From way back in 2003, police action drama NCIS has wowed television viewers with its multifaceted characters, nail-biting action, and deep plot strands. Based on a fictional department of the real-life Naval Criminal Investigative Service federal agency, the show has become a main staple of the CBS network. And with high audience ratings and industry awards peppering its 15-season run so far, the series has also become one of the nation’s favorite small-screen treats. But a long-running program such as NCIS will have a similarly long line of performers who have graced it in one way or another during its successful history. So just how have the many female stars who made such arresting performances on NCIS changed over the years? Well, take a look at the evidence yourself…
20. Liza Lapira
She played Special Agent Michelle Lee from 2006 to 2008, but New York actress Liza Lapira finished her tenure on NCIS after a dozen episodes. Since leaving the show, the 36-year-old Lapira has certainly not been short on TV work, appearing in other high-profile programs such as Dexter and Dollhouse. She has also found the time to add appearances in films such as Cloverfield and Fast & Furious, among others, to her resume. Lapira’s projects may have changed over the years, but her looks have remained largely the same. The 30-something is still as naturally attractive as she was ten years ago.
19. Emily Wickersham
Despite being initially hired on a temporary basis, Kansas actress Emily Wickersham impressed the show’s execs so much that they ended up hiring her for a recurring role. Coming in to NCIS hot on the heels of the departing fan favorite actress Cote de Pablo, Wickersham took up the part of National Security Agency analyst Eleanor Bishop in 2013. The blonde beauty is still fighting crime on NCIS, but those battles clearly have done little to affect Wickersham’s striking looks. This theatrical performer dropped out of college earlier on in life, but this experience evidently did not make her drop her sights on success.
18. Stephanie Mello
With her curly locks and endearing smile, NCIS secretary Cynthia Sumner was a welcome addition to the show for two seasons. However, the actress responsible for the role is by no means just a one-trick pony in the TV circus. In fact, Stephanie Mello has notched up so many nationwide commercial campaigns that she has hit triple digits with her various advertising appearances. Besides that, not much else is known about what the L.A.-based actress has been up to since leaving NCIS. However, what we do know is that amazingly the 40-something has seemingly not aged at all in the 11 years since Mello said goodbye to the show.
17. Nina Foch
Of all the actresses featured on this list, none came with quite the same prestige as veteran star Nina Foch. Born in 1924, the Dutch-American performer enjoyed a career that lasted more than six decades in varied projects ranging from films to stage plays. First appearing in NCIS in 2005, Foch would receive credits in just two episodes – “Untouchable” and “The Meat Puzzle.” However, her majestic presence on the project alone was already enough. Sadly, NCIS proved to be one of the actress’ last ever jobs, and Foch passed over in 2008 at the grand old age of 84.
16. Brigid Brannagh
She may only have appeared in one episode of NCIS, but nevertheless San Franciscan actress Brigid Brannagh made quite an impact on the show. Playing a mentally deranged woman in the 2005 episode “Conspiracy Theory,” Brannagh’s character was arrested and never seen again. Besides NCIS, the actress has appeared in the TV likes of Army Wives, 24, and Grey’s Anatomy. But all that activity does not appear to have aged Brannagh any. If anything, the 45-year-old has only improved with age in the looks department.
15. Pauley Perrette
Hardcore fans of NCIS will readily acknowledge the integral part Pauley Perrette played on the program. With a long run that ranged from 2003 to 2018 – appearing in a whopping 352 episodes – Perrette’s idiosyncratic portrayal of forensic scientist Abby Sciuto has proved to be an enduring one. However, the New Orleans-born actress announced in 2017 that she would be leaving NCIS at the end of the 15th season – much to the dismay of the character’s many fans. Despite being on the show since the very beginning, the 49-year-old actress has still managed to maintain her mischievous and distinctively youthful appearance.
14. Margo Harshman
Another star of NCIS who is also well-known for other television roles is 32-year-old actress Margo Harshman. Yes, besides playing the paraplegic wife of Timothy McGee on the long-running show, the one-time child star has also been a key cast member in other productions, including The Big Bang Theory and Even Stevens. The San Diego woman’s understated looks and lovable persona have remained intact since Harshman made her debut on NCIS as Delilah McGee in 2013.
13. Susanna Thompson
By the time San Diego-born Susanna Thompson appeared on NCIS in 2006, the then 48-year-old actress already had a successful television career under her belt. However, she still had room to give her take on the role of Lieutenant Colonel Hollis Mann some genuine vigor. From Thompson’s debut all the way through to 2015, her character would pop up sporadically in NCIS episodes. Nevertheless, some things never changed down the years – Thompson’s enviable golden locks and timeless beauty.
12. Sasha Alexander
Sasha Alexander is the perfect example of an actress who’s time on NCIS served to springboard her onto another acting plateau. After appearing for two seasons as Caitlin Todd on the show, Alexander would later find herself starring in hit movies such as Mission: Impossible III, Yes Man and He’s Just Not That Into You – proving that she has the acting chops for both television and film. Evidently, the 45-year-old has also got the secret to remaining youthful, as the Los Angeles-born actress has barely changed in the years since her first appearance on NCIS.
11. Jamie Lee Curtis
As one of the biggest stars to ever grace the show’s production, the incomparable Jamie Lee Curtis appeared on NCIS for five episodes in 2012, playing the elusive doctor Samantha Ryan. Of course, the 59-year-old Hollywood A-lister has also starred in the legendary likes of Halloween, A Fish Called Wanda, True Lies, and countless other critically and commercially successful projects. When it comes to acting, few can match this award-winning star performer.
