‘NCIS’ Star Brian Dietzen is Missing Former Cast Member as He Wishes Her Happy Birthday

by Suzanne Halliburton

Brian Dietzen is a lot like his NCIS character, Dr. Jimmy Palmer. He’s kind and thoughtful, especially when it comes to birthdays.

That’s why Dietzen acknowledged the birthday of an old NCIS friend and co-worker. He tweeted “Happy birthday to Lauren Holly!!! Miss you my friend! Hope it’s a great day.”

Remember the Name? Lauren Holly Is Vintage NCIS

Aww, Lauren Holly is vintage NCIS. The actress celebrated her 58th birthday, Thursday. Way back in the day, she was Jenny Shepard, the NCIS director.

NCIS introduced Jenny in the premiere of season three in an episode called Kill Ari Part 1. The team still was raw over the murder of fellow agent Caitlin Todd (Sasha Alexander). Cote de Pablo, as Ziva, also joined the show this season. Here’s the Jenny twist. She dated Gibbs (Mark Harmon) back in the day. And Gibbs had no no idea his ex was going to be his boss.

Holly’s character died three seasons later. Jenny was in a shootout at an abandoned diner. She helped kill four hitmen. But she died from the injuries she suffered in the shootout. Gibbs solved the case. The higher ups introduced Vance (Rocky Carroll) as the boss. He made some drastic assignments.

Holly, on her website, wrote that she grew bored with playing the director. That’s why she left NCIS.

“The decision was made to kill me,” Holly said. “And boy did they.”

“When it started, I was just supposed to do six episodes,” Holly told Smashing Interviews Magazine in 2016. “The next thing I knew, I was there, and I did 80-something episodes. It was always meant to be a short-term thing, so it ended up being kind of a gift. It was kind of perfect.”

Here’s a photo of the NCIS cast in a happier time than finding Jenny dead in an abandoned diner. They were celebrating episode No. 100. Holly’s departure followed 12 episodes later.

Cliff Lipson/CBS. ©2007 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Dietzen Said He Wanted Dr. Jimmy Palmer to be a Sunny Optimist

If you know your NCIS history, you can see from the photo that only two actors are still around with the permanent cast. That’s Dietzen and Sean Murray (McGee).

NCIS returns Monday with a new episode. It’s called False Start. And in the episode, the agents investigate the death of a Navy commander who trained some of the country’s top athletes.

Dietzen, as always, will be in the episode, working as the chief medical examiner. He said in an interview two years ago that he made Jimmy a sunny, positive person, no matter what.

“I figured if I’m going to be playing this character for a long time,” Dietzen told Starry Mag. “I want to step into those shoes each day instead of tortured shoes where I’m saying, ‘It’s hard to go to work.’ I love going to work. We all have our down days, of course, but Jimmy Palmer is a guy who says, ‘I’m ready to go and I’m excited to be here.’”