When it comes to popular crime dramas (or “crimetime” dramas), there have been a huge number to choose from. These include favorites such as Law & Order, Dexter, Blue Bloods, and Bones, all of which showcase the work and personal lives of the law enforcing teams involved in solving homicides across America. However, there is one show that has been able to put a unique, maritime spin on things, and that has gone on to create a huge fan base over its fourteen years on the air – NCIS. The Naval Criminal Investigative Service takes on all number of crimes that occur within the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps.
Throughout the seasons there have been a number of different characters come and go. This has left the show with just five members of the original team, but that, too, looks as though it could be changing, as two more are rumored to be exiting the show. There have been over 80 different characters that have appeared in the series so far, a lot of whom have been fantastic female characters. This got us thinking – when they’re not on the show, what do these women find themselves doing?
The show was one of the breakthroughs within the genre as it was one of the first crime dramas to be released, and it has continues to entertain the audience with its 15th season currently being aired. Over the years the show’s audience numbers have peaked at a whopping 21.34 million viewers per episode for the 2012/2013 season. With such a huge number of people tuning in each week to watch the stories unfold, the show must be doing something right, and both critics and fans have listed its respectful portrayal of complex female characters as a highlight of the show.
But while we’ve seen them on NCIS, we’re less familiar with what these amazing ladies have been up to. Are they still in the acting business? Have they stuck with their policing background, or have they decided to branch out into a different world altogether?
Unsurprisingly, the various women to appear on NCIS have different, individual career paths. One thing is for sure, though – the women on this show are willing to go as far as they can to get into their character roles. Read on to see in what direction they’ve taken themselves outside of the this action-packed series.
Pauley Perrette as Abby Sciuto
Black is the signature color of this NCIS original. The forensic scientist is most recognized when wearing one of her many signature chokers, which are emphasized when she pulls her dark hair into a pair of pigtails. As far as outfits go, Abby sticks with the color theme as her gothic fashion often sees the character wearing black dresses, t-shirts, or miniskirts. Her jewelry (apart from her choker) is typically kept to anklets and toe rings.
Pauley Perrette in real life
It is a sad time for NCIS fans as Pauley Perrette is reported to be leaving after working with the show for the last fifteen years. Her exit from the NCIS team may see the actress claim back her blonde locks that she has kept hidden for so long, but who knows? There are similarities in tattoos between Pauley and Abby as a lot of them are, in fact, her own, but one distinct piece of ink is missing – the famous spider web – that one is just makeup.
Jennifer Esposito as Alexandra Quinn
Even though Alexandra wasn’t a part of the NCIS team for long (one season to be precise), she was able to leave a huge mark on her teammates during their time working together. The character brought a smart casual appearance to the show as she opted for shirts as her uniform. Alexandra tended to wear her light-brown hair down, unlike many other women that wore it underneath their hats, but she had to leave when her mother started to develop Alzheimer’s.
Jennifer Esposito in real life
The 44 year-old actress has made quite a change to her appearance since leaving the show last year. Although we haven’t seen Jennifer acting in anything since her time as Alexandra, when appearing at red carpet events the actress has showcased her ombre locks, which she has recently taken a lot darker. It seems as though the wait for Jennifer’s return may soon be over though as the movie Cigarette credits her as the lead actress, but the film is still in post-production for the time being.
Stephanie Mello as Cynthia Sumner
Cynthia was the personal assistant to one of the U.S. Navy members on the show. The character appeared in 13 episodes but had to maintain a smart dress sense for her job. Cynthia was often seen wearing smart clothing; usually, an office suit, with her dark hair either styled down or partially tied up. She didn’t get much screen time, but it was apparent that she and Leroy Gibbs had a difficult relationship due to him constantly barging into her office.
Stephanie Mello in real life
It has been 14 years since we last saw Stephanie as part of the NCIS team, but she has managed to find plenty to keep her busy in that time. Over the years she hasn’t changed her hairstyle (she knows what suits her!) but has been seen in many different outfits as the actress has appeared in over 100 commercials. As well as this, Stephanie has also had several minor acting roles in television series and continues to do acting for commercials.
