Celebs You Forgot Guest Starred On NCIS

"NCIS" is one of the most-watched crime shows on television, having captivated audiences from around the globe ever since the series debuted on CBS in 2003 (via IMDb). The show's 19th season began airing in September, and fans as well as the "NCIS" actors and showrunners already can't stop talking about the newest season. "What we're trying to focus on right now is telling the best stories we can with the characters we have — and Gibbs is a part of that world," showrunner Steven D. Binder told TVLine of Mark Harmon's character's fate after a quite literal explosive Season 18 finale, adding, "And I think we're doing a pretty good job with that."

While "NCIS" has seen a handful of cast shakeups over the years — stars Pauly Perrette, Michael Weatherly, Cote de Pablo, Maria Bello, and Emily Wickersham all exited the show for various reasons — there has always been a steady stream of guest stars rotating in and out of the series, including some of the most recognizable names in Hollywood.

Jamie Lee Curtis

Hollywood legend Jamie Lee Curtis had a multi-episode stint on "NCIS" in 2012 (via IMDb). Curtis took on the role of Dr. Samantha Ryan for five episodes — something that star Mark Harmon, who has appeared in over 400 episodes since the show's premiere in 2003, was incredibly grateful for. "She's terrific," Harmon raved about the iconic actress (via Outsider). "I've known Jamie a long time. She's a treat to have on set. The rest of the cast loves her and Gary Glasberg has created a role for her that made her want to come and play in the first place, which is rare. But she's had a great time there and I think she'd tell you that as well."

The "NCIS" star went on to call Curtis "a gift," adding that it was fun to act out the friction between their characters. "[She's] such a rare talent, and as a person, a good person and terrifically good at what she does," Harmon continued. "So, we've enjoyed having her." Harmon and Curtis actually starred together in 2003's "Freaky Friday" as well, so her appearance on the show was a bit of reunion (via Entertainment Weekly). 

After Curtis' 2012 "NCIS" stint, the seasoned actress went on to star in "Scream Queens," "Halloween," "An Acceptable Loss," "Knives Out," "Senior Entourage," and "Halloween Kills," and also had a six-episode stint on "New Girl," in which she played Zooey Deschanel's character's mom.

Millie Bobby Brown

Millie Bobby Brown may be one of the most well-known teen actresses of her generation thanks to her breakout role in the hit Netflix original series "Stranger Things," but you probably didn't realize that Brown had a few acting gigs before landing the role of Eleven in the beloved nostalgic sci-fi series. One of those guest starring roles includes a one-episode gig on "NCIS" in the episode titled "Parental Guidance Suggestion," which aired during Season 6 in 2014 (via IMDb). In the episode, Brown portrays Rachel Barnes, the daughter of Navy SEAL Ryan Barnes, whose wife, psychologist Dr. Valerie Barnes, was found murdered in their home (via Hot Lifestyle News).

Just two years later, Brown landed the role of a lifetime when she was cast in "Stranger Things." Since then, she has gone on to star in "Godzilla: King of the Monsters," "Enola Holmes," and "Godzilla vs. Kong," and has multiple projects in pre-production, including "Enola Holmes 2" and "The Girls I've Been."

Colin Hanks

Colin Hanks, who clearly caught the acting bug from his ultra-famous father, Tom Hanks, has a seriously impressive resume when it comes to his successful career in Hollywood. In 2013, the actor landed a three-episode stint on "NCIS," portraying the character of Richard Parsons in the episodes titled "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot," "Damned If You Do," and "Double Blind." Executive producer Gary Glasberg described Hanks' character as "Ken Starr, J. Edgar Hoover and an angry pit bull wrapped into one" (via TVLine). He was undoubtedly excited to work with the accomplished actor, saying at the time that Hanks' guest starring role on the long-running crime drama "should make it a truly memorable finale."

