The adage family matters really does apply to Sean Murray and NCIS.
Fans know him as Timothy McGee, the NCIS agent who specializes in cybersecurity and computer crimes. But Murray has really deep family connections to NCIS.
The main one is his step dad. Donald Bellisario created NCIS back in 2003.
Murray is from a military family. And he grew up on military bases around the world. His dad, Craig Harland Murray, was a Navy captain. And his mother, Vivian, was from Australia. The two divorced when Sean was 15. That’s when they moved to Los Angeles. She became the fourth wife of Donald Bellisario in 1998.
Bellisario is a big-time Hollywood producer. He’s a former Marine and ad executive who likes to create shows with a military feel to them. Bellisario gave TV fans shows like Magnum PI, JAG, Air Wolf, Quantum Leap and NCIS. And Bellisario has a large family, with seven children and several stepchildren.
Sean Murray started acting as a teenager and had a role in Hocus Pocus and made guest appearances on TV series like Civil Wars and Silk Stalkings. He was 25 when he earned the role of Timothy McGee on NCIS.
Sean Murray’s Brother and Step Brother Also Were Involved with NCIS
But the family connections to NCIS don’t stop with the stepdad. Murray’s younger brother, Chad, is a producer on NCIS: Los Angeles.
Sean’s stepbrother, David Bellisario, was a long-time producer for NCIS: Los Angeles. He died last August after a battle with brain cancer at the age of 63. He worked on all his dad’s major projects, including NCIS, JAG Quantum Leap and Magnum, P.I.
Donald Bellisario left NCIS, the show he created, in 2007. TV Guide reported that Bellisario left because of Mark Harmon, the show’s star.
CBS executive David Stapf issued a statement when Bellisario departed NCIS, saying:
“He not only built a top-rated show but a great producing team that provides terrific continuity for the years ahead. With ‘JAG’ and ‘NCIS,’ Don has a great tradition of success with the network and our studio. We look forward to developing his next generation of projects.”
David McCallum, who plays Dr. Ducky Mallard on the show, told Digital Spy that Bellisario was a “television genius.”
“Don Bellisario worked as an advertising executive, even when he was writing scripts, and he loved to work to a deadline,” McCallum said. “After a couple of years, we got to the point where we were getting scripts late from him. There was a little problem between Mark Harmon – who was representing the cast and crew – and Don, so CBS decided that Don would leave us.”
Murray likely benefitted from having his stepdad as the show’s creator. Obviously, he also brought something to the role of McGee, since he’s been affiliated with the show far longer than his stepfather.