Mark Harmon as Leroy Jethro Gibbs on NCIS

Updated on March 8, 2018
Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs leads the Major Case Response Team at NCIS.
Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs leads the Major Case Response Team at NCIS. | Source

Mark Harmon Trivia

  • His godfather, Forest Evashevski, is in the National Football Hall of Fame.
  • Worked as a carpenter for a while before making it big.
  • Saved two teenagers from a burning car using his sledgehammer.
  • Had the opportunity to go pro in football and play with the Patriots, but passed it up to act.

Mark Harmon

Best known for his televisions roles on St. Elsewhere, Chicago Hope, and now NCIS, Mark Harmon has entertained audiences for decades. He was born on September 2, 1951 in Burbank, CA. During his youth, Harmon was highly affected by his father's constance absence as a sports broadcaster who was constantly on the road. His mother, Elyse Know, an actress, raised Harmon and his two siblings on her own.

Harmon's strained relationship with his father made it difficult when the old man was home. From and early age, Harmon was taught to fight for everything. The two did have a bond, however, in football. The elder Harmon won the 1940 Heisman Trophy and the younger was a star quarterback at UCLA for a couple of seasons.

Armed with a communications degree in 1974, Harmon started to dabble in a number of different jobs, ranging from working at an ad agency to selling shoes to athletes, before giving acting a second try. His career started off with a string of small guest spots and appearances until he landed his first notable TV role on Eleanor and Franklin in 1977. In 1981, he landed a leading role on Flamingo Road alongside Morgan Fairchild.

From there, Mark Harmon found a home on St. Elsewhere in 1986, when he joined the cast as a plastic surgeon during the second season. That same year, he also starred as Ted Bundy, serial killer, in The Deliberate Stranger, a made-for-TV movie. On top of it all, the year was capped with a "Sexiest Man Alive" recognition from People magazine.

While riding this success wave, Harmon started to date Pam Dawber, best known for her role as Mindy on Mork and Mindy. They got married in 1987 and have been together ever since.

Mark Harmon and his long-time bride, Pam Dawber.
Mark Harmon and his long-time bride, Pam Dawber. | Source

A Successful Hollywood Romance

For whatever reasons, Hollywood romances don't tend to last very long. When movie stars get together, they usually end up splitting up at some point. There are not very many long-lasting marriages. Mark Harmon and Pam Dawber are exceptions.

Married on March 21, 1987, Mark Harmon and Pam Dawber raised two sons over the years - Sean Thomas, born April 25, 1988, and Ty Christian, born June 25, 1992. They met through mutual friend, Gina Hecht.

The actor and actress have appeared together both on stage and on the big screen. In the late 1990s, they performed in the play, Love Letters. In 1999, they played husband and wife, John and Barbara Cooper on I'll Remember April.

Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs

Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs is in charge of the Major Case Response Team of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service stationed in Washington, DC. Highly respected by his agents and colleagues, Gibbs is a former marine who served his country for over thirty years.

As a marine, Agent Gibbs was a military police becoming a Scout Sniper. He served in Panama and the Persian Gulf. Upon his return from Iraq, Gibbs retired from the Marine Corps and joined NCIS.

Over the course of his lifetime, Special Agent Gibbs has lived through many major stressors. The biggest tragedy was the loss of his wife and daughter. He does seek revenge, years later, but has been highly affected by this loss. Gibbs definitely has a special place in his heart for children. As a result of this tragic loss, however, he has not been able to fully give of himself to another woman.

Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs is a very reserved man. Even the agents closest to Gibbs don't know him as well as they know each other.

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The Many Women in Gibbs' Life

Since the death of his first wife, Shannon, and daughter, Kelly, Agent Gibbs has not found success in building personal relationships. In the end, he gets married four times, divorcing all but Shannon.

After Gibbs' wife and daughter were killed by a Mexican drug dealer, who Shannon identified in court as a murder suspect, the special agent has had a rough go of it with women. Shannon was Gibbs' rock Kelly was his little princess. After his loss, he would spend a lifetime recovering.

When Gibbs first met his wife, Shannon, she shared her "code" in life. These end up being the basis of Gibbs' rules, which are shared with and followed by his agents.

Diane Sterling

Diane Sterling makes a few appearances on the show, was one of Gibbs' divorced wives who ends up marrying and separating from FBI Senior Agent Tobias Fornell. Fornell and Gibbs often work together on joint cases, making it awkward at first. As the relationship between the two men grows, they begin to poke fun at the fact that they were both once married to the same woman. Sterling is known as the woman who drained both Gibbs' and Fornell's bank accounts before moving on to her next victim.

Sterling was Gibbs' second wife.

Stephanie Flynn

When Agent Gibbs was serving time in Moscow, Russia for a year, he was married to Stephanie Flynn, his last ex. She ended up leaving Leroy Jethro because she had a hard time staying with him while he was hunting down a serial killer. Flynn lasted 14 months with Leroy before their marriage came to an end. For several years after their divorce, Stephanie would fill up Gibbs' voicemail, blasting him with calls on their anniversary date.

Jenny Shepard

Once Gibbs' partner, Jenny was the Director of NCIS for a while before being killed. The two of them had a more-than-partner relationship during their service together before Jenny decided to end their relationship. She regrets her actions later on.


Other women who entered and left Gibbs' life throughout his time at NCIS include:

  • Karen Wilkerson - a supervisor at Bethesda naval Medical Center. The short relationship was terminated due to the fact that she was involved with one of his murder investigations.
  • Hollis Mann - an agent for the Army Criminal Investigation Division. Although their relationship was strong, Mann eventually left Gibbs because she knew she couldn't fight against his deep love for Shannon.
  • Margaret Allison Hart - defense attorney. She had to leave the country to avoid implicating Gibbs in the death of Shannon and Kelly's murderer.
  • Dr. Samantha Ryan - head of the Pentagon's PsychOps Division. Although Gibbs was ready to dive into a serious relationship with Dr. Ryan, she fled with her son after issues with her ex-husband surfaced.

