Tom Selleck


  1. Roger Herren, Myra Breckinridge, 1969. The enormous flop was Tom’s movie debut.  He had an unforgettable little cameo as Stud (witth Mae West, no less) after losing the other stud, Rusty – anally raped by the the titular Raquel Welch with a strap-on! The film ruined the careers of UK director Michael Sarne, Herren and, to a certain degree, poor Raquel, as well. On hearing that Sarne was soon reduced to being a pizzaria waiter, the book’s author, Gore Vidal,  said it  proved “that God exists and there is such a thing as Divine Symmetry.”

  2. Richard Hatch, Battlestar Galatica, TV, 1978-1979.   Selleck, a USC basketball star,  was discovered in, of all thi& 4 ngs, The Dating Game.  Fox grabbed him because Universal was chasing  him. “I was there for two years while I learned to act,. It wasn’t bad deal at all.” He was nearly finished off by Bracken’s World, approved by  Mae West for Myra, stuck in drek like  Daughters of Satan and Terminal Island in 1972After  ten years  all he had was  his eligibility  for a SAG pension and a role in Coma as … a corpse.  He went up  for Captain Apollo (like two other future TV icons David Hasselhoff, Don Johnson) and Hatch was all signed up literally hours before shooting began.

  3. Robert Urich, Vega$, TV, 1978-19 Selleck suffered six rotten pilots including such Starsky and Hutch copies as Boston and Kilbride, until Magnum came his way, 1980-1988, a kind of Hawaiian Rockford Files (Rockford aka  James  Garner had Tom’s support role beefed up to help him get noticed).  Tom and Urich once co-starred in Bunco, a 1977 TV pilot. Now, Tom didn’t  want to go down  mean streets anew  (after Magnum PI), Urich didn’t mind (after Spenser). Selleck returned to law enforcement as ex-homicide dick Jesse Stone hiding out as police chief of the small New England town of Paradise, in four tele-films, 2005-2007.

  4. Sammy Davis Jr, The Cannonball Run, 1980. First Rickles, then Tom Selleck (!) were up for the Morris Fenderbaum, a two day (“three at most”) cameo. Matching bits from Jackie Chan, Farrah Fawcett, Peter Fonda – and Dean Martin, who suggested: ”Lemme  call Sam.”  Their leader, Frank Sinatra, joined the sequel also based on the real-life Cannonball Baker Sea-To-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash. Burt Reynolds said he had two good reasons for making the mess. Actually five. Each one a million.  Biggest ever star salary at the time.

  5. David Selby, Rich and Famous, 1980. Change of hjusbnd for Candice Bergen – and father for Meg Ryan in her screen debut (chosen, supposedly, from 117 other candidates) in the fourth version  of John Van Druten’s play, Old Acquaintance.  Turning up in cameos were such celebs as Ray Bradburu, Dick Cavett,  Christopher Isherwood,  Paul Morrissey and  Roger Vadim.

  6. Barry Bostwick, Megaforce. 1981. When he couldn’t enter The Cannonball Run, the Golden Harvest producer Raymond Chow set about finding something else for Tom. But he  wasn’t free for couldn’t lead these elite US soldiers combatting evil. But he just  loved the idea of High Road to China. Well, John  Huston was directing, Only he didn’t. (Poor Bostwick never made another movie  for 11 years).

  7. James Garner, Victor, Victoria.,1981. Surprise, surprise, director Blake Edwards thought of Tom for the gangster, King Marchand, falling for Julie Andrews  (Mrs Blake) – because King thinks she’s a man disguised as a woman. Truth is (as per the 1933 German original and two re-makes, one called George and Georgette)  she was a woman pretending to be a man pretending to be a dame… ! Selleck  did not  feel he could hack it. Besides, he was busy with Magnum –  which grew out of his Rockford Files guest shots with James Garner. And it was Jim who over the gangland role. He had also been in Julie’s first dramatic role in The Americanisation of Emily, 18 years before..

