Mark Harmon Poster


Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Family (4)  | Trade Mark (1)  | Trivia (64)  | Personal Quotes (32)  | Salary (5)

Overview (4)

Born in Burbank, California, USA
Birth NameThomas Mark Harmon
Nicknames Silver Fox
Papa Smurf
Charmin Harmon
Papa Bear
Height 6' (1.83 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Thomas Mark Harmon was born on September 2, 1951, in Burbank, California, to football player and broadcaster Tom Harmon and actress and artist Elyse Knox (née Kornbrath). Harmon played college football and found success as one of TV's hunkiest actors. While many of his roles have relied on good looks, Harmon was impressive on St. Elsewhere (1982) as the suave doctor who contracted AIDS.

His sisters are Kelly Harmon, the Tic Tac model; and Kristin Harmon, a painter and ex-wife of musician Ricky Nelson. He is the uncle of musicians Matthew Nelson and Gunnar Nelson of the band Nelson, and actress Tracy Nelson. In 1987, Harmon and his wife, actress Pam Dawber, sued his sister Kristin Harmon, for custody of her youngest son, Sam.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Ray Hamel

Family (4)

Spouse Pam Dawber (21 March 1987 - present)  (2 children)
Children Ty Harmon
Sean Harmon
Parents Tom Harmon
Elyse Knox
Relatives Kelly Harmon (sibling)
Kristin Harmon (sibling)
Matthew Nelson (niece or nephew)
Gunnar Nelson (niece or nephew)
Tracy Nelson (niece or nephew)
Sam Nelson (niece or nephew)

Trade Mark (1)

Silver hair and blue eyes

Trivia (64)

