Rocky Carroll first appeared on the hit CBS sitcom in season five, where he reunited with an old coworker.
NCIS finished its twentieth season earlier this year, but one of its stars has admitted that the show’s lead at the time, Mark Harmon, was partly to blame for him joining the team.
Rocky Carroll joined the hit police procedural as Assistant Director Leon Vance in season five, reuniting with a former coworker.
According to Rocky, “I tell people all the time that I only knew one person connected to NCIS, but it was the right person to know, and that was Mark Harmon.”
Earlier in their careers, the two actors collaborated on Chicago Hope.
Mark performed the primary character of Agent Leroy Gibbs for nineteen seasons before retiring in 2021.
When Rocky originally met with the network and the program’s executive producer to discuss a role on the hit show, he realized: “I knew that no matter what they thought or felt about me, that if Harmon hadn’t said, “You know what, I know this guy,” I would have been a skeptic.” We worked together, we worked well together, I give you my approval,’ that would never have happened.”
Rocky was originally scheduled to appear in only four episodes of the hit CBS drama, believing it would be a brief gig.
“It could have been brilliantly written, brilliantly performed, brilliantly shot,” he explained, “but if the audience didn’t respond to the character, it would’ve ended after four episodes.”
After Alan Dale and Lauren Holly, he was the third actor to take on the job of Director.
Rocky, on the other hand, had a long history with the network, appearing in everything from comedies and dramas to pilots and programs that “didn’t last very long.”
“It was a real feather in my cap when the network said, ‘We know you, and we love you, and we trust you with this role on our signature show,'” he remembered, adding, “I was happy to be a part of it.”
While Rocky was aware that he was “part of something really good,” he preferred not to be in the spotlight or have to “carry the ball every episode.”
However, his character has appeared in two of the spin-off shows, NCIS: Los Angeles and NCIS: New Orleans, over the years. Rocky has also directed a few episodes of the original series.
“So, I go to my grave saying that I was Harmon-approved,” the actor ended. That helped me a lot in getting the job.”
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