‘NCIS’: First Photos of Patricia Richardson in Guest-Starring Role

by Suzanne Halliburton

NCIS fans are about to get a bit more of the McGee back story next week. And that’s all thanks to the addition of guest start Patricia Richardson.

This week, CBS revealed the cast list for next Monday’s episode, Docked. Richardson plays McGee’s mother-in-law, Judy Price Fielding. She’s the mother of McGee’s wife, Delilah, and the grandmother of his kids.

And this is how Richardson is involved. According to the CBS summary: “NCIS investigates the death of a man on a cruise ship whose body is discovered in the ship’s sauna by none other than McGee’s mother-in-law, Judy.”

Richardson rose to fame opposite Tim Allen in the classic comedy, Home Improvement. She portrayed Jill Taylor, wife of Tim and the mother of three sons. She received four Emmy nominations for Best Actress in a Comedy. No doubt, Richardson helped shape 1990s-era comedy.

But what will her character be on NCIS? Will her role be comedy relief? Finding a dead body always is jarring, but NCIS has a way of layering on comedic twists with the crime.

Check out the photo CBS released of the upcoming NCIS episode. Richardson is with Wilmer Valderrama, who plays Torres.

Sonja Flemming/CBS

Maybe Richardson Will Channel Other Characters in Her NCIS Appearance

In this NCIS episode, will Richardson be more like her role as Sheila Brooks on The West Wing? That’s when she portrayed the campaign manager of Arnold Vinick (Alan Alda). Maybe McGee’s mother-in-law will be more like Richardson’s doctor character in Strong Medicine. Richardson portrayed a doctor and retired colonel.

This isn’t the first time one of McGee’s relatives has shown up on NCIS. His sister was involved with the episode Twisted Sister, which ran in Nov. 21, 2006. Troian Bellisario, Murray’s real-life step sister, played Sarah McGee. Coincidentally, Troian is the daughter of Donald Bellisario, the creator of NCIS.

In the episode, McGee’s sister showed up at her brother’s apartment. She was covered in blood and had no memories of the night before. She also was the prime suspect in a murder. But big brother helped clear her.

Richardson is 70. She first started playing Jill Taylor 30 years ago. She took over as Jill right after she gave birth to twins. The director of Home Improvement initially cast Frances Fisher to play Jill. But she didn’t have good chemistry with Tim Allen.

Richardson said she didn’t really want the Home Improvement role.

“I didn’t want to do any more sitcoms, and I certainly did not want to be a thankless mom,” she told Entertainment Tonight. “I didn’t audition for it — I came in and they said, ‘We want you to start tomorrow.’”

She said the Home Improvement show runners told her about Allen, who was then a relatively unknown comedian. She’d never heard of him. Fortunately for her career, she accepted the role.

Before her NCIS role, Richardson was last on network series TV in 2019, when she guest starred on NBC’s Blacklist. Stick with Outsider for more details.