HomeEntertainment‘NCIS’ Star Mark Harmon’s Early Film Featured Prop That Belonged to a ‘Little House on the Prairie’ Star

‘NCIS’ Star Mark Harmon’s Early Film Featured Prop That Belonged to a ‘Little House on the Prairie’ Star

by Megan Molseed
(Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)

When one thinks of the classic television series, Little House On the Prairie, NCIS’s Mark Harmon isn’t a name that comes to mind. However, according to Melissa Gilbert, there is a definite connection between the series and the actor. 

In her autobiography, Prairie Tale: A Memoir, Gilbert described the moment the connection was revealed when she was on the set of one of Harmon’s earliest movies.  

An Unlikely Little House Find

Gilbert recounted in her book, an exchange between her and friend, Dean Cameron. Cameron was in the process of filming the 1987 movie, Summer School. The movie, which starred Mark Harmon is about a gym teacher (Harmon) who has to teach a summer school English class to a group of misfits, in order to gain a promotion. In her autobiography, Gilbert recounts how Cameron discovered a piece of Little House on the Prairie on the Summer School set.

According to Gilbert’s account, Dean Cameron was between filming scenes on the Summer School set and decided to rummage through some of the classroom desk props.

“Between takes, he rummaged through the papers the prop guys had stuffed into the school desks and pulled out a paper,” Gilbert recalled in the autobiography. “It was the call sheet for my original Little House screen test.”

In the book, Melissa Gilbert goes on to say that while it may have been a little prop on the set of Summer School, this call sheet is something she values. This important piece of her history now hangs framed in her study, Gilbert mentioned said in her book. While the two never encountered each other on the Little House set, there is certainly a connection between Mark Harmon and Gilberts Little House character.

Melissa Gilbert and Mark Harmon: Different Careers, but Similar Paths

Mark Harmon hit the big time as Leroy Jethro Gibbs on the hit CBS series, NCIS. Harmon first hit the acting scene in the 1970s. Harmon found roles in a variety of television shows and movies, before taking on the role of Gibbs in 2003.

As a child, Gilbert starred as Laura Ingalls Wilder in the hit NBC series, Little House on the Prairie.  Gilbert also starred in the 1979 Helen Keller biopic, The Miracle Worker, as well as The Diary of Anne Frank in 1980.  Later, adult, Gilbert’s fame continues as she stays in the public eye with a variety of television and movie roles.