‘NCIS’ Star Rocky Carroll Love for Golf Actually Began with Samuel L. Jackson

by Madison Miller

In between his role as Director Leon Vance on “NCIS,” Rocky Carroll loves to hit the links.

The CBS star has a passion for golf and often makes it a priority in his busy schedule. He first appeared on “NCIS” as a recurring character during season five. Then, starting in season 6, Carroll became a main cast member.

‘NCIS’ Star Golfs with Hollywood Actor

He regularly golfs with some of his pals from “NCIS,” but there’s a certain Hollywood actor that he credits with getting him started with the game in the first place.

“One of the first guys I ever played golf with was Samuel L. Jackson. We did a movie many years ago and would play whenever we could,” Rocky Carroll said during an interview with CBS Watch Magazine. He also revealed that he would love a chance to one day play with Johnny Mathis and Sugar Ray Leonard.

The movie the “NCIS” star is referring to is called “The Great White Hype.” This is a 1996 movie starring Jackson, Jeff Goldblum, Damon Wayans, Peter Berg, Jamie Foxx, and Cheech Marin.

Carroll had a smaller role in the movie as Artemus St. John Saint.

As for those other “NCIS” stars he brings along to the golf course, that includes both Brian Dietzen and Mark Harmon. He said that Dietzen, who plays Dr. Jimmy Palmer, plays with him often and is a “really good player.” Meanwhile, Carroll shared that Harmon, who recently departed the series as his beloved character Gibbs, is frustratingly good.

He said he is “one of those guys who’s such a good athlete, he won’t play for two years and then will go out and shoot an 82.”

Rocky Carroll and Mark Harmon Friendship

Carroll and Harmon have had a pretty long working relationship. In addition to starring on “NCIS” together for many years, the two were also on another CBS show together.

“I was pretty fortunate because I had a pretty long relationship with CBS before ‘NCIS’ came on my radar. I had worked on several CBS shows. [Harmon] and I actually met on ‘Chicago Hope’ back in the ’90s. We were both members of the cast of ‘Chicago Hope’ for three seasons,” Carroll said in an interview with CBS Los Angeles.

Both of them joined “Chicago Hope” in 1996. Carroll was Dr. Keith Wilkes and Harmon was Dr. Jack McNeil.

Carroll also credits Harmon to the evolution of Leon Vance on “NCIS.” Although the ultimate boss on the series, Vance still gets to really work with the team often.

“Over time [Vance] becomes a part of the team, even though he is the head of the organization. The writers gave me a lot of leeway with regard to that. Having had a relationship with [Harmon] prior to that was a huge help as well. We just have fun going back and forth,” he also said.