Cote de Pablo leaving "NCIS" after 8 seasons

"Squall" -- A massive storm brings the NCIS team aboard the USS Borealis, where everyone becomes a suspect once the crime scene proves that Mother Nature wasn Sonja Flemming

"NCIS" star Cote de Pablo is leaving the cast of the CBS crime drama, the network confirmed.

The 33-year-old actress starred on the series for eight seasons, first joining the cast in 2005 during the show's third season.

"We respect Cote's decision, thank her for being an important part of the 'NCIS' team, and for eight terrific years playing Ziva David," CBS said in a statement. "Cote and CBS share a great respect for the 'NCIS' audience, and we look forward to working with her and the producers on appropriate closure in this chapter of Ziva's story."

Her character, a former Israeli Mossad agent, was considered the most dangerous member of the team, even though de Pablo herself had never held a gun before taking on the role.

"The first day I ever went to the shooting range...they gave me the gun...and I thought 'Oh God, be very strong because you don't want to show them that you're weak,'" de Pablo told Gayle King and John Miller on "CBS This Morning" in January.

"And I remember holding that gun and I was just trembling. And I just kept on saying just get it together."

The Chilean-born actress has been seen as a positive role model for Latin Americans during her time on "NCIS."

She won an Imagen Award in 2006 and an ALMA Award in 2011 for her work on the series.

De Pablo will make several guest appearances in the upcoming 11th season of the series in order to finish up the storyline of her tough-as-nails character.

"I've had 8 great years with NCIS and Ziva David," de Pablo said in a statement. "I have huge respect and affection for Mark, Gary, Michael, David, Rocky, Pauley, Brian, Sean, all of the team and CBS. I look forward to finishing Ziva's story."

"NCIS" returns with new episodes on Sept. 24.

  • Ken Lombardi On Twitter» On Facebook»

    Ken Lombardi is an entertainment reporter for CBS News. He has interviewed over 300 celebrities, including Clint Eastwood, Oprah Winfrey and Tom Hanks.

Comments

Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.