Mark Harmon will return to NCIS next season. But we don’t know how many episodes will feature Leroy Jethro Gibbs, one of the longest-running characters in TV history.
But this, we know — it’s very lucrative to be Mark Harmon and be a star of one of the most popular dramas in the world.
One estimate is that Harmon earns $525,000 per episode. So, if he’s in all 24 episodes for the 2021-22 season, he’ll pocket $12.6 million. Harmon’s estimated worth is around $100 million. It’s not difficult to understand why his bank account may be that big. He’s been a big part of network television for five decades.
Harmon always has been charismatic. He turned to acting after he finished his football career as a wishbone quarterback, graduating from UCLA with honors. Harmon starred with his dad, Tom Harmon, in a cereal commercial. His father was a former Heisman Trophy winner and a sportscaster.
Harmon’s first significant role was on the mini-series Eleanor and Franklin, the White House Years. He received an Emmy nomination in 1977 for portraying Robert Dunlap, a hero in the World War II battle of Iwo Jima. By 1980, Harmon was in the cast of prime-time soap Flamingo Road, playing the husband of Morgan Fairchild.
Then, he starred as a doctor on St. Elsewhere, a drama about an aging hospital. His character contracted AIDS through unprotected sex, as the show’s writers addressed a real-life health crisis hitting the country. At about this same time, Harmon became the national spokesman for Coors beer. In one of his commercials, he asks “Does everybody have to be the same?” No wonder People magazine selected this guy as the Sexiest Man Alive in 1986.
Mark Harmon Tried Movies. He’s Best in TV Dramas
Mark Harmon tried to carve out a career in movies, both on TV and at the theater. He played a chilling Ted Bundy in the Deliberate Stranger. He also starred with Sean Connery and Meg Ryan in The Presidio. And he was was a high school gym teacher in Summer School.
But Harmon always succeeded in TV dramas, whether he played a doctor, a cop or someone in the military. He received a second Emmy nomination for a guest-starring role on The West Wing. He played a Secret Service agent assigned to press secretary C.J. Cregg. But he was killed trying to foil a robbery attempt at a convenience store.
Harmon began playing Gibbs in 2003, first on JAG, then NCIS. And believe it or not, his $525,000 per episode isn’t that extreme. The three stars of the revamped Sex and the City are set to earn $1 million per episode. The stars of Friends were each making $1 million per episode when the show ended in 2004. That was the same check for the stars of Seinfeld and the Big, Bang Theory.
Basically, Mark Harmon is worth about the same amount as Mariska Hargitay, who has portrayed Olivia Benson on Law & Order: SVU.