The Most Expensive Cameo In NCIS History

As with many other popular television shows, "NCIS" has featured its fair share of celebrity cameos and guest appearances over the course of its 18-year run. In addition to a steady supply of impressive star-studded guest appearances, "NCIS" fans have been fortunate enough to tune in to see what their favorite characters, like NCIS Supervisory Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs (portrayed by Mark Harmon), Dr. Donald "Ducky" Mallard (portrayed by David McCallum), and NCIS Senior Field Agent Timothy McGee (portrayed by Sean Murray), have been up to since the debut of the show's very first episode in 2003, per IMDb.

Perhaps one of the more infamous cameos was made by then-First Lady Michelle Obama in 2016. It is unclear if the First Lady, who portrayed herself, was compensated for her brief appearance on the show, but she was invited on the show to promote the organization she founded with Dr. Jill Biden, Joining Forces, which supports the families of military service members. According to E! Online, this particular episode made history when it became the first dramatic film production to film in the White House.

Only three days before he completely altered the pop culture landscape with the premiere of "High School Musical," Zac Efron also guest starred in an episode of "NCIS" in 2006, per Insider. Other notable guest appearances include Jamie Lee Curtis, Lily Tomlin, and Taye Diggs.

It is unknown how much NCIS guest stars are paid

While former "NCIS" guest stars have never disclosed how much they were paid to appear on the show, it's likely that they cost a pretty penny. The pay that guest stars like Jamie Lee Curtis receive is referred to as "top-of-the-show" pay. This means that guest stars receive more money per episode than co-stars or minor characters. According to Backstage, guest stars made an average of $8,624 for eight days of work to appear in one episode of a drama series in 2019. Those who guest star in one half-hour television comedy series episode — which equates to five days of work — earn approximately $5,390.

Of course, this rate of pay greatly differs from that of the main stars of "NCIS." Mark Harmon, who portrays the show's main character Leroy Jethro Gibbs, is paid a shocking $525,000 per episode. That, naturally, leads to an equally impressive net worth of approximately $100 million, according to Hello! Magazine. David McCallum, who portrays Donald "Ducky" Mallard, earns $75,000 per episode, while Wilmer Valderrama, who plays undercover agent Nicholas Torres, earns $100,000 per episode. It is not known how much the other actors on the show have made throughout the years, but it's sure to be in the thousands as well.