Emily Wickersham as Eleanor Bishop
Much like her female predecessors on the show, Eleanor typically keeps her blonde hair out of the way underneath her NCIS cap since joining the show back in its eleventh season. Since then she has appeared as a regular on the series, but has had only one noticeable difference to her appearance during this time. Eleanor decides to get divorced from her on-screen husband, meaning she no longer had a reason to wear her wedding ring.
Emily Wickersham in real life
Emily keeps her blonde hair outside of the show, but she and Eleanor have some differences in their dress sense. Eleanor is always in her team uniform, but in real life, Emily often opts for heels, skirts, and glamorous dresses when out and about. As well as her feminine dress sense, Emily also tends to wear her hair styled up or down rather than pinned back. As well as continuing her role on NCIS, Emily also plays her character for the New Orleans spin-off of the series.
Liza Lapira as Michelle Lee
The goal of this character was to blend in, and blend in she did during her time in seasons three and four. Michelle Lee achieves this by wearing plain suits as she needed to dress appropriately for her role as part of the legal team for the NCIS group. In actuality, though, Michelle is going undercover, as a spy. Her long dark hairstyle falls around her face meaning she can go about her work undetected for a long time – until her identity is finally uncovered.
Liza Lapira in real life
Liza has had a prolific acting career since she left the show. Some of her many roles include acting in the likes of Fast and Furious, Cooper Barrett’s Guide to Surviving Life, Repo Men, Super Fun Night, and Dexter – quite a list for this 35-year-old actress. Liza has decided to keep the same hairstyle, but rather than power suits she is always snapped posing in show-stopping dresses while at publicity events for her work.
Scottie Thompson as Dr. Jeanne Benoit
It isn’t just Tony DiNozzo that Jeanne Benoit is able to charm using her bright blue eyes that are accentuated by her dark hair as she also managed to win over the team too. Jeanne came onto the show during 2006 where it was announced she was the girlfriend of the special agent, but her true identity was revealed after the team discovered she was, in fact, Rene Benoit’s daughter. When Jeanne left the show for the first time in 2008, she and Tony had ended their relationship.
Scottie Thompson in real life
Over the years away from the show Scottie Thompson has kept her dark hair that she not only wears styled up but also has been seen showcasing her naturally curly hair. The 35-year-old actress did make a return to the show during 2015 where she continued to charm the NCIS team. Both Scottie and Jeanne are glamorous characters as off-screen Scottie continues to be as fashion forward as ever; she is often photographed in stunning outfits on the red carpet and at her photoshoots.
Nina Foch as Mrs. Victoria Mallard
Victoria Mallard is introduced during 2005 for two episodes as Ducky Mallard’s. The character is shown to dress somewhat old-fashioned with her choice of dresses, which are generally teamed with oversized hats. Another of Victoria’s accessories are her pet corgis. However, Victoria exits the show the following year after she develops Alzheimer’s. Abby discovers that she later passed away when she followed Ducky to his mother’s grave, a secret he had kept to himself.
Nina Foch in real life
Prior to the show, Nina Foch had led a very glamorous life that involved her acting in many black and white movies, making a name for herself during the 1940s. She had previously spent most of her life all made up with her extravagant dress sense and perfectly neat blonde hair. The actress continued her acting career for many years but retired in 2007. Nina’s later roles saw her with very short blonde hair. Sadly, in 2008, at 84 years old, the actress passed away.
Tamara Taylor as Cassie Yates
Cassie Yates was the strong special agent on the NCIS team that made quite an impact during her two episodes in 2005. One of her first moments on the show involved Cassie wearing the famous red dress, but after that, the character stuck to her NCIS uniform. Like many other women characters, Cassie mainly wears her mid-length hair pulled back from her face and leaves just her bangs loose, though on occasion she does wear her hair down.
Tamara Taylor in real life
Before appearing on the show, Tamara Taylor had previously had a career as a model. After finding some success as an actress, Tamara landed a part in Bones, which made her decide to keep her hair much shorter. Over the years, she has gone back to longer locks as Tamara has now grown her hair out to longer than she ever had before. The former model is as stylish as ever; she often steals the camera’s attention at any event.
