How Three Tom Selleck Westerns Happened Because of an Elevator Conversation

Sometimes, interesting chit-chats do take place in elevators. For Tom Selleck, one would lead to him being in three TV Western movies.

How in the world did this come about? Hey, he had a friend in a high place to help him. His friend turned out to be Ted Turner, an entrepreneur and a businessman. Oh, Turner also was the man behind one of cable television’s first “super-stations” and different TV networks.

Let’s see how this all shaped up thanks to an article from INSP. Popular author Louis L’Amour was a prolific writer of Western books. In fact, Selleck starred in the 1979 TV movie The Sacketts and it turned him into a Western star. When he appeared in The Shadow Riders, that just solidified his position in the Western movies.

Tom Selleck Finds Himself Having Interesting Chat With Ted Turner

“I used to bump into Ted Turner in the elevator of the Carlyle Hotel [in New York] when I stayed there,” Selleck said. “And he said, ‘Let’s do a Western!’” Back then, whatever Turner said was done. Hey, it led to three different films for his TNT network.

That led to three solid films for TNT. They were Last Stand at Saber River by Elmore Leonard, Crossfire Trail by Louis L’Amour, and Monte Walsh by Jack Schaeffer. Would you believe that all three Tom Selleck movies set rating records? Well, they sure did

Monte Walsh was the highest-rated movie for a Friday night,” Selleck said. “We had another one planned, The Empty Land, by Louis L’Amour. It was very hard to get the rights.

Actor Was Friends With L’Amour Widow And Was Set For Another Film

“[But] I know Kathy L’Amour, [Louis’ widow], who’s remained a friend,” Tom Selleck said. “Kathy liked Crossfire Trail. Then, a new management came in at Turner, and it just went away, which I don’t understand. We had a good track record at Turner. But they just went away from westerns. You know that happens with new management.”

That is too bad because Tom Selleck is a consummate actor and has been one for many years. Getting to be on Blue Bloods has just cemented his position as that season after season. Playing NYPD Commissioner Frank Reagan puts him in a position of control but also compassion.

People can see this side of his character when the family dinner scenes take place. Everyone gathers for some dinner while asking or listening to Frank’s wisdom. But others at the table share their thoughts, too. Especially veteran Broadway star Len Cariou, who plays Henry Reagan. Just keep an eye on these Blue Bloods moments and they will make your Friday nights a lot more enjoyable.

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