The Most Talented Actor Ever to Guest Star on ‘NCIS:’ The Answer May Surprise You

NCIS has always consisted of quite an impressive ensemble – from Mark Harmon and Maria Bello to the former Michael Weatherly and Pauley Perrette – each lead actor to grace NCIS has brought undeniable talent to the table. Now starring Emily Wickersham and Wiler Valderrama, the show has no issues attracting performers of all ages, from all different backgrounds.

NCIS Cast
Actors Brian Dietzen, David McCallum, Pauley Perrette, Mark Harmon, Sean Murray (back row) Cote de Pablo and Michael Weatherly | Photo by Mark Davis/Getty Images

While the mainstays contribute to the bulk of the show’s success, this article will highlight one guest star in particular who, based on awards and accolades, was likely the most talented actor ever to appear on the show. First, let’s see who we have to choose from.

When thinking of great guest stars who have appeared on NCIS, Jamie Lee Curtis, Jon Cryer, Colin Hanks, Bob Newhart, Abigail Breslin, and Lily Tomlin, among others, come to mind. While many would argue that Jamie Lee Curtis’ run on the show was the most impressive, as well as consequential to the season’s overall progression, this article is not about who was the best on NCIS; it’s about who came to the series, having already been the best.

Lily Tomlin is arguably the most talented actor to ever appear on ‘NCIS’

Lily Tomlin appeared on NCIS as Mcgee’s grandmother in the season nine episode titled “The Penelope Papers.” Playing an ex-hippie on the episode, her role wasn’t too far off from her current turn as Frankie in Grace and Frankie.

While it may have been a bit of a bizarre episode – off the beaten track when it comes to NCIS – there’s a reason you remember it so well, and that reason is the one and only Lily Tomlin.

Lily Tomlin, when it comes to achievements in Hollywood, has received her fair share of recognition. In 2017, Tomlin won the Screen Actors Guild Award for Lifetime Achievement, only three years after her entertainment career was spotlighted during the Kennedy Center Honors. Lily Tomlin has also won multiple primetime Emmy awards for her performances in Lily, The Paul Simon Special, and more.

Lily Tomlin also boasts six Golden Globe nominations and an Oscar nomination for her performance in Nashville. However, despite being recognized for her TV and film career, she has also been awarded for her work on Broadway.

Lily Tomlin won a Tony in 1986 for her performance in The Search of Signs for Intelligent Life in the Universe. She also snagged a Grammy award in 1972 for the comedy album This is a Recording. However, this was only her first of four total Grammy nominations.

From her 18 Primetime Emmy nominations and multiple Emmy wins to her Grammy win, Oscar nomination and Lifetime Achievement Award, Lily Tomlin is arguably the most awarded actor ever to appear on NCIS.

What is Lily Tomlin up to now, and will she return to ‘NCIS?’

Lily Tomlin is currently starring alongside long-time friend Jane Fonda in the Netflix original Grace and Frankie. The show has been renewed for another season, which will become available for streaming in 2020.

Tomlin is also set to star in The Madness Within and The Road Home. The Madness Within tells the story of a successful businessman on top of the world who falls victims to addiction, dangerous secrets, and more. The Road Home is much lighter and tells the story of two friends who travel to wine country when one of them loses his job.

As far as NCIS is concerned, Lily Tomlin seems a bit booked at the moment; however, the actress doesn’t seem like one to turn away something destined to please. Thus, if the writers were to ask her back for an appearance, she seems like the person who would say yes in a heartbeat.