Daniela Sofia Korn Ruah as Kensi Blye
As a character for the first season, it is quickly revealed that Kensi Blye has some tough situations to deal with while growing up after her father was murdered. Before joining the NCIS team Kensi had even had to endure a period of being homeless, but she was able to get her life back on track when she joined the team. She would often wear plain clothing while on the job, but some of her undercover tasks involved Kensi having to run around in swimwear.
Daniela Sofia Korn Ruah in real life
Daniela has been sought out for modeling work after having her two children due to her unusual eyes. The actress has a condition known as Nevus of Ota which is a birthmark that has made her right eye nearly completely black, while Daniela’s left eye is still brown. As well as her modeling, Daniela has also done plenty of work at publicity events where she has shown off her new longer hairdo after she decided to grow out her locks.
Cote de Pablo as Ziva David
This special agent hadn’t always worked for the NCIS team as Ziva David had previously been enrolled in the Israeli army. She initially appeared in the third season where she was recognized to wear her hair in a braid underneath her baseball cap, as well as her plain clothing appearance. However, when Ziva was involved with undercover tasks, she would opt for skirts and heels to try and avoid being detected. The character eventually left in season eleven to return to Israel.
Cote de Pablo in real life
Cote de Pablo has been the woman of many styles over the years as she has had a number of different haircuts – commonly incorporating her naturally curly hair. During 2017 the actress made a bold move when she decided to try out a new style: a bob cut! Over the years she has been photographed in a great number of show-stopping dresses that she teams with skyscraping heels, the complete opposite of what her character, Ziva, would have gone for.
Jessica Steen as Paula Cassidy
The first season in 2003 was where we first got a chance to see Paula Cassidy. The strong character joins the team where she worked as one of their criminal profilers but had previously been working as an interrogator for the police. Paula wore her strawberry blonde locks pinned back away from her face as this no-nonsense character took on any criminal that stood in her way. She only made her way into six episodes but left the series in 2015.
Jessica Steen in real life
Prior to being on NCIS, Jessica Steen had acted in a huge number of hit TV shows and movies that included Earth 2, The Outer Limits, Monk, and Homefront just to name a few. At 51 years old, the actress has decided to join the blonde world. Proving blondes have more fun, Jessica now shows off her feminine dresses as she often appears at publicity events, as well as playing the starring role of Lisa Stillman in the show Heartland.
Maria Bello as Jackie Sloane
Season fifteen of the show is still on the air as we speak, and it was the fourth episode that introduced us to Jackie Sloane. Even with her short NCIS career, this curly haired blonde has become a hit with fans of the show. It seems as though there is more to come from this tight fitted dress wearing female as the show has rumored that Jackie will soon be confirmed as a permanent part of the main cast.
It may have taken a moment to recognize 50 year old Maria Bello in NCIS as we had previously been used to the actress with a much shorter hairstyle. She has already played roles in “Coyote Ugly,” Lights Out, Grown Ups 2, and The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, but decided to grow out her hair for her part as Jackie on the show. Maria knows how to work the paparazzi as she is always snapped wearing eye-catching outfits at her premiers.
Weronika Rosati as Rivka David
Rivka Davis was the mother to Tali and Ziva David in the series. Even though she has two grown-up children, she wasn’t in the makeup chair for hours to appear older as the character made her appearance during season ten of the show in Ziva’s flashback she was having while on a plane. Even though her time on the show was short, Rivka played an important role in the unfolding of Tony and Ziva’s relationship as the romance was beginning to unfold.
Weronika Rosati in real life
Over her acting career, Weronika Rosati has had plenty to keep her busy. Initially from Poland, the 33-year-old actress has appeared in various movies and soap operas while still living in Poland. She is nearly always captured with her long, very dark curls cascading down her back while showing off her eye-catching dresses. Weronika is both fashionable at premiers and in her private life, but it doesn’t appear like she will be making a return to NCIS due to her character being killed off.
Juliette Angelo as Emily Fornell
This actress was welcomed to the world of show business at the young age of eight. She beat the competition at a chance to play a role for the Broadway version of How The Grinch Stole Christmas and continued to act on stage for many years. Some other jobs included parts in Mary Poppins, as well as Billy Elliot. After joining NCIS, we saw the birth of the character Emily Fornell, the teenage daughter of Tobias Fornell, a special agent for the team.
