Martha Selleck, Mother of Tom Selleck, Dies at 96

Screengrab/dick clark productions
Martha Selleck and her son, actor Tom Selleck, in 1986

Born in Pennsylvania and raised in Detroit, she served as president of the Motion Picture Mothers organization.

Martha Selleck, the mother of Magnum, P.I. and Blue Bloods star Tom Selleck, died Feb. 19 in Oak Park, Calif., the actor's publicist announced. She was 96.

"She's always been there and always been very fair — even when she said, 'Wait till your father gets home,' which usually was for good reason," her son noted when he was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1986. "And she made great cherry pie."

From 1998-2016, Mrs. Selleck served as president of the Motion Picture Mothers organization, which donates to the Motion Picture & Television Fund, the operator of the Woodland Hills home and hospital for retired members of the industry.

The last survivor of her eight brothers and sisters, she was married for nearly 60 years to Robert D. Selleck — a carpenter and later a realtor and banking executive — from 1941 until his death in March 2001.

Selleck was born Martha Jean Jagger — her sister Margaret Ann was her twin — on Jan. 13, 1921, in Barnesboro, Pa. Raised in Detroit, she moved to Sherman Oaks in 1948 with her husband and their young sons Bob (born in 1944) and Tom (born a year later).

Selleck later was a longtime member of the Congregational Church of the Chimes in Sherman Oaks and a supporter of Valley Presbyterian Hospital in Van Nuys, and she was honored by the American Mothers organization, the Boys & Girls Club of the San Fernando Valley and the March of Dimes Birth Defect Foundation.

Survivors also include her other children Marti and Dan, 14 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren.

According to a 1985 story in the Los Angeles Times, she and her husband asked each of their children not to drink, smoke or swear until they were 21, at which time they were given a gold watch.

The family asks that donations be made to the Motion Picture & Television Fund.

  

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