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Every Major NCIS Guest Star Ever

All the big-name stars who stopped by the long-running procedural

TV Guide Editors
Sean Austin, NCIS
1 of 47 CBS/Netflix

The Best NCIS Guest Stars Ever

The ratings juggernaut that is NCIS has been on the air for an impressive 17 seasons now. Ever since 2003, Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs (Mark Harmon) has been leading a team of highly skilled investigators who solve violent crimes involving Naval and Marine officers. 

Though many major characters have come and gone over the years --  including DiNozzo (Michael Weatherly), Ziva David (Cote de Pablo), and Quinn (Jennifer Espisito) -- the main cast has remained largely the same. Fan favorites like Sloane (Maria Bello), Ducky (David McCallum) and, of course, that irresistible Torres (Wilmer Valderamma) continue to draw in millions of viewers every week to see how they'll save the day. 

However, there's another segment of important NCIS characters who have been an integral part of the show: the guest stars. Many, many actors who are now big A-list stars -- and some who were already huge stars -- have come to play on NCIS; from Sterling K. Brown to Misha Collins to Jamie Lee Curtis, well-known guest stars continue to be part of the show's appeal and legacy. Here are 46 huge stars who appeared on NCIS over the years. Do you remember all their cameos?




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Terry O'Quin

(Season 1) Terry O'Quinn shows up in "Enigma" (Episode 1) playing Commander William Ryan of the United States Navy -- a man who is diagnosed with schizophrenia.

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Eemilie De Ravin

(Season 1)  Emilie de Ravin played a free-spirited woman named Nancy in Episode 3 ("Sea Dog") who helps DiNozzo investigate bodies that wash up on the beach.  

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Melora Hardin

(Season 1)  Melora Hardin was one of NCIS' first villains, playing  Erin Toner in Episode 5 ("The Curse") -- a former petty officer who framed her colleague for theft before murdering him.

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Jim Rash

(Season 1) In "Left for Dead," Episode 10, Jim Rash came on board to play Dr. Joel Sanderson, a doctor treating a patient with amnesia can't remember anything...except that a bomb is about to explode on a Navy ship.

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Josh Holloway

(Season 1) Before he was Sawyer on Lost, Josh Holloway played the sheriff in a West Virginia town on NCIS' Season 1 Episode 12, "My Other Left Foot." His role involved helping the team after a severed leg is found in a Dumpster. 

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Dean Norris

(Season 1)  Breaking Bad star Dean Norris appeared in Episode 12, "My Other Left Foot," too. As Sergeant Vestman, Norris knew the former Marine whose severed leg was found in that trash in West Virginia and helped the NCIS team solve the crime. 

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Bellamy Young

(Season 1)  Scandal queen Bellamy Young came on as Melinda Stone in Episode 21 "Split Decision." Her m.o. Involved a plot to sell weapons to a militia group, illegally of course.  

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Julie Benz

(Season 1) "A Weak Link," (Episode 22) had Julie Benz playing a lady named Denise Johnson, whose husband died in a rock-climbing accident that seemed awfully suspicious. 

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Abigail Breslin

(Season 2) Abigail Breslin appeared in the Season 2 premiere to play blind pianist who got kidnapped. Later in the episode, we learned her captor was someone she knew.

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Danica McKellar

(Season 2) Danica McKellar came on in Season 2 Episode 14 ("Witness") and sadly died in the story. 

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Lochlyn Murno

(Season 2) Riverdale star Lochlyn Munro starred in Episode 18 of Season 2 ("Bikini Wax") playing a man in a supremely awkward situation: he was having an affair with his wife's friend. When his paramour was found murdered, Munro's character became the prime suspect but -- spoiler! -- he wasn't the one who did the dastardly deed. (You can probably guess who did it.)

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Troian Bellisario

(Season 2) Troian Bellisario appeared in two episodes of NCIS -- "Red Cell (Season 2, Episode 20) and "Twisted Sister" (Season 4, Episode 9) as Sarah McGee, the sister of Agent McGee. She also has one of the most complicated relationships with the show: while her dad is Donald P. Bellisario, the creator of both JAG and NCIS, he was allegedly forced off of the show after tension between him and Mark Harmon.  

