Mark Harmon bid farewell to NCIS after an impressive run of 423 episodes earlier this year, leaving fans devastated following the departure of Leroy Jethro Gibbs from the show in mid-October.
Harmon’s future remains uncertain, with the possibility of a return left open. Currently, his focus is on spending more time with his family, who played a serendipitous role in his initial involvement with NCIS.
New insights into Harmon’s exit from NCIS have surfaced, including a notable request he made before his final episode aired.
Born on September 2, 1951, in Burbank, California, Harmon’s lineage suggested a potential career in football or acting, given his father’s background as a former football player-turned-broadcaster and his mother’s role as an artist and actress.
Despite growing up in a family of notable figures, Harmon claimed ignorance about his parents’ fame during his childhood. His early exposure to the world of entertainment occurred when his sister-in-law married pop star Ricky Nelson, leading Harmon to spend time with the family on the set of The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet.
While his peers pursued professional football careers, Harmon chose the path of acting. After taking acting lessons, he landed roles in film and television, working alongside mentors like Michael Caine and Jason Robards.
Around 15 to 20 years into his acting career, overwhelmed by the demands and missing crucial family moments, Harmon decided to step back. It was during this period that he received the script for NCIS, a show he found appealing due to its humorous writing and the character of Leroy Jethro Gibbs.
Despite initial hesitations when the character’s name briefly changed, NCIS premiered in September 2003 and eventually became a global success, with numerous spinoffs.
Harmon’s portrayal of Gibbs earned him accolades, including a People’s Choice Award in 2017. However, despite the show’s immense popularity, Harmon struggled to grasp its international impact.
In his final episode on October 9, 2023, Harmon made a low-key exit, as he requested minimal publicity and emotional fanfare. This departure surprised viewers, lacking the typical warning or buildup associated with such exits.
The future holds uncertainty for Harmon, but he has expressed interest in spending more time with his family. While potential new projects are in development with his production company, Wings Productions, based in Culver City, California, Harmon has also revealed a past interest in carpentry, suggesting it could be a potential career path.
As fans express gratitude for Mark Harmon’s iconic portrayal of Leroy Jethro Gibbs on NCIS, the hope remains that he might make a return to the show in the future. For now, he deserves a well-earned break to savor life’s moments.