Roger E. Mosley, who was best known for starring in the television show “Magnum P.I.” in the 1980s, died on Sunday three days after being involved in a major car crash. He was 83 years old.
RIP Roger E. Mosley, actor best known for his role as TC on ‘Magnum PI’. He was in many films and shows played Coach Ricketts on ‘Hangin With Mr. Cooper’ and Smitty in ‘A Thin Line Between Love and Hate’ pic.twitter.com/Fjj769jeNB
— Ave (@SebastianAvenue) August 7, 2022
Mosley’s Daughter Announces His Passing
“Roger E. Mosley, my father, your friend, your ‘coach Mosley’ your ‘TC’ from Magnum P.I., passed away at 1:17am,” she wrote. “He was surrounded by family as he transcended peacefully. We could never mourn such an amazing man. He would HATE any crying done in his name.”
“It is time to celebrate the legacy he left for us all,” she added. “I love you daddy. You loved me too. My heart is heavy but I am strong. I will care for mommy, your love of almost 60 years. You raised me well and she is in good hands. Rest easy.”
Find out more about Mosley’s death in the video below.
Mosley’s Success On ‘Magnum P.I.’
Mosley found his biggest success in Hollywood playing Theodore “TC” Calvin “Magnum P.I.” opposite Selleck from 1980 thru 1988, appearing in 158 episodes during this time. In a 2019 interview with Jim Conlan, Mosley revealed that he initially didn’t want to interrupt his film career to take the part, which Selleck had recommended him for.
Mosley recalled his agent telling him, “It’s starring this guy Tom Selleck. Tom Selleck has made about five pilot shows … and none of them have sold. So here’s what you do, Roger: Sign up for the show, go over to Hawaii, they’ll treat you good for the 20 days it will take to shoot the [pilot], you’ll get a lot of money, and then you come home. A show with Tom Selleck always fails, and you’ll be fine.”
“Well, eight-and-a-half years later ..” Mosley remembered.
Mosley’s Character On ‘Magnum P.I.’
Mosley also said that his character was initially written to be running a struggling business, but he shot that down as he didn’t want to “be the only Black person in Hawaii and be broke.” The writers then “reversed” this, as “they decided Tom would be broke, and I would be financially well off – except I was always bailing him out.”
The Hollywood Reporter stated that Mosley also made TC a graduate of Grambling State University, a lover of books and poetry, and a guy who didn’t party.
“They [the Magnum writers] keep writing for me to smoke and drink, but I won’t do it,” Mosley said in a 1982 interview. “I never get high, smoke or drink on the show or in real life. That’s not what I want Black kids to see.”
Mosley’s Other Credits
Mosley also appeared on television shows like “Fact Checkers Unit,” “Las Vegas,” “Rude Awakening,” “Walker, Texas Ranger,” “Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper,” “Night Court,” “You Take the Kids,” “The Love Boat,” “Starsky and Hutch,” “Baretta,” “Sanford and Son,” “Kung Fu” and “Kojak.”
Mosley’s film credits include The Mack, Leadbelly, Terminal Island, The Greatest, McQ, Heart Condition, Unlawful Entry, A Thin Line Between Love and Hate and Hammerlock.
Mosley is survived by his wife Antoinette, to whom he was married for nearly sixty years and their three children. May he rest in peace.