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ByJulia SelingerANDRachel Redfern/Updated: Jan. 26, 2023 6:43 pm EST
Tom Selleck is an actor, producer, writer, and real estate mogul who has a net worth of over $45 million. While his mustachioed visage is immediately recognizable to "Friends" fans around the world as Monica's love interest, Richard, most audiences probably know Selleck as Thomas Magnum in "Magnum, PI."
In the 1980s, Tom Selleck became a household name for his portrayal of the playboy detective, fighting crime on the island of Oahu. "Magnum, PI" ran for eight seasons and garnered Selleck a primetime Emmy in 1984.
His popularity led to several successful film roles, notably "Three Men and a Baby" in 1987 and the "Jesse Stone" series. Today, fans can watch Selleck in the long-running CBS drama "Blue Bloods" as New York City Police Commissioner, Frank Reagan, a show that is now in its 13th season.
Although the savvy actor has attained most of his wealth through his acting career, you may not know about some of his other business ventures.
Tom Selleck didn't always aspire to be on the big screen; In fact, as a young man, the 6-foot-4-inch Selleck originally intended to play basketball for his dream team at the University of Southern California. Originally, Selleck was offered a scholarship to play basketball in Montana, but turned it down because he wanted to hold out for USC. As a way of saving money, Selleck attended Los Angeles Valley College for two years and lived at home until he transferred to USC in his junior year with a scholarship to play basketball for the Trojans.
At the same time he was scoring points on the court, Selleck pursued a degree in Business Administration, ultimately dropping out during his senior year to pursue an acting career.
By 1965, his gamble had paid off and he was on "The Dating Game," not once, but twice. While winners only took home $500 if they were chosen for a date, the public exposure helped bring the rugged Selleck to the notice of agents.
In the late '60s and early '70s, Selleck began appearing in commercials for established brands, including Pepsi and Safeguard deodorant, making $35 dollars a week as part of Twentieth Century Fox's talent program. As he was beginning to build a name for himself in the industry, Selleck was drafted for the Vietnam War. Tom Selleck joined the National Guard and served from 1967-1973, but once he'd returned to civilian life, he was promptly dropped from his contract with Fox.
1980 was Tom Selleck's year. After making several TV pilots that were never picked up, Selleck became Thomas Magnum in "Magnum, PI." The popular series ran for eight seasons and made Tom Selleck a star. According to the Los Angeles Times, Selleck was making $500,000 an episode, roughly $4.8 million dollars per season for his work on "Magnum, PI." Even by today's standards, Selleck's salary for the hit show was substantial. Considering that the show is still available to stream, residuals are also playing a role in his current net worth.
Back in 1995, at the height of "Friends" mania, Tom Selleck was invited to guest star as Monica's boyfriend, Dr. Richard Burke. Initially, Selleck's agent hadn't wanted the actor to take a small role in a sitcom for "less money," according to the Chicago Tribune. Obviously, Selleck made the correct choice, as his small role turned into a nine-episode recurring guest spot and earned him an Emmy nomination for outstanding guest actor in a comedy series. It's unclear how much Selleck was paid for his guest spot on the sitcom, although other guest stars and recurring characters, such as the iconic Janice (Maggie Wheeler), have reported that their residuals for the show are almost $20,000 a year. Not bad for a guest spot.
"Blue Bloods," the crime drama on CBS, stars Tom Selleck as New York City's Police Commissioner, a role that Selleck has portrayed for 13 seasons. For each episode, Selleck makes $200,000.Considering that seasons of "Blue Bloods" usually have 19-22 episodes, Tom Selleck is earning roughly $4.4 million dollars each season.
