Mark Harmon, 72, who departed the long-running CBS drama NCIS after 19 seasons in 2022, recently shared some behind-the-scenes insights about his time on the show. In an interview with ET’s Kevin Frazier while promoting his new book, “Ghosts of Honolulu: A Japanese Spy, A Japanese American Spy Hunter, and the Untold Story of Pearl Harbor,” Harmon discussed how certain factors almost prevented him from taking on the iconic role of Leroy Jethro Gibbs.

When Harmon first read the NCIS script, he didn’t expect to like it as much as he did, considering his commitments to other projects and a desire to spend more time at home with his young family. However, what intrigued him was the character’s name – Leroy Jethro Gibbs. Harmon admitted, “I read ‘Leroy Jethro Gibbs’ and thought, ‘Huh, I like that name.'”

Interestingly, there was a brief moment when the character’s name was almost changed to something less distinctive, like “Bob Johnson.” Harmon insisted on keeping the original name, saying, “No, no, it’s gotta be Leroy Jethro Gibbs.” The show’s creator, Donald P. Bellisario, initially wanted to change the name, but ultimately, it remained as Harmon preferred.

Reflecting on his departure from NCIS, Harmon expressed gratitude for every episode and the show’s success. He acknowledged that as an actor, he didn’t anticipate the series lasting as long as it did. Despite its monumental 20th-anniversary milestone and various spinoffs, Harmon believes the show’s unique combination of characters, humor, and engaging cases contributed to its enduring appeal.

By chrysos