Brian Dietzen of ‘NCIS’ Explains How A Stroke Helped Him Realize His Writing Dreams


A life-threatening event, such as a car accident, heart att4ck, or stroke, can have a significant impact on who someone is and how they view life. Some people realize the value of family, while others undergo a complete life overhaul after realizing they were on the wrong path. It confirmed what NCIS star Brian Dietzen already suspected: he wanted to be a writer.

Brian Dietzen approached NCIS showrunner Steve Binder about contributing to the script of the long-running procedural drama a few years ago. Binder liked the idea, but Dietzen was skeptical. “We have one of television’s most talented and underappreciated writing staffs,” Dietzen says. “So I thought that might be seen as hubris, and to be honest, I didn’t want to overstep.”

But then, just a few months before the pand3mic began, fan favorite NCIS actor Brian Dietzen suffered a major stroke that nearly k1lled him. The young actor’s life hung in the balance for three and a half hours as hospital staff and family members waited for the blood clot in his brain to pass.

Dietzen knew he had a difficult road ahead of him when he awoke with his mind intact, but he had a plan. “I experienced a dual embolic stroke in my cerebellum. It was terrifying because my hands were all curled up. I remember getting rushed to the hospital and thinking, ‘Well, I don’t have a career anymore. I guess I’ll have to concentrate on writing because I can’t speak.”

He wrote on Instagram:

“It’s meant the world to me that I was able to co-write an episode of NCIS with my pal @mostxsw. I hope you all like it.

I love this cast. I love this crew.”


Dietzen, of course, was a natural. He knows Jimmy Palmer like the back of his hand, having played the character on NCIS for nearly two decades. Jimmy Palmer has become a more complex and interesting character thanks to Dietzen’s assistance. And his fans love him even more for it.

Brian Dietzen of ‘NCIS’ credits his survival to his Apple Watch.

What Brian Dietzen went through is a nightmare scenario for many people. Dietzen collapsed on the bathroom floor alone in his home. He began to vomit after losing control of the muscles in his face and hands. Fortunately, he was wearing his Apple Watch, which includes a voice command feature.

This feature, according to Dietzen, saved his life. “I’m going to say something that sounds like an advertisement but isn’t. However, the Apple Watch saved my life. I was throwing up on the floor of my bathroom when I pulled out my phone and thought, ‘Oh —, I can’t use my fingers.’ So I told Siri, ‘Hey, Kelly, call Kelly,’ and then I called my wife and said, ‘I need help.’ ‘You sound like you have marbles in your mouth,’ she said.

In a word… grateful.

You guys, I got to write a script of @ncis_cbs with my pal @mostxsw and it’s been a great adventure so far.
We jump into filming this bad boy after the Thanksgiving weekend, and I couldn’t be more excited. It’s my first time writing for the show, and it’s been a great experience.

I’ll keep you guys updated along the way.
So pumped to share this with you all.
Giving many thanks this week!


As this was happening, the NCIS star discussed his thought process. “I don’t think there’s much I’ve left undone because everyone I care about knows I care about them.” — That kind of thing. But then I realized, ‘Whoa, no, I can’t start thinking that way,’ and I began trying to refocus my mind.”

“And something happened in my brain,” Dietzen continued. “But then I could move my hands and start moving my tongue. I began doing tongue twisters. ‘Please stay still,’ they say. But the clot in my brain was gone. And I was extremely fortunate to have remained in good health and had a strong cardiovascular system.”

Related News – Be sure to get some more news when it comes to NCIS.

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