The Legendary Soap That Gave Tom Selleck His Show Biz Start

Tom Selleck became an icon as Magnum in the '80s series "Magnum P.I." He made audiences laugh as Dr. Richard Burke, Monica Gellar's older boyfriend, in the classic sitcom "Friends." Nowadays, he continues to captivate audiences as the New York Police Department Police Commissioner Frank Reagan in the long-running show "Blue Bloods" and leads the Jesse Stone film series on the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries channel.


While most fans remember "Magnum P.I." as the beginning of Selleck's extensive acting career, his credits actually reach further back than the '80s crime drama. Similar to stars like Meg Ryan and Leonardo DiCaprio, the mustachioed heartthrob spent an early portion of his career in a well-known soap opera. Back in 1974, Selleck appeared in the 50-year-old series "The Young and the Restless."

While his time on the soap was short, it was definitely an important stepping stone in the ruggedly handsome star's journey to his current level of notoriety.

Tim Selleck appeared on The Young and the Restless

As mentioned, Tom Selleck appeared in the iconic soap opera series "The Young and the Restless." Accordingly, CBS launched this show in 1973 to compete with the ABC series "All My Children," aiming to attract a younger demographic to the daytime television bracket by centering around youthful protagonists.


Selleck first appeared in the soap in 1974, playing a book editor named Jed Andrews. The "Magnum P.I." actor began his arc by assisting Lorie Brooks in publishing a book, only to become involved in an extramarital affair with her. Overall, the story arc was relatively short, with Selleck concluding his time on the soap in 1975, though he did reprise his role once in 2005.

Fans of the celeb will notice that his role on "The Young and the Restless" predates his iconic mustache, a feature that would become an integral part of the Selleck brand once he debuted on "Magnum P.I."

Selleck's first TV appearance was on a game show

While "The Young and the Restless" was the first fictional TV series that Tom Selleck acted in, his first-ever television appearance was actually in 1965. As a college senior, the "Jesse Stone" star competed in "The Dating Game," a gig that many celebs scored before becoming famous.


If you're unfamiliar, "The Dating Game" was a reality game show that originally aired in the '60s. It typically consisted of a bachelorette asking three men questions to decide which one to take on an all-expense-paid date. While the three contestants were visible to the audience, they would not be revealed to the asker until the end of the show after they had made their decision.

In addition to his 1965 appearance, Selleck returned to "The Dating Game" in 1967. He joins the likes of Farrah Fawcett, Lee Majors, Suzanne Somers, Burt Reynolds, and Steve Martin in appearing on the game show prior to his stardom.