One might not associate Mark Harmon of NCIS with the role of a serial mass murd3rer. But the actor was desperate to play Ted Bundy.
Ted Bundy, for those who don’t know, kidnapped, raped, and murd3red a number of young women during the 1970s. Between 1974 and 1978, he admitted to 30 of them. Let’s take a look at what prompted the NCIS star to want to play him, with a little help from a Looper article.
The NCIS actor, who starred in the 1986 miniseries The Deliberate Stranger before taking on the role of Leroy Jethro Gibbs, admits in an interview that he was thrilled to be playing Bundy. It was a different role than the one he had on NBC’s medical drama St. Elsewhere.
‘NCIS’ Star Admits Her Initial Reaction Was Excitement About Playing Bundy
“My very first reaction upon reading the screenplay was a real potential excitement to have the capabilities or opportunity to play a character that stretches an emotional range like this character,” Harmon explained. In 1986, he discussed it with Peter Lundquist, an entertainment reporter for WSVN-TV in Miami.
Harmon also mentions the opportunity to work on the miniseries with director Marvin J. Chomsky. It should be noted that the NCIS actor, who is known for playing silent, strong characters, was not the same for Bundy.
The actor also ran into people who knew Ted Bundy in real life. Harmon claims that some of Bundy’s former acquaintances mistook him for Bundy. Some of them would even refer to the actor as Ted.
Harmon never met the serial k1ller while filming the miniseries.
“I spent a lot of time with people who knew Bundy pretty well,” Harmon explained. “I guess it’s a pat on the back that people mistook me for the real person at times.”
This miniseries was released three years before Bundy’s execution on January 24, 1989. Harmon never met or spoke to Ted Bundy.
“I prepared by reading material,” the NCIS star explains. “I purposefully avoided meeting Bundy himself.” I’m proud that these four hours do not glorify this guy.” In 1987, Harmon was nominated for a Golden Globe for his work on the miniseries.
While these roles, as well as appearances on other TV shows and parts, are on Harmon’s resume, playing a guy like Ted Bundy is very different from his previous roles. Harmon, on the other hand, wanted to be able to cast himself in a variety of roles that would help him advance his career. All of his efforts would lead to him playing a well-known character on NCIS.
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