Actress Pam Dawber, who has been married to Mark Harmon for 29 years, recently discussed her marriage to the NCIS star with Entertainment Tonight.
During the discussion with ET’s Nischelle Turner, Dawber said that she believes her marriage to Harmon wouldn’t be as stable as it is if she had kept acting full-time.
“I don’t think two people can work all the time in show business and stay married,” Dawber said.
When the couple got married, Dawber was part of the successful sitcom Mork and Mindy and Harmon was more than a decade into his television career, which included roles on the popular St. Elsewhere and The Love Boat.
Today, Harmon’s career is still going strong as he stars on CBS’ top rated drama NCIS, while Dawber gave up fame over a decade ago to raise the couple’s two sons: 28-year-old Sean and 24-year-old Ty.
“I was in 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 was quoted by ET as having said. “I did everything you can do in this business, and then I had children and it’s like, ‘I’m not going to chase this fame thing.'”
According to Entertainment Tonight, Dawber’s last steady acting job was lending her voice to Perdy on the animated TV show 101 Dalmatians: The Series in 1998.
“I wanted to drive my kids to school. I wanted to be there for their birthdays and bring cupcakes and donuts and do the school festivals and all that, and I did,” Dawber told Turner. “I got to teach in their art class and so it was a different life then and I was very happy to do it.”
Dawber said it was very important to her to keep her family out of the tabloids, and that her sons have never seen any of the work she has done as an actress.
“Notice you don’t see us in the magazines,” Dawber noted. “When you’re married, that’s real life. And to go and plaster your kids… I’m sorry. I’m not for that.”
“I’m just their mom,” she was quoted as having said. “They don’t care about what I did. They care about what they are doing. They want their parents to care about what they are doing. Their father is already iconic enough for two boys. I am just the mom.”