Mark Harmon, Pauley Perrette and Michael Weatherly are part of 'NCIS' history
NCIS is still in action.
Since the longtime CBS drama premiered in 2003, the series has undergone numerous plotlines that have continued to develop over the years. With that, the NCIS cast has rotated from its original members — including Mark Harmon, Pauley Perrette, Michael Weatherly and Cote de Pablo — to a newer class of special agents who are taking the lead in cases and forming strong bonds amongst themselves.
In season 21, Sean Murray and Gary Cole’s characters will keep working on their partnership, while actors Brian Dietzen and Katrina Law’s roles will intertwine further, thanks to their on-screen chemistry. Meanwhile, Wilmer Valderrama’s character will deal with past tensions and Diona Reasonover’s role grapples with the loss of late actor David McCallum and his character, Ducky.
The monumental installment also makes NCIS the third longest-running primetime drama ever, per The Hollywood Reporter. As new episodes begin airing in 2024, there’s a lot to reflect on, like what former cast members have been up to since leaving the CBS show.
Whether they have taken a step back from acting, starred in new titles or pursued personal ambitions, here is what the cast of NCIS has been up to following their departures.
Mark Harmon as Leroy Jethro Gibbs
Mark Harmon was born in Burbank, California and played Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs for nearly two decades. The character was first introduced on the legal drama JAG in 2003 before NCIS premiered later that same year.
Prior to NCIS, the actor appeared in other TV procedurals, like Reasonable Doubts, Charlie Grace and The West Wing. Harmon also starred alongside Lindsay Lohan and Jamie Lee Curtis in Freaky Friday (2003). His other film credits include Chasing Liberty (2004) and Weather Girl (2009).
After leading NCIS for 18 seasons, Harmon exited the series in 2021. Gibbs was written off the series: After solving a case in Alaska, the special agent decided to stay there rather than return to Washington, D.C.
The actor later opened up about playing Gibbs and his departure from NCIS.
"What has always drawn me here is the character I play and to keep that fresh and to keep it challenging," Harmon said in a special featurette on the season 19 DVD release, per Entertainment Tonight. "Plot-wise, this character has taken the path that it did.”
He also shared that though Gibbs was no longer appearing on the show, he was "not retired," adding, "The character is living in Alaska as far as I know."
In a statement to PEOPLE, executive producer Steve Binder said fans may see Gibbs on-screen again. “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,” he said. “So regarding the future of Gibbs, as longtime fans of the show may have noticed over the years ... never count Leroy Jethro Gibbs out."
Pauley Perrette as Abby Sciuto
Born in New Orleans, Pauley Perrette is best known for playing quirky forensic scientist Abby Sciuto on NCIS for 15 seasons after being introduced on JAG in 2003.
Her credits before NCIS include The Drew Carey Show, Dawson’s Creek and Almost Famous.
Ahead of her last season finale in 2018, Perrette spoke about her character's impact on young female viewers. During an appearance on The Talk, the actress touched on how her character "made math and science ... a viable plan" that was "accessible" and "fun."
“It’s been so heartwarming, and it’s been such a real thing," she added. "These are real people, who now 16 years later have gotten their degrees in science and math all because of Abby.”
Perrette departed the series in May 2018 after 15 seasons. She alleged in a series of posts on X (formerly known as Twitter) that she endured “multiple physical assaults” on set and that the “publicity ‘machine’ ” had kept her silent.
In a statement obtained by PEOPLE in May 2018, CBS Television Studios confirmed that the actress came forward with a “workplace concern” more than a year prior and that it “took the matter seriously.”
The following year, Perrette announced that “after a few devastatingly difficult years,” she was returning to television in a new CBS sitcom, Broke. The series aired in 2020 but got canceled after one season, and a few weeks later, she revealed on X that she was retiring from acting.
In 2022, Perrette told PEOPLE that a year prior, at age 53, she had suffered a massive stroke, but she was now “super healthy.”
Perrette was married to musician Francis “Coyote” Shivers from 2000 to 2006. She became engaged to cameraman Michael Bosman around 2008, but they broke up before getting married.
Sasha Alexander as Caitlin Todd
Sasha Alexander was born in Los Angeles and played Special Agent Caitlin Todd in the first two seasons of NCIS. Her early TV credits include Dawson’s Creek and Friends.
