You know the man, you see the mustache. Still, you might not know that everyone’s favorite private investigator is a fan of a good smoke. Few can claim to be as prevalent as the one-time private investigator turned police commissioner in the long-running series Blue Bloods. Tom Selleck has done what few in Hollywood have managed to do. He has stayed relevant for over four decades and joined the ranks of cigar aficionado that rivals Kurt Russell, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Al Pacino.
At 75 years old, Tom Selleck continues providing the foundation for television characters we still love and enjoy. Repeats of Magnum P.I. play daily, and his latest, long-running series, Blue Bloods, is nothing less than a massive hit. Add to that some commercial advertisements and other endorsements, and it’s hard not to find Selleck on your television at some point during the day.
Not only has Mr. Selleck remained relevant, but he is also one of the biggest stars on television today with a show that is entering its eleventh season. Despite his age, Selleck continues to portray a hard-line cop with plenty of attitude and wisdom. You almost expect a man of his stature to enjoy a nice cigar after a long, hard day.
The Struggle of the Early Days
Before he was a smooth-talking private investigator and long before he was the wise leader of New York’s police department, Selleck struggled to find work. Throughout the ’70s, he had a hard time landing more than a small role in some one-off T.V. shows. For many years, Selleck failed to land a leading role. He would eventually land small parts in films, but most were forgettable.
Tom Selleck spent most of his time trying out for failed T.V. pilots before landing a recurring role on The Rockford Files; This would be the role that finally got him noticed. Selleck played his titular character first in the show Simon and Simon in the early ’80s. But, unfortunately, that was before Thomas Magnum landed his show.
The Early Days of Magnum
Tom Selleck talked in interviews about the early days of filming Magnum P.I. He spoke of how he envisioned himself living a life of luxury years earlier while in the service. In fact, during the struggle to land Magnum P.I. on the air, Selleck recalled doing odd jobs and handyman work to stay in his Hawaiian beach house until filming resumed. Eventually, filming continued, and Selleck went on to play the character for eight seasons. Much of the Magnum P.I. character came from Selleck’s aspirations of living a carefree lifestyle on the beach in Hawaii.
The cigar aficionado rebel, Tom Selleck, is more like Magnum in real life than the character he portrayed on the small screen. Whatever the case, thanks to Selleck’s portrayal of this smooth-talking playboy private eye, we have one of the most significant television characters of all time.
Cigar Aficionado On Screen
Our favorite mustached cop brought cigars into his work on many occasions. Thomas Magnum was known to smoke a cigar and sip brandy occasionally in the ’80s run of Magnum P.I. Seeing Magnum on television gave men and women the desire to be like the smooth-talking, cigar aficionado, private investigator themselves.
Even now, when smoking on screen is seen as a bit of faux pas, Selleck has managed to sneak a cigar in on a few shots of Blue Bloods. He still looks as smooth as ever while doing it, too. Whether playing a new father in movies like 3 Men and a Baby or a rugged cop in the Jesse Stone series, Selleck enjoys a good smoke on and off the screen.
Killing Time With A Good Smoke
When Selleck’s characters don’t smoke, he makes time for a good cigar whenever he gets the chance. Selleck has been a cigar aficionado since he first made it big by solving crimes in Hawaii.
It is widely reported he would spend time between scenes smoking Montecristo #2’s, some of the most popular imported Cuban cigars on the market. Selleck stated he would enjoy one between shoots or when reading lines of script. It was a way to wind down and break the monotony of a long day of filming. Not a casual smoker, Selleck enjoys a good smoke anytime he has some downtime from work.
Cigar Aficionado Spokesperson
Not only is T.V.’s greatest private investigator a fan of a good smoke, but he’s also an avid supporter and spokesperson for cigars and the cigar lifestyle. In fact, Selleck has given numerous interviews about his love for premium stogies and his long-term smoking lifestyle.
Tom Selleck doesn’t shy away from the cigar lifestyle. As a true cigar aficionado, he celebrates it. His tastes have grown over the years. His most recent favorites include The Davidoff Special T and La Gloria Cubana, both premium, pre-Castro Cubans.
At a time when celebrities shy away from smoking, especially on film and television, Selleck remains an outlaw who does what he wants. He enjoys what he enjoys regardless of what others around him are doing. Premium cigars are still a part of Selleck’s wind-down ritual when on set or returning to his California ranch.
Still in the Spotlight
Despite having a hit television show entering its eleventh season, which in the age of streaming services and constant network cancellations is a rarity, Tom Selleck isn’t slowing down. In fact, he still actively films on Blue Bloods, with another installment of the Jesse Stone franchise set to be released shortly. Beyond that, Selleck continues to make endorsements. In addition, he has ongoing advertisements running on television. So it looks like New York’s top cop will be around for years.
Photo Credit: “Tom Selleck on the red carpet at the 1989 Academy Awards, March 29, 1989,” by Alan Light, Wikimedia Commons license CC BY 2.0.