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THEDAILYNET.COM / NEWS

Secret to Mark Harmon and Pam Dawber's 36-year marriage is that they have never 'gone Hollywood'

Harmon and Dawber have made their almost 36-year marriage work by staying grounded and avoiding becoming too involved in the showbiz lifestyle
UPDATED SEP 8, 2023
Mark Harmon first met Pam Dawber in 1986 and the couple married in 1987 (Nicki Swift/YouTube)
Mark Harmon first met Pam Dawber in 1986 and the couple married in 1987 (Nicki Swift/YouTube)

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: Mark Harmon, 71, and Pam Dawber, 71, married in September 1987 and are still together.

While many celebrity marriages end in divorce, Harmon and Dawber have made their almost 36-year marriage work beautifully.

Their secret is staying grounded and avoiding becoming too involved in the Hollywood lifestyle, said a source, as reported by Okmagazine.

(Nicki Swift/YouTube)
Harmon recognized he didn't want to miss any of his son's upcoming milestones. Their son Ty was born a few years later, (Nicki Swift/YouTube)

'Never in his nature'

A friend of the NCIS star dished to the news outlet, "Mark could have 'gone Hollywood'. He certainly had enough opportunities. But that was never in his nature." The source added, "Mark preferred to shun the spotlight and concentrate on what's most important to him — his wife and their family!"

Harmon struggled to strike balance between acting and paying the bills

Although Harmon initially struggled to strike a balance between acting and paying the bills after graduating from UCLA, he found success quite quickly.

He earned an Emmy nomination for his role in 'Eleanor and Franklin: The White House Years' in 1977. He went on to star in the cult masterpiece 'St. Elsewhere' in the 1980s.

Harmon met his future wife in 1986, and the couple married in 1987. Sean, their first child, was born in April 1988.

However, when Harmon once had to fly to New Guinea to film while Sean was still a baby, the pair realized what it meant to be showbiz parents.

The 'Freaky Friday' actor revealed in a past interview, "Our oldest had just taken his first steps the day I left. I came back three months later and he got out of the car by himself and walked up the sidewalk and grabbed onto my leg at the airport."

Harmon realized he didn't want to miss any of his son's other milestones because of his career. Their son Ty was born a few years later, reinforcing their decision to avoid the spotlight whenever possible.

'I did everything you can do in this business'

(Nicki Swift/YouTube)
Harmon went on to win a major role in the action drama 'NCIS', playing Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs (Nicki Swift/YouTube)

Dawber told a news outlet, "I don’t think two people can work all the time in show business and stay married. I did everything you can do in this business, and then I had children and it’s like, ‘I’m not going to chase this fame thing.’"

Harmon went on to win a major role in the action drama 'NCIS', playing Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs. The employment allowed him to spend time with his children while still doing what he loved for 19 seasons before deciding to leave the famous show that spawned several spin-offs.

'Pam and Mark have a deep affection for one another'

The source said of their marriage, "Pam and Mark have a deep affection for one another that’s grown over time. They say one key to their long-lasting marriage is that, while they’ve both worked in the entertainment industry, they’ve never ‘gone Hollywood.'"

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