Over the last 40+ years, Tom Selleck has become a household name in America. He has appeared in more than 50 films and television roles over the years. From his adaptation of the outgoing PI to a stoic police chief, Sellick said that one thing has remained the same; he owes it all to Jesus Christ.
According to Selleck he didn’t always have this grounding faith. He was born in Detroit, Michigan on January 29, 1945, Thomas “Tom” William Selleck was raised by hardworking blue-collar parents. His dad was a carpenter and his mother a housewife, though his dad later became an executive and real estate investor. Tom was the second of four children, and when Selleck was 11, his dad realized that carpentry wasn’t for him and moved the family to Sherman Oaks, California and began investing in real estate.
Selleck wasn’t able to afford to go to the four-year university of his choice, the University of Southern California, so he saved his pennies and enrolled in Valley Junior College and earned a basketball scholarship to transfer to USC. He majored in business administration and entered Hollywood after encouraged to do so by a drama coach.
Selleck immediately landed dozens of TV commercials and a few other small roles as well. Then, God offered him another path, Selleck took a break from acting and joined the military to fight in the Vietnam War. He signed with the California National Guard in the 160th infantry regiment and served from 1967 to 1973.
“I am a veteran, I’m proud of it, I was a sergeant in the U.S. Army infantry, National Guard, Vietnam era. We’re all brothers and sisters in that sense.”
After his service, Selleck spent 11 years pursuing his acting career before he landed his first big role in 1980 when he was 35-years old. His role as Hawaii-based private investigator “Thomas Magnum” would change his life forever. According to Selleck though, God asked more of him than just to have a successful career. He knew that he wanted a family, and he was being prompted to follow that objective.
“I just knew that if I wanted a family — which I was thinking seriously about at that point — that it was time at that point to move on. As good as this business has been to me, that’s not what life is about. Life is about more important things. You know, we’ve all struggled as we get successful in this business to balance that, I certainly have.”
After decades as one of the most iconic names in television, Selleck attributes his entire fortune and success to his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
“I try very hard to conduct myself in an ethical way, because that’s important to my stability now. We’re a culture that’s so centered on the individual,” Selleck complains. “The culture says that basically nothing is more important than the way you feel. We’re living in an age that celebrates unchecked impulses. A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps. Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time.”
In a world of crumbling morals that is losing sight of anything but self, it’s so important to remember what life, and eternity are all about. Spoiler alert, it’s not you, and it’s not me. Thanks to Tom Selleck for reminding us of that.