Mark Harmon’s Keys To A Long-Lasting Career And Even Longer Marriage In Hollywood

You may recognize him as special agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs, but there’s a lot more to Mark Harmon than meets the eye. With an acting career spanning over 40 years – the last 16 of which have been on CBS’s NCIS – the St. Elsewhere alum has also been married to Pam Dawber for 31 of those years, disproving the notion that all Hollywood marriages are fickle.

But how exactly did Harmon get to this point in his career and more importantly, how has he made things last with his wife for so long? Read on to uncover the secrets to Mark Harmon’s success.

Harmon’s Parents Were Well-Known

Mark Harmon, Kelly Harmon, Elyse Harmon, Kristin Harmon and Tom Harmon
Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images
Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

Mark Harmon is the youngest of three children. He was born to Tom Harmon and Elyse Knox on September 2, 1951. His father Tom was a former football player with the Los Angeles Rams, who won the Heisman Trophy in 1940 as a halfback for the University of Michigan.

Harmon’s mother Elyse was a fashion designer-turned-actress who is remembered for playing Anne Howe, the love interest of a fictional boxer in Joe Palooka, Champ. Considering his parents’ respective professions, it was likely that Harmon would follow one of those paths.