Where Ross and Rachel...You Know" Episode 15 -- Pictured: (l-r) Tom Selleck as Dr. Richard Burke, Courteney Cox as Monica Geller © Getty Images

The dignified '90s

Tom moved into the '90s on the back of the success of Three Men and Magnum and found success specifically by embracing his age and stature.

That was best exemplified in his recurring turn in Friends, playing Monica Geller's older boyfriend Dr. Richard Burke, winning over a whole new audience and earning an Emmy nomination for it.


LAS VEGAS -- "Head Games" Episode 4 -- Pictured: Tom Selleck as Jim Cooper© Getty Images

Viva Las Vegas!

The dad-of-two's career slightly stagnated in the aughts, but he found success once again in the TV space with made-for-TV movies and recurring roles.

In 2007, he joined the cast of Las Vegas for its fifth and final season, his first regular TV role since Magnum.


More Than Meets the Eye  Erin tries not to feel overpowered as her new boss shadows her at work just as shes trying to get a nervous eye-witness to reveal the identity of who shot her boyfriend. Also, the serial killer who previously held Danny and Baez hostage resurfaces, and when Jaime arrests an intrusive reporter who appears at a series of store lootings, it leads to a standoff between Frank and the Attorney General over the press First Amendment rights, on BLUE BLOODS, Friday, March 5 (10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Pictured: Tom Selleck as Frank Reagan.© Getty Images

Blue Bloods and the present day

His longest TV tenure began in 2010 when he signed on to play the patriarch of a family of NYPD officers, Frank Reagan, in the CBS procedural drama, which has been a ratings hit since its debut.

The show will come to a close with its 15th season, set to debut in the fall.

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