Mark Harmon Reveals What His Dream Career Was Before Acting

Mark Harmon's role remains firm in his stance

Mark Harmon is known all over the world for his role in NCIS, but did you know the actor almost had a different career path in mind?

In a recent interview, Harmon revealed that he actually dreamed of being a carpenter. The only reason he didn’t go down this path? He couldn’t get a job. 

“I tried to do that, but I just couldn’t get hired,” Harmon laughed

“I enjoyed getting up and doing that in the morning; I enjoyed the drive to work,” the actor said of his desire to be a carpenter. “For me it was about materials and doing right. If you did it right, [the project] outlasted you. I still enjoy [carpentry], but I think that’s probably what I would have been trying to do had I not been [acting].”

The star left NCIS after 19 seasons and spoke about his decision to quit the show. Movieguide® previously reported

Former NCIS star Mark Harmon, who played the iconic role of Special Agent Leroy Gibbs, recently opened up about his decision to exit the series after 18 seasons.

Mark Harmon joined NCIS in 2003
Mark Harmon joined NCIS in 2003.

In a new season 19 NCIS DVD special called “Being Gibbs,” the 70-year-old actor explained that plans to write him out of the show began before his final season.

“What has always drawn me here [to NCIS, not Alaska] is the character I play and to keep it fresh and to keep it challenging,” Harmon explained. “Plot-wise, this character has taken the path that it did. I thought it was honest and OK with, ‘I’m not retired.’ The character is living in Alaska as far as I know.”

Harmon has a successful career as an actor, but he made a decision early in his career to stop making movies — for a very good reason. Movieguide® previously reported:

Mark Harmon is well known for his TV fame on NCIS, but the actor had the chance to achieve movie fame. He recently shared how he put his family before his career. 

Mark Harmon will return as Leroy Gibbs for NClS season 19 in a recurring role

While his children were young, Harmon headed to New Guinea to work on a movie. When he returned, his son was walking on his own — a milestone he missed due to his work schedule. 

The actor told his wife, “Hate to tell you, but I’m not gonna be doing new movies in New Guinea for the rest of my life to be able to afford the house we’re in, and miss all this.”

Harmon turned his back on movie projects and focused on TV shows, where he could come home at the end of each day. 

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