See "Mork & Mindy" Star Pam Dawber Now at 70
She took a 15-year break but came out of retirement for a few special reasons.
While you likely know what the actor playing Mork went on to after the sitcom ended, you may not have kept up so well with Mindy. From 1978 to 1982, Pam Dawber starred on the TV comedy Mork & Mindy alongside Robin Williams. Williams played an alien living on Earth, and Dawber was his human roommate. Following her time on the series, she continued acting for years before taking some time off to raise her two children. Dawber returned to TV just last year alongside her husband of 35 years, fellow actor Mark Harmon.
Dawber has spoken out in interviews about her decision t0 take time away from the industry and why she eventually decided to return, even though she's no longer "chasing the business," as she told Entertainment Weekly. Read on to find out more about her life today.
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Dawber kept acting throughout the '80s and '90s.
After having her breakout role in Mork & Mindy, Dawber went on to star in the series My Sister Sam from 1986 to 1988. She then appeared in a number of TV movies and series, including regular roles in 1997's Life… and Stuff and as a voice actor on 101 Dalmatians: The Series in 1997 to 1998.
Dawber then stepped away from acting for about 15 years. In 2016, she told Entertainment Tonight of her career, "I was in a No. 1 show. I had my own deal. I got to do Broadway. I got to do musical theater. I got to do cartoon voices. I did everything you can do in this business, and then I had children and it's like, 'I'm not going to chase this fame thing.'"
She has two kids with Harmon.
Dawber and Harmon have been married since 1987 and they have two children, 33-year-old Sean and 29-year-old Ty. "I don't think two people can work all the time in show business and stay married," Dawber told Entertainment Tonight. And she was happy to be the one who took a break.
"I wanted to drive my kids to school," she explained. "I wanted to be there for their birthdays and bring cupcakes and doughnuts and do the school festivals and all that, and I did. I got to teach in their art class and so it was a different life then and I was very happy to do it."
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She made a rare exception for a special guest role.
In 2014, Dawber returned to TV for a guest appearance on Williams' show The Crazy Ones. "Oh, it was so much fun. I mean, it really was just so much fun," she told The A.V. Club four months before Williams' death in August 2014. "I don't know what it is about the two of us, but I have just loved him on a very deep level. Robin is truly one of the kindest, most caring people I've ever met."
Dawber also talked about working with Williams again in her 2016 Entertainment Tonight interview. "I hadn't seen Robin for 20 years," she said. "I did that episode because I wanted to be with Robin. I wanted to see Robin. That was a gift. That was such a gift."
She returned to acting again to work with her husband.
Dawber came back to TV in 2016 for a guest role on the reboot of The Odd Couple in an episode the honored creator of the original series, Garry Marshall; Marshall also created Mork & Mindy.
Last year, Dawber took on another part, this time alongside her husband. Harmon has starred on NCIS sine 2003, and after being asked multiple times, Dawber decided to finally appear on the show in 2021. "The character is so good. I just fell in love with what they wrote. And then I had anxiety like, 'Oh my God, am I going to do this?'" she told Entertainment Weekly.
She did have one stipulation, though: She wouldn't play a love interest for Harmon. "I talked to the writers and the producers before I signed on and said, 'If this is a romantic interest, I'm not interested.' They said not at all, that's not where we're going with this."
Dawber co-starred in seven episodes of the show, and her character, Marcie, completed her storyline in October 2021.