Her NCIS character was killed in the season 2 finale when a terrorist shot her. Since then, Alexander has made several appearances in the drama, including seasons 3, 9 and 12.
In a 2012 interview with TV Guide magazine, she explained that the film schedule was grueling. “People don't realize that on a network show, you make 24 episodes a year — that's 10½ months a year, 17 hours a day,” Alexander said. “It's hardcore.”
After NCIS, the actress starred in the TNT series Rizzoli & Isles, Showtime’s Shameless and was featured in a 2020 episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm. She also starred in the films Yes Man (2008) and He’s Just Not That Into You (2009).
Michael Weatherly as Anthony DiNozzo
Michael Weatherly played Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo from 2003 to 2016. Before his breakout role, the actor appeared on The Cosby Show as Theo Huxtable’s roommate and on the soap opera Loving and its spinoff The City.
Prior to his exit, Weatherly spoke with reporters about his departure and said of his character: “I spent a lot of hours with him and we’ll see if I miss him after a while, but I think I will. I liked him. He had a really great puppyish sense of fun and adventure and optimism.”
Weatherly went on to star in the CBS legal drama Bull, which premiered in 2016 but was canceled in 2022 following sexual harassment allegations against the actor. In a 2018 op-ed for The Boston Globe, former Bull cast member Eliza Dushku detailed multiple allegations of inappropriate behavior by Weatherly. After she came forward, the network paid her $9.5 million in a settlement.
In a statement to PEOPLE, a spokesperson for CBS said "the allegations in Ms. Dushku's claims are an example that, while we remain committed to a culture defined by a safe, inclusive and respectful workplace, our work is far from done."
They continued, "The settlement of these claims reflects the projected amount that Ms. Dushku would have received for the balance of her contract as a series regular, and was determined in a mutually agreed upon mediation process at the time."
Weatherly issued an apology in a statement to The New York Times.
"During the course of taping our show, I made some jokes mocking some lines in the script,” it read. “When Eliza told me that she wasn’t comfortable with my language and attempt at humor, I was mortified to have offended her and immediately apologized. After reflecting on this further, I better understand that what I said was both not funny and not appropriate and I am sorry and regret the pain this caused Eliza.”
As for his personal life, Weatherly married Bojana Jankovic in 2009 and they share two children. He was previously married to actress Amelia Heinle, with whom he shares a son.
Cote de Pablo as Ziva David
Born in Chile, Cote de Pablo joined NCIS as Special Agent Ziva David in season 3 until the character appeared to be killed off in season 13. Her departure felt sudden to fans at the time but during a 2016 interview, the actress revealed that she left “because of political things and scripts not being good enough.”
However, de Pablo returned to the series in season 16 and had a recurring role in several episodes in season 17.
“I hoped that at some point something like this could happen and it’s just so the stars aligned and here I am with this guy,” de Pablo told ET in an on set interview with Harmon in 2019, five years after her initial departure from the show. “I said, ‘Give me a really good reason to come back.’ ”
After NCIS, de Pablo appeared in The 33, a film based on the 2010 Chilean mining accident, and the CBS miniseries The Dovekeepers. In 2018, Deadline reported that de Pablo and former NCIS cast member Weatherly would executive produce an upcoming CBS detective drama called MIA.
Emily Wickersham as Ellie Bishop
Emily Wickersham, born in Kansas, played Special Agent Ellie Bishop from 2013 to 2021. Prior to NCIS, Wickersham had minor roles on shows like The Sopranos, Gossip Girl and Bored to Death and appeared in films like Definitely, Maybe (2008) and Gone (2012).
Following NCIS’ season 18 finale, where her character went off on a top-secret mission, Wickersham announced she was leaving the series.
"I can't say enough kind words about this group that I've had the pleasure of working with for close to 8 years now and 172 episodes later,” she continued. “Thank you CBS and NCIS for including me in a part of television history.”
Later that same year, Wickersham announced on Instagram that she and her partner, actor James Badge Dale, welcomed a son named Cassius Wickersham Dale. The actress was previously married to musician Blake Hanley from 2010 to 2018.
