MARK HARMON’S name has become synonymous with NCIS’s Leroy Gibbs, but who was the original choice for the iconic role?
After nearly 20 years on the CBS show, fans said a tearful farewell to Agent Leroy Gibbs (played by Mark Harmon) in season 19. The cr1me drama is one of the most popular and watched in the world, so it’s taking some time to adjust to the absence of the veteran agent. However, if things had gone differently, Gibbs could have looked very different.
Who was the first choice for the role of NCIS Agent Leroy Gibbs?
Agent Leroy Gibbs has been played by actor Mark Harmon since the show’s inception in 2003.
He first appeared in the drama JAG before the spin-off NCIS premiered the following year.
However, Harmon was not always guaranteed to play Gibbs because there were several other candidates.
One of them was actor Don Johnson, who was offered the role but turned it down for an unknown reason.
Johnson is best known for his role as James “Sonny” Crockett in the 1980s series Miami Vice, for which he won a Golden Globe.
In the 1990s, he was also known for playing the title character in Nash Bridges.
Django Unchained, Just Legal, Eastbound & Down, From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series, Watchmen, and Kenan are among his other projects.
Johnson is far from the only big name associated with Gibbs’ casting.
According to IMDb, Harrison Ford, star of Star Wars and Indiana Jones, was considered for the role.
The 80-year-old was reportedly approached about joining the cast of NCIS but declined.
Ford and his film Air Force One are mentioned in the NCIS pilot in homage to Ford’s potential involvement in the series, as the plot of the film bears a strong resemblance to the plot of the show.
Gibbs exclaims with glee: “This is in the film! Harrison is right in front of you “as he strolls through a plane
There were also rumors that Scott Bakula from NCIS New Orleans was in the running at some point during the casting process.
Harmon has made headlines yet again after speaking out for the first time about his departure.
The actor explained in the upcoming NCIS season 19 DVD, as seen by ET Canada, “What has always drawn me here is the character I play and keeping it fresh and challenging.”
“From a plot standpoint, this character chose the path that it did. “I thought it was honest and acceptable.”
He did, however, give his fans some hope for a possible future return.
Harmon continued: “I’m not a retiree… As far as I know, the character resides in Alaska.”
This isn’t the first time an actor has left but returned to the drama, as actress Cote de Pablo made a surprise return in season 16 as Ziva David for a few episodes.
So it appears plausible that viewers will one day welcome Gibbs back to NCIS headquarters.
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