Why We Love Mark Harmon

  • Happy Birthday to “NCIS” star Mark Harmon, who turns 60 today. Not only is he the most popular character in the hit series about Navy investigators, he was also recently voted the most popular guy on TV. It’s easy to see why. Yes, he’s hunky, but he also embodies a lot of solid, all-American qualities (even if he is a celebrity.) Here are a few of them:

    He Was A Star Quarterback

    Harmon’s father Tom won the Heisman Trophy, the most coveted prize in college football. Harmon himself was the starting quarterback for the UCLA Bruins in 1972 and 1973, engineering a legendary win over the Nebraska Cornhuskers.
  • He Worked Hard To Get Where He Wanted To Go After graduating from UCLA, it took a few years for Harmon to get guest spots on "Adam-12" and Emergency!; in between, he was a sneaker salesman.
  • In the 1970s, he dated the late singer Karen Carpenter, and in the 1980s, went out with Heather Locklear.
  • Harmon’s first big TV role came in 1980, when he was in the primetime soap “Flamingo Road” and played Morgan Fairchild’s husband. But Harmon soon settled down to playing the roles he’s best known for: doctors and law-enforcement officials.
  • He Didn't Shy Away From A Controversial Role Between 1983 and 1986, he portrayed a handsome surgeon in the hospital drama "St. Elsewhere," appearing as Dr. Robert Caldwell, a playboy who contracted the AIDS virus. It was one of the first portrayals of a heterosexual contracting the virus, which was one of the political hot potatoes of the 1980s.
  • He's In A Long-Term, Monogamous Marriage His wife is “Mork & Mindy” actress Pam Dawber. They’ve been married since 1987, and it’s the only marriage for each. They have two sons: Sean Thomas, 23, and Ty Christian, 19.
  • He's A Perfect Beer Guy He made a series of average-Joe commercials for Coors beer in the 1980s.
  • He Just Keeps On Going He’s as dogged as the character he plays on TV – “In the world today, it’s easy to quit. I believe in putting up a fight.”