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Mark Harmon leaves 'NCIS' after 18 seasons

Mark Harmon appeared as Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs in his final episode of NCIS. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI
Mark Harmon appeared as Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs in his final episode of "NCIS." File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

Oct. 12 (UPI) -- Longtime NCIS star Mark Harmon has left the show after 18 seasons.

The 70-year-old actor appeared as Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs in his final episode of the police procedural series Monday.

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Monday's episode showed Gibbs (Harmon) decide to remain in Alaska indefinitely after solving a case.

"I'm not going back, Tim," Gibbs told his partner, Special Agent Timothy McGee (Sean Murray). "I'm not going back home."

Gibbs said he wasn't sure what he was looking for in Alaska but felt a "sense of peace" he hadn't experienced since the deaths of his first wife, Shannon (Darby Stanchfield) and daughter, Kelly (Mary Mouser).

Harmon will continue to serve as an executive producer on NCIS. Showrunner Steven D. Binder praised the actor and hinted at his future on the show in a statement Monday.

"As an executive producer and dear friend, Mark continues to be an integral part of the fabric of the show," Binder said. "Our north star has always been staying true to our characters, and that truth has always guided the stories we tell and where those characters go."

"So regarding the future of Gibbs, as long-time fans of the show may have noticed over the years... never count Leroy Jethro Gibbs out," he teased.

NCIS is in its 19th season on CBS. The series co-stars Murray, Wilmer Valderrama, Katrina Law, Brian Dietzen, Diona Reasonover, David McCallum and Rocky Carroll.

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