Starring legendary TV heartthrob Tom Selleck in the role of private investigator Thomas Magnum, Magnum, P.I. was one of the most popular TV shows of our childhoods, gracing our TV screens for an impressive eight years between 1980 and 1988. It has recently been rebooted thanks to CBS, but whilst we much prefer the cast of the original 1980s version, we have absolutely no idea what became of many of the actors who starred in this classic crime drama.

So below, for your retro TV viewing pleasure, we reveal what became of the actors who played Thomas Magnum, Theodore ‘TC’ Calvin, Orville ‘Rick’ Wright and Jonathan Higgins, as well as some of the show’s more memorable guest stars.

Tom Selleck (Thomas Magnum)

Tom Selleck’s commitment to Magnum, P.I. prevented him from accepting any other film or TV work, meaning he was unable to play Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark despite being Steven Spielberg’s first choice for the role.

Selleck won an Emmy Award in 1984 for his portrayal of Magnum, P.I.’s title character, and from the start of the seventh season he even served as one of the show’s producers.

He may have missed out on playing the world’s most famous archaeologist, but Selleck still went on to have a successful film career, appearing in Hollywood hits like Three Men and a Baby and its sequel Three Men and a Little Lady.

In more recent years, Selleck has probably been best known for portraying New York City Police Commissioner Frank Reagan in the popular TV police drama Blue Bloods.

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Selleck currently lives on an avocado ranch in California with his wife Jillie Joan Mack, where he enjoys working outdoors on his 60-acre plot of land.

“I like to get outside and work on the ranch, from fixing roads to clearing brush,” the hairy-chested hunk has revealed. “I hate going to the gym, so sweating outdoors sure beats sitting on a stationary bike staring at my navel. And I work cheaper than anyone I could hire to do it.”

Roger E Mosley (Theodore ‘TC’ Calvin)

It’s always handy to have a buddy who’s a helicopter pilot when you’re TV’s most famous private investigator, and Theodore ‘TC’ Calvin fulfilled that role perfectly in Magnum, P.I. with his Hawaii-based tourist business ‘Island Hoppers.’

Calvin was played by Roger E Mosley, an actor who you may recognise for his many guest appearances on classic TV shows such as Starsky & Hutch, Kung Fu, Kojak and The Rockford Files.

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Mosley’s most notable film role was the lead in the 1976 music biopic Leadbelly, which told the story of legendary folk singer Huddie Ledbetter.

Mosley, who believe it or not was a licenced helicopter pilot in real life, was most recently seen making a cameo in the 2018 Magnum P.I. TV reboot. He sadly passed away on 7 August 2022, following a car accident.

Larry Manetti (Orville ‘Rick’ Wright)

He was Thomas Magnum’s friend since the Vietnam War, and Orville Wright, otherwise known as Rick, provided many of Magnum, P.I.’s funniest moments.

Actor Larry Manetti also appeared in a number of other classic TV shows, including Battlestar Galactica and Quantum Leap, but his film roles don’t contain as many instantly recognisable titles.

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Like his Magnum, P.I. co-star Roger E Mosley, Larry Manetti also popped up in the 2018 reboot as Nicky ‘The Kid’ DeMarco, a character he first portrayed in the popular Hawaii Five-O TV reboot.

Manetti has written an autobiography called Aloha Magnum, which tells a number of anecdotes from his time on Magnum, P.I. as well as stories about the time he met Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra and many others. He currently hosts a talk radio show on CRN Digital Talk Radio.

John Hillerman (Jonathan Higgins)

The late John Hillerman won an Emmy for his performance as Jonathan Higgins, a character who Hillerman himself once said always “thinks he’s the only sane person around while everyone else is raving mad.”

Before pursuing a career as an actor, Hillerman rose to the rank of staff sergeant during his four years serving in the US Air Force during the 1950s. (Yes, Hillerman was actually American, which may be a surprise considering his flawless British accent as Higgins.)

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It was during his years of service that Hillerman became interested in acting, and he would go on to appear in a number of Hollywood productions even before he was cast in Magnum, P.I., including the 1974 Oscar-winning masterpiece Chinatown.

Hillerman retired from acting in 1999, and sadly passed away in November 2017 at the age of 84 from cardiovascular disease.

Jeff MacKay (Lieutenant ‘Mac’ MacReynolds)

Making his first appearance as Lieutenant MacReynolds in the very first episode of Magnum, P.I., Jeff MacKay would make sporadic appearances throughout the show’s first three seasons as the long-suffering former Navy colleague of Magnum.

Although Mac generally provided comic relief, he was central to one of Magnum, P.I.’s darker storylines. Season three episode Did You See the Sunrise? saw Mac murdered by a vengeful Soviet who had previously held Magnum and TC as POWs in Vietnam, leading Magnum to seek revenge.