Juliette Angelo in real life
Since appearing on the show, Juliette Angelo has had plenty of success to help continue her blossoming career. As well as playing the character Carol on the show Mad Men, Juliette also brought the part of Geneva on Shameless to life. Recently Juliette has been cast in the upcoming film Hope Springs Eternal where she will bring the character of Sarah Handleman to life. Around all her acting success, Juliette also enjoys spending time pursuing her equestrian hobby.
Alicia Coppola as Lieutenant Commander Faith Coleman
Before appearing on the show, Alicia Coppola had begun her life on television hosting the MTV show Remote Control. From that moment she was quickly picked up to play the role of Lona Devon on Another World. The actress then went on to land roles in the likes of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Star Trek: Voyager, Bull, and Trinity, before getting the part of Lieutenant Commander Faith Coleman in NCIS in 2004, but she left the following year.
Alicia Coppola in real life
In the years since the show, Alicia Coppola has carried on acting in many television shows and movies. The crime drama life must have suited the actress, as she was cast in roles for Lie to Me, Jericho and Common Law, alongside landing parts in The Young and the Restless, Teen Wolf, and Two and a Half Men. Alicia has found herself an acting husband too as she and Anthony Michael, best known for his roles as Father Coates in General Hospital, have tied the knot.
Jamie Lee Curtis as Dr. Samantha Ryan
This actress has made quite a name for herself over the years for her incredible talent. She shot to fame after getting cast as Laurie in the famous slasher movie Halloween. After her initial breakthrough, the actress was able to land roles in Anything But Love, A Fish Named Wanda, Freaky Friday, as well as on shows Buck Rogers, and The Drew Carey Show. In 2012, Dr. Samantha Ryan was introduced on the NCIS, as a romantic interest in several of the show’s storylines.
Jamie Lee Curtis in real life
One of the stars of Hollywood has continued to act in many productions over the years. Some of these include playing Joan Day in New Girl, being cast as Tess Coleman in the movie Freaky Friday, and bringing Dean Cathy Munsch to life on the show Scream Queens. After such a successful career, Jamie has decided to put her acting on pause while she focuses on writing books for children. So far the actress has published ten novels but will be making a return to acting very soon.
Margo Harshman as Delilah Fielding
After being entered (at just two years old) to a beauty pageant by her mother, this actress experienced life in front of a crowd from a very young age. While she didn’t continue her attempts to win shows, she did begin to act full time at eight years old, landing her first movie character for the film The Elf Who Didn’t Believe. Following from the movie’s success, the actress began starring in the Even Stevens show but was cast for NCIS as Delilah Fielding in 2013.
Margo Harshman in real life
Over the years, Margo Harshman has got herself an incredible acting repertoire from her many roles. Not only did she play a role in the television film The Adventures of Big Handsome Guy and His Little Friend, but Margo has appeared in television shows such as 90210, Grey’s Anatomy, Bones, Bent, and Run of the House. One of her other famous roles includes her role as Alex Jensen, assistant to Sheldon, on the sitcom The Big Bang Theory.
Jacqueline Obradors as Paloma Reynosa
Paloma Reynosa brings a lot of gripping drama to the show after she declares revenge on her father’s killers. Paloma’s father was Pedro Hernandez, a narcotics dealer, and she was working as the leader of her family’s cartel when her father was murdered. During season eight Paloma reveals her revenge plans are to hurt Leroy Jethro Gibbs’ father, but he is luckily able to escape. The NCIS team are ready to stop Paloma every time, and she eventually gets killed by her own brother.
Jacqueline Obradors in real life
Jacqueline Obradors is most recognized for her roles in the movies Unstoppable, and Six Days Seven Nights, but has also managed to have a successful television acting career too. One of her most famous TV characters was that of Detective Rita Ortiz for the drama NYPD Blue which saw the actress nominated an ALMA Award. Following on from the show, Jacqueline has also featured in the shows Lopez, and Cold Case. She and the movie producer Juan Garcia have since gotten married too.
