‘Friends’: How Old Was Tom Selleck When He First Appeared on the Show?

The Friends reunion is almost here, and many fans are waiting anxiously to see the show’s stars and a few notable guest stars reunite on-screen. Among the actors joining the special is Tom Selleck, whose character on the hit NBC sitcom made quite an impression.

On the show, Selleck played a doctor who was 20 years older than Monica Geller (played by Courteney Cox), who was his love interest. As it turns out, Selleck and Cox have a similar age difference in real life. So how old was Selleck when he first appeared on Friends?

Tom Selleck and Courteney Cox
A photo of Tom Selleck and Courteney Cox on the set of Friends | Paul Drinkwater/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

Tom Selleck played Dr. Richard Burke on ‘Friends’

Selleck first appeared on Friends during Season 2 in the episode “The One Where Ross and Rachel … You Know.” He played Dr. Richard Burke, an ophthalmologist who falls for Monica Geller after she caters an event for him.

RELATED: ‘Friends’: Tom Selleck Had to Reshoot His Entrance Scenes Because of the Show’s Fans

Eventually, the two begin dating and become serious to the point where they discussed having children together. Unfortunately, Richard and Monica’s romance doesn’t last as their 20 year age difference and disagreement over having children caused them to end their relationship.

Though Richard tried to reconcile with Monica on several occasions, she ultimately turns him down and remains in a relationship with Chandler (Matthew Perry).

Selleck appeared as Dr. Richard Burke in 10 of the show’s 236 episodes. His first guest appearance took place in 1996. He was 51 years old.

Like his character, Selleck was a few years older than his on-screen love interest Cox, who was only 32 at the time.

Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, and Courteney Cox call Tom Selleck the ‘seventh friend’

Though he wasn’t on the show for long, Selleck quickly became a fan favorite. While the live studio audience and fans at home adored the actor, the cast were also big fans of the Blue Bloods star.

While speaking with Access in promotion of their forthcoming HBO Max reunion, Cox, Jennifer Aniston, and Lisa Kudrow were asked to list some of their favorite guest stars who appeared on their hit sitcom series throughout the years.

RELATED: ‘Friends’: Jennifer Aniston Says ‘There Was Never Competition’ on Set

Of course, Selleck was one of the many guest stars the women named as they consider him the “seventh friend.”

“Tom Selleck. So incredibly..the sweetest,” Cox said.

“I think he counts as the seventh friend,” Access Hollywood’s Kit Hoover chimed in.

“He and Paul Rudd,” Aniston added. “I got to say, were close to the seventh friend.”

Tom Selleck will return for the ‘Friends’ reunion

On May 13, HBO Max announced that the long-awaited Friends reunion will be released on May 27. A ton of high-profile guest stars, including Selleck, will be joining the original cast. 

In April 2020, Selleck revealed to People that he hadn’t been asked to participate in the reunion but noted that he would happily reunite with his former co-stars if the opportunity presented itself.

Now that’s it’s been confirmed that he is joining the reunion special, Selleck can once again enjoy the camaraderie and fun amongst the Friends cast on the original set, which he says was “a great place to work.”