14 of 47 Zac Effron, NCIS

Zac Effron

(Season 3) Before becoming a heartthrob, Zac Efron had a turn in an NCIS episode entitled "Deception," (Episode 13). A few weeks later, he appeared in High School Musical, and the rest is history. 

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Jesse Plemons

(Season 3) Character actor Jesse Plemons also appeared in "Deception." Capitalizing off his singular look, he played a suspicious teenager who seems to have something to hide as the team investigates a missing woman... but finally admits selling her phone. 

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Corey Stoll,

(Season 4) House of Cards star Corey Stoll appeared in three episodes of Season 4 -- ("Smoked," (10), "Driven" (11) and "Blowback" (14) playing a sketchy arms dealer named Martin Quinn. 

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Misha Collins

(Season 4) Supernatural star Misha Collins was a bad guy car thief named Justin Farris in Episode 3 ("Singled Out") who finds out that a car he stole had a woman in the trunk. Oops! 

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Katie Lowes

(Season 4) In Episode 22 ("In the Dark") Scandal star Katie Lowes became Bryn Landers, the assistant of a blind photographer who discovers a dead Navy officer in the background of one of his photos.  

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Graham McTavish

(Season 5) Outlander star Graham McTavish had a turn in Episode 6 ("Chimera") as a Russian Special Forces agent named Aleksei.

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Eric Stonestreet

(Season 6) We know Eric Stonestreet as the lovable, high-strung dad with a fierce competitive streak from  Modern Familybut in "Silent Night" (Episode 6) Stonestreet played a security guard with homicidal tendencies.

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David Eigenberg

(Season 6) In Episode 9, ("Dagger") David Eigenberg was Ted Bankston, a former NSA analyst who murdered his wife. 

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Rico Rodriguez

(Season 6) Eric Stonestreet wasn't the only Modern Family star to fill a spot on NCIS: Rico Rodriguez starred in Episode 19 ('Hide and Seek") as Travis Buckley, a kid who found a dead body. Grim. 

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Gena Rowlands

(Season 7) Screen queen Gena Rowlands came on for Episode 16 ("Bounce') to play the mother-in-law of Gibbs' dead wife Shannon. Attempting to avenge Shannon's death, she makes a tragic mistake, killing the man she thinks took the life of her daughter and granddaughter. She ends up killing the wrong person. Whoops!

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Bob Newhart

(Season 8) In "Recruited," (Episode 12) none other than Bob Newhart played Dr. Walter Magnus, the former NCIS chief medical examiner who comes to be replaced by fan favorite Ducky. He comes out of retirement to assist with a case, but things get sad when it's discovered that Magnus has Alzheimers. 

25 of 47 CBS/Netflix

Cameron Monaghan

(Season 8) Shameless star Cameron Monaghan joined the NCIS party for "Out of the Frying Pan" (Episode 18) to play a wayward teenager accused of killing his dad. Nick Peyton is the main suspect, but it turns out that another family member committed the heinous act. 

26 of 47 CBS/Netflix

Daniel Gillies

(Season 8) Daniel Gillies starred in "Royals and Loyals" (Episode 4) as Major Malloy, a serviceman who finds himself being set up for a murder. 

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Kerr Smith

(Season 8) As Lt. Jonas Cobb, Kerr Smith became one of NCIS' most memorable bad guys, taking on the role of a serial killer in two episodes of Season 8 ("Swan Song" Episode 23, and "Pyramid," Episode 24). A former CIA-operative, Cobb was broken in a training gone wrong, and vowed to kill as many people as he could. 

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Lily Tomlin

(Season 9) Beloved actor Lily Tomlin graced NCIS with her presence in "The Penelope Papers," (Episode 3) as McGee's grandmother. She's an ex-hippie, a role Tomlin nailed all too well. 

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Dylan Bruce

(Season 9) Dylan Bruce had a turn in Episode 8 ("Engaged") as Justin Fanniker, the boss of a contracting firm making gobs of money in Afghanistan who was a suspect in the disappearance of his girlfriend. 

