Old School Americana & Nostalgia


How Tall is Tom Selleck?

How Tall is Tom Selleck?

For decades, Tom Selleck has famously been one of the tallest leading men in TV and film, but just how tall is the veteran actor? The Magnum, P.I. star himself revealed his height way back in a 1980 interview. In fact, his height was a liability early in his career.

“[My height] had been a problem for me being taken seriously,” Selleck told Allentown, Pennsylvania’s The Morning Call at the time. “I’m 6-foot-4 and I came in during the era of leading men like Dustin Hoffman and Al Pacino…anybody in the old leading man mold was all of a sudden not acceptable. That was the same reason I didn’t do much TV. They said I was too tall or that I conflicted with the hero.”

Tom Selleck certainly is much taller than Hoffman and Pacino. Hoffman reportedly stands at 5’5, while Pacino tops out at 5’6. Selleck dwarfs the two acting legends by nearly a foot.

Standing tall at 6-foot-4, Tom Selleck’s presence goes beyond his Hollywood persona, it also played a significant role in his athletic pursuits. Before his acting career, he secured a basketball scholarship at the University of Southern California, where his athletic prowess shone brightly. Moreover, his towering stature made him a formidable force in the world of volleyball. Notably, he represented the Outrigger Canoe Club in Honolulu. Selleck has even been known to hit a home run from time to time.

How Tall is Tom Selleck Compared to Other 80s Detectives?

(Photos by Frederick M. Brown; Universal TV; Michael Montfort/Michael Ochs Archives; CBS via Getty Images)

Fans of 80s TV might be wondering if Tom Selleck’s Magnum is the tallest sleuth on the small screen. Since he’s 6’4, it seems like a safe bet. However, let’s do a quick bit of detective work of our own to get to the bottom of the tale of the tape caper.

Though Jim Rockford of the Rockford Files started in the 70s, the show lasted until 1980. James Garner casts a long shadow, but is he taller than Tom Selleck? Reportedly, Garner was 6’3, so not quite.

Meanwhile, Selleck’s Magnum was certainly taller than a couple of other veteran 80s detectives. Peter Falk, who played endearing detective Columbo from 1968 to 2003, was only 5’5. Angela Lansbury may have been the superior sleuth on Murder She Wrote, however, she stood just 5’8.

However, there is one 80s TV detective who towers over Selleck’s Magnum. Sgt. Rick Hunter from Hunter. Played by former NFL player Fred Dryer, Sgt. Hunter stands at 6’6 inches tall, scoring two inches over Tom Selleck. Despite the height difference, we’re going to go ahead and declare that Magnum edges Hunter out with that iconic mustache, though.