When Tom Selleck isn’t spicing up the small screen, he’s probably at home with his family. It’s all because of his daughter, in fact, that he left Magnum, P.I. But now Hannah Selleck is all grown up and busy carving out a career of her very own. And the path she’s chosen couldn’t be much further removed from the glitz and glamour of showbiz.
Hannah’s dad is probably proud of his daughter’s achievements, though. And back in the day, Selleck himself could have gone one of many ways before he hit Hollywood. While studying for a business administration degree at the University of Southern California, he both played basketball for the USC Trojans and worked as a model. He also spent a six-year spell in the California Army National Guard. Imagine Thomas Magnum with a buzz cut!
But life had different plans for Selleck, and before Hannah arrived on the scene he was becoming a talent to be reckoned with. He landed parts in Coma, Myra Breckinridge and The Seven Minutes as well as a recurring gig in The Rockford Files. And when the rising actor’s big break arrived, he became a household name all over the world.
Through Magnum, P.I., Selleck – not to mention his truly remarkable mustache – became a staple of the CBS schedules. He was riding high during this time, with millions tuning in every week to watch the flamboyant Thomas Magnum solving crimes and burning rubber in a red Ferarri. But, incredibly, the star gave it all up – and it was partly for Hannah.
Selleck had a few movies under his belt by then, mind you. He appeared in Divorce Wars: A Love Story, High Road to China, Lassiter and Runaway, to name just a handful of the flicks in which he starred. But undoubtedly his biggest movie success came when he teamed up with Ted Danson and Steve Guttenberg to play a trio of father figures in box-office hit Three Men and a Baby.
And a whole new generation discovered Selleck’s talents when he was cast as Monica’s much older interest Richard in Friends. The star went on to land the recurring roles of Jack McLaren in The Closer, the eponymous hero in Jesse Stone and A.J. Cooper in Las Vegas. More recently, he’s enjoyed a long-running spell as Police Commissioner Frank Reagan in CBS police procedural Blue Bloods. But perhaps none of these parts – prestigious as they may be – can hold a candle to Selleck’s most important role: being dad to Hannah.
Yes, Selleck combined fatherhood with film stardom for years. While his daughter was still too young for kindergarten, he took the lead in Mr. Baseball. He’s also since appeared opposite Kevin Kline in 1997 comedy In and Out and voiced Cornelius Robinson in 2007 animation Meet the Robinsons. Selleck’s last big-screen appearance came in 2010, when he played Mr. Kornfeldt in action rom-com Killers.
But Selleck has attracted attention for his political views, too. In 1999 he got into a dispute with Rosie O’Donnell on her eponymous chat show over his support for the National Rifle Association. In 2003 he became the public spokesman for the organization after Charlton Heston’s resignation. And in the 2008 presidential election, he publicly backed Senator John McCain.
As for his personal life, Selleck first walked down the aisle with model Jacqueline Ray in 1971. The actor also adopted her son from a previous relationship, Kevin Shepard, shortly after. Selleck and Ray stayed together for 11 years before splitting in 1982.
Five years later Selleck eloped to Lake Tahoe, Nevada, with actress Jillie Mack. The pair had previously shared screentime in Magnum, P.I., with Mack playing Sally Ponting in a 1985 episode. The couple then welcomed their first and only child, Hannah, into the world just before the Christmas of 1988.
Selleck decided to quit his leading role in Magnum, P.I. shortly after to focus on raising a family. He and wife Jillie then moved to Ventura Country, California, where they purchased a 65-acre ranch. Mack told People magazine in 2012, “We both thought it was the best environment for [Hannah] to grow up.”
And the family has certainly adapted well to country life. Not only has Selleck become a keen avocado farmer, but he’s also set up a horse breeding business with his daughter Hannah. Hannah regularly tours the world as an equestrian – a pursuit she says she was urged to take up by her parents.
“I loved being around the animals, and as a kid, taking care of different ponies and hanging out at the barn all day,” Hannah told The Hollywood Reporter in 2017. Hannah, who began horse riding aged just four, began to take the sport seriously in her early teens. She added, “As I progressed in the sport, I fell in love with the competition itself.”
