Mark Harmon has been starring as Leroy Jethro Gibbs on the CBS hit NCIS since the show first premiered back in 2003, having introduced the character in an episode of JAG, but he’s been a massive star in Hollywood for many years.
In addition to starring roles on several TV shows, he’s also been in hit movies like The Presidio with Meg Ryan and Sean Connery, Freaky Friday with Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan, as well as Chasing Liberty with Mandy Moore.
While it may feel like you know everything there is to know about the handsome star, there’s still a lot to learn about him. Here are five fast facts about 67-year-old Mark Harmon.
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Before becoming an actor in Hollywood, Harmon was an all-star football player, which was in the genes. His dad was Heisman Trophy-winner Tom Harmon. The younger Harmon played football at UCLA and was the school’s quarterback in 1972 and 1973! He was even awarded the National Football Foundation Award for All-Round Excellence.
In the Beginning
It was all in the family in the early days. His first national TV appearance was in a commercial for Kellogg’s Product 19 cereal — with his father Tom, their longtime TV spokesman. His sister Kristin’s in-laws were none other than Ozzie and Harriet Nelson, so he landed his first job as an actor in an episode of Ozzie’s Girls.
Sexiest Man Alive
More roles soon followed as did his popularity, especially when he landed on St. Elsewhere. In fact, Harmon was named People’s Sexiest Man Alive back in 1986.
The NCIS star has been married to his wife, Pam Dawber, since 1987 — which is about 100 years by Hollywood standards. Dawber is an actress herself and is best known for playing Mindy McConnell in Mork & Mindy from 1978 to 1982. The couple has two sons, Ty and Sean, the latter having played Gibbs as a young man on NCIS several times.
Harmon often plays a hero on TV but he is one in real life. He risked his own life to save a teenager from a burning car outside of his house back in 1996. The driver of the car was able to escape on his own, but Harmon had to take a sledgehammer to the car window in order to pull the passenger out.