‘NCIS’: How Many Times Has Leroy Jethro Gibbs Been Married?
When fans do get occasional glimpses of his personal life, he’s usually home alone cooking steaks over the fire or building boats in his basement. But the character does have quite the love life, and he even has ex-wives. How many times has Gibbs been married?
The ‘NCIS’ special agent in charge met his first wife in the 1970s
To get insight into Gibbs’ backstory, NCIS has given fans a number of flashbacks over the years. When a young Gibbs is on the screen, he’s played by Harmon’s real-life son, Sean. Over the years, the show has revealed that Gibbs found his one true love when he was very young — a woman named Shannon Fielding.
After being deployed by the Marines in 1976, Gibbs was waiting on a train platform when he met Shannon. She introduced Gibbs to her list of rules, which is the origin story for his famous rules that he’s shared with his team over the years.
Leroy Jethro Gibbs is a widower
Gibbs married Shannon in April 1982, and they welcomed their daughter Kelly two years later. Numerous flashbacks have shown just how important this time in his life was for Gibbs, and how much he loved his wife and daughter. Unfortunately, their happy family didn’t last very long.
In the early 1990s, a Mexican drug dealer named Pedro Hernandez murdered Shannon and Kelly after they witnessed the murder of a marine where Gibbs was based. Hernandez shot the agent who was driving them, and they were killed in the crash.
Gibbs avenged their deaths by killing Hernandez. Even though the situation wasn’t his fault, he’s always blamed himself for serving overseas instead of protecting his family.
Gibbs’ second wife was married to two different ‘NCIS’ characters
The second Mrs. Gibbs was fiery redhead Diane Sterling, but the NCIS agent didn’t marry her until years after Shannon and Kelly’s deaths. Diane was a criminal investigator with the IRS who described herself as “Gibbs’ antidepressant.” There were serious sparks at the beginning of the relationship. But, her marriage to Gibbs didn’t last very long.
The duo continually clashed, which eventually led to their divorce. Diane went on to marry Gibbs’ good friend, FBI Special Agent Tobias Fornell. In season 12, Diane was shot dead by one of Gibbs’ enemies when she turned up at a crime scene to confront him.
Gibbs based one of his rules off of wife number three
Not long after his marriage to Diane ended, Gibbs met wife number three — Rebecca Chase. But just like marriage number two, this one didn’t last long either. Rebecca had a drinking problem, and she eventually ended up in a 12-step recovery program.
In an attempt to make amends, she showed up at NCIS to talk with Gibbs and be honest with him. Rebecca told him that she was marrying her divorce attorney.
They also crossed paths during a crime investigation when Gibbs shockingly discovered that Rebecca knew his second wife, Diane. Immediately, Rule #39 — there’s no such thing as a coincidence — was applied.
The ‘NCIS’ character has been married four times
After his split from Rebecca, Gibbs still hadn’t given up on love. His fourth wife was Stephanie Flynn, a woman who spent a lot of time with Gibbs while he was working in Moscow. Once again, this marriage was pretty much over before it began. They split just 14 months after tying the knot.
In season 16, fans also found out that Gibbs was engaged for a fifth time to a woman named Ellen Wallace. Originally, she was believed to have died in the 9/11 attacks. But when her body was found at a construction site, the investigation revealed she had been murdered the night before.
Gibbs later revealed that he ended his relationship with Ellen two weeks before her death because he loved her and was trying to protect her. “I was trying to do the right thing for her, but she still ended up here,” Gibbs told McGee (Sean Murray) at Ellen’s funeral.
NCIS will return to CBS this fall for season 19.