HomeEntertainmentWatch: ‘NCIS’ Star Mark Harmon Fishes in the Great Outdoors in Vintage 1985 Coors Ad

Watch: ‘NCIS’ Star Mark Harmon Fishes in the Great Outdoors in Vintage 1985 Coors Ad

by Suzanne Halliburton
Photo by Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

Mark Harmon, the NCIS star, became the face of Coors back in the 1980s.

The commercials he did highlighted the outdoor life. In this vintage clip from 1985, Harmon was fishing in an idyllic spot in the Rockies. It makes us think of a perfectly warm summer day, the relaxing kind where the music is a chorus of water rushing over some rocks with notes of a light breeze blowing through the pine trees. And your favorite beer is stashed in a cooler next to the tackle box.

At the time of the commercial, Harmon wasn’t thinking about a long stint on a network drama like NCIS. Nope, he was catching the nation’s attention as he played a doctor on St. Elsewhere. He was a dozen years removed as the star quarterback for UCLA and two years from marrying his wife, Pam Dawber.

Harmon was at the beginning of an incredible career. That made him the perfect face and character for a beer wanting to attract an outdoorsy, upward mobile kind of customer.

Future NCIS Star Did More Than 20 Coors Commercials

Harmon did more than 20 commercials for Coors, the beer based in Colorado. And each of the commercials told a story about the beer and why he preferred it over the other brands.

In this commercial, the future NCIS star was fly fishing. His fishing gear featured a tan shirt, a comfortable pair of jeans and some waders. He looked into the camera and told us:

“Patience, it’s what struck me the most while learning about Coors beer, from the malting to the brewing, the aging, the whole process.” Harmon then stands up and wades into the river. “They never hurry. It takes about twice as long to make Coors as it does any other major beer. They do take their time. “

Then Harmon straddles a tree stump. “But you can taste the difference right here. Never heavy, never bitter, with all the spirit and patience of a great beer. Coors is the one.”

Thirsty now?

These days, Harmon has just finished his 18th season playing Jethro Leroy Gibbs, the guy in charge of NCIS, the most popular scripted drama on television. However, he’s given NCIS fans all sorts of anxiety.

The show isn’t going anywhere. CBS renewed NCIS for a 19th season. But fans don’t know Gibbs’ fate. We do know that Harmon asked for a reduced role in season 19. There was some talk that the show wouldn’t continue if Harmon didn’t agree to return to the show. Last month, news broke that the number of NCIS episodes for Harmon would be in the single digits, possibly even in the low single digits.

Meanwhile, the show announced that Gary Cole, a popular actor on TV who is a bit younger than Harmon, would join NCIS for season 19. He’ll play an FBI agent, so he won’t replace Harmon on the NCIS team, but could be a main focus of the show.

“We take it year by year with Mark,” CBS entertainment chief Kelly Kahl told Deadline in May. “We’d love to have him as long as he’d like to be her.” Kahl said the network would be “happy to work around his schedule.”

Basically, like the vintage commercial, Harmon is telling everyone to be patient.