Mark Harmon was born in Burbank California in 1951, the youngest child of an actress and an athlete. Like his father, Mark was a football player in college. Before making a success of his acting career, he worked as a carpenter, a background used as a personal touch for his character Leroy Gibbs in NCIS. Before NCIS Mark had roles in medical dramas St. Elsewhere and Chicago Hope.
Pam Dawber was born in 1951 and grew up in Detroit. Although she began her career as a singer, her greatest fame was in the role of Mindy when she co-starred with Robin Williams in Mork and Mindy. Later she played the lead role in My Sister Sam.
Before marrying Mark, Pam answered an interview question about the type of man she felt would make her happy, " I need to end up with someone who is strong, intelligent, independent, someone I really admire - sensitive, sensuous, warm, a sense of humor."
Mark's reply to a similar question was " When I marry, I want it to be everything this town says it can't be. I'm not into catting around."
They met at a party in 1986, introduced by a mutual friend, actress Gina Hecht. It didn't take long for them to discover they were meant for each other. They married a year later, on March 21, 1987, in a small, private ceremony which set the tone for their lives together.
Mark proved himself to be a real life hero in 1996 when he and Pam left home to discover an accident in their street in which two boys were trapped in the car. While Pam called for help, Mark grabbed a sledgehammer from their garage and brought both boys to safety out of the burning car.
They have two sons, Sean Thomas and Ty Christian. Pam began a withdrawal from her public career in the 1990s and concentrated on spending time with Mark and her growing boys.
Their son Sean acted in several NCIS show, playing the young Gibbs in flashback episodes. Pam and Mark only worked together once, in I'll Remember April. Neither considered the experience a success. When asked about it Mark said it was "different" and Pam said " God knows I haven’t let him walk down that road again. Not that we had any fights, but we sure had discussions afterwards." It sounds as though she's not likely to be doing a guest appearance on NCIS any time soon.
Pam said in an interview with Style magazine "He's(Mark is) one of those guys who makes you say, 'They don't make them like that any more,"
Mark and Pam are advocates for gun control, a topic which became important to them when Rebecca Schaeffer, Pam's friend and co-star on My Sister Sam was shot by a stalker.They are reclusive by Hollywood standards. They are rarely seen in public with their children and they talk very little about their home life.
It seems to be a good plan. In a business known for the short life of marriages theirs is now in its 28th year.