'Magnum P.I.': What Happened to the Stars of the Iconic Series Through the Years
‘Magnum P.I.’: What Happened to the Stars of the Iconic Series Through the Years
Tom Selleck, Larry Manetti, John Hillerman, and Roger E. Mosley | Source: Getty Images
Magnum P.I. had a special place in the world of crime drama, mainly because of its versatile cast, intriguing storyline, and enthralling sequences. Today, we take a walk down memory lane and discover what became of our beloved stars from the iconic series.
In December 1980, we all became familiar with the ultimate private investigator, Thomas Magnum, played by none other than Tom Selleck. The series ran for eight years and kept the audiences hooked to their TV screens until 1988.
Although the classic series was rebooted in 2018, the original show had its timeless charm and aura. From television’s most popular P.I. to his pilot buddy Theodore “T.C.” Calvin and ex-British army officer Mr. Higgins—here’s how our favorite actors evolved through the years!
Tom Selleck as Thomas Magnum
Tom Selleck as the titular investigator in the television series ‘Magnum, P.I.’, circa 1985. | Source: Getty Images
Thomas William Selleck, most popularly known as Tom Selleck, got his big break when he graced our TV screens as Thomas Magnum. It wasn’t long before everyone fell in love with his spectacular performance, and he established himself as a bonafide actor.
Thanks to his breakout performance in the crime drama show, Selleck earned five Emmy nominations and bagged an award in 1984. While playing private eye Magnum kept him from taking on other roles, like Indiana Jones in Steven Spielberg’s “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” Selleck had no regrets.
In addition to impressing the audience with his impeccable acting skills, Selleck also tried his hands at production. The seventh and eighth seasons of the show were produced by David P. Bellisario and Selleck and were undoubtedly a pure treat to watch!
Tom Selleck pictured as Frank Reagan in an episode of “Blue Bloods.” | Source: Getty Images
Post “Magnum P.I.,” Selleck starred in hit titles like “Three Men and a Baby” and its sequel “Three Men and a Little Lady.” In 2010, he joined the CBS police drama show “Blue Bloods” as NYC Police Commissioner Frank Reagan.
In his personal life, Selleck has been married twice. His first marriage was to Jacqueline Ray in 1971, which lasted until 1982. Later, he traveled to London for a movie shoot and met Jillie Joan Mack, whom he married in 1987. The duo are still married and share a daughter, Hannah.
Despite a 14-year age difference, Mack and Selleck have been going strong through the years. According to sources, the TV heartthrob took a break from work and moved to a ranch in California to raise his daughter with his wife, and they still reside there today.
Roger E. Mosley as Theodore “T.C.” Calvin
Pictured is Roger E. Mosley (asTheodore ‘TC’ Calvin) in the CBS television show, “MAGNUM P.I.” | Source: Getty Images
Roger E. Mosley starred as a rugged Vietnam War veteran helicopter pilot, Theodore “T.C.” Calvin, in the all-time hit 80’s series. Whenever his friend Magnum was in trouble, Calvin quickly rescued him from the thick jungles to the Oahu beaches.
Although Mosley was a licensed helicopter pilot, he didn’t have permission to perform his own stunts on the series. He also appeared in two episodes of the “Magnum P.I.” reboot series, but fans still prefer to watch him as Magnum’s pilot buddy in the original show.
Through his role in “Magnum P.I.,” Mosley aimed to set a brilliant example for the Black community and refrained from drinking and smoking. Although he had little interest in playing Calvin’s role, Mosley soon developed an affinity for the character and series.
Actor Roger E. Mosley attends the Celestial Awards of Excellence at Alex Theatre on May 25, 2017 in Glendale, California. | Source: Getty Images
Following the series, he starred in several movies in minor roles and guest spots, but his portrayal of “T.C.” became his career’s highlight. He wed Sandra Locke in 1960, and they had two children togethe before they divorced.
In 1976, he married Antoinette Laudermilk, whom he had known for 60 years. Together, they welcomed a daughter, Ch-a. In August 2022, Mosley passed away at age 83 due to complications from a fatal car accident.
Larry Manetti as Orville “Rick” Wright
Actor Larry Manetti poses for a portrait session on a Cadillac Eldorado in Hawaii, circa 1982. | Source: Getty Images
Lawrence Francis Manetti, aka Larry Manetti, is most famously known for playing Orville Wilbur Richard “Rick” Wright on “Magnum P.I.” He was Magnum’s buddy since the war days and contributed to countless light-hearted moments on the show.
After the series concluded, Manetti appeared in over 20 movies and shows, including “Fantasy Island,” “Quantum Leap,” and “Battlestar Galactica.” Like his co-actor, Mosley, Manetti also appeared in the CBS 2018 reboot series and “Hawaii Five-O.”
Actor Larry Manetti attends the 16th Annual Silver Spur Awards hosted by The Reel Cowboys at The Sportsman’s Lodge on September 27, 2013 in Studio City, California. | Source: Getty Images
In 1999, Manetti penned an autobiography titled “Aloha Magnum: Larry Manetti’s Magnum, P.I. Memories.” In the book, the “Magnum P.I.” alum talked about his Hollywood journey, his experience working with Selleck, and stories from when he met Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley.
In 1980, he married Nancy Manetti, with whom he shares a son, Lorenzo Manetti. The couple is together even today and continues to thrive in their relationship.
