Mark Har­mon & Pam Daw­ber: Their Un­told Story!


Star (USA) - - Contents - Mark & Pam:

Star re­veals the dark se­crets threat­en­ing the cou­ple’s 32-year marriage.

HE was the strik­ingly hand­some and slightly broody ac­tor from hit TV dra­mas St. Else­where and Flamingo Road; she was the adorable and sweet star of beloved sit­coms Mork & Mindy and My Sis­ter Sam. When Mark Har­mon and Pam Daw­ber met in the 1980s, they were a match made in Hol­ly­wood heaven. But un­like most fa­mous cou­ples, the duo has stayed to­gether for more than three decades. And they’ve man­aged to do so with­out mak­ing head­lines over cheat­ing scan­dals, vi­cious fights or nasty di­vorce ru­mors. But that doesn’t mean Mark and Pam, both 67, haven’t had their fair share of is­sues be­hind closed doors. An in­sider tells Star the fiercely pri­vate pair have seen some dark days. “They’ve had a lot of highs,” re­veals the source of the cou­ple, who wed in March 1987 and wel­comed sons Sean, 31, and Ty, 26, soon af­ter. “But there have also been some lows.” The in­sider says a bit­ter fam­ily feud in­volv­ing Mark’s now-late sis­ter “al­most pushed Mark and Pam to the brink,” and adds that Mark’s high-pres­sure gig as the star and an ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer of the hit CBS se­ries NCIS has also caused ma­jor ten­sion at home. “Their marriage has been care­fully guarded,” says the source, “but it hasn’t al­ways been wed­ded bliss.”


It was love at first sight when Mark and Pam were in­tro­duced by a friend at a party in 1986. They got mar­ried a year later, but the honeymoon phase didn’t last long. Ac­cord­ing to the in­sider, Pam had to deal with the threat of other women early on. “Mark’s a good-look­ing man, and women have been throw­ing them­selves at him for years,” says the source. “There have been mo­ments when Pam was con­cerned.” The big­gest threat to their hap­pi­ness, how­ever, was a woman Pam never thought she’d have to worry about: Mark’s big sis­ter, Kristin. Shortly af­ter their wedding, Mark and Pam ended up at the cen­ter of a dra­matic — and pub­lic — cus­tody case. Kristin had got­ten in­volved in drugs dur­ing her marriage to hard-par­ty­ing rocker Ricky Nel­son, and in 1987, Mark and Pam took her to court to try to get cus­tody of her son, Sam, who was 12 at the time. “Kristin had strug­gled to over­come a drug ad­dic­tion,” says the in­sider, “and

“Things have been tough, but they’ve weath­ered the storm” — a friend tells Star

the cou­ple felt Sam would be safer liv­ing with them.” Af­ter a long, drawn-out court­room bat­tle, Mark and Pam dropped the law­suit and set­tled on vis­i­ta­tion rights — but not be­fore con­sid­er­able dam­age had been done. “The case caused a lot of stress,” says the source. Mark’s bond with his sis­ter (who died in 2018) was per­ma­nently frac­tured — and his re­la­tion­ship with Pam took a hit. “Their marriage clearly suf­fered from the strain,” says the in­sider.


They got back on track thanks to their shared val­ues. “Hol­ly­wood is a den of sin and temp­ta­tion, drugs and booze,” says the in­sider, “but Mark’s stayed away from all that.” Pam re­tired from act­ing to be a stay-at-home mom to Sean and Ty, while Mark con­tin­ued to work, land­ing the lead role on NCIS in 2003. “Pam raised their boys to be in­de­pen­dent and suc­cess­ful, while Mark brought home the ba­con,” ex­plains the source. “It’s af­forded them a good life, but it’s any­thing but glam­orous. It might be bor­ing to some, but for them it works.” Still, Mark’s job on NCIS has been a source of con­tention over the years. In ad­di­tion to the day-to-day de­mands of be­ing the star (he rakes in a whop­ping $525 000 per episode) and one of its ex­ec­u­tive pro­duc­ers, Mark’s been em­broiled in on­go­ing be­hind-the-scenes shake-ups, in­clud­ing his much-pub­li­cized feud with for­mer costar and fan fa­vorite Pauley Per­rette (see side­bar). “Their war put more wear and tear on Mark and Pam’s marriage,” says the source. “Pam had to deal with Mark’s moods dur­ing the worst of it.” She’s ac­tu­ally hop­ing he’ll stop work­ing soon, says the in­sider. “Pam would love it if Mark re­tired,” says the source. “They could travel and en­joy their lives to­gether.” But that move seems un­likely for now — NCIS was re­cently re­newed for a 17th sea­son, and the in­sider says Mark isn’t look­ing to jump ship just yet. “Mark’s a stick­ler for rou­tine,” says the source, “and he likes the idea of his bank ac­count grow­ing — even though he’s worth $100 mil­lion al­ready.”


Lis­ten­ing to Pam wouldn’t be Mark’s worst idea: She saved his life once! In 1994, Pam had a pre­mo­ni­tion that some­thing bad was about to hap­pen and urged them to leave town as a fam­ily. Soon after­ward, an earthquake struck and caused ma­jor dam­age to their Santa Mon­ica home. “I’m so grate­ful we weren’t there,” Pam later said. “My kids would’ve been trau­ma­tized.” Says the in­sider, “Mark may not have re­al­ized it then, but Pam saved his life.” De­spite their trou­bles, Pam con­tin­ues to be the ground­ing force in Mark’s life. “He goes to work on NCIS and then comes home to Pam,” says the source, “who’s al­ways been his sup­port.” They re­cently cel­e­brated their 32nd wedding an­niver­sary with­out any fan­fare. “It was a quiet cel­e­bra­tion at home,” says the source. “Mark and Pam don’t do Twit­ter or Face­book,” adds the in­sider, “they keep their stuff to them­selves. They say it’s kept them from be­com­ing an­other Hol­ly­wood di­vorce statis­tic.”

TV Roy­alty Mark and Pam were each at the top of their game when they fell in love in the mid-1980s.

Mark be­came a fa­ther fig­ure to his nephew Sam, although he and Pam ul­ti­mately didn’t win cus­tody of his sis­ter’s son. “He didn’t re­gret go­ing to bat for his nephew,” a source tells Star, “but wished that he could have done things dif­fer­ently. It caused a lot of ten­sion, both with his wife and with his sis­ter Kristin.” Fam­ily Busi­ness

Su­per Mom Pam be­came a stay-at-home mother for Sean (above) and Ty. “Two peo­ple can’t work all the time in show busi­ness and stay mar­ried,” she says.

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