Today, Mark Harmon is best known for starring in NCIS as Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs. Over the last 17 seasons, he has become the face of the show — in front of and behind the camera. Not only does he lead the cast with conviction and an unwavering commitment to his character, but he also serves as one of the show’s executive producers.
Years before NCIS, Harmon starred in a handful of blockbusters and popular TV movies, including The Presidio and Sweet Bird of Youth. Back in those days, his wife Pam Dawber was still a very familiar face as well. For years, Pam Dawber starred opposite Robin Williams in Mork & Mindy. Pam Dawber also appeared in Stay Tuned, Remembrance of Love, and Do You Know the Muffin Man?
A little over a decade into their marriage, Dawber, and Harmon appeared in a film together — I’ll Remember April. During an interview with the A.V. Club, Mark Harmon discussed what it was like working with his wife.
Mark Harmon talks ‘I’ll Remember April’ and acting alongside Pam Dawber
While Mark Harmon has shared the screen with a handful of big names — Elizabeth Taylor, Sean Connery, Meg Ryan, Jamie Lee Curtis, Robert DuVall, and more — working alongside his wife presented a different kind of challenge.
The A.V. Club brought up I’ll Remember April, noting it as the only time Mark Harmon worked with his wife on-screen. Harmon explained what it was like starring as John Cooper in the film. He said:
On screen, yeah. Onstage, we’ve done a number of different productions of Love Letters in different places. I was a Bob Clark fan—actually, my wife is, too—and it’s just a good script. A good story. But the plan was not to work opposite my wife from the beginning. She’s got her own brain and her own decision process. But it was interesting for all those reasons. Fun to do. And different.The A.V. Club
‘NCIS’ star Mark Harmon chooses his words wisely
When asked what it was like to work with his wife in such an intimate capacity, Harmon stalled a bit before answering. The NCIS star seemed fixated on choosing the right words, but, based on his reaction, some challenges definitely surfaced. When asked to explain, in more detail, what it was like, he said:
[Long pause.] Different. [Laughs.] No, “different” just ’cause you know each other so well. We played husband and wife in that, and it was a period piece, but… It was fun. And we’d worked on stage opposite each other before, but doing it in a movie was… well, what else can I say? It was different. [Laughs.]The A.V. Club
Different doesn’t mean bad or good. It doesn’t mean easy or challenging. It means “different.” And, according to Mark Harmon, working on-screen with his wife was not the same as sharing the stage.