A Look Back at the ‘NCIS’ Cast Through the Years

NCIS is entering its eighteenth season this year—and it’s showing no signs of slowing down.

The CBS crime drama, which aired its first episode in 2003, has been such a success that it inspired two spinoffs: NCIS: Los Angeles and NCIS: New Orleans. While the newer shows are very popular, loyal fans can’t get enough of the original series and its star-studded cast. Mark Harmon, Wilmer Valderrama, David McCallum, and the rest of the actors and actresses on NCIS make the procedural what it is.

Some cast members have come and gone over the years, including Pauley Perrette, whose controversial exit in 2017 left long-time viewers devastated. Still, others have stuck around since the beginning. There are even a few who left briefly before making a shocking comeback. (We’re looking at you, Cote de Pablo!)

Sadly, the show is gearing up to lose another beloved character: Sloane, played by Maria Bello, is reportedly leaving this season. Details about her exit are still fuzzy, but many are speculating that her goodbye might have something to do with her daughter, Faith (Kate Hamilton). But will Sloane and Gibbs finally have a ~moment~ before she’s gone for good? Hope so!

Whether you’re just getting introduced to NCIS from season one, or have been a fan for years, it’s important to understand who’s who. Here’s everything you need to know about the old and returning cast of NCIS.

Mark Harmon as Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs
CBS

Gibbs is a former U.S. Marine turned special agent, and the commander of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service team on NCIS. In real life, Mark has earned multiple Emmy Award and Golden Globe Award nominations throughout his long career in television and film. Most recently, you’ve probably seen him in The West Wing and Freaky Friday.

Sean Murray as Special Agent Timothy McGee
CBS

McGee is a Senior Field Agent who works on the main NCIS Major Case Response Team and—despite plenty of rumors—is not leaving the show. Disney lovers will remember a younger Sean as Thackery Binx, his breakout role in Hocus Pocus.

Wilmer Valderrama as Special Agent Nicholas “Nick” Torres
CBS

Wilmer rose to fame for his iconic role as Fez on That ’70s Show. On NCIS, he stars as an undercover agent and primary member of the Major Case Response Team.

Emily Wickersham as Special Agent Eleanor “Ellie” Bishop
CBS

Before joining the NCIS team as a Special Agent, Ellie was an analyst for the National Security Agency where she examined the Middle East to determine any potential threats. Outside of work, Emily likes to hang with her seriously adorable dog, Miguel.

Diona Reasonover as Forensic Scientist Kasie Hines
CBS

Kasie first appeared as Ducky’s graduate assistant in season 15 while he took time away to write a book. Eventually, she a earned a permanent role as a Forensic Scientist for the Major Case Response Team. Before taking on the role of Kasie, Diona starred as Charmaine Eskowitz in the television show Clipped.

Brian Dietzen as Dr. Jimmy Palmer
CBS

Jimmy—AKA the “Autopsy Gremlin”—is a long-standing member of the NCIS team who was promoted to the role of Chief Medical Examiner after Ducky stepped down. Fun fact: In 2003, Brian performed in the film From Justin to Kelly alongside Kelly Clarkson.

David McCallum as Dr. Donald “Ducky” Mallard
CBS

Ducky began his career with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service as the Chief Medical Examiner. After announcing he was leaving in season 16, the beloved doctor returned as the “NCIS historian.” Fans of ’60s shows may have seen David on The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

Rocky Carroll as NCIS Director Leon Vance
CBS

Leon Vance is the suit-wearing Director who’s been part of the crime team for years. The actor who portrays him is best known for his starring role on the FOX series Roc.

Maria Bello as Special Agent Jacqueline “Jack” Sloane
CBS

Jack joined in 2015 as a Forensic Psychologist. She was previously in the Army, but was honorably discharged after enduring a traumatic capture in Afghanistan. This year, Sloane is gearing up to make her exit—a move that will surely make fans sad!

The actress who plays Jack has appeared in a number of films, including Permanent MidnightPayback, and Coyote Ugly.

Cote de Pablo as Special Agent Ziva David
CBS

Ziva is a Special Agent on the NCIS team who was thought to be dead for years before her sudden reappearance during season 16. During her hiatus from NCIS, Cote was in a historical drama called The Dovekeepers.

Pauley Perrette as Forensic Scientist Abby Sciuto
CBS

Abby was the Forensic Scientist on the Major Case Response Team for 15 years before stepping down after discovering a contract killer was after her. Pauley was starring in a sitcom called Broke, but she recently said she is “finally and happily retired” from the biz.

Michael Weatherly as Special Agent Anthony “Tony” DiNozzo
CBS

Tony was the Senior Field Agent and second in command to Gibbs. After fifteen years of service, he resigned to care for his and Ziva’s daughter. Now, Michael heads up Bull on CBS.

Lauren Holly as Director Jenny Shepard
CBS

Jenny was the former Director of NCIS up until she tragically died in the field in May 2008. After leaving the show, Lauren landed a recurring role in Netflix’s Designated Survivor.