Their son is a writer and made his writing debut on an episode of “Hawaii Five-O.” Manetti was also known for hosting a radio show on CRN Digital Talk Radio.
John Hillerman as Jonathan Higgins
Actor John Hillerman poses for a portrait in Honolulu, Hawaii, circa 1982. | Source: Getty Images
John Hillerman captivated our hearts when he played Jonathan Quayle Higgins III in the 1980s crime drama series. His impeccable British accent was so on point that nobody could have guessed he was actually American. We know it’s hard to believe, but that’s the truth!
Indeed, that shows how much effort he put into nailing his on-screen character, and rightly so, many fell in love with Mr. Higgins at the time. He won critical praise for his spectacular performance, winning a Golden Globe and an Emmy Award in 1981 and 1987, respectively.
Actor John Hillerman attends the 13th Cognac Crime Film Festival on April 9, 1995 in Cognac, France. | Source: Getty Images
In real life, Hillerman served in the armed forces during the 1950s and brought the same finesse and discipline to his acting. His portrayal as Magnum’s frenemy, coupled with his dignified and righteous streak, came in handy in outsmarting the show’s protagonist!
Mr. Higgins was the strong-headed caretaker of the estate where private investigator Magnum resided in Oahu. While many were charmed by Selleck’s beauty, Hillerman’s smirk and flawless British baritone proved there was a world where heroes could be overshadowed.
Despite the electric sparks he exuberated on-camera and otherwise, Hillerman never married. He retired from acting in 1999 and died from heart disease at age 84 in November 2017.
Jean Bruce Scott as Maggie Poole
From season three onwards, Jean Bruce Scott joined the “Magnum P.I.” cast as Lieutenant Maggie Poole. She became a part of the crime drama family after Lieutenant Mac’s death and rose to the rank of Lieutenant Commander at the local Naval base.
Other than the popular 80s show, she starred as a helicopter pilot in “Airwolf,” from 1984 to 1987. She also appeared in fan-favorite series such as “Matlock” and “Knight Rider.”
Following her appearance in “Days of Our Lives” in 2012, she retired from acting. She has been married to Randy Reinholz since 1989.
Kathleen Lloyd as Carol Baldwin
Actress Kathleen Lloyd attends the ABC Winter TCA Press Tour on January 7, 1990 at the Registry Hotel in Universal City, California. | Source: Getty Images
Kathleen Lloyd was first seen as Bridget Archer on “Magnum P.I.,” a one-off character only to return in 1983 as Carol Baldwin. She played the assistant D.A. this time around and a potential love interest to the show’s lead guy, Magnum. She was seen in around 20 episodes on the whole and appeared in the show’s finale.
Before playing Baldwin, Lloyd had worked with legendary actors like Jack Nicholson and Marlon Brando in “The Missouri Breaks” in 1976.
Kathleen Lloyd-Jones and Donald Lloyd-Jones attend the American Heart Association celebration for the 20th anniversary of the Red Dress Collection music experience at Avalon Hollywood & Bardot on April 07, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images
Lloyd also starred in “Hill Street Blues” and “Airwolf,” and was said to have taken retirement after her last uncredited role in 2004.
Lance LeGault as Colonel Buck Greene
William Lance LeGault was once known as the ultimate television antagonist, especially after playing Colonel Roderick Decker in the 1980s show, “The A-Team.” He then became a part of “Magnum P.I.,” first as an FBI officer and later in the recurring role of Colonel Buck Greene.
Col. Greene was a Navy Intelligence officer who often argued and disagreed with Magnum and appeared in nine episodes of the classic series.
LeGault’s career was long and fulfilling, as he was seen in the movies, “Dynasty,” “The Incredible Hulk,” and “Knight Rider.”
He died in 2012 from heart failure, and his last movie, “Prince Avalanche,” was dedicated to his loving memory and released after his demise.
Kwan Hi Lim as Lieutenant Yoshi Tanaka
Kwan Hi Lim was a real-life lawyer who worked in Honolulu, Hawaii and appeared in “Hawaii Five-O” from 1970 to 1980 before joining “Magnum P.I.” as Lieutenant Yoshi Tanaka in nearly 26 episodes.
As a private investigator, Magnum’s work often involved running into law enforcement agencies, and that was how he met Lt. Tanaka. The Korean-American star quickly garnered praise and appreciation from audiences worldwide.
Lim bid farewell to acting in the early 90s and died at age 86 in 2008. He will forever be remembered by fans for his brilliant portrayal of Yoshi Tanaka.
Elisha Cook Jr. as Francis “Ice Pick” Hofstetler
Unlike his many co-stars who joined “Magnum P.I.” quite early in their careers, Elisha Cook Jr. was already a well-established actor. He had starred in huge titles like “The Maltese Falcon,” “House on Haunted Hill,” and “Rosemary’s Baby” before his stint in “Magnum P.I.”
His role as Francis “Ice Pick” Hofstetler in 13 episodes of the 1980’s show saw him in a paternal relationship with Larry Manetti’s character, Orville “Rick” Wright.
Cook Jr.’s portrayal of “Ice Pick” was his last acting credit, and he took retirement afterward. He passed away at 91 in 1995 after enjoying a long and worthwhile career.
Which one of these stars was your absolute favorite from the show? Are you planning on binge-watching the series again? Let us know your thoughts by sharing your feedback on Facebook.
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