  8. Dirk Benedict, Ruckus, 1981.     Too big! Writer-director Max Kleven considered Selleck for the leadbut felt that ,at 1.92m, he was too magnum-ised. The ex- Battlestar Galactica star was 1.80m.
  9. Roger Moore, Cannonball Run, 1981.     Which is the bigger laugh: a lookalike 007   or lookalike Magnum?   Bond won. Tom remained   close to Cannonballer Burt Reynolds, producing Burt’s would-be comeback TV series, BJ Stryker, 1989-1990.
  10. Harrison Ford, Raiders of the Lost Ark,  1981.
  11. James Garner, Victor/Victoria, 1982.     TV’s Garner-with-a-tash decided he wanted the part – too late! He was locked into his Magnum, PI series   – the  same contract that lost him Indiana Jones.
  12. Arnold Schwarzenegger, The Terminator, 1983.  In all, 52 actresses were considered, seen, or tested for the robot assassin’s target,Sarah Connor – but a mere eight guys for the killer from the future, itself. Selleck, Michael, Douglas, Mel Gibson,Kevin Kline, Jürgen Prochnow, Randy Quaid,… It was when Orion boss Mike Medavoy decided on OJ Simpson as the Terminator (!) and Arnie as Reese, that Cameron realised Schwarzi was the perfect, coolest Terminator in town.  

  13. Mel Gibson, Lethal Weapon, 1986.    
    In all, 39 possibilities for the  off-kilter, ’Nam vet cop Martin Riggs – not as mentally-deranged as in early drafts (he used a rocket launcher on one guy!)  Some ideas were inevitable: Alec Baldwin, Michael Biehn (shooting Aliens), Jeff Bridges, Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas, Harrison Ford, Richard Gere, Al Pacino, Sean Penn, William Petersen, Dennis Quaid, Christopher Reeve, Kurt Russell, Charlie Sheen, Sylvester Stallone, John Travolta, Bruce Willis. Some were inspired: Bryan Brown, Nicolas Cage, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum (he inherited Gibson’s role in The Fly),  William Hurt (too dark for Warner Bros), Michael Keaton, Michael Madsen, Liam Neeson, Eric Roberts. Some were insipid: Jim Belushi, Pierce Brosnan, Kevin Costner, Kevin Kline, Stephen Lang, Michael Nouri (he joined another  cop duo in The Hidden),  Patrick Swayze. Plus TV cops  Don  Johnson, Tom Selleck Plus three foreign LA cops…   Austrian Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dutch Rutger Hauer and French Christophe(r) Lambert. And the inevitable (Aussie) outsider Richard Norton.

  14. Michael Keaton, Batman, 1989.
  15. David Hasselhoff, Baywatch, TV, 1989-2001.   More like Babewatch… The five candidates for hunky lifeguard Mitch Buchannon Meets Jigglevision were: William Katt, Lorenzo Lamas, Adrian Paul, Jack Scalia. And Tom Selleck, who did not want to be recognized as a sex symbol – as befell the 6ft 4ins tall  Hoff. He called it Knight Rider in a bathing suit.” (The bay was Santa Monica’s)

  16. Don Johnson, The Hot Spot, 1989.
    Robert Mitchum was the matrix for drifter Harry Madox – and first choice in 1962. Nearly 30 years later, it was to be Mickey Rourke and Debra Winger. Or Selleck, Kevin Costner, Harrison Ford, Richard Gere, Dennis Quaid, Sam Shepard, Patrick Swayze opposite Anne Archer, Jodie Foster, Melanie Griffith, Theresa Russell, Uma Thurman and ultimately, Virginia Madsen.  Just not necessarily for this movie… Replacing UK director Mike Figgis, Dennis Hopper totally changed the entire gig!   In a 2014 AV Club interview, Johnson explained how three days before shooting began Dennis “called a meeting. ‘OK, we’re not making that script. We’re making this one.’And he passed a script around the table that had been written for Robert Mitchum in the ’60s… based on a book called Hell Hath No Fury… Wow! The Figgis script was really slick and cool, and it was a heist movie. But this was real noir. The guy was an amoral drifter, and it was all about how women were going to take him down… And that was the movie that we ended up making.” Hopper’s Last Tango In Texas was hailed by Chicago critic Roger Ebert as “a superior work in an old tradition.” He wuz right!   