"Three Men and a Baby" was the most successful film of 1987. Directed by the inimitable Leonard Nimoy, also known as Spock from "Star Trek," "Three Men and a Baby," featured some of the biggest male stars of the day: Ted Danson, Steve Guttenberg, and Tom Selleck. The worldwide earnings of $167 million dollars weren't too bad for a film that only cost $15 million to produce. The three male stars, Danson, Selleck, and Gutenberg all had "pay-or-play" start dates for the project, meaning that if the film didn't start shooting on time, all the actors would have been free to pursue other commitments while still being paid, as detailed in Nimoy's autobiography, "I Am Spock."In fact, the "pay-or-play" contract almost went into effect, since the project was nearly dropped when the original director, Coline Serreau, left. However, Nimoy stepped in as director, leading the film to its astronomical success.
While none of Selleck's other films would achieve the box office success of "Three Men and a Baby," Selleck worked steadily throughout the late '80s and '90s, including starring in "Love Letter," and "Quigley Down Under." Finally, in 2005, Tom Selleck began his role in the "Jesse Stone" franchise, a made-for-TV series about a down-on-his-luck chief of police in Massachusetts. These Emmy-award-winning TV filmsnot only star Tom Selleck, but he's also a producer, and he even served as a writer on one installment. The series has proven to be popular, airing on CBS for the first eight films, and Hallmark for the ninth. "Jesse Stone," which films mainly in Nova Scotia, has a large budget of over $52 million.
TV Commercials and Brand Endorsements
While Tom Selleck should probably have a brand endorsement for Hawaiian shirts and Tigers baseball caps (and mustache-care products), the truth is, he's not earning anything for his iconic wardrobe. However, Selleck has had a prolific career as a spokesman for a wide variety of causes and brands over his long career.
In 1993, fans would have recognized Selleck's voice in the AT&T commercial campaign, "You Will." Later, in 2007, Tom Selleck was part of a $15 million dollar campaign for Florida orange juice, funded by a tax on Florida citrus growers. Selleck would also go on to feature in a Coldwell Real Estate commercial in 2012, a fitting endorsement opportunity as Selleck's father, Robert Selleck, was an executive with Coldwell for nearly 40 years.
However, Selleck's advertising career hasn't been without controversy. In 2016, Selleck was part of the American Advisors Group reverse mortgage TV campaign, a two-minute TV spot with the recognizable actor. Later on, the AAG faced difficulty as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau accused the company of deceptive advertising, resulting in a $1.1 million dollar lawsuit. Since then, Selleck has focused mainly on his TV role with "Blue Bloods."
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While he was filming "Magnum, PI.," in Oahu, Selleck made the decision to move himself and his family to the island. During the early '80s, they lived in a rented home, which he purchased in 1993, later selling for $2.48 million. Selleck's current residence is a ranch in Ventura, California, which was once a working avocado farm. Today, the space is home to 1,500 native trees and still requires substantial upkeep, some of which Selleck is happy to do himself, according to an interview with People. But Selleck's interest in real estate goes beyond the basic search for a home: As seen above, Tom Selleck has a family history in the real estate business with his father serving as a Coldwell executive for most of his life.
In fact, after his success with "Magnum, PI.," Tom Selleck went into business with his two brothers and his father, creating Selleck Properties. According to the LA Times, in the '90s, Selleck Properties worked with Voit Co. to redevelop the old General Motors assembly plant in Panorama City, turning it into a large-scale retail complex. Throughout the '80s and '90s, Tom Selleck and Selleck Properties invested in commercial real estate throughout Los Angeles. While Selleck Properties doesn't seem to be active currently, Selleck has obviously built up a hefty real estate portfolio.
Tom Selleck has often discussed the importance of family, as he's shown with his family's real estate business, successful 35-year marriage to Jillie Mack, and his strong relationship with his two children, Hannah and Kevin. In fact, Selleck has stated that he quit "Magnum, PI." in order to focus on his family, his daughter Hannah being quite young at the time.
Selleck adopted his first wife Jacqueline Ray's son Kevin from a previous marriage and even introduced him to the entertainment industry. Kevin Selleck found some success with his band, Tonic, in the early '90s and even helped to write the soundtrack for "Scream 2."
While Selleck is still focused on his career, acting full-time on "Blue Bloods," he's also demonstrated an ability to balance his personal life and his time in Hollywood.