In a Nevada Chapel, Under a Veil of Secrecy, Tom Selleck Marries His Kitten from Cats
updated 09/21/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT
•originally published 09/21/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT
Yes, he's gone and done it. Tom Selleck, 42, the star of Magnum, P.I. and the 1987 PEOPLE poll's sexiest man in the world, is married. On Friday, Aug. 7, he sneaked off to Lake Tahoe, to the Dream Maker, an open-all-hours wedding chapel in Incline Village, Nev. There, at 9:20 that night, he did plight his troth to a 29-year-old English actress and dancer, a bubbly lady with a name like a fast food: Jillie Joan Mack. They met in 1983, not long after Selleck stopped dating actress Mimi Rogers (now Mrs. Tom Cruise) and a year after he was divorced from Jacquelyn Ray, his wife of 10 years and the mother of his adopted 19-year-old son, Kevin. Selleck was in London filming the movie Lassiter, and there he developed an unusual affection for a certain West End musical. "He kept telling me how great Cats was," his movie co-star Jane Seymour said then. "I thought it was good, but I couldn't see going back a dozen times." Selleck, however, was not so much smitten with the show as he was with one of its feline femmes, Jillie Joan. "They had dinner one night and it went on from there," says her London agent, Bryn Newton. When her contract was up, she headed for the U.S. Ever since, they've popped up as a couple: at the Emmys and at the unveiling of Selleck's Hollywood Boulevard star last year.
Selleck worked frantically to keep the ceremony a secret. His brother Bob, a real estate executive, made all the wedding arrangements for "Tom Jenkins" and "Suzie Mark," disclosing the couple's identity to the minister only minutes before the service. It was exactly 27 days later when the Nevada Appeal reported that Selleck and Mack had been married. At first Selleck's publicist, Esmé Chandlee, denied the report. Then a few hours later she confirmed it but would dish no more details. "His divorce was quiet, too," Chandlee says. Not even Magnum co-stars John Hillerman or Larry Manetti would say a word, not so much as a good-for-you-Tom. Selleck went so far as to have the wedding snapshots taken on a Polaroid so pictures purloined from negatives couldn't be leaked to the press. The pastor of Lake Tahoe's Lakeside Christian Essene Church, the Rev. David Immel, explained that Selleck and other Hollywood "professionals" like to come to the Dream Maker precisely because their privacy will be protected there.
Yet after the news was out, the Rev. Immel, 33, called PEOPLE offering to sell "intimate and warm details" of the ceremony. No sale. But here are the otherwise known facts: Selleck's parents, Robert and Martha, and his brothers all went along when he and Jillie picked up the $27 wedding license at the Washoe County Clerk's Office in Reno on the day of the wedding. A spokeswoman reports that Selleck is "really a neat guy" and that "the bride is real cute." The bride and groom arrived at the chapel in casual clothes, then changed into wedding attire in separate rooms. They entered the oaken, Victorian-style chapel, walked down the emerald-green-carpeted aisle under a white trellis covered in fresh roses, knelt at the altar and took part in a double-ring, nondenominational, $75 ceremony. "They were both nervous, like any other couple about to get married," says the Rev. Immel. "He was very concerned that the service be heartfelt, very concerned for her that the service be meaningful. He is a very warm, caring man."
Now Selleck is back in Hawaii performing the TV miracle of resurrection. At the end of last season, Tom Selleck as Tom Magnum took a bullet in the gut. He was supposed to die and so was his show—until Magnum suddenly started pumping lead into the ratings of Dynasty, and he was renewed for an eighth season. And this fall he's co-starring with Ted Danson and Steve Guttenberg in Three Men and a Baby.
A baby movie, eh, Tom? Are you practicing? Or is fatherhood another secret you plan to keep from us when and if the time comes? No matter. Tell us when you're ready, big fella. We're happy for you.