We've been watching Mark Harmon as Leroy Gibbs on NCIS for 15 seasons, and he somehow becomes even better as the years go on. That being said, he's rarely in the media aside from press tours. I can't recall the last time Harmon was involved in a scandal, which speaks to how highly he holds himself.
Because he's so private, there are some things you may not know about Mark Harmon.
1. Real-Life Hero
We know him as Special Agent Gibbs, but Harmon is actually a real-life hero, as well. In 1996, the actor saw a car on fire near his home. He noticed there were two teenage boys trapped inside, so he did what not many others would do: he went in to save them. Harmon grabbed a sledgehammer from his garage and broke the windows of the car to free the boys from the burning car.
2. Jock Life
Before he became an actor, Mark Harmon was living an active life. He attended the University of California, Los Angeles, after high school and in his final year he was awarded the National Football Foundation Award for All-Around Excellence. Harmon was so good at football, he was offered the opportunity to go pro in the NFL with the New England Patriots. Harmon declined, saying he was at college to get an education and use it in the future, not to build a path as a sports star.
3. Famous Family
Mark Harmon came by his football skills honestly. His father, Tom Harmon, won the Hesiman Trophy, which is given out annually to the most outstanding college football player in the United States. Harmon's mother was also an actress. His sister married actor and musician Ricky Nelson, and his other sister married the founder of the DeLorean Motor Company.
4. Handy Man
Before Harmon became an actor, and after he turned down a pro-football career, he needed to pay the bills. He thought of a career in law or advertising, but ended up landing a position as a merchandising director. He also worked as a carpenter on the side, and continued this until he became an actor.
"I used to hang out in my Dad’s workshop on weekends," Harmon said. "Later, when I was starting out as an actor, I became a roofer and a framer to make money. But what I really enjoyed was the finished work. I like the longevity."
5. Low Profile
Even though Mark Harmon has been in the public eye since the 1970s, he prefers to keep things private. Harmon also says he's not in the acting business for the fame or fortune.
“It’s funny, the fame and money part isn’t even in the top 10, to be honest. It’s important to have a job you like going to, for me. And it’s important to know I have a hand in making sure that the 400 people who work on this show know they have a job to come back to. That’s something I don’t take lightly,” Harmon says.
6. Family Matters
In the mid-80s, Harmon met actress Pam Dawber, who played Mindy in Mork & Mindy alongside Robin Williams. The couple were married in 1987, and in 1988, they welcomed their first son named Sean Thomas Harmon. In 1992, their second son, Ty Christian Harmon, was born. Mark Harmon also tried to gain custody of his nephew, Sam, claiming his sister Kristin was not a fit parent. Harmon filed for custody, but later dropped the case against his sister.
7. Net Worth
Harmon had some small roles in Hollywood before he landed his big break in Flamingo Road in 1980. He then went on to star in St. Elsewhere from 1983-1986. He's been more or less unstoppable since then. Harmon has been starring in NCIS since 2003, which has got to land him a big pay check. Currently, Harmon's net worth is estimated at $95 million.
8. Dress Him
If you ever see a shirt you think Mark Harmon would like, don't be afraid to buy it for him! Harmon is known for wearing the shirts that fans send to him. He'll even bring them to the set of NCIS and insist his character wears them in certain episodes. With a net worth of $95 million it's not like he can't afford them himself. He must really like what fans send him!
Are you a fan of Mark Harmon and NCIS?