‘NCIS’: Why You Won’t Ever Hear Mark Harmon Complain About His Job

NCIS is one of the longest-running television shows ever to air and has earned thousands of loyal fans, who tune in regularly year after year. One of the elements that keep the show so appealing is the realistic characters, including Leroy Jethro Gibbs, played by Mark Harmon.

Gibbs is a former Marine Scout Sniper turned special agent, a stoic, stalwart guy who is addicted to coffee and is highly respected by all members of his team. Harmon has become closely identified with his character, especially after inhabiting the role for more than 15 years. As it turns out, that’s quite alright with him.

Why fans love Mark Harmon

Mark Harmon
Mark Harmon loves his role on NCIS | Munawar Hosain/Fotos International/Getty Images

From the very beginning, fans and critics alike loved Gibbs and the way Harmon portrayed him. His connection to Leroy Jethro Gibbs has made him a certified celebrity, even though he had been acting for many years before being cast on NCIS. Fans appreciate how down-to-earth Harmon is, especially considering how many other stars have been derailed by addiction issues or trouble with the media.

Harmon works hard to keep his private life to himself and has been in a committed marriage for over 30 years. That dedication has extended to his efforts on screen as well, and reportedly he is much beloved by fellow cast members and showrunners alike. In recognition of his time spent playing Gibbs, Harmon has been honored many times and is widely considered to be the most popular actor on television. 

Mark Harmon loves his job and doesn’t complain

Recently, Mark Harmon opened up to TV Insider about his enviable career, why Gibbs is so important to him, and his future plans. While many actors try to make the leap to big-screen film acting as quickly as possible after achieving success on television, Harmon is actually quite happy where he is. Harmon acknowledged that it’s still mind-blowing to him that so many people (over 47 million worldwide) love the show, and that he is quite often approached by fans in the airport, which he admits he will never complain about. In contrast to his astounding celebrity status now, Harmon says that he has been on TV shows in the past that he’s felt the need to apologize for. 

Harmon stated that he loves his job and he loves working on television in general – a peek at his resume over the years reveals that he has always had a clear fondness for dramatic roles. Some of his featured roles before NCIS include Shadow of a Doubt, Harts of the West, Chicago Hope, The West Wing, and JAG

How much longer will Harmon stay on ‘NCIS’?

Although nothing goes on forever, right now, NCIS is here to stay. Recently, it was announced that the show was renewed for an unprecedented seventeenth season. Mark Harmon will definitely be one of the returning actors for the new season, although not much is known for any potential seasons past that. He has stated in the past that as long as the writers for the show can keep coming up with new and interesting storylines, he will continue playing Agent Gibbs. Plus, Harmon is committed to the show on a financial level – in addition to being the leading actor on NCIS, Harmon is also an executive producer. 

As for whether Harmon has ever thought of retiring (he is, after all, in his late 60s) he’s admitted that he has considered retirement in the past and has plans for when that should eventually happen, including traveling much more with his longtime wife and partner, Pam Dawber. However, until then, he’s committed to playing Gibbs for the foreseeable future.