Although she spent much of her youth competing, Hannah doesn’t believe she missed out on being a typical teen. She told THR, “I stayed in school regularly even though I missed quite a bit of class to travel and compete, but I attended school dances and went to prom, and I was able to balance it.”
Hannah once interned at a Beverly Hills PR firm but soon decided it wasn’t for her, telling THR, “That was the first time that I had been away from the horses, and I was miserable. I was only able to ride on the weekends, and that was a huge shock. After that, I realized I have to do the horses, so I quit the PR job.”
Hannah then began working for her horsing coach on her way to becoming an assistant trainer. When asked about her current role, she replied, “I have a small breeding program in California where I’m developing young horses to bring along and sell. It’s a business that so far has been really great and a great experience.”
Hannah also spoke about how her horse breeding business has received the backing of her famous father. She said, “My dad encouraged it a lot. He liked the idea of developing the babies and developing young horses, so he was a big supporter of this idea.”
Hannah also told THR how fortunate she feels to now call New York her home. She said, “It’s been a nice change. I’m so lucky to be able to live in the city and have the horses based just outside so I get the best of both worlds where I can train full time and still live in a wonderful place like Manhattan.”
And although she enjoyed a brief stint as a model, Hannah doesn’t regret turning her back on the Hollywood lifestyle. “All my time goes into the horses and that’s my focus. If you split your focus, its hard to excel. The modeling I only really did to help out some friends, and I do it for my sponsors. Outside of that, I don’t have time.”
And Hannah told THR that both her parents are delighted at how her career has turned out. “They wanted me to find my love and pursue that. As a kid they tried to raise me as normally as possible given my dad’s line of work. Those horses have been a great way for me to have my own accomplishments outside of whatever my parents had done.”
Of course, sometimes a descendant of a legend does follow in their famous ancestor’s footsteps. Take Elvis Presley, for example. While it’s now been more than 40 years since the King’s death, his legacy still stands strong. And while Elvis’ granddaughter Riley Keough obviously has big shoes to fill, fortunately her star power is managing to keep the family flame alight.
If you’ve watched a movie in the last five years, you’ve probably seen Keough on screen without even knowing. She’s been in Magic Mike and Mad Max: Fury Road, to name just two of the box-office hits she has to her name. And her star only looks set to rise – whether that’s because of or in spite of her legendary grandfather.
It’s fair to say that Keough did not have the most normal life growing up. Born Danielle Riley Keough on May 29, 1989, the future actress was the first child of singer-songwriters Lisa Marie Presley and Danny Keough. And from almost her very first breath, Riley was already thrust into the public eye.
Just one month after she was born, in fact, baby Keough was proudly displayed on the cover of People magazine. But it wasn’t her mother’s or father’s fame that prompted the paps to take notice. More accurately, it was the identity of her grandfather – none other than the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll himself, Elvis Presley.
Famed for hits like “Heartbreak Hotel,” Elvis Presley remains perhaps the most important figure in popular music. Through a catalog stretching back to 1954, the singer has sold more than one billion records and has inspired countless generations of budding musicians. And, certainly, popular culture as we know it today would not be the same without his influence.
However, Keough did not feel her grandfather’s presence in her life directly. After a period of drug misuse and ill-health, Presley died aged 42 in 1977, some 12 years before Keough was born. “The reality is I know as much about my grandfather as you’d know about a grandpa you never met,” she explained to Esquire in 2016.
But while Elvis wasn’t in her life, Keough did get closer to some other famous figures. Following her parents’ separation, the soon-to-be star had Michael Jackson – who was wed to Lisa Marie between 1994 and 1996 – as a stepfather. A few years later, her mother married again, this time to eccentric actor Nicolas Cage.
Jackson – the King of Pop, whose musical legacy is arguably on a par with that of Elvis – was an especially warm influence on the young Keough’s life. “I loved him,” she revealed to The New York Times Magazine in 2017. “There were toys everywhere, animals everywhere, kids everywhere. It was like being at Disneyland all day.”
