‘NCIS’ Star Mark Harmon Knows Sign Language: Here’s Why

by Anna Dunn

Mark Harmon, who plays Jethro Gibbs on NCIS, knows sign language. He learned it to work with a co-star on the set of Reasonable Doubt.

“I did a show with Marlee Matlin Called ‘Reasonable Doubt,'” he explained in an interview with Larry King. Matlin is an author, actress, and deaf activist. He also was going to do a play that required sign language, so picked some of it up there.

Harmon did say he only knows a “little bit.” When King asked if learning sign language was hard, Harmon responded “yes,” while also signing for the word.

Harmon has played Jethro Gibbs on NCIS since the show’s debut in 2003. In the interview with King, he talked about his experiences elsewhere as well, including Reasonable Doubt with Marlee Matlin.

The actor is also an executive producer for NCIS and NCIS: New Orleans. Though CBS canceled NCIS: New Orleans earlier this year, NCIS is still going strong, absolutely dominating the ratings.

Harmon Recently Starred Alongside his Wife on NCIS

Mark Harmon’s wife, Pam Dawber, starred alongside her husband recently in a four-episode arc on NCIS. Dawber played investigative journalist Marcie Warren. Warren and Gibbs worked together to try and find a killer. Hopefully, Dawber will appear alongside Harmon again next season.

Harmon and Dawber have been married since 1987. In the same interview, Harmon told Larry King why he thought he and Dawber’s marriage has been able to withstand the test of time.

“You learn, you grow, [and] you change,” he said. “You try not to make choices that you regret.”

Dawber and Harmon, in spite of the fact that they are both famous actors, also didn’t want to make their marriage too much of a spectacle. They instead preferred having their own lives outside of each other.

Now, however, the two get to work together. It’s good timing, too, because Harmon may not be with NCIS for much longer. Harmon is rumored to want to leave the hit show. After almost two decades, the actor wants to do something different. He will, however, return for season 19. He’ll once again be in a more limited role and likely won’t be in every episode.

Their son, Sean, has also appeared in NCIS. He appears in flashbacks, playing a younger version of his father. He’s featured in the episodes, Life Before His Eyes, Engaged (parts 1 and 2), Mother’s Day, Deliverance, and Heartland.

The appearances of both Sean Harmon and Dawber make NCIS quite a family affair. Hopefully, fans will get to see more of them in the upcoming seasons. Season 19 of NCIS will air this fall alongside the brand new NCIS: Hawai’i.