Maria Bello as Jack Sloane
Hailing from Pennsylvania, Maria Bello played forensic psychologist Jacqueline “Jack” Sloane from 2017 to 2021. She is also known for her past roles in Coyote Ugly (2000), The Cooler (2003) and The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (2008). Her other TV credits include ER and Law & Order: SVU.
Ahead of her final NCIS episode airing, Bello shared that she would not be returning to the CBS drama.
“I understand why this show after 18 years is the most watched in the world - you must all feel our love,” she wrote on Instagram alongside pictures of her with fellow cast members. “Keep watching. I have a feeling there will be many more years to come. Thank you to all of my pals at NCIS and to all of our fans. I am truly grateful.”
As for her personal life, Bello revealed in 2020 that she was engaged to chef Dominique Crenn. The actress told PEOPLE they will wed in spring 2024, saying, "We have the wedding planner, we have the date, we have the location. And our save the date says, ‘Yep, we're finally doing it.' "
The actress also shares a son, Jackson, with her ex-boyfriend, screenwriter Dan McDermott, and was previously in a relationship with film producer Clare Munn.
Jennifer Esposito as Alexandra Quinn
Born in Brooklyn, New York, Jennifer Esposito starred in season 14 of NCIS as Special Agent Alexandra "Alex" Quinn. The actress was previously known for her film roles, such as Summer of Sam (1999), Crash (2004) and Taxi (2004).
After appearing in 24 episodes, Deadline reported that Esposito would not return to NCIS, citing a “new creative direction.”
“It was a great experience,” she said in a statement to the outlet. “I could not have asked for a better opportunity than to work with the NCIS cast and producers.”
Before and after her time on NCIS, the actress played Detective Jackie Curatola on Blue Bloods. She also starred in season 1 of the Amazon Prime series The Boys and currently appears in the Comedy Central series Awkwafina Is Nora from Queens.
In 2006, Esposito married Bradley Cooper, but the couple filed for divorce five months later. She was later engaged to Australian tennis player Mark Philippoussis and British model Louis Dowler.
Esposito and Dowler were married from 2014 to 2016. Following their divorce, she married Danish fitness coach Jesper Vesterstrøm in 2020.
Duane Henry as Clayton Reeves
British actor Duane Henry played M16 agent Clayton Reeves from seasons 13 through 15.
Henry left the series after showrunner Gary Glasberg, who created his character, died in 2016.
“When Gary passed [at the start of season 14], I was feeling a bit of panic in people's faces,” Henry told TVLine in 2018. “I could tell that they were not really sure [what the future held]."
He continued, "I kind of got my bearings together and thought, ‘What's going to happen now with the character?’ I live in a world called ‘You Never Know,’ so I'm always prepared for everything."
After NCIS, Henry had a minor role in the 2019 blockbuster Captain Marvel. He also starred in the Hallmark movie A Gingerbread Romance and Lifetime's Mistletoe in Montana.
David McCallum as Dr. Donald "Ducky" Mallard
David McCallum was born in Scotland and portrayed Dr. Donald "Ducky" Mallard for two decades, from the show’s inception in 2003 until his death. CBS announced the actor died “peacefully” of natural causes at age 90 on Sept. 25, 2023, surrounded by his family at New York Presbyterian Hospital.
Before playing the chief medical examiner and historian on NCIS, McCallum was cast as Illya Kuryakin in the spy fiction series The Man from U.N.C.L.E., for which he earned two Primetime Emmy Awards nominations and a Golden Globes nod. In the years following, he also showcased his creative talent by releasing four music albums and authored several books.
In an interview with the Emmys in January 2023, McCallum shared that he would like to be remembered “with affection,” and his cast members did so, including actor Brian Dietzen, who plays Ducky’s protégé, Jimmy Palmer.
“David and I (along with our alter-ego’s Ducky and Jimmy) developed a deep friendship and love of our shared work,” he wrote on Instagram, alongside photos of them. “He was a joy to work with. Always had a smile. Always had something new to add to the page, and ALWAYS had the ability to steal every scene he was in!”
NCIS executive producers Steven D. Binder and David North added in a statement, “From day one, it was an honor to work with him and he never let us down. He was, quite simply, a legend. He was also family and will be deeply missed.”
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