In addition to his role on "NCIS," Hanks has starred and guest starred in a plethora of notable films and TV shows throughout the years, including the original "Roswell," "Orange County," "King Kong," "The House Bunny," "Mad Men," "Dexter," "Burning Love," "Fargo," "Life in Pieces," and "American Crime Story." He is also currently filming the upcoming Paramount+ television series, "The Offer" (via IMDb).

Jon Cryer

Jon Cryer may be best known for his starring role on the long-running Chuck Lorre sitcom, "Two and a Half Men." However, Cryer has a seriously impressive list of acting credits to his name, having appeared in over 70 films and TV shows since he started acting in the '80s. Shortly after "Two and a Half Men" came to an end, Cryer landed a three-episode guest starring role as Dr. Cyril Taft on "NCIS" in 2015 and 2016, according to IMDb. His character provided much-needed comic relief on the show (via CBS).

"I've loved that show from the first season when nobody believed me that it would be a hit," Cryer told Entertainment Tonight ahead of the Season 13 premiere. "I save Mark Harmon's life on the show. He was shot in the chest and you need a heart surgeon, and the heart surgeon you need looks a lot like this."

Troian Bellisario and Patrick J. Adams

Troian Bellisario rose to A-list fame after she landed the role of Spencer Hastings on the beloved teen mystery/drama/thriller series, "Pretty Little Liars," but before her big break, the 35-year-old actress had a handful of guest starring roles on television shows like her two-episode stint on "NCIS" as Sarah McGee in 2005 and 2006 (via IMDb). Bellisario's father, Donald, is actually one of the co-creators of the show, and another series cast member, Sean Murray, is Donald's stepson and Troian's stepbrother.

Troian's husband, "Suits" star Patrick J. Adams, also had a guest starring role on "NCIS" in 2008. However, the pair didn't actually meet until the following year when they starred in a play together and becoming close friends on set. In 2010, the couple finally got together. "We did a play together in L.A. called 'Equivocation,'" Adams told Her World in March 2013. "She was cast for the part of my romantic interest. We met and that was it."

Danica McKellar, Patrick Duffy, and Jaleel White

Danica McKellar, Patrick Duffy, and Jaleel White were some of the most popular actors in the '80s and '90s thanks to their starring roles on some of the most iconic shows of all time. McKellar notably played the role of Winnie Cooper in "The Wonder Years," while Duffy had leads in "Dallas" and "Step By Step." And of course, who could ever forget White's role of a lifetime as Steve Urkel in the fan-favorite sitcom, "Family Matters"? While all three actors went on to have successful careers of their own across different film and TV genres, the three of them are all connected through one thing: Guest starring on "NCIS" episodes (via IMDb).

Per IMDb, McKellar appeared as Erin Kendall on the "NCIS" episode titled "Witness" in 2005. A decade-and-a-half later, Duffy took on the role of Ret. Lieutenant Commander Jack Briggs in the Season 17 episode titled "Flight Plan" (via IMDb). Then, in 2012, White portrayed Martin Thomas in the episode titled "A Desperate Man" (via IMDb).

Taye Diggs

In honor of the milestone 300th episode of "NCIS," showrunners pulled out all the stops and tapped "Private Practice" actor Taye Diggs to play Gunnery Sergeant Aaron Davis, a Marine suffering from PTSD, for a role that executive producer Gary Glansberg called "tailor-made" for the 50-year-old actor. "For our 300th episode, we needed a guest actor who could proudly portray one of our nation's wounded warriors as well as participate in a very touching musical performance," Glansberg said in a statement at the time (via Entertainment Weekly). "This emotionally charged role is tailor-made for Taye Diggs, and we are so thrilled and honored to have him join us."

While Diggs appeared in only one episode of the long-running crime drama, he's remained exceptionally busy over the years, having starred in multiple television series like "Murder in the First," "Empire," "Muppets Now," "Ada Twist, Scientist," and "All American" (via IMDb).

