How Blue Bloods Star Tom Selleck's Acting Career Has Affected His Health

Fans of "Blue Bloods" have worried about Tom Selleck's health after noticing Police Commissioner Frank Reagan's limp in the CBS police procedural. In 2017, the National Enquirer claimed the "Friends" alum has been dealing with "crippling arthritis," to the point he needed a body double to do simple scenes. In July 2023, Radar also reported Selleck has been relying on doubles to shoot "Blue Bloods" as any scene that requires much movement is a struggle.

"Like most stars, there's a stunt double for dangerous action shots, but Tom even uses the guy for simple scenes, like getting out of his police car," a source told the outlet. Selleck's supposed ailment has no cure. "Tom's in a lot of pain and agony ... He's been to doctors and has learned techniques to alleviate the pain, but it's a disease that isn't going to go away," the insider shared. "He's learning to adjust to it as best as he can." Selleck's rep denied the insider's claims, telling Radar the "Magnum, P.I." star is "fit and vigorous."

Indeed, Selleck feels well enough for another season of "Blue Bloods." In March, CBS announced the series would return for Season 14, with Selleck in the lead role as always. Selleck even agreed to a pay cut to keep it going, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Just because Selleck doesn't appear to be suffering from any condition severe enough to push him into retirement doesn't mean his work hasn't taken its toll on his body.

Tom Selleck has hurt his back doing his own stunts

Tom Selleck has been at it for five decades, often portraying manly-type characters. As the years went on, Selleck began to feel the consequences of what he put his body through. "I can't do, or won't do, what I used to. You know, my back's kind of messed up," he told GQ in 2014. "When you do stunts in movies — I do a lot of them —you're taking a risk."

Selleck believes his back also suffered from having to do stunts with little to no preparation. "You might do a fight scene, and then you sit in your chair, and it's not like you have a personal trainer saying, 'Okay, we're ready to go, but Tom needs 10 minutes of stretching and warm-up,'" he explained. Selleck has been doing his own stunts for decades, too, which probably hasn't helped.

Movie buffs might have witnessed one of the riskier ones in the 1997 Western "Last Stand at Saber River," when Selleck saves his daughter instants before a wagon goes off a cliff. Selleck never intended to do the scene, which was meant for stuntman Walter Scott. But director Dick Lowry had a different idea. "I said, 'You think I can do this?' And Walter said yes. And I trust Walter. I've trusted him with my life many times," Selleck told True West Magazine in 2021.

Tom Selleck always prioritized an active lifestyle

Tom Selleck's back may prevent him from saving little girls flying off cliffs nowadays, but he's always tried to be as healthy as possible. And he's accomplished that by staying as far away from exercise machines as possible. "I don't like to go to the gym," he said in the GQ conversation. Instead, Selleck prefers to maintain his shape by spending a lot of time outdoors. "I have a 63-acre ranch, and I do not all, but a lot of, the grunt work," he explained. "Clearing brush, planting trees. We've got about a hundred ancient oaks I planted."

The ranch, located in Ventura, California, also helps Selleck care for his mental health. "I work this ranch every day. I do the grunt jobs because it saves me money. And it's good for my head," he told AARP in 2015. "This ranch is a great counterpoint to the acting business. I'm waging war with the tumbleweeds." In a 2020 interview with People, Selleck went a step further, saying the ranch — along with his wife and daughter — "keep me sane." Selleck purchased the land in 1988 as a place he could live a quieter life with his family.

Before the ranch, Selleck was already active and had been since his youth. "I played beach volleyball, some very competitive softball. I loved baseball," he told GQ. But staying active doesn't mean fighting against nature. "At my age, turning gray is kind of a blessing," he said.