Thomas Mark Harmon (born September 2, 1951 in Burbank, California) is an American television, film, and stage actor.
With an athletic fathernote and an actress mother, it's no surprise that he played college football and has found success as one of TV's hunkiest actors. While most of his roles have relied on little more than good looks, Harmon was impressive on St. Elsewhere as Bobby Caldwell, the suave doctor who contracted AIDS.
Harmon is probably best known for starring as Special Agent Jethro Gibbs on NCIS, a role he played for 19 seasons from 2003 to 2021. He continues to serve as an executive producer for the series, something which he also did for its spinoff show NCIS: New Orleans during its seven-year run.
He lives in Los Angeles with his wife Pam Dawber, whom he married in 1987. They have two sons.
And oh, just for the record, he doesn't have any social media as he said he wasn't really into Facebook or Twitter and prefer to keep his personal life private.
- Beyond the Poseidon Adventure (1979) as Larry Simpson
- Goliath Awaits (1981) as Peter Cabet
- Lets Get Harry (1986) as Harry Burck Jr.
- Summer School (1987) as Freddy Shoop
- The Presidio (1988) as Jay Austin
- Stealing Home (1988) as Billy Wyatt
- Natural Born Killers (1994) as Mickey Knox in Wayne Gale's Reconstruction (uncredited)
- Wyatt Earp (1994) as Sheriff Johnny Behan
- The Last Supper (1995) as Dominant Male
- Magic in the Water (1995) as Jack Black
- Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998) as Magazine Reporter
- Freaky Friday (2003) as Ryan
- Chasing Liberty (2004) as President James Foster
- Emergency! (1 episode, 1975) as Officer Dave Gordon
- Adam-12 (1 episode, 1975) as Officer Gus Corbin
- Police Woman (2 episodes, 197576) as Paul Donin / Stanski
- Laverne & Shirley (1 episode, 1976) as Victor
- Delvecchio (1 episode, 1976) as Ronnie Striker
- The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries (1 episode, 1977) as Chip Garvey
- Centennial (3 episodes, 197879) as Captain John McIntosh
- The Love Boat (3 episodes, 197983) as Doug Bradbury / Rick Tucker
- St. Elsewhere (198386) as Dr. Robert Caldwell
- Moonlighting (4 episodes, 1987) as Sam Crawford
- Chicago Hope (19962000) as Dr. Jack McNeil
- Adventures from the Book of Virtues (1 episode, 1997) as Ulysses
- From the Earth to the Moon (1998) as Wally Schirra
- The Legend of Tarzan (1 episode, 2001) as Bob Markham
- The West Wing (4 episodes, 2002) as Simon Donovan
- NCIS (200321) as Leroy Jethro Gibbs
- Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths (2010) as Superman
Tropes relating to his work:
- Anti-Nepotism: When he played football at UCLA, his father Tom Harmon just happened to be the Bruins' radio play-by-play announcer. The elder Harmon bent over backwards to not show his son favoritism, usually referring to him as just "the quarterback" during broadcasts.
- Dope Slap: The modern codifier on NCIS thanks to Gibbs frequently slapping DiNozzo upside the head. So much so that it's called the "Gibbs slap" in some circles. This eventually had to be toned down because people were running up to Michael Weatherly and smacking him in public.
- Enforced Method Acting: Deliberately went without sleep while filming The Deliberate Stranger so as to get himself into Ted Bundy's frame of mind and even wanted to go to Bundy's prison to talk with him before the director put his foot down and refused to allow it.
- Executive Meddling: He invoked it on NCIS after he got fed up with how Donald Bellisario's iron-fisted control of the production was exhausting the cast and crew. He went to CBS executives and threatened to leave the show if they didn't do something about it, which resulted in Shane Brennan taking over as showrunner.
- Mr. Fanservice: His earlier roles tend to be Pretty Boy characters that were inserted mainly for eye-candy.
- Old Shame:
- Isn't particularly proud of having been named People's Sexiest Man Alive, considering it nothing more than an odd moment in his life. He poked fun at his sex symbol status when he hosted SNL in 1987.
- While not necessarily ashamed, he's stated "I was glad when I could put it behind me when it was done", referring to the Bundy role, indicating that it unnerved him to play such a psychopath.
- Playing Against Type: His absolutely bone-chilling performances as Serial Killer Ted Bundy and murderer Thomas Capano in two separate miniseries. Some critics have deemed one or the other or both as among his best work—a review of the second miniseries describes him as "all evil".
- Real-Life Relative: His son portrays the younger version of Gibbs in NCIS.
- Reality Subtext: He was initially a pre-med student in college and likes to joke that he decided that playing a doctor (as he's frequently done) would be easier and more fun than being a real one.
- He's spent much of his career portraying law enforcement and medical personnel. They're always badass too and often Reasonable Authority Figure characters.
- Watching him in the movie Summer School as a laid back cool teacher is probably jarring to those used to his later hardass roles.
- He also spent a good chunk of his career being considered a Mr. Fanservice actor. Donald P. Bellisario almost didn't consider him for the role of Gibbs on NCIS because of that reputation and only changed his mind when he saw Harmon's guest stint on The West Wing and realized that Harmon had aged gracefully and had the acting chops to not have to rely on good looks.