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Mark Harmon

Mark Harmon

Birthday: 2 September 1951, Burbank, California, USA
Birth Name: Thomas Mark Harmon
Height: 183 cm

Thomas Mark Harmon was born in Burbank, California on September 2, 1951 to football player and broadcaster Tom Harmon and actress Elyse Knox (née Kornbrath). Harmon played college football and found ...Show more

Mark Harmon
That's what excites me about being an actor, the idea that I can get up every morning and try someth Show more That's what excites me about being an actor, the idea that I can get up every morning and try something new and grow and change. I'm not worried about image. I wouldn't have done the AIDS storyline if I weren't. I'm an actor. Hide
I have to be challenged. The busier I am, the better I like it. I have to be challenged. The busier I am, the better I like it.
If other people think I'm okay looking, that's great, but I don't see it myself. When I look in the Show more If other people think I'm okay looking, that's great, but I don't see it myself. When I look in the mirror all I see is a bunch of fake teeth and football scars. Hide
(2011, on The Presidio (1988)) A chance to work with Sean Connery. A chance to work with Meg Ryan. A Show more (2011, on The Presidio (1988)) A chance to work with Sean Connery. A chance to work with Meg Ryan. A really good script, originally by Larry Ferguson, who wrote "The Hunt For Red October". But the script changed a lot, as they sometimes do. An interesting experience, though. Hide
I don't care who's No. 1 on the call sheet or how big my trailer is. I care about the work. I don't Show more I don't care who's No. 1 on the call sheet or how big my trailer is. I care about the work. I don't care who gets the laughs. I just care that the laugh comes. Hide
(2011, on making Stealing Home (1988)) Just a project that we all wanted to do, including Jodie Fost Show more (2011, on making Stealing Home (1988)) Just a project that we all wanted to do, including Jodie Foster and everybody else who was involved in that. It was a script that you read and just kind of fell in love with. There was no other reason to be part of that project. There was nobody telling any of us that this was a smart move to go do this movie. Everybody screen-tested, everybody fought for roles, everybody went there and kind of humped through the production schedule of seven or eight weeks. It was really shot on a shoestring, and we were like a traveling circus. I'm appreciative of that part, that project, and that role for a hundred reasons, but ultimately it's for the fact that it was an opportunity to read a script that you loved and that you wanted to do just because you loved it. And I think that's true for most everybody who was in that movie. It's still one of my favorites. Hide
[on saving 2 teenage boys in 1996] None of that happens without Pam walking up the street and invest Show more [on saving 2 teenage boys in 1996] None of that happens without Pam walking up the street and investigating it further. I don't see it as any thought process. Either you do or you don't. If the car blows up and kills me and the kids in the car, then you'd be doing this interview with my wife about how stupid it was. Hide
I have never done any job for the security or the money. I believe in trying to find an area to get Show more I have never done any job for the security or the money. I believe in trying to find an area to get better, to learn more about why I am here. Hide
Gibbs [his character in NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service (2003)] is like a great hunting d Show more Gibbs [his character in NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service (2003)] is like a great hunting dog. He is just the guy you want in your fox hole, he is just the guy you want to ride the river with. But I don't know if he's the guy you want to have dinner with. Hide
(2011, on Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)) That was fun. I'm a Terry Gilliam fan and have been Show more (2011, on Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)) That was fun. I'm a Terry Gilliam fan and have been forever. I was just so excited that he was interested in me being in one of his movies. I enjoyed that role, and I enjoyed the process of it a lot. Movies come out the other end months later and they sometimes have a different spin. Sometimes they're different from what you shot or what you did, and this definitely had some of that. But what a great experience to work with him. Hide
Some people say it's scarier to direct the people you work with; not me, I'm a team guy. Some people say it's scarier to direct the people you work with; not me, I'm a team guy.
(2011, on his role as "Agent Simon Donovan" on The West Wing (1999)) Great fun, great role, and real Show more (2011, on his role as "Agent Simon Donovan" on The West Wing (1999)) Great fun, great role, and really such a pleasure to have Aaron Sorkin's words to say. And such a great honor and treat to work opposite Allison Janney. It's all just the luck of the draw, in some ways. They had approached me a year before to play a reporter in an episode, and then that role got canceled for whatever reason, but then, a year later, the "Simon Donovan" thing came up. That was somewhat similar to Moonlighting (1985), in that you were just given kind of a bio: "This guy's a Secret Service agent, he's investigating a real threat to C.J., and we don't know where this is headed". That kind of thing. But in the first week, actually, Allison came up to me and said, "They're gonna kill you". I said, "What do you mean they're going to kill me?" She said, "We get along too well. They're gonna kill you". And she was right! Hide
