Vachik Mangassarian, ‘NCIS’ and ‘The Mentalist’ Actor, Dies at 78

by Amy Myers

Actor Vachik Mangassarian, who appeared on NCIS: Los Angeles and The Mentalist, has died at age 78 in Burbank, California. According to his manager, Valerie McCaffrey, he passed away due to complications from Covid-19. McCaffrey stated that Mangassarian did, in fact, receive the vaccination. Some of Mangassarian’s most notable roles include parts in The Stoning of Soraya M., Remington Steele, The Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Intelligence, to name a few.

Most recently, the actor appeared in NCIS: Los Angeles in 2019. He played “Fake Iranian President” in the episode, “False Flag,” in which agents Callen and Sam had to locate a group of ISIS sympathizers aboard the ship, USS Allegiance. Mangassarian also played another small part in the series back in 2010. In the episode “LD50,” the late actor played Sadiki Hassan. During the episode, the agents track down a group of fake Marines who have obtained a deadly bioweapon that has the power to kill millions.

Mangassarian’s parts in the NCIS spinoff are just a small portion of his extensive career which began in 1978. Originally from Iran, the actor came to the U.S. at age 23 to pursue his passion. He worked as a waiter in Los Angeles before he finally got his first role in The South’s Shark under his alternate name, Vache Mangar. Mangassarian would continue pursuing roles through the 80s and 90s, including features in Murder, She Wrote and NYPD Blue.

He also appeared in a 2009 episode of The Mentalist, “Red John’s Friends.”

The future NCIS actor portrayed a store owner in an uncredited role. In the episode, Patrick attempts to make a deal that will prove a convict’s innocence. He hopes that this will earn him some information about the serial killer that murdered his wife and daughter.

Late ‘NCIS’ Actor Allegedly Shared Controversial Social Media Posts

Prior to his untimely death, Mangassarian apparently shared some memes on Facebook that were “anti-vaccine and anti-President Joe Biden,” according to NBC News.

In response to the controversial posts, the late NCIS actor’s manager stated, “Just be aware, Vachik had a sense of humor.”

Mangassarian also recently shared photos from a recent movie he had been filming, Moving On, which starred Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda.

Outside of his career on crime series, Mangassarian was a strong supporter of the Armenian community. He even anchored his own radio show and later TV series, The Armenian National Network. On these two shows, guests would come to discuss politics, film and art. In 2012, the NCIS actor further demonstrated his support for this population with his appearance in Lost and Found in Armenia. Mangassarian helped bring this film to the U.S., further bringing the Armenian community the spotlight it deserves.

Outsider extends its condolences to the surviving members of Vachik Mangassarian’s family as well as his friends.