This Monday at The Pink Heart Society, Harlequin Romantic Suspense and Nocturne author, Karen Whiddon talks to us about the treasure trove of hero inspiration which can be found in the NCIS franchise.
Yes, I admit it. I am a big NCIS fan. I watch both the regular NCIS and NCIS Los Angeles. And now there’s NCIS New Orleans! Talk about some male eye candy.
Let’s start with the most popular show, NCIS. Everyone – and I mean everyone – adores Mark Harmon.
Mark Thomas Harmon was born September 2, 1951 in Burbank, California and plays former Gunnery Sergeant/Marine Sniper turned NCIS Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs. Series creator, Donald P. Bellisario initially didn't think Harmon would suit the role of a 'flinty type with a strong sense of honor and respect for the military' but changed his mind after viewing a tape of him on The West Wing.
Could you imagine anyone else playing the part of Gibbs? Is he the Agent you'd want to rescue you?
Like a fine wine, Harmon just gets better with age!
But the beauty of NCIS is there's a fine cast of men, no matter what type you prefer.
Michael Manning Weatherly Jnr. was born July 8, 1968 in New York City. In the role of Tony he often provides comic relief, earning slaps across the back of the head from Gibbs for his efforts.
Then, of course, there are his numerous romantic interests. Fellow Agent Caitlin Todd once described him as an 'X-Rated Peter Pan' who was annoying but whose absence was nevertheless keenly felt. But it was his relationship with another Agent, Ziva David, which caught fans attention and led to a particular hashtag online.
Are you a fan who wanted #Tiva to get together? Do you hold out any hope for her return?
Next up we have Sean Murray, who plays the part of Agent Tim McGee, a kind of nerdish, yet cool guy.
Sean Harland Murray was born November 15, 1977 in Bethesda, Maryland and spent his childhood in New South Wales, Australia. In his role as McGee, he has been nick-named everything from Probie to McGeek to Baldy McBald by Tony. But we have watched this timid, inexperienced agent grow from season to season, evolving into a bolder, more assertive character with an ever-present streak of honesty and responsibility which gained Tony's respect.
Do you love McGee for his nerdy streak or is it his sense of honor and duty you love most?
Last but by no means least in the original series, we have Rocky Carroll who plays director Leon Vance.
Roscoe 'Rocky' Carroll was born July 8, 1963 in Cincinnati, Ohio and didn't appear as Director Vance in NCIS until season five. When he first took over the position he had a tense relationship with Gibbs and his team, parting them into new assignments at the start of season six. By season ten, he was on friendlier terms with Gibbs, who was empathetic after the death of Vance's wife, having been through a similar experience himself.
What do you think about Vance? Is he a better director than his predecessor or do you find him hard to read at times?
He also makes regular guest appearances in NCIS: Los Angeles and on that subject...
This show has three of my favorite drool-worthy men. Starting with the coolest of the cool, LL Cool J, who plays Sam Hanna, an uber-tough, devoted family man and friend.
Born James Todd Smith on January 14, 1968 in Bay Shore, New York, LL Cool J (short for Ladies Love Cool James) became famous for his hip hop tracks before becoming an actor. In the role of Sam, he's a former Navy SEAL with a strong sense of honor, determination and loyalty. He can become emotionally involved in cases and is incredibly protective of the people he cares about. His wife, Michelle, is a former CIA undercover operative and they have a young daughter together.
Is Sam your man or are you more taken by the mystery which is G Callen?
Callen is played by Chris O’Donnell and the character was first introduced in a 'back door pilot' during season 6 of the original NCIS.
Christopher Eugene O'Donnell was born June 26, 1970 in Winnetka, Illinois. In the role of Callen, he's a former CIA operative who specializes in deep undercover work and has been partnered with Sam for more than five years. He's Romanian, knows little about his past and had a troubled childhood, living in thirty-seven foster homes from the age of five. He uses the initial 'G; because the system never told him his first name. And apart from Sam, he doesn't 'do' close relationships and is a loner.
What do you think the letter G stands for? George? Gordon? Graham? Gorgeous works...
Then there's Eric Christian Olsen, who plays Detective Marty Deeks.
Eric Christian Olsen was born May 31, 1977 in Eugene, Oregon and in the role of Deeks, he’s a California surfer, former lawyer and when we first met him was working undercover for the LAPD. Deeks is a fun guy, often providing the same comic relief as Tony in NCIS. He’s also secretly in love with his partner, Kensi Blye and their relationship led to the creation of another hashtag on social media where there is a large following of fans keen to see the show follow through on the growing intimacy we saw develop between them last season.
Are you a #Densi fan eagerly awaiting the return of the show? Do you think we will (finally!) get to see them together? Will it end their working relationship if they're officially a couple? Say it ain't so!
In case you hadn't heard, we have another NCIS spin-off to watch this season - NCIS: New Orleans.
And you know what that means? More NCIS men! YAY!
The lead role of Special Agent Dwayne Cassius (King) Pride is played by Scott Bakula. Need I say more? I used to love him in Quantum Leap. Sigh.
Scott Stewart Bakula was born October 9, 1954 in St. Louis, Missouri and made his first appearance as Agent Pride in another back-door pilot during the last season of NCIS. Pride is a New Orleans native, long-time friend of Agent Gibbs and established the branch of NCIS which handles cases from the Mississippi River to the Texas Panhandle. Beyond that, we don't know much about him, yet. But we have another case of fine wine in Bakula, don't you think?
Are you looking forward to the new show? Do you think Pride will be able to live up to the legend that is Gibbs? Were you a Quantum Leap fan?
And to round out this Male on Monday selection, we have Lucas Black who plays Agent Christopher LaSalle.
Lucas York Black was born November 29, 1982 in Decatur, Alabama, which makes him the youngest of our NCIS actors. Agent LaSalle was a Deputy Sheriff prior to joining NCIS and once worked on a Vice Squad. He has been working closely with Agent Pride and in the back-door pilot, they were initially the only two agents in the office. He also mentions that he volunteers at a local hospital where the kids keep him honest and help him keep his head on straight. But beyond that, again, we have much to learn.
Can you foresee Agent LaSalle helping to create another hashtag on Social Media? Will he provide some of the comic relief like DiNozzo and Deeks or would you like to see him bring something new and unexpected?
I can't wait to see them in action!
N.B.: Theo Colton, the hero in my latest book might be a former rodeo superstar who has lost everything and has to start over. But between you and me, in my mind, he looked a lot like Chris O’Donnell/Callen.
Are you one of the millions of fans who tune into the NCIS shows every week? Will you be tuning into the new show? Who is your favourite NCIS guy? Let us know in the comments!
Karen Whiddon's latest book for Harlequin Romantic Suspense, A Secret Colton Baby, will be released on October 7th.
A new addition to Wyoming's most scandalous family.
Is Theo Colton the father of a baby dropped at his doorstep by a dying socialite? Even more shocked than the sexy bronc-riding champ is his beautiful cook, Ellie Parker. Just as she becomes the baby's nanny, she discovers a terrifying stalker has followed her to Dead River.
What's worse - as a mysterious virus quarantines the town, danger goes viral, too. But to Theo and Ellie the biggest dangers are their sizzling attraction and profound new feelings. Can Ellie tame the cowboy who wants nothing more than a wild ride with women? Or must she deny her heart to save his life?