Fans have been curious about Mark Harmon’s departure from “NCIS” and the fate of his character, Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs. Harmon portrayed Gibbs, a Supervisory Special Agent at NCIS, from Seasons 1 to 19 on CBS’ procedural drama that follows special agents in the Naval Criminal Investigation Service’s Major Case Response Team.

In a February 2023 interview with Entertainment Tonight, Wilmer Valderrama, who has played NCIS Special Agent Nicholas Torres since Season 14, praised Harmon’s leadership on the show. Valderrama emphasized the significant influence “NCIS” has had on the profession and the careers of many actors. He also commended Harmon for maintaining the show’s integrity and quality during his tenure.

Harmon’s departure from “NCIS” marked a significant change for the series, though the exact reasons behind his exit have not been fully disclosed. Speculation suggests that Harmon left to pursue other interests and spend more time with his family. Although Gibbs is no longer a regular character, there remains the possibility of special appearances in the future.

What Led Mark Harmon to Leave “NCIS”?

Mark Harmon, who had played Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs since the first season, left the series in Season 19, Episode 4, titled “Great Wide Open.” In this episode, Gibbs decides to stay in Alaska after experiencing a sense of peace he hadn’t felt since the deaths of his wife and daughter. He offers his position at NCIS to Timothy McGee, acknowledging McGee’s years of assistance.

Harmon hinted at his reasons for leaving in a special featurette for the NCIS Season 19 DVD, mentioning his desire to keep his career fresh and challenging. He felt the character’s departure was honest and fitting. In a 2020 interview with Entertainment Tonight, Harmon also cited his age as a factor, reflecting on the evolution of both the character and his own life.

Despite leaving early in Season 19, Harmon’s name appeared in the opening credits until Season 20. Although he has not taken on any new roles since leaving “NCIS,” he signed with The Gersh Agency in 2023, suggesting possible future opportunities.

By chrysos