  17. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Total Recall, 1989.  After 42 drafts, no third act and one bankruptcy, Total Recall was total madness… Italian cinemogul Dino De Laurentiis’ never-ending Martian thriller was nearly made by Dreyfuss in Italy, Patrick Swayze in Australia… and William Hurt for Canadian director David Cronenberg… Next up for the heroics were Selleck,Jeff Bridges, Christopher Reeve, before almost becoming a B-movie with little Matthew Broderick (!), or Mark Harmon (cheapest on the list). Then, Dino went belly-up… enabling Arnold to take over and (Dino had refused to audition him!) and move Mars to Mexico where everyone got the touristas except him – he had his food, water, B12 shots flown in from home after a rotten Mexperience during Predator, 1986.
  18. Warren Beatty, Dick Tracy, 1989.  Sonny Bono with the missus, Cher, , were set for a  70s’ musical version that never flew.  Next came Ryan O’Neal in the earlty 80s. Then, Bruce Campbell, Robert De Niro, Harrison Ford, Richard Gere, Mel Gibson, Paul Newman, Jack Nicholson, Robert Redford and even such total opposites as George C Scott and Tom Selleck were seen in ’89.   James Caan settled for a cameo as Splandoni.  Beatty agreed to direct if he could play Tracy, his boyhood idol. Disney suits spoiled the whole caper by making him slash his 135 minute cut by a half-hour!
  19. Jim Belushi, Curly Sue, 1990.    “What I thought would be this cute, sweet little movie experience ended up going on for something like five months,” reported Kelly Lynch. “So much money was spent. It was insane! It was going to be me, Alec Baldwin and Kevin Spacey – a whole different situation.  [They left for stage dates].  Those were two guys I knew really well, but I’d never met Jimmy [Belushi] before, and then he and [director John Hughes making his final film] didn’t get along. I kinda felt like a mom dealing with two 12-year-old boys.“ Also in the Bill Dancer mix were Jeff Bridges, Richard Dreyfuss, Mel Gibson, Jeff Goldblum, Steve Guttenberg, Ray Liotta, Bill Murray (off shooting What About Bob?), Kurt Russell, Tom Selleck, Sylvester Stallone,
  20. John Goodman, Born Yesterday, 1992.     Tom fell out when the re-make budget insisted on cutting three high-priced stars to one – Melanie Griffith.
  21. Roberts, Doctor Who (The Movie), TV, 1996.
  22. William Hurt, Lost In Space, 1998.       New Line expected a send-up. The casting of Gary Oldman changed the tone from, as Hurt put it, adolescent escapism to an entertainment raising certain issues.Family v technology, workaholism, morality.No wonder it flopped.
  23. Perry King, Titans, TV, 2000.       Passed on Richard (his name in Friends) forthe first five of the 13 episodes shot; NBC aired 11 only and then cancelled the series. So, Tom missed having the heart attack while havingsex with Yasmin Bleeth!
  24. Mark Harmon, Freaky Friday, 2003.     Sixteen years after 3 Men and a Baby, Disney tied to rope Selleck back into whacky as the future husband of Jamie Lee Curtis – unfortunately swopping lives with her teenage daughter, Lindsay Lohan. Just for one day. One too many for Selleck.
  25. Taylor Kitsch, John Carter, 2011.  The near-Indy finally got a near-Indy role…. in 1992. When it was called, correctly, Princess of Mars.







 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  21