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Mark Harmon is known for more than his adventures on the television series NCIS. The actor has been recognized for many roles and titles and even once received the honor of being the Sexiest Man Alive. However, his wife, Pam Dawber, had a pretty unfavorable opinion of the title.

How Pam Dawber really felt about Mark Harmon being the Sexiest Man Alive

Mark Harmon and Pam Dawber posing at TV Guide magazine's Annual Hot List Party.
Pam Dawber and Mark Harmon | Michael Tullberg/Getty Images

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Harmon found out he was given the title of Sexiest Man Alive the same way most people did. The actor was enjoying an afternoon with his friends when the reveal caught him off guard.

“I’d done an interview with PEOPLE about leaving St. Elsewhere, and I went up to play basketball, and both backboards on either side of the court were plastered with the [Sexiest Man Alive] cover,” Harmon said in a 2015 interview with People. “So that’s how I found out.”

Although he acknowledged there were other actors who embraced the title, Harmon himself didn’t care too much for it.

“There are people who take it certainly much more seriously than I do,” he said. It seemed his wife, Pam Dawber, agreed with her husband.

 “It’s like, you have to hang on to something,” Dawber once told the Chicago Tribune. “All this ‘sexiest man’ stuff. Come on. We all know how this works, don’t we? It’s all hype. Once you’re in show business, it’s all up to the press. If someone wants to call you the schlepp of all time, they can do it.”

How Mark Harmon’s ‘Sexiest Man Alive’ title affected his life

In an old interview with Joan Rivers (via Outsider), Harmon further reflected on his sexiest man title. When he was asked how he planned to follow up on the success, he quipped that it might be difficult.

“I think they’re pretty hard up for sexy men,” Harmon said.

The actor also asserted it didn’t do much for his dating life then. He still had as much difficulty finding the right one as he always had, which Rivers couldn’t believe.

“I’m having trouble right now as we speak,” Harmon said.

But there was one incident when a potential partner almost literally fell in Harmon’s lap. But it’s unclear if this was because of his newfound sexiest man title or simply because he was Mark Harmon.

“The other day, I was in my car and I was locking up. All of a sudden, this red Ferrari pulled up next to me, and the lady said, ‘Hey, can I borrow a pen?’” Harmon recalled. “So, I took out a pen and handed it to her. I locked my car and set the alarm. Then I turned around, and she handed me back the pen with her phone number and took off.”

But Harmon never called her back. “I just saw her legs. It’s hard to just get attracted to legs,” he said. “She drives a nice car, though.”

Mark Harmon’s ‘NCIS’ co-star once made fun of his ‘Sexiest Man Alive’ title

Harmon’s NCIS co-star Wilmer Valderrama couldn’t help but poke fun at the actor’s ‘Sexiest Man’ title decades after he won it. Valderrama once told People that he’d bring it up in conversation any time that he could with Harmon.

“We’ll be talking about vintage cars, and then I would segue into, like, ‘Well, you would know because you’re the sexiest man alive.’ We always bring it up. . . . He was very sexy,” Valderrama said.

Ironically, Valderrama also found himself in the 2019 edition of People’s ‘Sexiest Man Alive.’ And he seemed to be slightly more receptive to the title than Harmon once was.

“It’s nice to be thought of that way,” Valderrama said.