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Ray Wise

(Season 9) In "Secrets," (Episode 15) Ray Wise was a real estate developer with foul ways who schemed to have members of a neighborhood watch murdered. . 

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Jamie Lee Curtis

(Season 9) Jamie Lee Curtis had a five-episode arc in Season 9 (Episodes 16 - 24) as Gibbs' girlfriend, Samantha Ryan. Her time came to an end when her scary ex was released from prison, causing her to immediately leave town. 

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Sean Austin

(Season 9) Kid actor turned TV fixture Sean Astin plays tough-willed investigator Tyler Elliott in Episode 18, "The Tell." 

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Gaius Charles

(Season 9) Episode 21 ("Rekindled") has Gaius Charles join to play a man named Jason King from Baltimore whom DiNozzo saved many years ago when King was a kid. 

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Billy Dee Williams

(Season 10) Revered actor Billy Dee Williams came on the Season 10 episode "The Namesake," (Episode 5) with a cool backstory: he's the reason Gibbs has his name. As Leroy Jethro Moore, he and Gibbs' father were once friends and then fell out; by the end of the episode, they buried the hatchet. Aw! 

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Glen Powell

(Season 10) Glen Powell appeared as Evan Westcott in a two-parter ("Shell Shock I and II," Episodes 6 and 7) playing the brother of a veteran who was struggling with PTSD. 

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Alex Kingston

(Season 10) English actor Alex Kingston played Miranda Pennebaker in Episode 10 ("You Better Watch Out") -- a shady lady who deals in high-end weapons, gems, and other dubiously acquired treasures. Gibbs has to recruit her help in the episode, albeit reluctantly. 

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Greg Germann

(Season 10) Greg Germann had a three-episode turn (12 - 14) as Deputy Director Jerome Craig. 

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Ricky Whittle

(Season 10) In "Detour," (Episode 16) Ricky Whittle played a very wicked man who gets involved in a plot to kidnap Palmer and Ducky. 

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Marina Sirtis

(Season 10) Star Trek: The Next Generation star Marina Sirtis appears in three episodes in Season 10 (21 -24) as the head of the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad.

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Colin Hanks

(Season 10) Colin Hanks had a three-episode arc (Season 10 Episodes 23 -24; Season 11 Episode 1) that had him playing the highly unlikable Inspector Parsons. As likable as Hanks is in real life, he played against type as a jerk who gets Gibbs arrested, causing the team to resign in protest as a response.

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Jon Cryer

(Season 11) Two and a Half Men alum Jon Cryer had a three-episode turn (Episode 1, "Stop the Bleeding," Episode 8 "Saviors," and Episode 16 "Loose Cannons,") as a Navy surgeon Dr. Taft who saved Gibbs' life

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Colin Hanks

(Season 11) This Is Us' Sterling K. Brown played a killer clown -- yes, you read that right -- who kidnaps Diane Sterling, Gibbs' ex-wife, and her daughter in "Devil's Triad" (Episode 10).

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Tay Diggs

(Season 11) Taye Diggs joined the NCIS crew for its landmark 300th episode (Episode 18) playing a former sniper named Aaron Davis dealing with PTSD. 

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Millie Bobby Brown

(Season 12) In "Parental Guidance Suggested," (Episode 6) Millie Bobby Brown was an awful little human who killed her mother because she'd wanted to get her dad to be her full-time parent. Not the best plan, clearly. 

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Lindsay Wagner

(Season 13) Lindsay Wagner appeared in "Blood Brothers," (Episode 10) playing Ellie's (Emily Wickersham) mother Barbara. 

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Michelle Obama

(Season 13) Then-first lady Michelle Obama came on in "Déjà Vu," (Episode 13) as herself to promote her organization supporting veterans, active military, and their families.

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Drew Carey

(Season 15) Funnyman Drew Carey stopped by "Handle with Care" (Episode 16) to play a veteran who was framed for poisoning an officer with cookies spiked with cyanide. Nothing funny about that!