I don't get lulled into comfort, I like walking on the edge. I don't get lulled into comfort, I like walking on the edge.
[on being single, 1983] I want to do all that once, and because of that, I am being very careful. Al Show more [on being single, 1983] I want to do all that once, and because of that, I am being very careful. Also, I don't know how good of an investment I am right now. I spread pretty thin, I'm working very hard in a lot of different directions, and relationships take a lot of time to do them right. Hide
(on the St. Elsewhere (1982) years) Women would come up to me and show me their breasts and ask for Show more (on the St. Elsewhere (1982) years) Women would come up to me and show me their breasts and ask for my opinion...and I gave it to them! Hide
How many times have you been on the freeway and had someone fly by you at 100 mph then end up two ca Show more How many times have you been on the freeway and had someone fly by you at 100 mph then end up two cars ahead of you at the off ramp? What's the point? Hide
[on And Never Let Her Go (2001)] As an actor, I look to play roles that challenge me and this did th Show more [on And Never Let Her Go (2001)] As an actor, I look to play roles that challenge me and this did that. I asked to speak to [the victim's sister] Kathleen Fahey and did. My pledge to her and to her family was to make every effort to play this guy honestly. I don't take that responsibility lightly. Hide
(on fame and the trappings that come with it) You know what, everybody handles it differently. I'm l Show more (on fame and the trappings that come with it) You know what, everybody handles it differently. I'm lucky, I had good parents and I work hard to keep things in perspective. I think it's about a work in progress, about longevity, and my game has always been to achieve that. Things like the Sexiest Man Alive [title], it's certainly a compliment, and I appreciate it, but it's about keeping a reality check on it. It becomes part of your history. Hide
(2011, on St. Elsewhere (1982)) Bruce Paltrow. That wouldn't have happened, at least for me, without Show more (2011, on St. Elsewhere (1982)) Bruce Paltrow. That wouldn't have happened, at least for me, without Bruce Paltrow. On the day I got that role, I was actually down the hall with Steven Bochco reading for a show called Bay City Blues (1983). For the fifth time. And I walked down the hall after that reading, being no closer to getting that role than I was when I walked in. But the casting director, who also happened to be casting "St. Elsewhere", said, "Hey, you know, we're trying to cast this plastic surgeon, you want to take a look at this and come in and read?" And it was a cold reading. I just got the sides and walked right in. Bruce was there, and Tom Fontana and Mark Tinker were all in the room. And I read, and right there in the room, Bruce said, "Hey, I liked that! That was good! You want to do this?" Which had never happened before. And I left and called my agent and said, "Hey, we're gonna get an offer to do this", and he said, "Bay City Blues?" I said, "No, no, this show called "St. Elsewhere". He said, "What?" It wasn't even the show he had sent me in for! That was an important experience, to get a chance to work with that body of actors on that show for a number of years. Again, you get a chance to say better words, and you get to play against really talented people. There was a young group of actors on that show and there was an older group. We all got along, but for us young guys, it was just a constant effort to keep our jobs. It's where I certainly gained respect for the writer and not arbitrarily changing anything in the script. You say what's written. That's certainly the way Aaron Sorkin works. I'm glad I got that down. That was an important thing, to respect the writing. Hide
[on carpentry] I used to hang out in my Dad's workshop on weekends. Later, when I was starting out a Show more [on carpentry] I used to hang out in my Dad's workshop on weekends. Later, when I was starting out as an actor, I became a roofer and a framer to make money. But what I really enjoyed was the finished work. I like the longevity. Hide
(2011, on Flamingo Road (1980)) Great cast. That originally was a movie of the week, and then someti Show more (2011, on Flamingo Road (1980)) Great cast. That originally was a movie of the week, and then sometime during the pilot of that, they decided they wanted to try and have a series option. That's how that started. But when I originally got that role, it was a movie of the week. A hard show to do. For me, anyway. I was always wanting to, y'know, rough it up a little bit. That was a different thing. It was more of a nighttime-soap kind of thing, at a time when Dallas (1978) was getting a foothold and all that. So there were a number of those just starting. But that was a remarkable cast. That's what I'll remember about that show. I had a chance to get to know Kevin McCarthy and Stella Stevens and Howard Duff and Barbara Rush. Some really terrific people on that show. Hide
[on drinking coffee] I maybe have a cup in the morning, maybe a partial one in the afternoon. [on drinking coffee] I maybe have a cup in the morning, maybe a partial one in the afternoon.
