The April 6 broadcast of NCIS featured Pam Dawber’s appearance as journalist Marcie Warren. Because she is the wife of the series’ star, Mark Harmon, the CBS program has tried several times over the years to persuade the ex-Mork & Mindy star to feature alongside her husband. This time, she finally said “yes” – with one specific condition.
Pam Dawber always had one reason for not appearing in ‘NCIS’
Harmon has been the star of NCIS since its debut in 2003. For nearly 18 seasons, he has played the role of Leroy Jethro Gibbs. Because his wife was the star of two different TV sitcoms for nearly 35 years in the 1980s, NCIS producers tried several times to get Dawber on the show. But she always had a reason to say “no.”
“The show has been around for a hundred years, and they’ve come to me a few times,” Dawber told Entertainment Weekly. “Either I didn’t want to do it, or I didn’t appreciate what they wanted me to do. Or it was right before Christmas and it was like, ‘I can’t do this. My parents are coming to town.” I was interested in, you know, chasing the business.”
The former ‘Mork & Mindy’ star decided to stop acting full-time when she became a mother
Dawber and Harmon married in March 1987. At the time, she was the star of “My Sister Sam. People had just named him the Sexiest Man Alive after his three seasons as Dr. Robert Caldwell in St. Elsewhere.
But after the couple nurtured their sons Sean in 1988 and Ty in 1992, Dawber decided to quit acting full-time so she could focus on raising her children.
“I was on a number one show. I had my own deal. I got to do Broadway. I got to do musical theater. I got to do cartoon voices,” Dawber told Good Housekeeping. “I did everything in this business, and then I had kids and I thought, ‘I’m not going to pursue that fame.'”
Pam Dawber had one condition when she agreed to appear in ‘NCIS’
Over the past three decades, Dawber has worked occasionally. But her last TV appearance was five years ago, when she had a cameo in the reboot of The Odd Couple. The 69-year-old didn’t think she would say yes to NCIS when they offered her the role of Marcie. But when she read the script, she “fell in love with what they wrote.”
Dawber eventually decided to accept the role, but she had one specific voow before she signed on the dotted line.
NCIS: Pam Dawber admits she was nervous about her return to TV – “What if I suck?
“I talked to the writers and the produ-kers before I signed and said, “If this is a romantic interest, I’m not interested.” They didn’t say at all, that’s not where we’re going with this,” Dawber revealed.
No romance, just journalism
Instead of a love affair for Gibbs, Dawber’s character is an investigative journalist investigating his indefinite suspension. She’s heard what happened, but no one wants to talk to her about it.
“So she’s trying to figure out exactly what happened, because there’s a big lawsuit going on right now with the man. She found out about Gibbs’ whereabouts and tried to approach him because she wants information,” Dawber explained.
Pam Dawber was very soooo nervous about appearing in ‘NCIS’
Once she ee agreed to the role, Dawber said she immediately became anxious. She began to wonder, “Oh my God, am I going to do this?” She says she was nervous because everyone has HDTVs with big screens, which causes her “anxiety bubbles.” She began to wonder if she would remember her lines, and if she would not “suck.”
Despite her fears, Dawber was able to film her four episodes. But she says she won’t watch the DVDs of the episodes because she doesn’t want to focus on how old she looks or how bad she feels about her hair. She calls her graying locks “COVID-19 platinum.”
NCIS can be seen Tuesday on CBS.