How Mark Harmon and Pam Dawber Have Kept Their Marriage Strong, and Out Of The Spotlight, For 30 Years

Image of Pam Dawber and Mark Harmon.HuffPost Live

Celebrity relationships have a bad reputation as being short-term and easily breakable. When you see Hollywood couples who have been together for ten years or more, they’re viewed as something of an anomaly.

It wasn’t always that way. Social media and the internet have invaded everyone’s lives to the point that privacy is almost a commodity, even more so for celebs. Sometimes it’s on purpose, sometimes not. But Hollywood folks like Pam Dawber and Mark Harmon have managed to find the right formula for their lives.

Doing so has allowed this married couple to stay married for thirty years. Back in the ‘80s, Dawber’s career was on a trajectory from being on the beloved sitcom Mork & Mindy with Robin Williams. Then she landed a leading role on the hit show, My Sister Sam, which was keeping her busy when she married Mark in 1987.

He’s also been very successful in show business. With a resume that includes Chicago Hope, The West Wing, and the popular NCIS, Mark Harmon’s acting schedule has been packed and steady. Behind the scenes, that played a part in Pam’s decision to quit the business nearly two decades ago.

She’s done TV shows, Broadway productions, and cartoon voiceovers, and one day decided to hang things up for the sake of her family. According to an interview with Entertainment Tonight, she explained how important balance is when it comes to raising a family:

“I don’t think two people can work all the time in show business and stay married…. 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.”

She was content with taking care of the couple’s two sons – Sean and Taylor – and staying out of the public eye. Without the prying eyes and ears of the press, she and her husband were able to maintain a somewhat private life and happy marriage.

Neither of the two are into social media, and their sons haven’t picked up the habit, either. In this video shared by HuffPost, Mark discusses how there is a boundary between his work life and home life. How one toes that line is what makes a difference, but it’s not always black-and-white.

Click on the clip below to hear Mark speak about his long marriage and the spotlight. Though Mark catches more screen-time than his wife, Pam still will pop up here and there for a TV appearance. Her last stint on the small screen was in 2016 as a guest on The Odd Couple.

This past spring, the couple celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary by renewing their vows. It seems that slowing down with work is exactly part of what has made things work so well for them. That and good old-fashioned love. They’re a rarity among celeb relationships, and we hope Pam and Mark get to enjoy many more years together.

Are you a fan of these actors? Did you know these two have been married this long? What do you think of their philosophy on making a Hollywood marriage work?