10. Cote de Pablo
She was a fan favorite but left them devastated in 2013 when she left NCIS after 188 appearances on the show. Yes, we mean Chilean stunner Cote de Pablo, or María José de Pablo Fernández as her parents named her. Following eight years playing NCIS operative Ziva David, the 38-year-old star left the series and sadly it does not seem like she will be able to return. In the last episode of season 13, it was stated that the character had died – much to the anguish of long-time aficionados of NCIS. Still, her activities in the realms of television presenting and singing have certainly proved to be very viable alternatives for de Pablo.
9. Darby Stanchfield
Darby Stanchfield has become something of a hot commodity in the world of television in recent years. The 47-year-old redhead has steadily been building her portfolio since her initial start in Diagnosis Murder back in 2000, appearing in prestigious projects such as Monk, Jericho, and – of course – NCIS. After playing Shannon Gibbs on the show for seven episodes, the Alaskan-born actress went on to star in the political thriller TV series Scandal. This presented ample evidence that Stanchfield has plenty to offer outside of her sterling work on NCIS.
8. Marisol Nichols
NCIS was by no means actress Marisol Nichols’ first foray into acting. No, in fact, the now 44-year-old actress from Illinois had appeared in major TV projects 24, Cold Case and ER years before she took the part of ATF Special Agent Zoe Keats. Despite only appearing in three episodes, Nichols actually starred as Tracy Keller in the spin-off NCIS: Los Angeles prior to that short stint. But despite this hectic double life, Nichols’ exotic looks have not suffered too much.
7. Scottie Thompson
Glowing Virginia-born actress Scottie Thompson illuminated NCIS for two separate spells. As Dr. Jeanne Benoit – lover of Tony DiNozzo – Thompson proved to be a worthy addition to the show, appearing from 2006 to 2008 in her first run, and 2015 to 2016 for her second time around. In perhaps a nod to her character, the 36-year-old Thompson still opts for her trademark curly hair, as well as some super-sleek glasses to boot. Professionally, Thompson is apparently still at the acting game, with her most recent appearance coming in the 2016 horror flick Before I Wake.
6. Meredith Eaton
If ever there was proof of a celebrity facing adversity head on and overcoming the situation, it would have to be Meredith Eaton. Standing at just four feet tall, the 43-year-old from Long Island became the first female with dwarfism to play a recurring part in a U.S. primetime series, thanks to her time on Family Law. Tragically, Eaton has also had to contend with the suicide of her husband, actor Michael Gilden, in 2006 – something which would send most people into a downward spiral. Thankfully, however, Eaton rose above, ultimately landing the part of Carol Wilson in NCIS for four years until 2013.
5. Lauren Holly
For 48 episodes, the character of Director Jenny Shepard was a key player in the NCIS drama. Played by esteemed American-Canadian performer Lauren Holly, Shepard led the rest of the crew in their crime-fighting efforts. But it was by no means the now 54–year–old Holly’s first ride at the rodeo. In fact, before she first appeared on NCIS in 2005, Holly had already starred on the big and small screens in the likes of Dumb and Dumber, Picket Fences and Chicago Hope. Unfortunately for NCIS fans, Director Shepard died on the job in 2008, meaning that there is only a ghost of a chance that Holly will appear on the show again.
4. Sarah Jane Morris
Memphis, Tennessee’s Sarah Jane Morris definitely had all the right credentials before landing a part in NCIS as Special Agent Erica Jane Barrett. From a recurring role in J. J. Abrams’ TV drama Felicity, to one-off performances in esteemed shows such as Law and Order: Criminal Intent, the 41-year-old has achieved a lot in television. And it seems that this wealth of acting experience has not made Morris pay when she looks in the mirror. She still sports the same luscious locks and fastidious fashion sense that we have witnessed in NCIS since 2011.
3. Mary Mouser
At just 22 years of age, former child star Mary Mouser has already achieved more than some actresses could hope for in a lifetime. To date, the female performer from Pine Bluff in Arkansas has appeared in hit TV shows such as King of Queens, Scandal, Scrubs and many more. However, Mouser made her first move on NCIS in 2002 as Kelly Gibbs. The actress ultimately went on to sporadically appear as Gibbs for the next decade until the character sadly met her demise. Meanwhile, Mouser herself is still going strong, with her most recent acting credit coming in The Karate Kid TV spin-off, Cobra Kai.
2. Millie Bobby Brown
One 2014 episode was all it took for English child actress Millie Bobby Brown to make a massive impact on NCIS. The then ten-year-old played Dr. Valerie Barnes’ daughter, Rachel, and let’s just say that this character was not the nicest child to ever appear on the show. In fact, the unfeeling psychotic ended up killing her mother in the show before vanishing from NCIS for good. But there is little chance that the actress herself is going anywhere after her breakout role in the Netflix phenomenon Stranger Things. Brown is also branching out into film with a part in the upcoming summer blockbuster Godzilla: King of the Monsters. Nevertheless, it is fair to say that the teenager has not really changed that much in little more than three years.
1. Alicia Coppola
One character who certainly gave off an intimidating vibe on NCIS was Lieutenant Commander Faith Coleman played by New Yorker Alicia Coppola. The no-nonsense officer was featured in three seasons, before Coppola moved on to other TV projects such as Sons of Anarchy and The Young and the Restless. But has Coppola changed much since she said farewell to the NCIS crew in 2005? – definitely. For starters, the 50-year-old no longer wears her hair in Coleman’s habitual tight bun, allowing it to flow naturally instead. On top of that, Coppola sports a much more casual dress sense – a stark difference from her flinty character’s inflexible wardrobe on NCIS.