Mark Harmon met Pam Dawber in 1986. At the time both had made a name for themselves in the industry and it was at a Hollywood party, where they met. Since Mark never really speaks about his marriage, we don’t know much about its beginnings.
We do know that the couple was married in March 1987, a little over 29 years ago now. Their older son was born a little over a year later and son number two followed in 1992. By the end of the 1990’s Pam retired from acting pretty much entirely, whilst Mark never really wanted for work.
Pam made the choice to concentrate on being a full-time mother to her two sons. She also wanted to be there for her husband at the end of his working day. In an interview from 2014 she admitted that Mark wasn’t entirely happy with her working late hours, which happened on occasion. She wasn’t really happy with it either, though, so we mustn’t read too much into this.
She didn’t fancy the rat race anymore and came to a point in her life, where a more traditional role as housewife and mother seemed more appealing. Pam said that she had a great run well into her 40s and that is really all she could have asked for. Given that it’s so much harder for female actors to find good roles past their 40s anyway, it’s hardly surprising that she didn’t want to have to fight for jobs.
It has often been noted that Pam and Mark very rarely make a public appearance together. The two keep their private lives very private indeed and almost never speak about their marriage or each other.
Mark is, in fact, as famously laconic about his personal life as his on-screen alter ego Leroy Jethro Gibbs. When asked what he thought about his only on-screen experience with Pam thought, he merely called it ‘different’. The two played husband and wife on I’ll remember April in 1999.
When Pam was asked the same question, she tried to evade it and very nearly laughed his answer off. But she did end up admitting that they had a lot of ‘discussions’ about it at home, though they were entirely professional on set. One gets the impression that it was not an experience either of them would want to repeat.
Pam also said that she rather hears about her husband’s day at the end of it than sharing all of it with him while on set together.
She did return briefly for a part on Robin William’s show The Crazy Ones, which reunited her with her former screen partner. Whilst she relished the experience, she also had no desire to return to a more regular gig. Pam said that she would have returned to the show, but Robin’s untimely passing surely made that impossible.
Apparently Mark once invited her to star on NCIS, his long-running show, for a small part, but she declined.
Whilst plenty of people seem to wonder what Mark Harmon’s relationship status is, those who know, don’t seem to think that there’s a chance that Mark and Pam will ever get a divorce. Most successful Hollywood relationships do have that in common: they are very private.
And as long as we know that the two of them are happy, we don’t really want to worry about a divorce in the future.