NCIS will soon bid farewell to one of its own when fan favorite Abby Sciuto (Pauley Perrette) exits the series for good this Tuesday. The beloved forensic scientist, who has been with the show since the pilot, has risen as something of a television icon for her trademark goth look and overall interest in death and the supernatural juxtaposed against a surprisingly bubbly demeanor.
Last week, the perky character's fate was left up in the air after a mugging at gunpoint left her unconscious in the hospital. While fans wait to see how the show will say goodbye to Abby after 15 seasons, Pauley Perrette is reflecting on her unique legacy.
"There's never been a character like Abby on television," she said of the memorable role during an interview on set. "She's a brilliant scientist with this whole alternative look to her but she's [also] a good girl with a huge heart. She's a church kid. She bowls with nuns. It's so many things wrapped up into one."
Abby stood out from the start with her dark pigtails, visible tattoos, clunky boots and general likeability. Considered the beating heart of the NCIS team, she helped bring down the bad guys while also providing some much-needed comic relief — often accidentally through Bert, her adorable stuffed hippo that makes a farting noise when squeezed. According to Perrette, Abby's impact extends far beyond the confines of the show and into the real world.
"Abby's legacy is going to be forever. The effect that she's had around the world, especially in young girls pursuing math and science. There [are] young women out there who've gotten their degrees and are in the field of science and math and forensics because of this TV character," added Perrette.
And as Perrette prepares to bow out as the treasured goth scientist, she has one final message for fans who have supported her for over a decade and a half.
"To all the fans around the world, I wanna tell you with all of my heart how much I love you guys. How grateful I am for all of your support for both Abby and me over all these years," said Perrette. "And just to remember with me everything that Abby's given to us and everything that she's taught us. I cannot thank you enough. I am so blessed to have fans like you and it means everything to me."
Catch Perrette's final NCIS appearance on Tuesday, May 8 at 8/7c on CBS.
(Full disclosure: TV Guide is owned by CBS.)