Harmon and his wife, Pam Dawber, have two sons: Sean Harmon (born on 25 April 1988) and Ty Harmon (born on 25 June 1992).
Chosen as People Magazine's second annual "Sexiest Man Alive," between inaugural winner Mel Gibson, who won for 1985, and third year winner Harry Hamlin, who won for 1987. [1986]
His godfather, Forest Evashevski, is in the National Football Foundation's College Football Hall of Fame for coaching.
Risked his life to save two teenage boys who were involved in a car accident outside of his home. Harmon used a sledgehammer from his garage to break the window out of their car, then pulled them free so they wouldn't be burned to death, while his wife, Pam Dawber, called 911. He made every effort to downplay his role in saving their lives. [1996].
He graduated cum laude from UCLA, 1974, with a degree in communications. Also played quarterback for UCLA Bruins, 1972-1973, winning National Football Foundation Award for all-around excellence.
Worked as a carpenter before he hit it big, foretelling the carpentry and wooden boat-building interest and skills of Leroy Jethro Gibbs, the character he plays on NCIS (2003).
No relation to Angie Harmon, although both have starred in a series also starring Sasha Alexander..
Not the grandson of former U.S. Secretary of the Navy William Franklin "Frank" Knox. Mark's mother, former actress Elyse Knox, was born Elsie Lillian Kornbrath to Frederick and Elizabeth Kornbrath in Hartford, Connecticut; she was not the daughter of Navy Secretary Knox, despite several incorrect sources that have said she was.
His legendary father, Tom Harmon, played halfback for the University of Michigan Wolverines (1938-1940), winning the 1940 Heisman Trophy, emblematic of the best player in the nation, for his efforts.
Mark was quarterback of the 1972 and 1973 UCLA Bruins football teams, and was a teammate of center Randy Gaschler; linebacker and defensive end Fulton Kuykendall; fellow quarterback (and future Philadelphia Eagles pro defensive back) John Sciarra; defensive end (and future Minnesota Vikings pro linebacker) Fred McNeill; cornerback (and future Pittsburgh Steeler and Detroit Lions pro cornerback and safety) Jimmy Allen; and center (and future Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots pro center) Art Kuehn; among others.
Studied pre-med in college before transferring to communications. He later played doctors on St. Elsewhere (1982) and Chicago Hope (1994).
Early in his career, he was known for being the face of Coors beer, for doing more than 20 Coors beer commercials in the early 1980s.
His oldest son, Sean Harmon, portrayed a young Gibbs on NCIS (2003).
Was also a lifeguard before hitting it big. His work as a lifeguard was a summer job at Laguna Beach, California, where his parents and the Nelsons both had beach houses. His father used to wake him up early so he could run for an hour on the beach before he had to report for work. He has credited this practice as conditioning him for fall football practice. Another job he had early in his acting career was working with Mike Walden as the color man on tape-delayed UCLA telecasts on KTLA. On one of those telecasts. Harmon discussed his then-upcoming series, Sam (1978).
Was a national shoe representative for Adidas in the 1970s.
His first paid acting gig was playing a gorilla on Ozzie's Girls (1973). The show's titular star and producer, Ozzie Nelson, was his relative by marriage.
Mark has broken his shoulder twice. Once during the filming of the movie Summer School (1987), and another incident while filming a Coors beer commercial.
Mark studied American Sign Language for his various television roles with The Sign Company.
Mark has an abducted left knee from his football career.
Mark has been known to wear shirts that were sent to him by his fans.
When he was 16 years old, at his after-school job delivering flowers, he found a dozen roses addressed to a girl who was dating a friend of his. But the roses weren't from his friend. Mark threw away the card and substituted one with his friend's name on it.
In his first UCLA game, Mark led the Bruins to a 20-17 underdog win over Nebraska, snapping the two-time defending national champion's 32-game winning streak.
Mark received a call from the producers during the summer between seasons 3 and 4 of NCIS (2003) telling him to stop shaving, because his character Jethro Gibbs was to have a more gruff look, along with a mustache.
Was considered for the role of Dan Gallagher in Fatal Attraction (1987).
Younger brother of Kelly Harmon and Kristin Harmon.
