At around this point, the actor got married to model Jacqueline Ray. Selleck divorced Ray in 1982, however – just a couple of years after accepting the role that would change the course of his entire career. That, of course, was the lead role in the comedy drama Magnum P.I.
Magnum P.I. was a colossal hit, and the series promoted Selleck to the top tier of TV acting talent. Indeed, to this day, Magnum is arguably the role for which he is best known. But it was while Selleck was on the show that the course of his personal life completely changed, too. In 1983, while filming a movie in London, he decided to see the famous stage musical Cats – and that turned out to be a very fortuitous decision for the actor.
In fact, Selleck’s co-stars on the film he was shooting – 1984’s Lassiter – couldn’t help but notice something strange about their leading man. Selleck seemed to be utterly obsessed with Cats. Indeed, he talked about the musical constantly and went to see it performed dozens of times. But little did the Lassiter cast know that it wasn’t the show itself that had hooked Selleck – instead, it was one of its actresses. The dancer who played Rumpleteazer, 25-year-old Jillie Mack, had completely won the then 39-year-old Selleck’s heart.