Winner of a Golden Globe and an Emmy, Selleck was and remained a leading figure on American television before and after playing Richard.
Every ‘Friends’ fan remembers Richard Burke, the handsome mature man who makes Monica Geller fall in love. Ophthalmologist and friend of his girlfriend’s parents, Richard is 20 years older than Monica and the truth is that the series makes this age difference a great comic resource. His mustache, deep voice and elegant air are some of the most unique presence in the series. It is even surprising that it only appeared in 10 chapters of the 236 of the mythical sitcom. His first appearance dates from episode 15 of season 2, ‘The one where Ross and Rachel… you know’. Meanwhile, his farewell occurred in the last chapter of season 6, ‘The Proposition’, when he tried to get Monica back just before she got engaged to Chandler.
The truth is that, although we are going to talk about what has happened to Tom Selleck since his farewell to ‘Friends’ in 2000, we have to remember that the actor was already 51 years old when he appeared, in 1996, in his first chapter in the NBC sitcom. So it may be useful to quickly recall Selleck’s work before portraying Richard. Selleck was very close to being Indiana Jones in the first installment of the saga, ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’. That was in 1981 and, if we owe anyone that the role ended up getting Harrison Ford, it is ‘Magnum’. Without a doubt the most important role of Selleck’s career, Thomas Magnum was a private detective in Hawaii, the protagonist of a series that occupied Selleck from 1980 to 1988 for 162 chapters. In 1985 the role earned Selleck a Golden Globe for Best Television Actor in the Drama category and a total of 7 nominations, plus an Emmy (in 1984) out of 5 nominations.
Before that, the good old Selleck had already had a secondary role in film and television but without a doubt, the most remembered happened something later with his role in ‘Three Men and a baby’. By the time ‘Friends’ came along, Selleck had already slowed down his steady pace of work from the previous two decades.
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