Mark Harmon explains how the name of his NCIS character prompted him to sign the contract: ‘I Like That Name’

What is the significance of a name? For 19 long years, a man’s career was secure!

The character name, Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs, influenced Mark Harmon’s 19-year commitment to NCIS. Harmon expressed surprise at his liking for the script, saying, “I didn’t expect to like the script as much as I did when I first read it.”

Producers’ suggestion of the name ‘Leroy Jethro Gibbs’ played a significant role in his decision to join the NCIS team.

Continuing his statement, Harmon expressed his liking for the name ‘Leroy Jethro Gibbs,’ stating, “I read ‘Leroy Jethro Gibbs’ and thought, ‘Huh, I like that name.’” Despite a brief consideration of changing the name, he insisted on keeping it as it was, telling the creator, “It’s gotta be Leroy Jethro Gibbs,” ultimately making him happy with the decision.

His satisfaction with the name is what prompted him to reach an agreement with CBS.

Harmon recently revealed to People the second reason he chose to work with NCIS.

Harmon highlighted the significance of being home for Saturday breakfast with his family, mentioning the importance of making pancakes. Despite sacrificing sleep for work, he emphasized not missing it and being actively involved in his family’s lives while working on NCIS.

Harmon discussed his departure from NCIS in the fourth episode in a special featurette on the season 19 DVD release. He stated, “What has always drawn me here is the character I play, to keep it fresh and challenging.” Harmon thought the character’s path was both honest and acceptable.

Harmon suggests that Gibbs doesn’t fully retire in Alaska, stating, “The character is living in Alaska.” Regarding a potential return, he enigmatically says, “He’s probably sitting in a stream up in Alaska fishing. Is he going to get out of the stream? I don’t know.”

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