‘NCIS: Los Angeles’: Gerald McRaney Was Inspired By Henry Fonda and James Garner

by Lauren Boisvert

Gerald McRaney has worked with some heavy hitters in his time, and that includes Henry Fonda and James Garner. In an interview with NBC New York, McRaney spoke about his long career, and who inspired him along his acting journey.

When asked if there was anyone who lifted him up and inspired him over his career, McRaney replied, “I got to work with Henry Fonda, once, and I got to work with [James] Garner a few times on ‘Rockford Files.'” “The Rockford Files” was a detective series that aired from 1974 to 1980. It starred James Garner as private investigator Jim Rockford. McRaney had multiple roles in a few episodes, most notably as D.A. John Pleasance.

“For different reasons, both of those men inspired me to be better at what I do.” In a press kit for the film “Get Low,” in which McRaney played Reverend Gus Horton, he complimented both Henry Fonda and Sissy Spacek at the same time. He said, “I worked with Henry Fonda and he said of himself that he worked his tail off so that the audience wouldn‘t see the wheels turning. I think Sissy does that, too.”

McRaney obviously has great respect for his fellow artists. He has nearly 106 acting credits in film and television, and has written, produced, and directed a few as well. Now, he’s landed a long-running spot on “NCIS: Los Angeles” as Admiral Hollace Kilbride; and he seems to bring the same intensity and inspiration that other actors bestowed upon him.

“NCIS: Los Angeles”: What’s Going to Happen to Gerald McRaney’s Kilbride?

Gerald McRaney’s character Admiral Hollace Kilbride is getting himself into some hot water lately. First, his old friend, a retired colonel, was selling guns to a militia. He arrested the guy himself, but not before Sam and Callen’s trust in him was shaken to its core.

Now, in after Sunday night’s episode, Kilbride has a big secret he’s keeping from the team. He killed a former CIA operative who he recruited and trained when she was just a U.S. Navy sailor. They had a close relationship, but no one knows how close. Now, she’s dead by his hand, and no one knows. The team all thinks the Chinese Navy killed her, and that they were too late to save her. But, Kilbride is harboring a secret now that could tear the team apart.

Will anyone find out? Is it going to be addressed in the next episode, or left to sit and stew for a bit before someone finds out the truth? Either way, it’s a huge bombshell for the team, especially if they’re already feeling bad about not saving the operative. Sam and Callen’s trust is already so shaky; one more secret on top of that could make it fall like a house of cards.