Tom Selleck zoomed to TV stardom in the early 1980s as "Magnum, PI" and brought his rugged good looks and masculine bearing to other hits such as "Three Men and a Baby."
A onetime USC basketball star, Selleck early in his TV career was a sidekick to James Garner on the detective show "The Rockford Files." But his breakthrough role was on CBS' "Magnum, PI," as Thomas Magnum, a nonchalant, mustachioed, Ferrari-driving private eye who solved crimes amid beautiful Hawaiian backdrops. It was a slice of pure escapism that ran for eight seasons starting in 1980 and made Selleck one of the most famous men in America.
With "Magnum" proving his leading-man appeal, Selleck found considerable success in movie roles. In 1990's neo-western "Quigley Down Under," he played a quick-draw cowboy who travels to the Australian outback. But his biggest hit was in the domestic comedy "Three Men and a Baby," which was No. 1 at the box office in 1987.
Starting in the mid-1990s, he had a recurring role on NBC's sitcom smash "Friends" as the ophthalmologist love interest of Monica (Courteney Cox).
More recently he's played the troubled cop Jesse Stone in a series of highly rated CBS TV movies. He's also gotten attention for his espousal of conservative causes.
Selleck realizes that the kind of stardom he has really can't be taught. "I think a lot of Magnum," he has said, "was me."