Why Mark Harmon’s Wife Pam Initially Didn’t Want To Star On NCIS

Why Mark Harmon’s Wife Pam Initially Didn’t Want To Star On NCIS

When Mark Harmon was getting close to ending his 18-year run on “NCIS,” his wife Pam Dawber made her much-anticipated debut. In March 2021, Entertainment Weekly caught wind that Dawber, who has been married to Harmon since 1987, would be joining the police procedural as a guest star for four episodes. Just like that, the “Mork & Mindy” alum became the third member of her immediate family to star on the CBS hit show. Starting in 2008, Harmon and Dawber’s oldest son, Sean, began stepping in to play the young Leroy Jethro Gibbs.

Because Harmon basically is “NCIS” and his son had already been in it, fans always expected Dawber — a seasoned TV actor — to guest star at some point. It took her way longer than anyone could have anticipated. And when she accepted the job, she had one very strong condition. “I talked to the writers and the producers before I signed on and said, ‘If this is a romantic interest, I’m not interested,’” she told Entertainment Weekly the following month.

The crew assured her there was no intention of pairing up Gibbs and Marcie Warren, the investigative journalist who helped the special agent track down a serial killer. Even though she was only featured in a few episodes, Dawber became popular among viewers. “Wish list! I so hope we get to see Marcie (Pam Dawber) in S19 #NCIS,” one X user wrote. But fans almost didn’t meet Marcie as Dawber initially had no interest in joining the show.

Pam Dawber waited for the right time to join NCIS

Pam Dawber and Mark Harmon on NCIS
Bill Inoshita/CBS

It wasn’t for lack of trying on the showrunners’ part that Pam Dawber had never guest-starred on “NCIS” before Season 18. “Either I just didn’t want to do it or I didn’t appreciate what it was they wanted me to do,” she said in the April 2021 Entertainment Weekly interview. Other times, opportunities would clash with personal plans, requiring to be filmed over the holidays when her parents were set to visit, for example.

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1 Response

  1. November 25, 2023

    […] Mark Harmon, the former director on NCIS, recently shared the story of his bold first move that set the stage for his enduring 37-year marriage with Pam Dawber. […]

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