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Roger E. Mosley, 'Magnum P.I.' actor, dies at 83

He played Tom Selleck's helicopter-pilot sidekick, Theodore "T.C." Calvin, and appeared in many other TV series during the 1970s.
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LOS ANGELES — Roger E. Mosley, best known for his role as the helicopter pilot Theodore “T.C.” Calvin in the CBS television series “Magnum P.I.,” died early Sunday. He was 83 years old. No further details about Mosley’s death were available.

Mosley’s daughter confirmed the news of his death through a tribute post on her Facebook.

“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. 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.”

MAGNUM P.I., (clockwise from left): Larry Manetti, John Hillerman, Roger E. Mosley, Tom Selleck, (Se
Clockwise from left: Larry Manetti, John Hillerman, Roger E. Mosley, Tom Selleck in season 1 of Mangum P.I. Universal / Everett Collection

The actor was well-known for his role alongside Tom Selleck in the original 1980s series “Magnum P.I.” In total, Mosley starred in 158 episodes and made a cameo in the show’s rebooted 2018 CBS series as the barber to the character he originated, T.C.

Born in Los Angeles on Dec. 18, 1938, Mosley was raised in Watts and was a student at Jordan High School. In 1971, he got his start in screen acting with playing small roles in “Cannon” and “Longstreet.” He went on to play Monk in “Terminal Island,” alongside Phyllis Davis and his soon-to-be co-star Selleck.

After a number of roles in the late 1970s, Mosley began his time on “Magnum, P.I.” as Theodore “T.C.” Calvin, a helicopter pilot who operated a tourist charter business called “Island Hoppers.” His character often appeared alongside Orville “Rick” Wright, played by Lawrence Francis Manetti. Mosley also directed and wrote an episode of the original series.

In addition to “Magnum, P.I.,” Mosley also made appearances on the shows “Love Boat,” “Night Gallery,” “Sanford and Son,” “Kung Fu,” “Kojak,” “McCloud,” “The Rockford Files,” “The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams,” “Starsky and Hutch,” “You Take the Kids,” “Night Court,” “Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper,” “Walker,” “Texas Ranger,” “Rude Awakening,” “Las Vegas” and “Fact Checkers Unit.”

On the film side, Mosley is credited for his work on Blaxploitation films such as “The Mack,” “Hit Man,” “Sweet Jesus,” “Preacherman,” “Darktown Strutters” and “The River Niger.” He also played one of the main roles in the 1979 TV film “The Jericho Mile,” which was the feature debut of Michael Mann.

Mosley is survived by his partner, Toni Laudermick, and three children.