Tom Selleck Took a 3-Year Break from Acting After Daughter Was Hospitalized with ‘Viral Pneumonia’ as a Toddler (Exclusive)

The 'Blue Bloods' star shares this story and more in his new memoir, 'You Never Know' on May 7

<p><a href="">Jeff Lipsky</a></p> Tom Selleck at home in Thousand Oaks, Calif.

Jeff Lipsky

Tom Selleck at home in Thousand Oaks, Calif.

Tom Selleck is the very picture of a family man.

At home on his 63-acre ranch just north of L.A., the Blue Bloods star, 79, who is releasing his new memoir, You Never Know, on May 7, has learned over the years to prioritize quality time with his loved ones, including wife, Jillie, 66, their daughter Hannah, 35, and his adult son, Kevin (whom he shares with ex-wife Jacqueline Ray).

During the peak of his Magnum, P.I. fame, Selleck even took a self-imposed break from acting, fueled by his daughter being hospitalized for viral pneumonia when she was a toddler. "I got off that train," he tells PEOPLE in this week's cover story.

<p>Hannah Selleck/ Instagram</p> Tom Selleck and daughter Hannah

Hannah Selleck/ Instagram

Tom Selleck and daughter Hannah

Related: Tom Selleck Reflects on His 'Lucky Life,' 'Accidental' Career and 4 Decades of Loving Wife Jillie (Exclusive)

At the time, the actor was slated to begin shooting the 1992 film Christopher Columbus: The Discovery in Spain. "I had agreed to do the picture because Marlon Brando was in it," Selleck recalls. "I missed all the rehearsal and everything. We got Hannah home, and then I went, but I didn't like that."

For more of Selleck's exclusive interview, pick up this week's issue on PEOPLE on newsstands Friday.

While the movie wasn't a hit, Selleck did get to know Brando and even still has a few letters the veteran star sent him. "But it wasn't worth it. It was never going to be worth it," Selleck insists. "And I said, this is crazy. I quit Magnum really, to have a family, and now I'm jumping at every movie that comes along."

<p><a href="" data-component="link" data-source="inlineLink" data-type="externalLink" data-ordinal="1">Jeff Lipsky</a></p> Tom Selleck at home on his ranch with his dog Monte

Jeff Lipsky

Tom Selleck at home on his ranch with his dog Monte

One year turned to three before his work picked up again in the late ’90s with memorable roles in films like In & Out and the TV series The Closer and as Monica’s older love interest on the megahit Friends. Looking back on fatherhood, Selleck admits it was a balancing act. “I think I’ve been a good dad. But you always think you missed opportunities,” he says. “I mean, when it comes right down to it, in our business the work comes first. You find a way to make that compatible, but..."

<p>Steve Granitz/WireImage</p> Tom Selleck with daughter Hannah and wife Jillie in 2007

Steve Granitz/WireImage

Tom Selleck with daughter Hannah and wife Jillie in 2007

The quieter moments now find Selleck reading scripts for Blue Bloods, which is in its final season on CBS, and hanging around his ranch with Jillie by his side. “A cigar and a glass of whiskey is a nice way to end the day,” he adds. “I’ve had a very good life."

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You Never Know hits bookshelves May 7 and is available for preorder now, wherever books are sold.

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Read the original article on People.