‘NCIS’ Star Wilmer Valderrama’s First Claim to Fame Came on ‘That 70s Show’

by Keeli Parkey

Fans of the popular CBS drama “NCIS” will recognize actor Wilmer Valderrama as the character Special Agent Nick Torres. However, this is not the only hit television show the 41-year-old actor has on his filmography.

It was actually a very popular comedy that set Valderrama’s star on the rise to fame. That sitcom was “That ’70s Show.” According to IMDb.com, the series aired from 1998 until 2006. It followed a group of teenagers who were living in Wisconsin during the 1970s.

Future “NCIS” star Wilmer Valderrama played the character Fez on the show. As fans of the show already know, Fez was a foreign exchange student. However, (possible spoiler alert) his home country is never actually revealed on the show.

The actor appeared in 200 episodes during the run of the series. “That ’70s Show” also starred Ashton Kutcher as Michael Kelso, Topher Grace as Eric Forman, Laura Prepon as Donna Pinciotti, Mila Kunis as Jackie Burkhart, and Danny Masterson as Steven Hyde.

His role on “That ’70s Show” came when Valderrama was still a young man. He took part in the filming of the pilot during his senior year of high school. The actor would later say that working on the show was “a blast.”

“(Fez) was a blast. I mean, you know I always joke around,” Valderrama said. “The cast and I have these little dinners that we do sometimes. And sometimes we remember on those days going to work and going out there, laughing all day long, and pretending to be actors. You know, and then going home and being like, ‘I think we just made some money. I think they called it art or something,’ you know. But we had a lot of fun.”

Wilmer Valderrama Joins Cast of ‘NCIS’ on CBS In 2016

Following the conclusion of “That ’70s Show,” Valderrama continued to work in television. His work included roles on the following shows, “Wizards of Waverly Place,” “Royal Pains,” “Awake,” “Raising Hope,” “Minority Report,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” and “From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series.”

Wilmer Valderrama joined the cast of “NCIS” as Nick Torres on CBS in 2016. His first episode was titled, “Rogue,” and it was the first episode of the hit drama’s 14th season. It aired on Sept. 20, 2016. As of June 15, 2021, Valderrama has appeared in 108 episodes of the show.

Here’s a little more background on Wilmer Valderrama. He was born on Jan. 30, 1980, in Miami, Florida. When he was only 3 years old, he moved with his family from Florida to Venezuela. It was when Valderrama was 13 years old that his family returned to the United States. They chose to settle in Los Angeles, California.

The actor speaks both Spanish and English fluently. He is good friends with his “That ’70s Show” co-star Ashton Kutcher. Valderrama has also dated actress Lindsay Lohan and singer Mandy Moore.