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Today, Sasha Alexander is well known for her long-running leading role in the TNT drama Rizzoli & Isles. From 2010 to 2016, Alexander portrayed medical examiner Dr. Maura Isles across from detective Jane Rizzoli (Angie Harmon) in the hit TV show. Together, though two polar personalities, they solve Boston’s most complex homicide cases, and become the best of friends. 

Sasha Alexander is also known for her take on Agent Kate Todd in NCIS. Though only sticking around for two seasons, she left a lasting impact on fans of the hit procedural. Yet, these two shows do not define Alexander’s career; she appeared in a handful of memorable productions before jumping into leading roles in crime-driven TV. So, what came before NCIS and Rizzoli & Isles? 

Sasha Alexander Rizzoli and Isles
Sasha Alexander | Jason LaVeris / Contributor

Sasha Alexander had a small role in 2006’s ‘Mission: Impossible III’ 

Before Sasha Alexander was a household name, she appeared in Mission: Impossible III in a dinner party scene. She played Melissa — a friend of Julia (Michelle Monaghan). Julia was, of course, Ethan Hunt’s (Tom Cruise) love interest. And, Melissa steps in to tell a story to all the girls about how no one was ever good enough for Julia. 

Though Alexander doesn’t boast a major role in the movie, her character does get a little moment — a storytelling minute. She explains how no one was ever “spontaneous enough” or “adventurous enough” for Julia. Yet, of course, Ethan Hunt came around and all Julia’s girlfriends liked him.  

The former ‘Rizzoli & Isles’ star appeared in ‘Yes Man’ as Lucy 

Yes, Man stars Jim Carrey as Carl — a man who decides to say yes to any and every challenge or proposition that comes his way. Sasha Alexander plays a love interest to one of the movie’s main supporting characters, Peter, who happens to be portrayed by a then less-than-famous Bradley Cooper.

In Alexander’s scene, her character announced her engagement to Peter while they’re all sitting down for drinks and a meal. The scene isn’t very long, but, once again, Alexander has a couple of lines and gets to play a character who is named. So, that stands for something.

Alexander was in 2009’s ‘He’s Just Not That Into You’

He’s Just Not That Into You features an all-star ensemble, including Drew Barrymore, Jennifer Aniston, Bradley Cooper, Justin Long, Scarlett Johansson, and more. The film follows a bunch of men and women in interconnected stories struggling to understand love, friendship, and natural human behavior when it comes to romance. 


‘NCIS’: Does Sasha Alexander Regret Leaving the Show?

Sasha Alexander is not one of the main characters but plays Catherine, who memorably appears in a scene with Jennifer Aniston’s character, as she gets compared to Al Pacino. In short, it took a while for Sasha Alexander to land the leading roles. However, if you browse through her portfolio, it becomes evident that she has starred in a handful of fan favorites in some capacity.