Playing Richard Burke: A Look At Tom Sellecks Successful Hollywood Career

Tom Selleck is an American actor and film producer best known for his starring role as private investigator Thomas Magnum in the popular 1980s television series Magnum, P.I. With his rugged good looks, iconic mustache, and charming yet tough guy persona, Selleck became an instant heartthrob and household name during the peak of his fame in the 80s. Though he is now in his late 70s, Selleck has remained a beloved star with an acting career spanning over five decades.

From iconic roles in television series like Magnum, P.I., and F.R.I.E.N.D.S to memorable appearances in movies such as Three Men and a Baby, Selleck’s talent and charisma have propelled him to a $45 Million fortune.

4 A Look At Selleck’s Early Life

Born in Detroit, Michigan, in 1945, Selleck had a fairly normal middle-class upbringing. His father was a real estate investor, and his mother was a housewife. As a talented basketball player, Selleck earned a basketball scholarship to the University of Southern California as per Walk of Fame. However, after his junior year, he decided to drop out and follow his true passion – acting. He studied acting at the Beverly Hills Playhouse and supported himself by modeling and starring in commercials while attending countless auditions.

Selleck got his first big break in 1969 when he was cast in a recurring role on the TV show Lancer. Though the show was short-lived, it gave him the experience and exposure needed to land more prominent roles. He appeared in several TV movies throughout the 70s, including Daughters of Satan, Sarge, and The Seven Minutes. Though he was working steadily, these were mostly B movies that did not make him a major star. His big break would come just a decade after first trying to make it in Hollywood.

3 The Role Of Magnum P.I. In Boosting Tom’s Career

In 1980, Selleck achieved nationwide fame when he was cast as Thomas Magnum in CBS’s new hit show Magnum P.I. As the Ferrari-driving private investigator living a luxurious life in Hawaii, Selleck’s natural charisma and sex appeal made him the perfect choice. The show immediately succeeded, averaging over 20 million viewers per episode. For his performance, Selleck won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series in 1984.

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At the peak of Magnum P.I.’s popularity, Selleck earned $500,000 per episode, making him one of the highest-paid TV stars of the era, according to Celebrity Net Worth. He also became the face of brands like Pepsi and American Express, further amplifying his fame and wealth. Though he was offered the lead role in Raiders of the Lost Ark, he could not take it due to his contract with Magnum P.I. However, the exposure from the show allowed him to transition to a successful movie career once the show ended.

2 Big Screen Success In The 1980s

When Magnum P.I. wrapped up in 1988 after eight seasons, Selleck was already lining up roles on the big screen. His first significant feature was the 1987 comedy Three Men and a Baby alongside Ted Danson and Steve Guttenberg. The film grossed over $240 million worldwide, becoming the highest-grossing movie of that year. Leveraging this newfound movie star status, Selleck appeared in several other successful and acclaimed films.

In 1990, Selleck starred as an American cowboy sharpshooter in the Australian western Quigley Down Under. Though it was not a mainstream box office hit, Selleck’s performance was praised by critics. Other notable movies from this era include Her Alibi (1989), An Innocent Man (1989), and Folks! (1992). Showing his versatility, Selleck also took on family-friendly roles like the voice of P.T. Flea in the animated film A Bug’s Life (1998). While he no longer commanded the multimillion-dollar salaries of his Magnum P.I. days, these movies added steadily to Selleck’s growing fortune.

1 Acting Career After F.R.I.E.N.D.S

Tom Selleck’s career kept flourishing on TV, too, and he went on to appear in the role of Richard Burke in the superhit TV show F.R.I.E.N.D.S. He appeared in many made-for-TV movies based on the best-selling Jesse Stone novels. His audience popularity led CBS to create the hit police drama Blue Bloods in 2010, with Selleck cast as Frank Reagan, the New York City Police Commissioner. Still earning $200,000 per episode, which amounts to $4.4 Million per season, the steady gig on Blue Bloods has been Selleck’s primary source of income in recent years, as per Capitalism.

In addition to acting, Selleck has generated income from film production. As per NY Times, he co-founded TWS Productions to produce many of his later films and TV movies. As an executive producer, he is able to negotiate lucrative deals and backend profits. For instance, Selleck earned $1.5 million for the Jesse Stone TV movie series through his production company. Owing to his massive $45 Million net worth, Selleck owns several boisterous properties around the country, including a $5 Million farm in California that spans over 65 acres.

From Magnum P.I. to Blue Bloods, Tom Selleck has remained a beloved star across five decades in Hollywood. Though now in his late 70s, Selleck’s legendary career continues with no signs of slowing down. From humble beginnings to huge paychecks, hard work and talent have allowed Tom Selleck to build an impressive $50 million net worth.

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Sources – Capitalism, NY Times, Celebrity Net Worth, Walk of Fame

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