Almost 46 years ago, a 25-year old hunk of a man named Tom Selleck made his acting debut as Dobie on the “Death Bait” episode of the TV series Lancer. Today, he’s the biggest star on the cast of the CBS hit police series Blue Bloods, as he plays Police Commissioner Frank Reagan and father of Erin Reagan-Boyle, who is played by the incredibly underrated Bridget Moynahan, but that’s a completely different definitive ranking for another time. To put it bluntly, Selleck is an American icon, and we’ve been incredibly fortunate to have him in our lives for so long.
Additionally and much more importantly, Selleck’s mustache is a national treasure the likes of the gold buried under Mount Rushmore and the Dairy Queen Blizzard. Such a flavor savor deserves to be celebrated more than annually or even semi-annually, as it should at least be honored octannually, if that’s even a word. That said, for Selleck’s 71st birthday today, I have decided to rank the many variations of mustache that he has sported in his storied acting career, and I am convinced that no greater tribute could ever be paid.
Interestingly enough, Selleck didn’t have the famous facial hair when his career began on Lancer, and one of his co-stars was also sans his trademark nose bush. That man? Sam Elliott, who played Renslo. Was it fate that these two icons of the mustache appeared in a Western TV series that only really old people remember? We can only hope so. Regardless, their mustaches eventually grew in and they became two of the most important actors in history.
This Salem cigarette ad from what my team of scientists believes is the 14th century features young Selleck with an auburn and sun-kissed mustache that could have melted the tar right out of a lung.
Also, this portrait of Selleck doesn’t need to be ranked, because it should be hanging in the f*cking Louvre.
20) Wide World of Mystery
I assume the mystery involved someone stealing his mustache, and the only culprit with the power to pull off such a feat is God himself.
19) Blue Bloods
Aged but not worn. Matured but not expired. Still a far cry from his prime, but strong enough to make your mama’s basement flood.
18) 12 Mile Road
Made for TV? The movie, yes. The mustache, no. Warning: High definition may cause testosterone envy.
17) Boston Legal
It should be illegal for one man’s facial hair to look so damn good.
16) The Young and the Restless
Legend has it that young Selleck’s mustache could steal years away from other men who made the mistake of making eye contact with his whiskers.
15) High Road to China
If you looked up the definition of “Rugged” in the dictionary, you would see this picture. That is, until every man on Earth filed a class action lawsuit to have it removed.
14) The Closer
Not to be confused with the TNT show of the same name that featured zero legendary mustaches.
13) Christopher Columbus: The Discovery
Scholars maintain that the real King Ferdinand died while speaking of the prophecy of a man with a neatly-trimmed beard and mustache playing him one day.
It is rumored that Ashton Kutcher asked Selleck how to grow a proper mustache and Selleck responded, “By not being a douchenugget.”
11) Rockford Files
A file on Selleck’s mustache was routinely kept by the CIA during the Cold War, and he eventually shaved it to prove he wasn’t hiding nuclear missiles.
10) The Sacketts
Wild. Unbridled. The kind of mustache that would have required its own horse in the Wild West.
Even in the future, a man’s greatest weapon against Gene Simmons is a strong mustache.
8) Jesse Stone
A darker, brooding mustache that once wrote an album so sad that it made Robert Smith smile.
7) Three Men and a Baby
Little Known Fact: According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Selleck was the only baby ever born with a complete mustache.
Monica proved that while an ordinary woman can, in fact, love a mustache like that of Dr. Richard Burke, she’s much safer settling for a man whose middle name is Muriel.
5) Her Alibi
For real, though, Paulina Porizkova was wildly underrated, you guys.
4) Battle of the Network Stars
One time, a small child was drowning in a public swimming pool and Selleck used his mustache to soak up all of the water.
3) Quigley Down Under
Australian officials held Selleck at the airport for six days until they were sure that his mustache was not a new species of animal.
2) Mr. Baseball
Stephen Hawking once wrote an essay that proved his theory that if Selleck’s mustache ever made contact with Keith Hernandez’s mustache, the universe would implode.
1) Magnum P.I.
Selleck’s mustache was the reason there should have been an Emmy for Best Facial Hair, and it’s also the reason that there isn’t.
(Images via Getty, NBC, Lionsgate, CBS, Warner Bros., ABC, TriStar, Sony Pictures, Touchstone, Universal Pictures, and MGM)