Had two famous (or infamous) brothers-in-law: car magnate John DeLorean, who was convicted in federal court of drug charges related to raising money to keep his car company afloat with drug proceeds, and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Ricky Nelson, who died from severe burns in a DC-3 plane crash that was, at one time, thought to have been caused by Ricky was using the gas heater on the plane to ignite drugs. The drug theory was later discounted.
His mother, Elyse Knox-who was married to the legendary Tom Harmon)-passed away on February 15, 2012, at age 94.
Has appeared nude in multiple works, including The Presidio (1988) (region 2), Sweet Bird of Youth (1989), Fourth Story (1991), and NCIS (2003)'s season 3 Paris flashbacks.
After his very successful college football career at UCLA, he was offered the opportunity to turn professional with a contract to play for the NFL New England Patriots. It wasn't an easy decision but he turned it down. He didn't think he was good enough, but mainly thought that college was about getting an education and making something out of it, as opposed to using college to build a career as a jock.
Had a four-year relationship with Flamingo Road (1980) co-star Cristina Raines, which ended in 1984. (They met while filming the miniseries Centennial (1978)).
His favorite actors are Gary Cooper, Buster Keaton, and William S. Hart. The license plates on his 1956 Dodge pickup and 1984 Porsche read YUHP and UH-HUH-both common Gary Cooper sayings.
Favorite television series while growing up was Combat! (1962).
He broke an eardrum while shooting Beyond the Poseidon Adventure (1979).
He and his wife, Pam Dawber, are gun-control advocates, despite wearing a holster in his job.
His Airstream trailer can be seen in NCIS (2003) flashback scenes in "Hiatus: Parts 1 and 2." In the season 2 episode "Black Water," his trailer and his 1984 Porsche can be seen in the back lot of the TV studio as Gibbs and DiNozzo arrive to interview Celina Lockhart.
On the set of NCIS (2003), Mark uses a 1972 Airstream trailer that he restored himself as a dressing room. The trailer has red-and-white checkered floors, and an 8-track player.
One of the most notorious characters that Mark played was serial killer Ted Bundy in the television movie The Deliberate Stranger (1986).
Mark received the nickname 'Quarterback' because his dad was an announcer for the football games that Mark played in when he was younger. His dad did not want to call Mark by name, so instead he called him Quarterback.
Mark and Pam Dawber married on March 21, 1987, exactly one year after they met,. They met on March 21, 1986.
When he was younger, he ran 45 miles a week.
Was paid $2,000,000 for doing the Coors commercials back in the 1980s.
Back in the day, he had a bearded collie named Ryan and a cat named Arnold.
Almost chose to play football for Oklahoma. Later he decided to play for the Bruins because their program was on a downswing and he wanted to help turn it around.
Before they were married, Mark Harmon and Pam Dawber once went on a double date with Julianne Phillips and Bruce Springsteen.
Was a marathon runner.
Gary Cooper is his acting idol, due to the respect Mark has for Cooper's acting philosophy.
First television appearance was with his father in a commercial for Kellogg's Product 19 cereal.
He loves dogs. He once had an Australian shepherd, a golden retriever, and a bearded collie.
Has a 1951 Woody that he and his dad restored.
Was a marathon runner and knows how to play the guitar.
Bought his first car when he was 13: a 1928 Ford.
Received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in front of 6253 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on October 1, 2012.
Was a big runner after college; used to run 60 to 70 miles a week.
He now does pilates to keep in shape.
When he was younger, he bore a strong resemblance to Ricky Nelson, which subsequently led him to be misidentified in newspapers as Nelson's brother when they were actually only brothers-in-law.
In 2011, he was voted the fourth-most-popular actor on prime-time television.
He was cast as Leroy Jethro Gibbs on NCIS (2003) after series creator/producer Donald P. Bellisario saw his commanding performance as a Secret Service agent on The West Wing (1999).
Mark's father was of three-quarters Irish ancestry, with the rest being French and German. The family surname was changed from Hermann to Harmon several generations back. Mark's maternal grandparents were Austrian (from Vienna).
He broke his collarbone during a spring practice football scrimmage in 1973, at UCLA.
First actor to play Ted Bundy.
He has played the same character, Leroy Jethro Gibbs, in five different series: JAG (1995), NCIS (2003), NCIS: Los Angeles (2009), Family Guy (2012) and NCIS: New Orleans (2014).
Mark and Sean Murray starred in the episode "The Right Stuff" of Harts Of The West in 1993. Ten years later they were together again in NCIS.
Born on exactly the same date as Michael Gray (of "Shazam!" fame).

