‘NCIS’: Who Played George W. Bush in Season 1, Episode 1?

If you’ve seen NCIS Season 1, Episode 1, you likely remember seeing a character who looks just like George W. Bush. Who is this man? Here’s everything Showbiz Cheat Sheet knows about the actor who played former President George W. Bush in NCIS Season 1, Episode 1.

What happened during ‘NCIS’ Season 1, Episode 1

Joe Spano and Mark Harmon | Sonja Flemming/CBS via Getty Images
Joe Spano and Mark Harmon | Sonja Flemming/CBS via Getty Images

The very first episode of NCIS aired September 23, 2003. In this episode, Gibbs and the team are tasked with figuring out how a Navy officer died. After the officer eats dinner with President George W. Bush, he collapses and dies right in front of Agent Kate Todd (Sasha Alexander). At the time, Todd is working with the Secret Service, but after she resigns, Gibbs offers her a job working for NCIS.

Episode 1 features a much smaller team than we’re used to seeing. Gibbs and Tony are the only agents featured. Agent Todd joins the group during NCIS Season 1, Episode 2, titled Hung Out to Dry.  

Who played George W. Bush in ‘NCIS’ Season 1, Episode 1?

The actor who played George W. Bush is the late Steve Bridges. This isn’t the first time he played President Bush on the small screen. In 2002, he played Bush in an episode of JAG titled “Dangerous Game.”

Bridges was well-known for impersonating presidents and members of the news media. Some of the people he impersonated include Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Tom Brokaw, and Rush Limbaugh. Bridges became so popular he was invited to perform at the 2006 White House Correspondents’ Association dinner.

Bridges used wigs and prosthetics to create realistic impersonations of celebrities. He became so skilled at his craft he was often cast as George W. Bush on television shows and in movies. He also regularly appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. According to The Associated Press, Bridges took great care to make sure his prosthetics accurately portrayed the people he impersonated:

The makeup and prosthetics used for his Bush and Clinton routines were designed by Kevin Haney, who won an Academy Award for aging Dan Aykroyd in Driving Miss Daisy. The Obama prosthetics were created by Kazu Tsuji, who designed Jim Carrey’s Grinch in How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Mari Enyart was Mr. Bridges’s makeup artist.

Steve Bridges’ movies and TV shows

Bridges made his acting debut in 1994 in an episode of the television series Nurses titled “The One After the Earthquake.” In 2000, he appeared in an episode of the television series The District titled “How They Lived.” That same year, Bridges played George W. Bush in an episode of Whoopi. He made his film debut in the 2008 movie Long Flat Balls, in which he also played President Bush. His other acting credits include appearances in ER, All That, and The Adventures of Umbweki.

Steve Bridges’ death

Bridges died suddenly on March 3, 2012 at the age of 48. He was found in his home by his maid, according to The Associated Press.

Read more: ‘NCIS’ Season 1, Episode 1: Six Things You Probably Missed

Follow Sheiresa @SheiresaNgo