Mark Harmon’s ‘NCIS’ Trailer Was Hand-Restored By the Star

Mark Harmon has been famous for several decades, and while the actor’s career has evolved with the times, his life behind the scenes remains rooted in a world before today. The NCIS actor spends time between takes in a trailer. This is not uncommon for actors, as trailers are often their dressing rooms and places to unwind. However, what makes Harmon‘s different is that he restored his trailer to his liking and decked it out with several relics of the past.

Who is Mark Harmon?

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According to Biography.com, Harmon is the son of a Heisman-winning quarterback in college, and even though he played at UCLA for two years as a starting quarterback, football wasn’t in the cards. Thanks to a family connection, Harmon got a walk-on role in the sitcom Ozzie’s Girls in 1972, and his life was never the same afterward.

Harmon graduated with a degree in communication. But after getting bit by the acting bug thanks to that walk-on role on the short-lived sitcom, he walked away from an offer to train in law to pursue his new passion.

Harmon got several small roles, mostly on television shows and movies, over the next few years. His Emmy-nominated role in Eleanor and Franklin, however, put him on the map. 

Harmon wasn’t yet a big-name star, but his star was rising. In the 1980s, however, Harmon secured a role on St. Elsewhere, a medical drama starring a young Denzel Washington.

After this, Harmon was a big-name actor, a heartthrob, and one of television’s hottest up-and-comers. By the 1990s, Harmon’s career started to take a downturn when he joined another medical drama, Chicago Hope. The show ran until 2000. 

By 2003, Harmon was headlining another hit drama series. This time, it was NCIS. He’s been there ever since. 

Mark Harmon’s ‘NCIS’ legacy

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Capitalizing off the hit series CSI, NCIS follows Harmon’s Leroy Jethro Gibbs as he and his team solve crimes for the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. The show was a hit, and while its cast went far beyond Harmon, he was the star of the drama from the get-go. The show has been a hit with fans for 17 years, averaging millions of viewers every week, and spawned two spin-off series. 

While television has changed a lot since 2003, NCIS is a relic of past network dramas. As such, it is a favorite among older audiences who crave these procedural dramas over the wave of prestige television. It makes sense, then, that Harmon is such a draw.

Like the audience, Harmon is getting older, and as he gets older, his nostalgia guides his career choices. At no point is this clearer than through his beloved trailer. 

Mark Harmon’s side project

Mark Harmon of NCIS
Mark Harmon of ‘NCIS’ | Brian To / Contributor

Harmon is something of a handyman away from the set. While he doesn’t often take on projects fully by himself, he is a man of vision and drive. While many actors on shows as successful as NCIS might demand top-of-the-line trailers to unwind in between takes on a set, Harmon is happy with his 1972 Airstream trailer. 

The trailer looks like the year it came out from top to bottom, but that doesn’t mean it stood the test of time. The trailer was reportedly in bad shape when Harmon got a hold of it, and thanks to his vision combined with the carpenters he knew, he was able to restore it to how it looked in 1972, reportedly with an eight-track player and avocado-hued benchtops. 

Harmon might be on one of the highest-rated shows on network television, but it doesn’t mean he defaults to rich taste. If anything, his status helps him enjoy the smaller things, and his 1972 Airstream is the perfect example of this.