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Why Shay Mosley From NCIS: Los Angeles Looks So Familiar

"NCIS: Los Angeles" Season 14 recently came out, and the show has aired since 2009. The second series in the "NCIS" franchise focuses on the Office of Special Projects in Los Angeles, where agents work undercover to try and catch criminals who threaten national security. 

On the show, Shay Mosley is the Executive Assistant Director of Pacific Operations of NCIS during Seasons 9 and 10. Shay Mosley is sent in by Director Vance (Rocky Carroll) as a replacement leader after the retirement of Henrietta Lange (Linda Hunt) and the death of Owen Granger (Miguel Ferrer). 

As a leader, Mosley does not play by the rules and eventually finds herself and her son in danger. Because of this, they go into hiding, and Mosley's character is no longer in the series. However, Shay Mosley from "NCIS: Los Angeles" may look familiar to viewers because she has starred in various other films and TV shows.

Nia Long played Brandi in Boyz N the Hood

The actress who plays Shay Mosley on "NCIS: Los Angeles," Nia Long, was in several popular movies and films decades before her appearance on the show. 

Long was part of the cast of "Boyz N the Hood," a 1991 coming-of-age drama film where a young boy named Tre Styles (Cuba Gooding Jr.) gets into a fight at school, so his mother sends him to live with his father, Furious Styles (Laurence Fishburne), in South Central Los Angeles, where he is surrounded by gang culture to learn a lesson.

The movie then jumps seven years to when Tre is a responsible teenager who wants to go to college with his girlfriend, Brandi (Nia Long), but the two are still surrounded by obstacles they must work to overcome as a team. Before her role on "NCIS: Los Angeles," Long played the role of a good girlfriend quite frequently.

Nia Long was on Guiding Light as Kat Speakes

In addition to roles in movies, Nia Long acted in popular TV shows. 

According to the Guinness World Records, "Guiding Light," aired from 1952-2009, is the longest-running soap opera in American television history. Additionally, before it was a television show, "Guiding Light" began as a radio show in 1937. Since "Guiding Light" was such a long-running series, actors in the cast commonly came and went. The show explores intergenerational drama between several core families and other secondary characters in their fictional town. 

Long was not involved with the show since its inception, obviously, but she eventually played Kathryn "Kat" Speakes on the show from 1991-1994. Kat Speakes initially arrives in town to try and stop her father from marrying a woman she disapproves of. However, after she comes to terms with her father's relationship, Kat stays in town for a few years and gets wrapped up in her own drama.

Nia Long played Lisa Wilkes on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

Fans might also recognize Nia Long from her role on "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air," which aired for six seasons from 1990-1996 and starred Will Smith as a fictionalized version of himself as a working-class teenager from West Philadelphia who is sent to live with his upper-class uncle Phil Banks (James Avery) and aunt Vivian Banks (Janet Hubert & Daphne Maxwell Reid) in Bel-Air, California. 

Long played Will's girlfriend, Lisa Wilkes, and she was a recurring character on Season 5 of "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air." Lisa and Will develop a long-term relationship on the show and are even engaged by the Season 5 finale.

Long also played a totally different guest role as Claudia in Season 2, Episode 8, "She Ain't Heavy." In this episode, Long plays a prep student who Will wants to date but does not.

Nia Long was Debbie in Friday

Decades before she was on "NCIS: Los Angeles," Nia long was part of the cast of "Friday" (1995), a comedy film exploring the adventures of an unemployed man named Craig Jones (Ice Cube) and his friend Smokey (Chris Tucker) on a single Friday in South Central Los Angeles. Various friends, family, and enemies visit them throughout the day, and they also need to find $200 that they owe to a drug dealer by 10 p.m., or they will allegedly be killed. 

In "Friday," Long plays Debbie, a young woman who lives in the neighborhood. She is also the love interest of Craig, as well as the sister of Felicia (Angela Means), from which the phrase "Bye, Felicia" comes. Debbie is exceptionally kind, caring, and loyal to those she cares about, including her sister. Often, Long plays a responsible, supportive, loving girlfriend or love interest to a film's protagonist.

Nia Long played Sherry Pierce in Big Momma's House

Viewers might recognize Nia Long from her role as Sherry Pierce in the 2000 movie "Big Momma's House," as well as the 2006 sequel "Big Momma's House 2." 

In the underrated Martin Lawrence comedy "Big Momma's House," Malcolm Turner is an F.B.I. agent who must go undercover as the grandmother of his ex-girlfriend, Sherry Pierce, an employee at a bank that was robbed by a man who has recently escaped prison. The authorities worry the escaped convict will go after Sherry, who was suspected of supplying him with a key to the vault. Malcolm is tasked with investigating her while posing as her grandmother, Hattie Mae Pierce (Ella Mitchell), also known as Big Momma, a midwife in Georgia.

After developing an unlikely romance with Malcolm in "Big Momma's House," Long appears again in "Big Momma's House 2," this time as Sherry Pierce Turner, Malcolm's wife. Once again, Malcolm has to impersonate Sherry's grandmother, Big Momma.