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Privilege for the Few: The Rare “NCIS” Characters to Whom Gibbs Allow the Unthinkable

The role of Mark Harmon stands firm in its position, but there are a few lucky ones

Mark Harmon's role remains firm in his stance

Ever since “NCIS” hit television, Mark Harmon has been the undisputed star. Playing the mythical Leroy Jethro Gibbs, the actor was able to capture on the small screen the respect that his leadership earned while commanding the iconic naval unit. However, there are some characters who managed to soften the stoic character and had the privilege of calling him by his first name without mentioning his last name or rank.

Since 2003, Mark Harmon has starred in "NCIS".
Mark Harmon has been a cast member of “NCIS” since 2003.

Shannon, his late wife, was the first character in Donald Bellisario’s fiction to address Gibbs by name. Of course, Gibbs’ romantic path after he became a widower would extend that honor to newcomers as well. Hollis Mann, Ellen Wallace, Stephanie Flyn, Jenny Shepard, and Diane Sterling were the officer’s partners throughout the series and could call him by name informally.

Aside from Mark Harmon’s character’ sentimental ties in ” NCIS “, there was another endearing role that achieved the unexpected. This is his late father, Jackson Gibbs, who is played by Ralph White and is responsible for revealing the origins of the Marine leader’s famous name.

In October 2012, Harmon was awarded the No. 2,482 star of the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Gibbs was named after one of Jackson’s closest friends, Leroy Jethro Moore, who was played by Billy Dee Williams. After a difficult history that kept them apart for several seasons, father and son were able to reconcile and maintain a peaceful relationship until the eleventh episode of “NCIS” featured the death of Patriarch Gibbs.

The only one allowed

Outside of the Leroy Gibbs family, only one role in “NCIS” has been given the honor of addressing the captain in a friendly manner. David McCallum, played by Donald Mallard.

Donald formed a deep friendship with the role of Mark Harmon that lasted more than 40 years, and as a result, Ducky is the only character in the “NCIS” universe who has managed to overcome the prestigious agent’s most private barriers.

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