‘You should hire this guy’! ‘NCIS’ Stars Mark Harmon and Rocky Carroll Met on Set of Another Show

“I was pretty fortunate because I had a pretty long relationship with CBS before NCIS came on my radar,” Carroll told CBS-Los Angeles in a interview earlier in 2021. “I had worked on several CBS shows. (Mark Harmon) and I actually met on Chicago Hope back in the ’90s. We were both members of the cast of Chicago Hope for three seasons.”

For Carroll, Chicago Hope represented his first big network show. He was on Roc, which ran on Fox. But Fox still was relatively new to the prime-time game. He portrayed Keith Wilkes, an ER doctor, on Chicago Hope, from 1996 to 2000.

Meanwhile, in his pre NCIS days, Harmon was known for his doctor roles. He played one on St. Elsewhere in the 1980s. His character contracted AIDS after having sex with a prostitute. Then on Chicago Hope, Harmon portrayed Dr. Jack McNeil.

And here’s another NCIS and Chicago Hope coincidence. Lauren Holly portrayed Dr. Jeremy Hanlon on the medical show. She joined the cast of NCIS in 2005. When her character died in 2008, Carroll’s Vance was promoted to her job.

“Judgment Day Part 1 and Part 2” — The fate of the entire team hangs in the balance as they hunt the killer of one of their own, on two-hour fifth season finale of NCIS, Tuesday, May 20th (8:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Pictured: Mark Harmon (left) and Rocky Carroll Photo: Eric McCandless/CBS ©2008 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Carroll said he didn’t run into Harmon again until he was auditioning for NCIS.

“The next time I saw him was during the end of season five of NCIS,” Carroll said. “My audition had less to do with me auditioning and more to do with (Harmon) saying, ‘I know this guy, I like him, [and] you should hire him.’”

Carroll still is playing Vance. He’s got 311 NCIS episodes under his belt. For context, Harmon is at 419. But going forward through season 19, Harmon still is listed in the permanent cast.

Vance wanted Gibbs to return. He offered him back his job several times. But he also knew that Gibbs’ mind was made up about leaving.

Now, Vance is trying to make sure than Alden Parker (Gary Cole) takes the job as special agent in charge. After all, it’s what Gibbs wanted.

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