The story of how Mark Harmon became a hero in real life is incredible

Most people know Mark Harmon for the role of Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs that he plays on NCIS. He plays a skilled official who is not afraid to bend the rules to get the job done and protect those in need. And it seems like, the actor is similarly brave in real life…

Mark Harmon’s real life heroic feat happened long before he became a hero on screen. It was in January 1996 that he rescued someone from a burning vehicle! A 16-year-old boy named Colin Specht was stuck inside a burning vehicle and Harmon heroically got him out just in time!


The accident occurred when two teenagers missed a turn and crashed into a tree. The report read that the car “flipped over and burst into flames” while one of the boys was still trapped inside.

The accident happened right next to Harmon’s home. He grabbed a sledgehammer and broke one of the windows in the car and got the teenager out to safety. According to reports, the young boy suffered burns over 30% of his body and even years later he proclaims that if it had not been for Harmon, he would have lost his life that day.


Years after the fateful day, Specht said in a 2013 interview, “People always say, like, ‘Oh, is he your angel?’ I’m like, ‘Mark Harmon is not an angel. He’s more.’ Because an angel has no sense of mortality. I mean, this man had a wife and kids. It wasn’t just a good guy. It was somebody’s husband and somebody’s father. And maybe that’s what helped guide him to it ’cause he was like, [He’s] somebody’s son. And he went in there and just pulled me out.”

Knowing this about the actor makes you love him even more. Harmon has played Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs for many years but even before that he was successful in anything he did. In his youth, he was a star football player at UCLA. He then turned to acting and became one of the biggest heartthrobs of the 1980s

Acting has proved lucrative for the actor as he reportedly has a net worth of about $100 million. Despite all his success, the actor remains incredibly humble. He said once, “If other people think I’m okay looking, that’s great, but I don’t see it myself. When I look in the mirror, all I see is a bunch of fake teeth and football scars.”


Harmon is not the only talented man in his lineage. In fact his father Tom Harmon was an All-American football player who won the 1940 Heisman Trophy. He was the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft in 1941. But the older Harmon gave up his football career to become a fighter pilot in the second World War. After the war, he found a career in TV sports. Harmon’s mother, Elyse Knox, was an actress. Harmon also has two sisters Kristin and Kelly.

While the actor had a successful career as a football star and was the star quarterback UCLA, he decided to leave his football career behind for acting. Instead, he decided to opt for a career in entertainment. This decision came after his sister married rocker Rick Nelson. His sister’s parents in law were 1950’s TV stars Ozzie and Harriet Nelson; her husband was practically Hollywood royalty.


His relationship with his sister’s father-in-law is what ultimately changed his life. Ozzie Nelson was shooting Ozzie’s Girls the spinoff of the hit series Ozzie and Harriet. One day he asked Mark to stand in for an actor who was not present. Being on set felt exhilarating to Mark and he recalls that day is what changed everything for him. The actor said, “That changed my course.”

It is honestly wonderful that the actor decided to persue this line of work. Can you imagine NCIS without him? Never!


Share this piece with other fans of Mark Harmon who would love to know about how heroic he is in real life as well! What an amazing man Harmon is.