Danneel Ackles, Paul Johansson, and Jackson Brundage

Not only are Danneel Ackles, Paul Johansson, and Jackson Brundage a part of the "One Tree Hill" family, but all three actors are a part of the "NCIS" family, too.

Daneel, who is married to "Supernatural" alum Jensen Ackles, had a guest starring role on "NCIS" the same year her "One Tree Hill" run ended in 2009 (via IMDb). The "OTH" star went on to appear in films and shows like "The Back-Up Plan," "Friends with Benefits," "Supernatural," and a handful of made-for-TV holiday movies. However, "NCIS" wasn't the first crime show she's guest starred on. The 42-year-old actress also had guest starring roles on "CSI: Miami" in 2009 and "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" in 2007.

Johansson, who's been steadily acting since the late '80s and has appeared in productions like "Santa Barbara," "Beverly Hills: 90210," the "Lonesome Dove" series, "Highlander: The Raven," "Mad Men," and "Van Helsing," added one more acting credit to his already impressive resume after appearing in the "NCIS" episode titled "In A Nutshell" in 2020 (via IMDb). Daneel and Johansson's young "OTH" co-star, Brundage, also showed off his acting chops on "NCIS" during the 2010 episode "Borderland" (via IMDb).

Zac Efron

Zac Efron is now one of the most recognizable names in the industry, but before he got his big break in Disney's "High School Musical" movies, he was busy hustling like most of the young actors trying to make a name for themselves in Hollywood. In 2006, Efron guest starred on "NCIS" on the Season 3 episode titled "Deception." In the episode, he played the character of Daniel Austin, a teen who is brought in for questioning after he is caught using a phone that belonged to a Naval officer who was abducted (via Showbiz CheatSheet).

Before his "NCIS" role, Efron also guest starred on an episode of "CSI: Miami" and went on to star in "Hairspray," "17 Again," "Charlie St. Cloud," "The Lucky One," "The Paperboy" opposite Nicole Kidman, the "Neighbors" movies, "Dirty Grandpa," "Baywatch," "The Greatest Showman," "Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile," and "The Beach Bum" — just to name a few (via IMDb).

Eric Stonestreet

Eric Stonestreet is best known for his role as Cameron Tucker on the award-winning television show "Modern Family," but before he rose to true Hollywood stardom, he had a slew of guest starring roles on shows like "Dharma and Greg," "ER," "Party of Five," "Malcolm in the Middle," and of course, "NCIS" (via IMDb). The Emmy-award winning actor portrayed the character of Harvey Ames in the Season 6 episode titled "Silent Night," and just one year after his episode aired, Stonestreet landed his gig on "Modern Family." The rest is basically history.

Stonestreet also had a 13-episode stint on "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" before his big break, and after he started filming "Modern Family," he made appearances on a wide variety of popular television shows like "American Horror Story," "Monk," and "Nip/Tuck." He's also had roles in movies like "The Loft," "Identity Thief," and "Bad Teacher," and voiced Duke in both "The Secret Life of Pets" movies.

Michelle Obama

The former First Lady is a best-selling author, mother of two, podcast host, and actress. Is there anything Michelle Obama can't do? In 2016, it was announced that Obama would grace small screens across America after CBS revealed that she'd be guest starring on an episode of "NCIS" in conjunction with "Joining Forces," a nationwide military initiative started by both the "Becoming" author and current First Lady, Dr. Jill Biden, in 2011.

"Filming inside the White House was a dream come true for the 'NCIS' cast and crew," executive producer Gary Glasberg shared (via CBS). "It was such a pleasure working with First Lady Michelle Obama, and it's our honor to support the 'Joining Forces' initiative and the military families that benefit from it."

"We've known about it for a while. It's about to celebrate its [Joining Forces] fifth anniversary," Glasberg explained to E! News. "Whenever we can do a story that supports and explains the difficulties of our military families, we embrace it and we want people to understand. This was natural for us."