Tom Selleck opened up about being “scared to death” when he featured on the comedy series “Friends.”
The actor had his debut appearance on television in 1965 as a college senior on the set of “The Dating Game.” He returned to the role in 1967 and went on to star in many other TV series and movies.
In 1980, Selleck received his big break when he was cast on the part of Thomas Magnum in “Magnum, PI.” Selleck was so well-suited to the part of the character that the producers clung to him with everything they had.
Years have passed since he played that memorable part, and Selleck is now a renowned Hollywood veteran. As a result, the actor’s recent revelation that he was initially hesitant about guest-starring in the iconic comedy series “Friends” was startling.
‘I Was Scared To Death’
While appearing on the “The Kelly Clarkson Show,” Selleck revealed that he was terrified about taking the “Friends” role for a series of appearances as Dr. Richard Burke, the short-term boyfriend of Courteney Cox’s character Monica Geller.
For the actor, his years of acting experience felt not valuable to him at the time as he had never starred in a sitcom up until the offer came his way.
He explained, “I was scared to death.” “I had done [an episode of] Taxi a long time before, but I hadn’t done a sitcom. And so, I was really nervous.”
Luckily for the “journeyman” actor, his co-star, Courteney, was a “big help” in welcoming him onto the set and settling him in his role.
“Courteney helped a lot. Courteney’s a big help,” he added. “But that group’s an incredible group of friends. They obviously became friends in life as well as on the show. And it shows. It was a wonderful place to work.”
Speaking about joining the ensemble, Selleck not only co-starred alongside Courtney but also shared the set with Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, David Schwimmer, Matt LeBlanc, and Matthew Perry.
Being A Guest On A Show Is ‘The Hardest Thing’
Selleck elaborated on his apprehensions about joining the cast of “Friends,” noting that he was worried not just because he had never done any meaningful work on a comedy before but also because everyone on the show was already up to speed, and he was just a mere guest star.
“I try to relax the new actors because that’s really hard, to come on a show where everybody’s up to speed. It’s like when I did Friends,” he said. “They were up to speed.”
During season 2, Selleck played Courtney’s cigar-obsessed and considerably older lover. He was only meant to appear in three episodes but ended up appearing in nine. In season three, the pair split up after Selleck’s character refused to agree to have children. He later reappeared in season six, moments before Matthew Perry’s character proposed to Courtney’s character.
Selleck And Courtney Had Several Memorable Scenes On ‘Friends’
For his appearance on the talk show, the actor wore a dark three-piece blue suit and tie with a lighter blue shirt. He also sported his distinctive mustache, which was also seen during his feature in “Friends.”
Selleck’s and Courtney’s characters Richard and Monica appeared in many memorable situations during the actor’s brief tenure on “Friends.” When Monica and Richard were getting set for sexy time in the bedroom adjacent to Rachel and Ross in the second season’s “The One Where Dr. Ramoray Dies,” the roommates struck a significant hitch in their preparations when they learned there was only one condom remaining.
Another memorable moment occurred during their breakup in “The One With the Jam,” which provided one of the most memorable quotes from the sitcom, “I needed a plan. A plan to get over my man. What’s the opposite of man? Jam!” Monica said in the episode.
Tom Selleck’s Personal Life
Selleck is now 77 years old and has a filmography that is only matched by a handful in the profession. The actor is no longer actively performing, but he does appear in a few shows from time to time, including a 2021 appearance as the narrator in “Out Where The West Begins” and a recurrent part as Frank Reagan in the CBS American police procedural/drama series Blue Bloods.
Aside from his career, the actor has married twice, the first to Jacqueline Ray, his “Magnum PI” costar, and then to Jillie Joan Mack in 1987, five years after his divorce. Selleck has an adopted son named Kevin from his first marriage and a daughter named Hannah from his second marriage.
As of May 2022, Mack is still Selleck’s partner. They’ve managed to keep out of the spotlight, which may have helped preserve their long-term relationship.