Tom Selleck Opens Up Like Never Before About His Career, Including The End Of ‘Blue Bloods’


The actor’s first memoir, You Never Know, is filled with rare glimpses into some of his most iconic roles.

Tom Selleck wants to get one thing straight: “It’s not like I’m retiring or anything.” After more than five decades in the entertainment industry, the 79-year-old Emmy-winning actor has written a memoir. For the first time, Tom opens up about his career, spanning from his early days in the Fox New Talent program to his breakout roll on Magnum to his current turn on Blue Bloods.

In a brand-new interview, Tom sat down with Country Living to talk about You Never Know, available now.

On His New Memoir

As Tom explains, he’s “pretty private,” and convincing him to write a memoir wasn’t easy. “I hesitated for a long time because I didn’t, you know, screw up and end up going to prison and have to start a new career,” he says. “I just said, ‘What am I gonna write about?'”

“I knew I wasn’t going to do a get-even book or a tell-all book or a political book,” Tom explains. “So I just had to think about it because my publicist is a dear friend, and she just kept on me. It took about four years. I prefer to be computer illiterate, so I wrote with a pen and yellow pad.”

It turns out, he had plenty to write about. “Then I got into it and had some ideas about what I would talk about. As much as I wanted to talk to the reader, I also wanted to talk to young actors and people in the business to let them understand.” He drops in some highlighter-worthy life lessons along the way, like: “You have to choose to be offended.”

Tom opted for a conversational style, discussing his friendship with Sam Elliott, — formed while they worked together in the Fox New Talent program — his time in Hawaii filming Magnum (and his now-iconic costumes), his near-miss on Raiders of the Lost Ark, attending the Academy Awards with Carol Burnett, and even dancing with Princess Diana at the White House.

On His 36-Year Marriage

Most of his memoir focuses on his career. In fact, in You Never Know, he doesn’t mince words about keeping his private life private. “When I undertook this project, I made a commitment to share my private, personal emotions and feelings…primarily about my work,” he says. But he does spend a poignant chapter reflecting on his secret wedding to his wife of 36 years, Jillie Mack.

Fresh on the heels of the successful debut of Three Men and a Baby in 1987, with Tom’s fame on the rise, Jillie and Tom decided to get married in secret. Tom explains that he wore a not-so-convincing disguise to the county clerk’s office to sign the marriage license in Reno, Nevada, before heading to a chapel in a Lake Tahoe strip mall. The operation took “commando-like precision” and the kindness of a few strangers, and only Tom’s parents, his brothers and their families, and his son, Kevin, were in attendance. Jillie didn’t even tell her parents or sister.

They were able to keep their marriage secret for a little more than a month. “The memory was for us alone,” Tom writes. They have 18 Polaroids to commemorate the day.

On Westerns

In his memoir, the actor chronicles his enduring friendship with Sam, which began back in in the 1960s. Tom describes Sam as “a lanky guy with a deep voice” who “knew what he was and what he wanted to do.”


“He just seemed more…formed,” Tom writes. The two went on to work together on the Western miniseries The Sacketts in 1979 and again on the Western movie The Shadow Riders in 1982.

When asked about the enduring legacy of the Western genre, Tom told us, “There’s been more Western movies than any other kind of movie. It’s a part of American conscience, both good and bad.”

And Tom didn’t just leave his love for Westerns for the movies.

“When I got The Sacketts, I was just hooked. It’s where I realized that, if I ever could afford it, I’d like to have a ranch and some land and horses. It brings a spontaneity to the work that I just love,” said the actor, who now lives on a 60-acre ranch in California.

“In the kind of Westerns I like, the land is usually a central character in the movie. It’s like one of the actors. So that’s why they’re popular.”

Tom also remembers talking to Yellowstone star Kevin Costner about his role in Westerns. “I knew Kevin a little bit. I was at a studio where he was preparing to do Dances with Wolves, and I was preparing to do Quigley Down Under. I went over and asked, ‘How do you handle directing and acting in the same thing? Aren’t you worried about it?'” But, Tom explains, “Kevin always kind of knows what he wants.”

Tom credits Kevin as “one of the guys responsible for keeping Westerns alive, along with Sam and a couple others. Maybe me a little bit.”

On the Future of Blue Bloods

Since 2010, Tom has been a mainstay on the beloved CBS series, Blue Bloods. Now in its 14th season, the Reagan family drama has become an anomaly in the landscape of network TV.

Tom sums up the appeal of the series. He says, unlike most police dramas, “Blue Bloods is really a character-driven show that has a procedural element.” He credits executive producer Leonard Goldberg, who died in 2019, for the “genius” cast, including Donnie Wahlberg, Bridget Moynahan, and Len Cariou, among others.

Tom credits Leonard for another element of the show’s success: the family dinner. “Leonard’s idea was, simply, the family dinner is gonna be a regular part of the show, which I couldn’t believe when I read the script. I felt the network would get rid of it.”

CBS announced in November that season 14 would be the end of Blue Bloods, but Tom isn’t so sure. “They announced this was gonna be our last season. I think CBS will come to their senses. But what people don’t realize is, we’re gonna do a 15th season. We’re doing a 10-show season, like all the other shows because of the strike, for the 14th season. And we’ll do eight shows in the fall, the premier of our 15th season.”

He continued, “My hope is CBS wakes up to the fact that we’re still winning the night on Friday night and performing on Paramount Plus.”