Personal Quotes (32)

I'm in the business to push it. I'm not likely to be attracted to characters I've already done. I have to be almost frightened by the possibility of taking it on. Over the years I realise I must enjoy walking that edge, I keep doing it. It's why I like what I do. The only other job I've ever had that provides that time in the morning where you're going to work and you can't wait to get there and the sun's rising and you're moving toward something you look forward to getting up and doing every day was being a carpenter. And it was because you're doing something different every day.
I have never done any job for the security or the money. I believe in trying to find an area to get better, to learn more about why I am here.
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.
I have to be challenged. The busier I am, the better I like it.
If other people think I'm okay looking, that's great, but I don't see it myself. When I look in the mirror all I see is a bunch of fake teeth and football scars.
Gibbs [his character in NCIS (2003)] is like a great hunting dog. He is just the guy you want in your fox hole, he is just the guy you want to ride the river with. But I don't know if he's the guy you want to have dinner with.
(2011, on playing Ted Bundy in The Deliberate Stranger (1986)) I don't even know if I'd have gotten a chance to get in on that if Bundy wasn't described in the way he was described, as the guy next door. Otherwise that role goes to somebody else. But I was really excited to work with Marvin J. Chomsky when I got that role. That was definitely a departure for me. I'm glad people remember that one.
(2011, on Comes a Horseman (1978)) Richard Farnsworth and Jason Robards, both those guys really took me under their wing... and for no reason. I mean, they had no reason to do that, other than that we were all in Westcliffe, Colorado, for a long time. I was excited to get that role. That was the very first movie I ever did. It was a chance to work opposite Jimmy [James Caan] as well, and it gave me the great gift to work with Alan J. Pakula. He was special.
(2011, on Beyond the Poseidon Adventure (1979)) What a learning experience, a chance to be on that set for 17 weeks. I didn't have a lot of words with the part, but I was happy to get that role. It was the second movie I'd ever done, and-I think that guy was an elevator operator. I think that's what he was. But I was there every day. I survived, and I had the great fortune to follow Michael Caine around every day, along with Karl Malden. I learned a lot from those guys. That was an important stay. My master's class was following those guys around every day for 17 weeks. There was a lot to learn.
(2011, on his role as "Agent Simon Donovan" on The West Wing (1999)) Great fun, great role, and really such a pleasure to have Aaron Sorkin's words to say. And such a great honor and treat to work opposite Allison Janney. It's all just the luck of the draw, in some ways. They had approached me a year before to play a reporter in an episode, and then that role got canceled for whatever reason, but then, a year later, the "Simon Donovan" thing came up. That was somewhat similar to Moonlighting (1985), in that you were just given kind of a bio: "This guy's a Secret Service agent, he's investigating a real threat to C.J., and we don't know where this is headed". That kind of thing. But in the first week, actually, Allison came up to me and said, "They're gonna kill you". I said, "What do you mean they're going to kill me?" She said, "We get along too well. They're gonna kill you". And she was right!
(2011, on Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)) That was fun. I'm a Terry Gilliam fan and have been forever. I was just so excited that he was interested in me being in one of his movies. I enjoyed that role, and I enjoyed the process of it a lot. Movies come out the other end months later and they sometimes have a different spin. Sometimes they're different from what you shot or what you did, and this definitely had some of that. But what a great experience to work with him.
(2011, on The Presidio (1988)) A chance to work with Sean Connery. A chance to work with Meg Ryan. A really good script, originally by Larry Ferguson, who wrote "The Hunt For Red October". But the script changed a lot, as they sometimes do. An interesting experience, though.
(2011, on Flamingo Road (1980)) Great cast. That originally was a movie of the week, and then sometime during the pilot of that, they decided they wanted to try and have a series option. That's how that started. But when I originally got that role, it was a movie of the week. A hard show to do. For me, anyway. I was always wanting to, y'know, rough it up a little bit. That was a different thing. It was more of a nighttime-soap kind of thing, at a time when Dallas (1978) was getting a foothold and all that. So there were a number of those just starting. But that was a remarkable cast. That's what I'll remember about that show. I had a chance to get to know Kevin McCarthy and Stella Stevens and Howard Duff and Barbara Rush. Some really terrific people on that show.
(2011, on Wyatt Earp (1994)) I'd read for Lawrence Kasdan a number of times on a number of different movies, and to be honest with you, I thought I had no chance. I read for a number of different roles in "Earp" and then was thrilled to get a call from him, saying that he wanted me to play "Sheriff Johnny Behan". It's always fun to get on a horse. And fun to work with Larry. I'd always wanted to do that, and that was a treat. Fun to play a historical character, and fun to research and realize that it depends on what book you read how the character's depicted. We all had different opinions on that. But it was really enjoyable to work with Larry on a Kasdan script, where you have 10 days of rehearsal around a table with the whole cast with a script that does not change. There's a great pace to it. Larry's a gracious guy and creates a wonderful set and treats people kindly. Those are all hugely important things in this business or any other. I loved doing it.