Meredith Eaton as Carol Wilson
On NCIS, Carol Wilson’s role is a researcher for the Center of Disease Control, but she is also introduced as one of Abigail Sciuto’s friends; the two were at the same college. Carol comes into the show during the Christmas special of season seven when she sets out to help her nephew. He is upset about his mother not being there at Christmas due to the fact she is currently positioned overseas. She enlists Abigail’s help who sets up a video chat for the pair.
Meredith Eaton in real life
Before the show, Meredith had plenty of experience with crime dramas as she has appeared in Boston Legal, Family Law, and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. Her role as Carol helped her continue to land roles as Meredith has since been cast in a remake of the action show MacGyver, as well as appearing in Battle Creek. Recently Meredith has been cast in The Ones, but we will have to wait a bit longer to see her on screens again as the movie is still in the post-production phases.
Diane Neal as CGIS Special Agent Abigail Borin
Abigail Borin has appeared in both the original version of the show, as well as the New Orleans spin-off. The character was initially enlisted in the U.S. Marines but later retired from her position following the death of her partner. This strong female character then enrolled with the CGIS, working her way up the ladder until she was promoted to a special agent. On the show, her character’s personality is regularly compared to be similar to Gibbs.
Diane Neal in real life
Diane Neal was used to life on the television as she was previously A.D.A. Casey Novak for the show Law & Order. The part led on to minor appearances in shows such as My Fake Fiance, and 30 Rock. However, since 2015 it appears as though Diane’s career has come to stand still as she hasn’t been cast since her time on Blue Bloods as Kelly Blake. Diane has also gone through a divorce as her husband, Marcus Fitzgerald, and she split in 2014 after nine years together.
Rena Sofer as Margaret Allison Hart
This defense attorney makes her appearance during season seven when she is enlisted to defend various clients that are all linked to a Marine’s death after there was an accident with an experimental jetpack. Margaret tried to get in Gibbs’ way in the investigation but he manages to defeat her over the six episodes she appeared in. She later went on to additionally reappear in episodes where Margaret would try and destroy further investigations as revenge against the NCIS team.
Rena Sofer in real life
Before her time with the show, Rena Sofer had managed to get roles in the movies Another Man’s Wife, and A Stranger Among Us, but since 2014, she hasn’t had many acting roles. At48 years old Rena has had a successful television career as she has had parts in both 24, and The Chronicle, but her most famous role has been as Quinn Fuller on the show The Bold and the Beautiful; the actress has been in early 500 of the soap opera’s episodes.
Lauren Holly as Jenny Shepard
Jenny Shepard joined NCIS as their new director during the third season when she made a statement with her eye-catching red hair. Soon after her initial appearance, Jenny quickly sported a pixie cut after the producers on the show asked if she could cut all her hair off to fit with the character’s storyline. Jenny only lasted two seasons on the show as in the fifth season she was caught by a hitman that left her wounded fatally.
Lauren Holly in real life
Since the haircut at the beginning of the 2000s, Lauren Holly has decided that she missed her long hair as she has now grown her hair back out. Lauren has also adopted a more natural redhead color as her locks are nowhere near as bright as they used to be when she was featured on the show. Since her dramatic exit Lauren has played characters in The Town Christmas Forgot, and Motive, with her most recent work including The Blackcoat’s Daughter.
Sasha Alexander as Kate Todd
Kate Todd was a member of the NCIS team way back at the beginning of the show. She was known for her shoulder-length, dark hair that she would wear tucked underneath her cap while she was investigating her cases. During her time on the show Kate Todd’s hair color was varying shades of brown – even going black for some of her time on the team. Kate’s time with NCIS was short lived as eighteen months into the show her character was murdered, leaving the whole team heartbroken.
Sasha Alexander in real life
The 44 year-old actress has made quite a change from her dark days, as Sasha Alexander has switched her signature shade for a walk on the blonde side. Over the twelve years since the show, Sasha has also grown her hair much longer making her look like a completely different person since her NCIS days. Over the years Sasha has played roles in Yes Man, as well as He’s Just Not That Into You. However, her most recent work is on the comedy, Shameless, where she plays Helene Runyon.