How Tom Selleck and Jillie Mack’s 34-Year Marriage Started With The Musical ‘Cats’

Tom Selleck was filming on location in London as a 38-year-old divorcé when his coworkers noticed he became obsessed with the musical Cats.

Selleck would constantly be at the West End, informing his fellow Lassiter star Jane Seymour just how amazing the show was.

“I thought it was good, but I couldn’t see going back a dozen times,” Seymour told People.

how tom selleck and jillie mack's 34-year marriage started with the musical 'cats'
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But the real reason he was captivated was the 25-year-old Jillie Joan Mack, the dancer-singer who played Rumpleteazer. One dinner date turned into romance and the moment Mack’s contract was up, she moved to Hawaii where Selleck was filming Magnum, P.I. The two were quickly always together, from the Emmys red carpet to his Hollywood Walk of Fame induction in 1986.

Fast forward to 1987, when they floored fans and entertainment reporters by getting married in secret. Selleck’s brother, Bob, arranged all of the details with the 24-hour wedding chapel in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, under the aliases “Tom Jenkins” and “Suzie Mark.”

And on August 7th of that year, Selleck, 42, and Mack, 29, said “I do” in a late-evening ceremony. Even the minister didn’t know the couple’s true identity until minutes before the service, and Selleck had only Polaroid snapshots taken of the wedding so photos from negatives couldn’t be leaked to the press.

how tom selleck and jillie mack's 34-year marriage started with the musical 'cats'
Image via Shutterstock

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“They were both nervous, like any other couple about to get married,” their wedding officiant Rev. David Immel told the outlet. “He was very concerned that the service be heartfelt, very concerned for her that the service be meaningful. He is a very warm, caring man.”

The two went on to welcome their first and only child together, Hannah, in the following year. Selleck also has an adopted son, Kevin, from his first marriage to model Jacqueline Ray, which lasted 10 years. The family purchased a 65-acre ranch in Ventura County, California, and Selleck decided to spend less time at work and more time at home with his new wife and baby.

“I quit Magnum to have a family,” he told People in 2012. “It took a long time to get off the train, but I try very hard to have balance, and this ranch has helped me do that.”

“We both thought it was the best environment for [Hannah] to grow up,” Mack added.

how tom selleck and jillie mack's 34-year marriage started with the musical 'cats'
Image via Shutterstock

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And the two were allegedly phenomenal parents. In 1999, Selleck told the New York Daily News when Hannah was 10 how they both “don’t do anything or make any decisions without consulting each other,” he said. “And if one of us makes a decision involving Hannah, the other parent completely supports that position, even if you disagree.”

Selleck has been very overt regarding his privacy over the past few years.

“I’ve found it very difficult to expose my private life and live with it,” he said in 1984.

“It’s important to nurture your marriage,” he said. “I think wanting time away from work has been good for that.”

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