What Led Mark Harmon To Leave NCIS? Real Reason Finally Revealed

Fans have been wondering why Mark Harmon left “NCIS” and what happened to his character, Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs. Harmon played Gibbs, a Supervisory Special Agent at NCIS, from Seasons 1 to 19. “NCIS” is CBS’ procedural drama that follows the lives of special agents in the Naval Cr1minal Investigation Service’s Major Case Response Team.

In a February 2023 interview with Entertainment Tonight, Wilmer Valderrama, who has played NCIS Special Agent Nicholas Torres since Season 14, lauded Harmon’s leadership on the show. Valderrama emphasized the influence “NCIS” has had on the profession and the careers of numerous actors. He also praised Harmon for upholding the show’s integrity and worth during his tenure on the series.

Harmon’s departure from “NCIS” was a significant change for the show. However, the exact reasons behind his exit have not been fully disclosed. It’s speculated that Harmon left to pursue other interests and to spend more time with his family. While his character, Gibbs, is no longer a regular presence, there’s always a possibility he could return for special appearances in the future.

What Led Mark Harmon To Leave NCIS?

Mark Harmon, who has played Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs since the first season of NCIS, left the series in Season 19, Episode 4, “Great Wide Open.” In the episode, Gibbs decides to stay in Alaska after experiencing a sense of calm that he had not had since the deaths of his wife and daughter. He offers his position at NCIS to Timothy McGee, recognizing McGee’s years of assistance.

Harmon hinted at his reasons for leaving in a special featurette for the NCIS Season 19 DVD, mentioning his desire to keep his career fresh and challenging. He felt the character’s departure was honest and fitting. In a 2020 interview with Entertainment Tonight, Harmon also noted his age as a factor, reflecting on how the character and his own life were evolving.

Despite leaving Season 19 early, Harmon’s name appeared in the opening credits until Season 20. He has not taken on any new roles since leaving NCIS, however he signed with The Gersh Agency in 2023, hinting possible future possibilities.

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