But despite the strong lineage of musicians in her family, Keough decided that she wanted to follow a different path. In 2004 the then 14-year-old made her catwalk debut modeling for Dolce & Gabbana. Later that year, she also worked alongside Kate Moss, advertising David Yurman jewelry, and modeled for Christian Dior.
Nevertheless, Keough remained close to the Presley clan. And in 2004 she posed with mother Lisa Marie and grandmother Priscilla on the cover of Vogue magazine. “I don’t think any of it had to do with me being Elvis’ granddaughter,” Keough told Esquire. “None of my drive was ‘I need to get away from my family legacy.’”
Then Keough decided to swap careers and become an actress. In a strange twist, acting remains a huge part of the Presley legacy. During the late ’50s and ’60s, Elvis became a screen star thanks to films such as Jailhouse Rock andViva Las Vegas. Later, Keough’s grandmother Priscilla got in on the act, starring in the Naked Gun series in the late ’80s and ’90s.
Somewhat fittingly, though, Keough’s first big-screen experience was a music-themed production. Based on the career of the titular rock band, 2010’s The Runaways saw Keough appear alongside established stars such as Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning. Though not a box office success, the film nevertheless impressed critics.
Two years later, Keough made the jump from supporting to lead actress with 2012’s racy Jack & Diane. In addition, she landed a part in the stripper comedy Magic Mike that same year. And the latter – which grossed $167 million worldwide – gave the fledgling star an even greater platform.
It was while working on Magic Mike, in fact, that Keough began being recognized on her own merits. In 2012, moreover, the film’s producer Reid Carolin claimed to The Hollywood Reporter that her family connection came as a shock. “Somebody said something like, ‘Elvis Presley’s granddaughter,’ but honestly, I feel like I heard that after we saw her audition,” he said.
Meanwhile, Keough also received exceptional praise from her fellow actors. “Growing up, I watched Faye Dunaway, Jane Fonda, Tuesday Weld,” said Keough’s Magic Mike co-star and former fiancé Alex Pettyfer to The Hollywood Reporter. “They were truly classic movie stars. Riley, for me, is destined to be one of the greats.”
Meanwhile, in August 2012 Lisa Marie and Priscilla Presley made a much-publicized appearance at Elvis’ former home Graceland in respect to the singer’s momentous musical impact. However, Keough herself couldn’t make it to proceedings as she had business of her own. She was away filming the blockbuster Mad Max: Fury Road.
Released in 2015, Mad Max: Fury Road would prove both a critical and commercial success. As one of the wives of villain Immortan Joe, Keough was placed front and center in a film that eventually grossed $379 million worldwide. It was also named the year’s best movie by film industry body the National Board of Review.
But though Mad Max: Fury Road proved an important step in Keough’s career, the film changed the actress’ life in another important way. While shooting in Namibia in 2012, Keough met stuntman Ben Smith-Petersen and they soon began dating. Three years later, she married the Australian in a star-studded ceremony in Napa Valley, California.
Following her personal and professional triumphs with Mad Max: Fury Road, Keough starred alongside Shia LaBeouf in 2016’s American Honey. Directed by acclaimed filmmaker Andrea Arnold, the film garnered numerous awards, including the Cannes Film Festival’s Jury Prize. It also earned Keough kudos for her acting skills and nominations from the likes of the London Critics Circle and Village Voice.
American Honey was followed by a daring role in TV’s The Girlfriend Experience. Through her provocative performance as an escort, Keough gained a Golden Globe nomination – arguably the biggest accolade of her career to date and taking her one step closer to eventually matching her grandfather’s legacy.
Still, despite their family ties, Keough remains ambivalent about her relationship to the King. “People always ask, ‘How crazy is it that your grandpa was Elvis?’” she told Esquire. “I make them happy and say, ‘Yeah, it’s soooo crazy.’” But there’s no denying that if Presley were alive today, he would be proud of his granddaughter’s achievements.