LOS ANGELES — Character actor Roger Mosley, who appeared in numerous television shows and films in the 1970s, 80s and 90s, but was best known for his regular appearances in “Magnum, PI,” died Sunday at age 83. announced his daughter.
“Roger E. Mosley, my father, your friend, your ‘coach Mosley’ your ‘TC’ from Magnum PI, passed away at 1:17 a.m.,” Ch-a Mosley wrote on Facebook. “He was surrounded by family when he peacefully transcended. We could never mourn such a wonderful man. He would hate to cry in his name. It’s time to celebrate the legacy he left for all of us. I love you, daddy. You loved me too. My heart is heavy, but I am strong. I will take care of Mama, your love of almost 60 years. You raised me well and she is in good hands. Rest in peace.”
Mosley died Sunday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center from injuries sustained Thursday in a car accident in Lynwood, Ch-a Mosley told the Los Angeles Times.
After the crash, which left him paralyzed from the shoulders, Mosley was taken to St. Francis Medical Center in Lynwood and then transferred to Cedars-Sinai, according to The Times. His death was first reported by Rich Gonzalez of PrepCalTrack, a California high school athletics website.
Mosley played helicopter pilot Theodore “TC” Calvin on “Magnum, PI,” which was a huge success for CBS from 1980-88. He came out of retirement to play Booky, TC’s hairdresser, in a “Magnum” reboot episode in 2019.
Mosley was born in Los Angeles and attended Jordan High School.
In addition to “Magnum, PI,” he appeared in “Night Court,” “Kung Fu,” “Starsky and Hutch,” “Kojak,” “The Rockford Files,” “Baretta,” and “Sanford and Son.”
On the big screen, movie roles included 1974’s “McQ” with John Wayne, 1977’s “Semi-Tough” with Burt Reynolds and Kris Kristofferson, 1990’s “Heart Condition” with Denzel Washington and Bob Hoskins, and 1994’s “Pentathlon” with Dolph Lundgren.
Mosley also portrayed heavyweight champion Sonny Liston in the 1977 Muhammad Ali biopic, “The Greatest.”
Mosley was also a high school track and field coach for a long time. He was an assistant coach at Monrovia High School at the time of his death.
“My father was always a man of the community,” Ch-a Mosley told The Times. “Even when he was famous and had this successful career in Hollywood, he continued to work with young people.
“He coached me personally. I was his first hurdler he trained to run the 400m hurdles, and he made me a champion. Under his coaching, I learned what it meant to win. … He made me a had a work ethic and he instilled in me a strong moral compass to stand on my own two feet and get a good education and have all the tools I needed to be successful in life.”
Mosley also coached a variety of other sports, including swimming and basketball.
“He always gave knowledge,” Mike Knowles of Monrovia High told The Times. “If you were to ask him something, you would get the full answer, not just a partial answer. … He was an encyclopedia of knowledge about various things.”
Knowles met Mosley while training Ch-a Mosley at John Muir High School in Pasadena before he and Mosley became longtime friends and coaching partners.
Knowles told The Times that Mosley was a perfectionist who repeatedly turned down offers to coach college-level athletics because he preferred to discover young local talent and shape them into champions.
“He was a tough coach,” Knowles told The Times. “But all his athletes respected him. … They may not always have enjoyed his coaching methods, but everyone he ever coached who went to college or the pros … came back and thanked him for being hard on them and teaching them how it is in the life will be. And that’s what he did to all of us, really.
“He didn’t have to do that. He had money. He had fame. He didn’t have to go back to the community and spend his time there. But he did it.”