Roger E. Mosley, T.C. from the original Magnum P.I. , dies at 83

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Roger E. Mosley, best known for his role as helicopter pilot Theodore "T.C." Calvin on the '80s hit show Magnum P.I., has died. He was age 83.

His daughter Ch-a Mosley announced the news on Facebook, saying, "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."

HONOLULU - JANUARY 1: Pictured is Roger E. Mosley (asTheodore 'TC' Calvin) in the CBS television show, MAGNUM P.I. (Photo by CBS via Getty Images)
HONOLULU - JANUARY 1: Pictured is Roger E. Mosley (asTheodore 'TC' Calvin) in the CBS television show, MAGNUM P.I. (Photo by CBS via Getty Images)

CBS via Getty

Born and raised in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles on Dec. 18, 1938, Mosley's acting career took off in 1971 with roles in the TV shows Longstreet and Cannon. The following year he guest starred on Sanford and Son and made his film debut in the neo-noir crime drama The New Centurions, playing a truck driver.

In 1974, Mosley started the Watts Repertory Company. After a series of blaxploitation films, Mosley had his most prominent role in 1976 with Gordon Parks' Leadbelly, based on the life of folk singer Huddie Ledbetter. That same year he appeared in Stay Hungry, featuring a young Arnold Schwarzenegger. Then in 1977, Mosley portrayed boxer Sonny Liston in the biographical sports film The Greatest, starring Muhammad Ali as himself.

Mosley continued acting in film and television throughout the '70s and in 1980 he landed his most memorable role opposite Tom Selleck as the titular private investigator Thomas Magnum in the original Magnum P.I. From 1980 to 1988, Mosley played Theodore "T.C." Calvin, the owner and sole employee of Island Hoppers, a local helicopter charter and tour van service, who always finds himself roped into Magnum's cases.

In addition to appearing in all 158 episodes of Magnum, Mosley directed one episode of the series in 1984 and wrote another in 1986.

In 2019, Mosley returned to the reboot of Magnum P.I., starring Jay Hernandez, playing Booky, "a Vietnam veteran and barber who offers sage advice and a great haircut." Mosley reprised the role of Booky again in a 2021 episode, his final television appearance.

Roger E. Mosley's other credits include Night Court, Hangin' with Mr. Cooper, Walker, Texas Ranger, as well as the 1996 film A Thin Line Between Love and Hate.

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