‘NCIS’: Before Playing FBI Special Agent Fornell, Joe Spano Starred with Ron Howard in Iconic 1973 Film

by Shelby Scott

Beloved “NCIS” character, FBI Agent Tobias Fornell, regularly appears on the long-running hit TV show. He immediately joined the crew during the show’s first season, appearing in its very first episode which aired in 2003.

He makes consistent appearances on “NCIS” now as it approaches its 19th season on CBS. Modern fans recognize him by his rapidly balding head and gray stubble. However, those same fans may fail to recognize him in one of his earlier roles. In the 1973 film, “American Graffiti,” Spano starred as Vic.

Joe Spano has experienced a long career in acting according to Looper, and was only 27 years old when he secured his second role ever as Vic in “American Graffiti.”

To summarize Vic’s part, his character tries to come between the characters Debby and Terry. Spano’s character Vic went out with Debbie three weeks prior. He shows up unexpectedly to confront the pair and attempt to reignite things with Debbie. Never mind that Vic went three weeks without acknowledging her.

The hit film featured Spano and Ron Howard, however, it also featured other critically acclaimed actors and actresses. These include Harrison Ford and Suzanne Somers, among others. Additionally, if you decide to watch the film today as an “NCIS” fan, Spano may appear almost entirely unrecognizable. Given, he starred as Vic just about 50 years ago, so you have to give him credit.

According to Looper, “American Graffiti” saw five nominations for Academy Awards.

“NCIS” Season 19 Will Feature a Major Character Return, Per Showrunner

“NCIS” character Tobias Fornell has been missing lately in recent “NCIS” episodes. However, following the death of the former FBI agent’s daughter last season, he will finally appear more frequently in season 19. However, despite fans’ relief at seeing Fornell’s return, the latest edition of the show is missing many original faces.

At this point, fans worry “NCIS” won’t continue for many more seasons as it’s beginning to lose the majority of the original cast. Thankfully, Agent Timothy McGee actor Sean Murray and Agent Torres actor Wilmer Valderrama plan on returning. However, “NCIS” patriarch Leroy Jethro Gibbs, played by Mark Harmon, is reluctant in returning to the set at all.

While the Gibbs actor had initially planned on leaving the show this season, production said they would have to officially cancel the show were that to happen. So for now, the actor will make occasional appearances in season 19. However, things seem dismal for next year’s season 20, should it see confirmation for the following season.

Nevertheless, while things appear to be getting darker for America’s favorite TV show, fans share a slight glimmer of hope as a previous Michael Weatherly post hinted he may very well return to the set of “NCIS.” Hopefully, the very Special Agent Anthony Dinozzo pulls through for us “NCIS” fans.