I'm in the business to push it. I'm not likely to be attracted to characters I've already done. I ha Show more I'm in the business to push it. I'm not likely to be attracted to characters I've already done. I have to be almost frightened by the possibility of taking it on. Over the years I realise I must enjoy walking that edge, I keep doing it. It's why I like what I do. The only other job I've ever had that provides that time in the morning where you're going to work and you can't wait to get there and the sun's rising and you're moving toward something you look forward to getting up and doing every day was being a carpenter. And it was because you're doing something different every day. Hide
It's funny, the fame and money part isn't even in the top 10, to be honest. It's important to have a Show more It's funny, the fame and money part isn't even in the top 10, to be honest. It's important to have a job you like going to, for me. And it's important to know I have a hand in making sure that the 400 people who work on this show know they have a job to come back to. That's something I don't take lightly. Hide
(2011, on playing Ted Bundy in The Deliberate Stranger (1986)) I don't even know if I'd have gotten Show more (2011, on playing Ted Bundy in The Deliberate Stranger (1986)) I don't even know if I'd have gotten a chance to get in on that if Bundy wasn't described in the way he was described, as the guy next door. Otherwise that role goes to somebody else. But I was really excited to work with Marvin J. Chomsky when I got that role. That was definitely a departure for me. I'm glad people remember that one. Hide
[on plans a year down the line] I'm focused in on what I have here. It's important for all of us on Show more [on plans a year down the line] I'm focused in on what I have here. It's important for all of us on the show to honor our contracts and come to work prepared. What's beyond that is questionable. I don't know any actor signing a deal who thinks eight, seven years down the line he's going to be still doing it. Hide
(on Gun Control) I think the idea is to try to make it harder for those people who should not have g Show more (on Gun Control) I think the idea is to try to make it harder for those people who should not have guns or aren't responsible with them to get them. Rebecca was my wife's (Pam Dawber) co-star and she lived with us for six months. I don't think anybody can look at what happened to her and think that it was a good thing. What we do sometimes is very public and there's a certain time where, in my mind, that stops. It's not OK that someone comes to my house and thinks that I need to be at their beck and call 24/7. Hide
(2011, on Beyond the Poseidon Adventure (1979)) What a learning experience, a chance to be on that s Show more (2011, on Beyond the Poseidon Adventure (1979)) What a learning experience, a chance to be on that set for 17 weeks. I didn't have a lot of words with the part, but I was happy to get that role. It was the second movie I'd ever done, and-I think that guy was an elevator operator. I think that's what he was. But I was there every day. I survived, and I had the great fortune to follow Michael Caine around every day, along with Karl Malden. I learned a lot from those guys. That was an important stay. My master's class was following those guys around every day for 17 weeks. There was a lot to learn. Hide
(2011, on Wyatt Earp (1994)) I'd read for Lawrence Kasdan a number of times on a number of different Show more (2011, on Wyatt Earp (1994)) I'd read for Lawrence Kasdan a number of times on a number of different movies, and to be honest with you, I thought I had no chance. I read for a number of different roles in "Earp" and then was thrilled to get a call from him, saying that he wanted me to play "Sheriff Johnny Behan". It's always fun to get on a horse. And fun to work with Larry. I'd always wanted to do that, and that was a treat. Fun to play a historical character, and fun to research and realize that it depends on what book you read how the character's depicted. We all had different opinions on that. But it was really enjoyable to work with Larry on a Kasdan script, where you have 10 days of rehearsal around a table with the whole cast with a script that does not change. There's a great pace to it. Larry's a gracious guy and creates a wonderful set and treats people kindly. Those are all hugely important things in this business or any other. I loved doing it. Hide
I like this job - most days I have a chance to make breakfast and take the kids to school or to read Show more I like this job - most days I have a chance to make breakfast and take the kids to school or to read 'em a bedtime story. It's almost like a normal life. Hide
I was raised with the idea of maximum effort, as long as you could look in the mirror and say 'I gav Show more I was raised with the idea of maximum effort, as long as you could look in the mirror and say 'I gave it everything I had' it was OK. But if you gave it less, that would disgrace you. Hide
(2011, on Comes a Horseman (1978)) Richard Farnsworth and Jason Robards, both those guys really took Show more (2011, on Comes a Horseman (1978)) Richard Farnsworth and Jason Robards, both those guys really took me under their wing... and for no reason. I mean, they had no reason to do that, other than that we were all in Westcliffe, Colorado, for a long time. I was excited to get that role. That was the very first movie I ever did. It was a chance to work opposite Jimmy [James Caan] as well, and it gave me the great gift to work with Alan J. Pakula. He was special. Hide
Mark Harmon's FILMOGRAPHY
as Actor (52)
Mark Harmon Mark Harmon'S roles
Larry Simpson
Larry Simpson

Magazine Reporter
Magazine Reporter

President James Foster
President James Foster

Mr. Freddy Shoop
Mr. Freddy Shoop

John Behan
John Behan

Agent Simon Donovan
Agent Simon Donovan

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