Mark Harmon's TV Series Roles

TV Show
Seasons and Episodes
Special Agent in Charge Leroy Jethro Gibbs
Season 1, 2003 - present
Family Guy
Self (voice)
2012 for 1 episode
Special Agent Jethro Gibbs
2003 for 2 episodes
The West Wing
Agent Simon Donovan
2002 for 4 episodes
The Legend of Tarzan
Bob Markham
2001 for 1 episode
Chicago Hope
Dr. Jack McNeil
Season 2, 1996 - Season 5, 2000
From the Earth to the Moon
Wally Schirra
1998 for 1 episode
Adventures from the Book of Virtues
1997 for 1 episode
1996 for 1 episode
Charlie Grace
Charlie Grace
1995 - 1996 for 9 episodes
Harts of the West
Rodeo clown
1993 for 1 episode
Reasonable Doubts
Detective Dicky Cobb
Seasons 1 and 2, 1991 - 1993
Sam Crawford
1987 for 4 episodes
St. Elsewhere
Dr. Robert Caldwell
Seasons 2, 3, and 4, 1983 - 1986
The Love Boat
Doug Bradbury / Rick Tucker
1979 & 1983
Flamingo Road
Fielding Carlyle
Seasons 1 and 2, 1980 - 1982
Deputy Dwayne Thibideaux
Captain John McIntosh
1978 - 1979 for 3 episodes
Officer Mike Breen
1977 - 1978 for 7 episodes
The Hardy Boys / Nancy Drew Mysteries
Chip Garvey
1977 for 1 episode
Police Story
Officer Hazelton
1976 for 1 episode
Ronnie Striker
1976 for 1 episode
Police Woman
Stranski / Paul Donin
1975 and 1976 for 1 episode each
All's Fair
1976 for 1 episode
Laverne & Shirley
Victor the Jeep Buyer
1976 for 1 episode
Officer Gus Corbin
1975 for 1 episode
Ozzie's Girls
The Candidate
Special Agent in Charge - Leroy Jethro Gibbs, best known as "Gibbs".
Special Agent in Charge - Leroy Jethro Gibbs, best known as "Gibbs". | Source

Mark Harmon Filmography

NCIS: Season 9 - The Finish Line (video short)
Special Agent Leroy Gibbs
Certain Prey (TV movie)
Deputy Chief Lucas Davenport
Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths (video)
Superman (voice)
Weather Girl
NCIS: Picture Perfect - The Look of NCIS (video short)
Special Agent Leroy GIbbs
NCIS: Behind the Set - The Production Design of NCIS (video short)
Sepcial Agent Leroy Gibbs
Chasing Liberty
President James Foster
Freaky Friday
Local Boys
Jim Wesley
And Never Let Her Go (TV movie)
Thomas Capano
Crossfire Trail (TV movie)
Bruce Barkow
I'll Remember April
John Cooper
The Amanti Girls
For All Time (TV movie)
Charles Lattimer
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
Magazine Reporter
The First to Go
Jeremy Hampton
Tommy Nance
The Last Supper
Dominant Male
Magic in the Water
Jack Black
Original Sins (TV movie)
Johnathan Frayne
Natural Born Killers
Mickey Knox in Wayne Gale's Reconstruction
Wyatt Earp
Sheriff Johnny Behan
Cold Heaven
Alex Davenport
Till There Was You
Frank Flynn
Shadow of a Doubt (TV movie)
Long Road Home (TV movie)
Ertie Robertson
Fourth Story (TV movie)
David Shepard
Dillinger (TV movie)
John Dillinger
Kenny Rogers Classic Weekend (TV movie)
Worth Winning
Taylor Worth
Sweet Bird of Youth (TV movie)
Chance Wayne
Stealing Home
Billy Wyatt
The Presidio
Jay Austin
After the Promise (TV movie)
Elmer Jackson
Summer School
Freddy Shoop
Let's Get Harry
Harry Burck Jr.
The Deliberate Stranger (TV movie)
Ted Bundy
Prince of Bel Air
Robin Prince
Tuareg: The Desert Warrior
Gracel Sayah
Intimate Agony
Goliath Awaits (TV movie)
Peter Cabot
The Dream Merchants (TV movie)
Johnny Edge
Beyond the Poseidon Adventure
Larry Simpson
Comes a Horseman
Billy Joe Meynert
Little Mo (TV movie)
Norman Brinker
Getting Married (TV movie)
Howie Lesser
Eleanor and Franklin: The White House Years (TV movie)
Robert Dunlap
Eleanor and Franklin (TV movie)
Robert Dunlap
Sonic Boom (Short)
Student Controller
Agent Gibbs works with Psychologist and love interest, Dr. Samantha Ryan (Jamie Lee Curtis).
Agent Gibbs works with Psychologist and love interest, Dr. Samantha Ryan (Jamie Lee Curtis). | Source

A Versatile Actor

Over the course of his career, Mark Harmon has played a variety of characters both on the big screen and on TV. He has played summer school teacher, Mr. Freddy Shoop, in Summer School, a comedy released in 1987. He has also held the leading role in a military movie drama, The Presidio, and played a doctor on St. Elsewhere and Chicago Hope on TV.

It certainly takes a talented actor to pull off a variety of roles well.

Mark Harmon
Mark Harmon | Source

© 2014 gypsumgirl


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    • RachaelOhalloran profile image

      Rachael O'Halloran 

      6 years ago from United States

      This is a very good look behind the character to the actor's private life. Love this guy! lol Voted up and shared.


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