Determined to avoid his late father’s tragic fate, MARK HARMON could walk away from “NCIS,” sources have told The National ENQUIRER.
The 63-year-old actor remains devastated by the heart attack that claimed his football hero dad, Tom, at age 70, insiders said.
After 12 seasons on the hit TV drama, Mark is now hinting he’ll quit his $700,000 an episode gig to spend more time with his wife, actress Pam Dawber, and their two sons.
“Financially, Mark is set for life,” said a source. “It isn’t about the money for him. It’s about the kind of life he wants for himself and his family.”
In a chilling scene in the “NCIS” season finale, a terrorist shot Mark’s character, Special Agent Leroy Gibbs.
Asked whether his character died, Mark replied: “Anyone on the show is replaceable.”
Despite Mark’s killer work schedule, a top cardiologist told The ENQUIRER that Tom’s death probably does not increase the odds of Mark succumbing to cardiac failure.
“When a male family member dies before 50 of a heart attack, you deem it worth investigating first-order relatives, but not at 70,” explained New York cardiovascular specialist Dr. David Greuner.
But sources said that’s of little consolation to Mark. His father, a Heisman Trophy winner and World War II hero-turned-sportscaster, seemed the picture of health when his heart gave out in March 1990.
Just as devastating, his wife Pam’s only sibling, Leslie, was born with a heart defect, and died during open heart surgery at age 22 in 1976.
Pam has said: “When a tragedy happens that big, you have to reassess your life.”
She went on to fame in the classic sitcom “Mork & Mindy,” and also portrayed a photographer on “My Sister Sam.”
Tragically, her co-star, Rebecca Schaeffer, was murdered in 1989 by a crazed stalker.
More recently, Pam and Mark were shattered by the suicide of her “Mork & Mindy” co-star, Robin Williams, last August, insiders said.
As for “NCIS,” the source added: “Mark has about a month to decide whether he’s coming back. Right now, he’s leaning towards quitting.
“He’d be the first to tell you his biggest starring role is as a family man.”