Oct 29, 2012

Mark Harmon

Former footballer Mark Harmon moved into modeling and then into acting during the 1970s, with roles in the usual suspects: Emergency, Adam-12, Police Woman, Love Boat.  He starred in three tv series: Sam (1977-78), 240-Robert (1979-80), Flamingo Road (1980-82), and St. Elsewhere (1983-86).











But I didn't watch any of those programs: I knew him from Battle of the Network Stars, which shoved hunks into Speedos and paraded them around for us: he appeared in 1981, 1982, and twice in 1984.














And for Let's Get Harry (1986), a rehash of the man-mountain genre, in which a regular guy named Harry (Mark Harmon) is taken hostage in Colombia, and a group of regular guys, including his brother (Michael Schoeffling, not to be confused with John F. Kennedy Jr., left) and best friend (Gary Busey, who previously appeared in Big Wednesday) come to the rescue.  Buddy-bonding, beefcake, and minimal heterosexual interest.












And for Summer School (1987), in which a slacker substitute teacher takes his class to the beach.  There's a heterosexist boy-meets-girl plot, but a huge amount of male nudity, especially Kevin (Patrick Labyorteaux) (Matthew's brother) and Larry (Ken Olandt), who takes a summer job as a stripper.  Plus a nicely-realized crush between slackers Dave (Gary Foley) and Chainsaw (Dean Cameron), a precursor to Orange County's Arlo and Chad.




While I wasn't looking, Mark Harmon was stacking up Golden Globes, Emmies, and up lots of "most beautiful people" award;, appearing nude in Playgirl;  and playing a doctor who contracts AIDS (through unprotected sex with a woman) on St. Elsewhere.  He's currently the central character on NCIS, which has had several gay-themed episodes.