In Hollywood, finding a couple that has stayed together for over three decades is quite the anomaly.
Maybe it’s the busy work schedules on far-flung locations that contribute to the high divorce rate among the Hollywood elite, or perhaps it’s a multitude of other factors unique to the entertainment industry, but it’s incredibly rare to find two people who’ve remained devoted to each other and their family for years on end.
But Mark Harmon and retired actress Pam Dawber have been married for thirty years, and Pam just opened up about her secret to making a celebrity marriage work.
When the couple first met, Pam was a sought-after sitcom star famous for hit shows like “Mork & Mindy” and “My Sister Sam.”
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After Mark and Pam had their two sons, Pam made a decision that she says is the reason she was able to stay married for so long. Pam walked away from the limelight entirely, giving up acting in order to devote all of her time to raising her kids.
“I don’t think two people can work all the time in show business and stay married,” Pam explained. “I was in a number one 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.'”
Pam went on to say that she didn’t think she could be the kind of mom she wanted to be when she and Mark were both working as actors with hectic shooting schedules.
“I wanted to drive my kids to school. I wanted to be there for their birthdays and bring cupcakes and donuts 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…”
Another secret to staying married to a constantly-working actor like Mark? Staying out of the tabloids. This mama bear is decidedly against seeing her kids’ faces all over the magazine rack at the local supermarket. She also knows firsthand how quickly a rumor can cause a serious rift in any marriage, even without adding the free press into the mix.
Mostly, Pam was happy to take a backseat to Mark’s career so that she could focus all of her energy on the important job of being a parent.
“Their father is already iconic enough for two boys. I am just the mom,” she says with a laugh. “I’m just their mom. They don’t care about what I did. They care about what they’re doing. They want their parents to care about what they’re doing.”
What do you think of Pam’s notion? Whether you agree with her ideas or not, it does seem that her philosophy has worked for her particular relationship and family. Every family dynamic is different, however, and what works for some, might not work for others.
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