‘NCIS’ Star Mark Harmon Once Jumped at an Opportunity to Play Ted Bundy

One might not put Mark Harmon of NCIS together with playing a serial mass m*****r. But the actor really wanted to play Ted Bundy.

For those that don’t know, Ted Bundy ki/*****d, raped, and m*-*-*-*d numerous young women through the 1970s. He would admit to 30 of them between 1974 and 1978. Let’s see what led the NCIS star to want to portray him with some help from an article on Looper.

The NCIS actor, which did this miniseries titled The Deliberate Stranger in 1986 way before playing Leroy Jethro Gibbs, admits in an interview that he was really excited to be playing Bundy. It was a different role from being on medical dramas like St. Elsewhere, which he was on NBC.
‘NCIS’ Star Admits First Reaction Was Excitement Around Playing Bundy

“My very first reaction upon reading the screenplay was a real potential excitement to have the capabilities or the opportunity to play a character that stretches an emotional range like this character,” Harmon said. He talked about this in 1986 with Peter Lundquist, an entertainment reporter for WSVN-TV in Miami.

Harmon also says that the opportunity to work with director Marvin J. Chomsky on the miniseries. It should be said that the NCIS actor, who has been one to play a silent, strong type, was definitely not that way for Bundy.

The actor also found himself meeting those who really did now Ted Bundy. Ironically, Harmon says some of Bundy’s former acquaintances confused Harmon with Bundy. Heck, some of them even would call the actor Ted.
Harmon Never Met Serial Killer While Preparing To Play Him In Miniseries

“I spent time with people who knew Bundy pretty well,” Harmon said. “That people were at times confusing me with the real person I guess is kind of a pat on the back.”

This miniseries came out three years before Bundy was executed for his crimes on Jan. 24, 1989. Harmon never met or spoke with Ted Bundy at all.

“My preparation was done from reading material,” the NCIS star says. “I consciously stayed away from meeting Bundy himself. I’m proud of the fact that this four hours does not glorify this guy.” Harmon did receive a Golden Globe nomination for his work on the miniseries in 1987.

While these roles, along with appearances on other TV shows and parts, too, are part of the Harmon resume’, playing a guy like Ted Bundy is definitely different from his known roles. But Harmon also wanted to have chances to get himself in a different set of characters that would help advance his own career. All of this work would lead him to portray a well-loved role on NCIS.