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Remembering the stars of NCIS who have sadly died

The beloved show has seen many stars in its cast over the years

ncis stars death
Francesca Shillcock
Francesca ShillcockSenior TV & Film Writer
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NCIS is a staple on television sets thanks to its hugely impressive run of 19 seasons spanning nearly twenty years.

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The Naval criminal investigation drama, which, up until very recently, starred Mark Harmon as the lead character Supervisory Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs, has welcomed many well-known faces onto the show over the years.

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But, sadly, some of them are no longer with us. Carry on reading to take a look back at the stars who have sadly passed away as we celebrate their legacy...

Vachik Mangassarian

Vachik Mangassarian appeared on NCIS in two different characters as well as its spin-off series NCIS: Los Angeles, so he was a familiar face to fans of the drama. The actor, who was also known for his roles in Curb Your Enthusiasm and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., died in January 2022 at the age of 78. His agent confirmed to Deadline that he had passed away from COVID-19 complications at his home in Burbank, California.

ncis vachik© Photo: Getty Images

Vachik Mangassarian played more than one character on the show

Heath Freeman

On 14 November 2021, Heath Freeman died aged 41. The actor, who played the role of Benjamin Frank in the popular show, died suddenly which prompted many other stars and actors to pay tribute to him. After appearing in NCIS, he went on to star as Howard Epps in Bones. It was later revealed by the Travis County Medical Examiner that Heath had died from an accidental overdose of combined drugs.

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heath ncis© Photo: Getty Images

Heath Freeman sadly died in 2021

Gregory Itzin

More recently, Gregory Itzin, died in July 2022 at the age of 74. The actor was known was playing the part of Spencer Downing and Director Charlie on NCIS, first in 2003 and in 2020. He was also famed for his parts in shows like 24, Judging Amy and Covert Affairs. Gregory died following complications during emergency surgery.  

gregory ncis© Photo: Getty Images

Gregory Itzin died last month

Harriet Margulies

Although Harriet Margulies was not an actor on NCIS, she was an "integral" part of the show, so when the producer's assistant and longtime staff member passed away in 2021, NCIS, naturally, paid tribute to her.

An episode, which aired around the time of her death, showed a sweet photo of Harriet before the closing credits with the caption: "In memory of our friend and colleague Harriet Margulies. We will miss you." According to a CBS spokesperson, Harriet died on 30 October at her home in Northridge, California, after suffering a stroke.

harriet ncis

NCIS paid a sweet tribute to their longtime staff member, Harriet

Miguel Ferrer

Miguel Ferrer, who was first cousin to fellow actor George Clooney, appeared on NCIS: Los Angeles for seven seasons as Assistant Director Owen Granger. Miguel also appeared in television shows such as Crossing Jordan and the film, RoboCop.

The actor sadly passed away in January 2017 from throat cancer aged 61. At the time, his cousin George paid tribute to him in a statement, calling him a "giant" in our world. "Miguel made the world brighter and funnier, and his passing is felt so deeply in our family," he said.

miguel ncis© Photo: Getty Images

Miguel Ferrer appeared in NCIS: Los Angeles

Ravil Isyanov

Ravil Isyanov, who starred in NCIS: Los Angeles, died in September 2021 from cancer aged 59. Although it's unclear which form of cancer the actor had, his manager Frederick Levy confirmed the news to PEOPLE, calling him a "true gentleman".

ravil ncis© Photo: Getty Images

Ravil Isyanov died in 2021

The Russian-born actor portrayed mobster Anatoli Kirkin in the hit show from 2013 until his sad death. 

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