Tom Selleck’s Love Life Didn’t Have a ‘Hawaiian Punch’ in 1982, According to His First PEOPLE Cover

Today, Selleck is happily married to his wife Jillie Mack, whom he married in 1987

Tom SelleckTom Selleck

Tom Selleck’s PEOPLE covers from 1982 and 2024

Tom Selleck’s love life did not always go smoothly.

The Blue blood actor, 79, who is this week’s cover star, spoke to PEOPLE more than four decades ago for his first cover story on March 8, 1982, as did the Emmy-winning Magnum PI star rose to fame as the face of the hit CBS show.

At the time, PEOPLE wrote that Hollywood was steadily taking notice of Selleck’s “knockout Hawaiian punch,” and legions of fans quickly gathered wherever the actor, who played private investigator Thomas Magnum, appeared.

During the early days of Magnum PI, Selleck was separated, but not legally divorced, from his first wife Jacquelyn Ray. He admitted at the time that he was hesitant to start a new relationship.



<p>Silver Screen Collection/Getty</p>
<p> Tom Selleck in ‘Magnum PI'” src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/HpIWAZic1z.SWxv1maQ7kw–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTY0MDtoPTk2MA–/https://media.zenfs.com/en /people_218/2f62e25d42ef2e824813352086200001″/><img alt=Silver Screen Collection/Getty

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Silver Screen Collection/Getty

Tom Selleck in ‘Magnum PI’

“I’m self-protective,” he said at the time. “One of my nightmares would be to be in a close relationship with someone while I’m still trying to figure out what’s going on in my life.”

“I’ve said to some people I’ve been out with, ‘If I don’t call you for five or six days, it’s not because I didn’t have a good time. It’s because I’m a flake,” he added.

Related: Tom Selleck Reflects on His ‘Happy Life,’ ‘Accidental’ Career and Four Decades of Loving Wife Jillie (Exclusive)

Selleck’s then newfound celebrity – he had also appeared on ABC’s The Divorce Wars: A Love Story with Jane Curtin – also presented challenges on the dating front.

“There are not enough hours in the day to maintain relationships,” he recalled, adding that “it’s very tiring to know that everything you do all day is being photographed. I’m not saying it’s a cross to bear, it’s just not an easy adjustment.”



<p>Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty</p>
<p> Tom Selleck and wife Jillie Mack in 1990″ src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/kS_SFo_ffpYnhs3v8yB_rg–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTY0MQ–/https://media.zenfs.com/en/ people_218/cad818c3d87c52f65b4eed54389b451e”/><img alt=Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty

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Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty

Tom Selleck and wife Jillie Mack in 1990

Today, Selleck has been happily married to wife Jillie Mack for decades. He reflected on their marriage on August 7, 1987, prior to the publication of his new memoir, You never knowwill be released on May 7.

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The couple got married in a private ceremony near Lake Tahoe, Nevada, and experienced a surprising hiccup on the big day.

“Jillie can talk really fast and a lot and loud, and I heard all these things and I think Dan went to look, and we all forgot about the (marriage) certificate,” Selleck said.



<p><a href="https://www.instagram.com/jefflipsky/" data-component="koppeling" gegevensbron="inlineLink" gegevenstype="externe link" data-ordinaal="1">Jeff Lipsky</a></p>
<p>  Tom Selleck poses for his 2024 PEOPLE cover shoot” src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/GJamSxvTUQdjUOjVZxzLSA–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTY0MQ–/https://media.zenfs.com/en /people_218/aada833fa2a2c510095522fce1172992″/><img alt=Jeff Lipsky

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Jeff Lipsky

Tom Selleck poses for his 2024 PEOPLE cover shoot

Related: Tom Selleck took a three-year break from acting after daughter was hospitalized with ‘viral pneumonia’ as a toddler (Exclusive)

Despite the surprising confusion, Selleck – who shares daughter Hannah with Mack – says the event, saved by the pastor, remains a memory he will cherish forever.

‘That’s what I remember most about the wedding. And Pastor David said I would sign the thing anyway,” he continued. “And he went all the way to Reno himself so we could eat and brought it back. So yeah, it was just an adventure. I wouldn’t trade it.’

For more from Tom Selleck, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE on newsstands Friday, or subscribe here.

You never know will be on the bookshelves on May 7.

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