Roger E. Mosley
Roger Earl Mosley
December 18, 1938
|Years active||1972–2000; 2019–present|
Roger Earl Mosley (//; born December 18, 1938) is an American actor, director and writer best known for his role as the helicopter pilot Theodore "T.C." Calvin in the CBS television series Magnum, P.I. which originally aired from 1980 until 1988.
Mosley was born in Los Angeles, California. He grew up in the Imperial Courts public housing with his mother Eloise Harris in Watts. In 1974, he founded the Watts Repertory Company.
Mosley is a licensed private helicopter pilot in real life, but when on the set of Magnum P.I. he was not allowed to do his own stunts; a pilot wearing a body stocking with false muscles would be used instead. In 2013 at the HAI Heli-Expo in Las Vegas, a ceremony for the restored MD 500D helicopter was held. Both Mosley and fellow Magnum P.I. co-star Larry Manetti autographed the nose of the helicopter. Mosley played a cameo role in new Magnum P.I. series in 2018 and 2021.
Mosley appeared as Monk in Terminal Island (1973). Other actors in the feature were Phyllis Davis, Don Marshall, Ena Hartman and Tom Selleck, who would later star in the television series Magnum, P.I. Mosley's most prominent film role was his 1976 starring turn as the title character in Leadbelly, directed by Gordon Parks. In an article in the November, 1982 issue of Ebony magazine, it was revealed that this was his favorite role.
He appeared in Magnum, P.I. as Tom Selleck's friend and helicopter pilot Theodore "T.C." Calvin, who operates his own tourist charter, Island Hoppers, from 1980 to 1988. He appeared in season five of Las Vegas as the billionaire friend of Montecito owner A.J. Cooper (Tom Selleck). Mosley came out of retirement and appeared on the Magnum, P.I. reboot episode "A Kiss Before Dying" as Booky, T.C.'s barber, on March 11, 2019. Stephen Hill, who played T.C. in the new series, said, "It is truly an honor for us to welcome an original cast member of Magnum, P.I.; one who embodied the role of T.C. with such thoughtful and dignified talent."
He has guest-starred on such shows as Night Court, Kung Fu, Starsky and Hutch, Kojak, The Rockford Files, Baretta, and Sanford and Son; he also played a role in Roots: The Next Generations. Mosley made a memorable appearance in the 1973 film The Mack as the militant brother of the main character Goldie. He appeared in other blaxploitation films including Hit Man (1972), Sweet Jesus, Preacherman (1973), Darktown Strutters (1975), and The River Niger (1976). His other film credits include McQ (1974) with John Wayne, The Greatest (1977, as Sonny Liston), Semi-Tough (1977), Heart Condition (1990) and Pentathlon (1994). He also starred in the television series Hangin' With Mr. Cooper (1992-1993) as Coach Ricketts in a recurring role with comedian/actor Mark Curry, and in the film A Thin Line Between Love & Hate (1996) with Martin Lawrence, Lynn Whitfield, and Bobby Brown. He also appeared as a celebrity guest on The $25,000 Pyramid for a week's worth of shows in July 1983, July 1984, in June 1985.