The Transformation Of Mark Harmon From Childhood To NCIS

Mark Harmon took a rather untraditional path toward acting, though he followed in his parents’ footsteps. While his mother, Elyse Knox, was an actress, his father, Tom Harmon, was a football player before becoming an actor, and later became a sports broadcaster. Like Tom, Mark was passionate about the sport and speaks highly of his father’s legacy, telling Parade in 2019 that watching him broadcast games “had a certain magic.”

After playing football from childhood through community college, Harmon received an offer from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1971. He started as a quarterback for the Bruins in 1972 and 1973, leading the team through outstanding seasons. In 2019, he was awarded the National Football Foundation Gold Medal to honor his “exceptional accomplishments, unblemished reputation and for reflecting the values of amateur football.” Jack Ford, the NFF Awards Committee Chairman, praised Harmon’s humbleness and ability to focus on “hard work, perseverance and teamwork” (via UCLA).

“His success on the gridiron as a student-athlete and his subsequent icon status in film and television make him exceptionally well-qualified as our 2019 Gold Medal recipient,” said Ford. Though he is no longer actively involved in the sport, Harmon still enjoys watching football with his family and rooting for his alma mater.

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