(2011, on St. Elsewhere (1982)) Bruce Paltrow. That wouldn't have happened, at least for me, without Bruce Paltrow. On the day I got that role, I was actually down the hall with Steven Bochco reading for a show called Bay City Blues (1983). For the fifth time. And I walked down the hall after that reading, being no closer to getting that role than I was when I walked in. But the casting director, who also happened to be casting "St. Elsewhere", said, "Hey, you know, we're trying to cast this plastic surgeon, you want to take a look at this and come in and read?" And it was a cold reading. I just got the sides and walked right in. Bruce was there, and Tom Fontana and Mark Tinker were all in the room. And I read, and right there in the room, Bruce said, "Hey, I liked that! That was good! You want to do this?" Which had never happened before. And I left and called my agent and said, "Hey, we're gonna get an offer to do this", and he said, "Bay City Blues?" I said, "No, no, this show called "St. Elsewhere". He said, "What?" It wasn't even the show he had sent me in for! That was an important experience, to get a chance to work with that body of actors on that show for a number of years. Again, you get a chance to say better words, and you get to play against really talented people. There was a young group of actors on that show and there was an older group. We all got along, but for us young guys, it was just a constant effort to keep our jobs. It's where I certainly gained respect for the writer and not arbitrarily changing anything in the script. You say what's written. That's certainly the way Aaron Sorkin works. I'm glad I got that down. That was an important thing, to respect the writing.
(2011, on making Stealing Home (1988)) Just a project that we all wanted to do, including Jodie Foster and everybody else who was involved in that. It was a script that you read and just kind of fell in love with. There was no other reason to be part of that project. There was nobody telling any of us that this was a smart move to go do this movie. Everybody screen-tested, everybody fought for roles, everybody went there and kind of humped through the production schedule of seven or eight weeks. It was really shot on a shoestring, and we were like a traveling circus. I'm appreciative of that part, that project, and that role for a hundred reasons, but ultimately it's for the fact that it was an opportunity to read a script that you loved and that you wanted to do just because you loved it. And I think that's true for most everybody who was in that movie. It's still one of my favorites.
(on Gun Control) I think the idea is to try to make it harder for those people who should not have guns or aren't responsible with them to get them. Rebecca was my wife's (Pam Dawber) co-star and she lived with us for six months. I don't think anybody can look at what happened to her and think that it was a good thing. What we do sometimes is very public and there's a certain time where, in my mind, that stops. It's not OK that someone comes to my house and thinks that I need to be at their beck and call 24/7.
(on fame and the trappings that come with it) You know what, everybody handles it differently. I'm lucky, I had good parents and I work hard to keep things in perspective. I think it's about a work in progress, about longevity, and my game has always been to achieve that. Things like the Sexiest Man Alive [title], it's certainly a compliment, and I appreciate it, but it's about keeping a reality check on it. It becomes part of your history.
(on the St. Elsewhere (1982) years) Women would come up to me and show me their breasts and ask for my opinion...and I gave it to them!
How many times have you been on the freeway and had someone fly by you at 100 mph then end up two cars ahead of you at the off ramp? What's the point?
I like this job - most days I have a chance to make breakfast and take the kids to school or to read 'em a bedtime story. It's almost like a normal life.
Some people say it's scarier to direct the people you work with; not me, I'm a team guy.
[on carpentry] I used to hang out in my Dad's workshop on weekends. 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.
That's what excites me about being an actor, the idea that I can get up every morning and try something new and grow and change. I'm not worried about image. I wouldn't have done the AIDS story-line if I were. I'm an actor.
I don't get lulled into comfort, I like walking on the edge.
I was raised with the idea of maximum effort, as long as you could look in the mirror and say 'I gave it everything I had' it was OK. But if you gave it less, that would disgrace you.
[on And Never Let Her Go (2001)] As an actor, I look to play roles that challenge me and this did that. I asked to speak to [the victim's sister] Kathleen Fahey and did. My pledge to her and to her family was to make every effort to play this guy honestly. I don't take that responsibility lightly.
[on plans a year down the line] I'm focused in on what I have here. It's important for all of us on the show to honor our contracts and come to work prepared. What's beyond that is questionable. I don't know any actor signing a deal who thinks eight, seven years down the line he's going to be still doing it.
[on saving 2 teenage boys in 1996] None of that happens without Pam walking up the street and investigating it further. I don't see it as any thought process. Either you do or you don't. If the car blows up and kills me and the kids in the car, then you'd be doing this interview with my wife about how stupid it was.
[on being single, 1983] I want to do all that once, and because of that, I am being very careful. Also, I don't know how good of an investment I am right now. I spread pretty thin, I'm working very hard in a lot of different directions, and relationships take a lot of time to do them right.
[on drinking coffee] I maybe have a cup in the morning, maybe a partial one in the afternoon.
I don't care who's No. 1 on the call sheet or how big my trailer is. I care about the work. I don't care who gets the laughs. I just care that the laugh comes.

Salary (5)

NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service (2003) (season 9) $500,000 per episode.
NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service (2003) $325,000 /episode (2009-10)
NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service (2003) $375,000 /episode (2010-11)
NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service (2003) $500,000 per episode
NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service (2003) $525,000 per episode + points (2013-2014)

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