Tom Selleck is one of America’s finest moustachioed actors, if not the finest. But he isn’t always moustachioed, on screen or in real life. With Movember upon us, there’s no better moment to traipse through a timeline of the facial hair stylings rocked by the once Magnum PI and current Jesse Stone (see clips on Action Unleashed) over the past three decades.
Magnum PI (1980)
This is the show that started it all. And by “it all,” we mean America’s love affair with Tom Selleck’s facial hair. On the detective show about a private investigator in Hawaii, Selleck sports his now-classic moustache, lending just the right amount of wry amusement to the proceedings.
Three Men and a Baby (1987)
This comedy (directed by Leonard Nimoy!) remains one of Selleck’s most popular works. His moustache, seven years after the premiere of Magnum PI, is a little bushier, a little more irreverent. Probably because Selleck plays a vaguely hedonistic architect who, with Ted Danson and a baby, must care for a cute, gurgly Steve Guttenberg. We think we have that right.
Quigley Down Under (1990)
Now we’re getting into serious facial hair territory. It’s a western, so it’s inevitably filled with all manner of beards, mustaches, muttonchops and more. But Selleck’s moustache-and-chinbeard-combo, vaguely reminiscent of Gregory Peck’s infamous ’stache in The Gunfighter, steals the show. And why wouldn’t it? It’s attached to Tom Selleck.
Three Men and a Little Lady (1990)
In the sequel to Three Men and a Baby, Selleck’s facial hair is only slightly modified from the original movie. Selleck’s face still isn’t clean-shaven though, because not even fatherhood can tame that beast.
Mr. Baseball (1990)
This movie was another chance for Selleck to flex his comedy chops, but you wouldn’t know it from his mustache. It’s the kind of facial hair an aging baseball star sent to play in Japan would have—direct and to the point. We can only guess that, for a moment, this look became popular with screaming teenage girls across that foreign land.
When Tom Selleck appeared for an extended period Friends, viewers were treated to a more cosmopolitan, sophisticated Selleck. It was such a hit that viewers campaigned for Selleck’s moustache to get its own sitcom, but NBC decided to go with Joey instead. Whoops.
Ike: Countdown to D-Day (2004)
Very rarely are the great men of history worthy of being played by Tom Selleck, which is why he usually opts to play fictional characters. One exception is Dwight D. Eisenhower. And he appeared in this TV movie without any facial hair whatsoever, ignoring numerous studio and audience requests to play Ike with a large and completely inappropriate moustache. Which totally would have won him an Emmy.
Boston Legal (2006)
So it’s come to this. No longer content to rule the kingdom of moustaches, Tom Selleck, playing womanizer Ivan Tiggs, decides to invade the realm of the goatee, with predictable results. He owns it now.
Blue Bloods (2010)
In order to play New York police commissioner Frank Regan for this CBS cop show, Tom Selleck did what everyone in America had been begging him to do for years: return to the classic moustache. It’s clearly the biggest reason the show got renewed.
Jesse Stone: Innocents Lost (2011)
Like the ever-changing tide, Tom Selleck’s facial hair remains constant, yet always in flux. In his latest project, appearing once again as detective Jesse Stone in a TV movie that’s now out on DVD, Selleck rolls out a moustache/goatee combo that’s both fuller and more elegant than in his Boston Legal days. Classy from start to finish, that Tom.