Despite his character’s death, MacKay wound up making some later appearances in Magnum, P.I., first as a doppelgänger for the late Lieutenant, and later reprising the role in flashback episodes.

MacKay went on to appear in several low-budget movies and TV’s JAG before sadly passing away in August 2008 aged just 59, from liver failure.

Jean Bruce Scott (Lt. Cmdr. Maggie Poole)

Following Mac’s death, his replacement at the local Naval base was Maggie Poole, played by Jean Bruce Scott. Initially a Lieutenant like Mac, Poole was eventually promoted to Lieutenant Commander, and appeared in ten episodes between 1982 and 1988.

Jean Bruce Scott came to Magnum, P.I. fresh from a two-year run on soap Days of Our Lives. She also had a recurring role on Airwolf, appearing in 44 episodes of the airborne action series (also produced by Magnum, P.I. co-creator Donald P. Bellisario).

Credit: Jean Bruce Scott Twitter

Outside of Magnum, P.I. and Airwolf, Jean Bruce Scott’s other 80s TV credits include appearances in such beloved shows as Knight Rider, Matlock and MacGyver.

Scott later returned to soaps, first with a recurring role on Port Charles, then returning to Days of Our Lives in 2012, following which the actress retired from screen work.

Kathleen Lloyd (Carol Baldwin)

After first appearing on Magnum, P.I. in 1982 as one-off character Bridget Archer, Kathleen Lloyd returned in 1983 as Carol Baldwin, assistant district attorney and an ally/would-be love interest to Magnum himself.

Lloyd would continue to play Baldwin on and off until the show’s end, the character appearing in 20 episodes overall – including the 1988 series finale, Resolutions.

Kathleen Lloyd had already enjoyed some high-profile acting roles, including one alongside screen legends Marlon Brando and Jack Nicholson in 1976 western The Missouri Breaks. She also made appearances in such TV hits as Cagney & Lacey, Hill Street Blues and Airwolf.

In the 90s, Lloyd made an uncredited appearance as the mother of Neve Campbell’s character in The Craft. Her last screen credit was in 2004, and she appears to have retired from the industry since.

Lance LeGault (Col Buck Greene)

Lance LeGault may not be the most familiar name off-hand, but back in the 80s he was one of the premiere TV antagonists. Before coming to Magnum, P.I., LeGault appeared on The A-Team as Colonel Decker, the man charged with bringing the A-Team down.

After first appearing in a 1981 Magnum, P.I. episode as an FBI agent, LeGault later took on the recurring role of Colonel Buck Greene, a Navy Intelligence officer frequently at loggerheads with former Navy man Magnum. LeGault played Greene in nine episodes.

Lance LeGault enjoyed a long career, starting in the early 60s as a stunt double for Elvis Presley. His 70s/80s credits included TV’s Wonder Woman, The Incredible Hulk, Dynasty and Knight Rider, plus roles in the movies Stripes and Iron Eagle.

LeGault continued to work mainly in movie bit parts and guest appearances until his untimely death from heart failure in 2012. His final film, Prince Avalanche (in which he appeared alongside Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch), was dedicated to his memory.

Kwan Hi Lim (Lt Yoshi Tanaka)

Magnum’s cases inevitably involved some overlap with local law enforcement, hence the private investigator often crossed paths with police officer Lt Yoshi Tanaka, played by Kwan Hi Lim.

After being introduced in 1982 episode Try to Remember, Tanaka returned in 26 episodes of Magnum, P.I., making his last appearance in 1987 episode Tigers Fan.

Off-camera, Kwan Hi Lim was a real-life lawyer in Honolulu. He came to Magnum, P.I. after working on earlier Hawaii-based detective series, Hawaii Five-O, on which he played numerous roles between 1970 and 1980.

Post-Magnum, Kwan made only a few more minor film and TV appearances before quietly retiring in the early 90s. He passed away in 2008 aged 86.

Elisha Cook Jr (Francis ‘Ice Pick’ Hofstetler)

Elisha Cook Jr appeared as Francis ‘Ice Pick’ Hofstetler in 13 episodes of Magnum, P.I. By contrast with a lot of the show’s recurring characters, Ice Pick’s primary relationship wasn’t with Magnum himself, but with Larry Manetti’s Rick.

An old Chicago mobster, Ice Pick had something of a paternal relationship with Rick, whose links to the criminal underworld were a recurring theme in the series.

While many actors on this list came to Magnum, P.I. as relatively young up-and-comers, Elisha Cook Jr was already in his 80s with well over 200 credits to his name, including The Big Sleep, The Maltese Falcon, House on Haunted Hill and Rosemary’s Baby.

Francis ‘Ice Pick’ Hofstetler proved to be Cook’s final role. After appearing in Magnum, P.I.’s 1988 series finale, Cook retired from acting, and passed away in 1995 at the ripe old age of 91.