David McCallum smiling in NCIS


One NCIS Actor’s Exit Confused David McCallum - Here’s Why
“NCIS” actor David McCallum, who passed away on September 25, 2023 at age 90, expressed his confusion and dismay about one particular star’s exit from the series.
During an AMA on Reddit in January 2016, McCallum spoke about his disappointing reaction to Cote de Pablo’s then-recent exit from the series and her role as Ziva David.
He said, “I was astonished when Cote left [...] it seems that she was not up to handling the demands that the character put upon her. I still don't understand her deeper motives.”
McCallum also expressed to Digital Spy, “I just don’t understand how a leading lady in a show that’s worldwide [...] just vanishes a couple of days before we start production.”
De Pablo unexpectedly quit “NCIS” just before shooting for Season 11 began, which required several quick rewrites and may explain McCallum’s strong feelings on the matter.
While Ziva’s emotional arc was undeniably high-octane stuff, de Pablo would later explain that it was not the toughness of Ziva’s sometimes-violent storyline that made her leave.
De Pablo told Hello!, “Unfortunately, because of political things and scripts not being good enough, I chose not to [return’].” She also told TV Guide it was a hard decision.
De Pablo further explained, “They were going to send [Ziva] back to Israel and make her an unfortunate, miserable woman. I didn’t think it was fair.”