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The Character Everyone Forgets NCIS's Pauley Perrette Played In Almost Famous

Like any show that runs for such a record-shattering number of seasons, CBS's "NCIS" has gone through major cast and character changes multiple times over. A total of 16 actors have been main cast members of "NCIS" at one point or another, and each of them has left a mark in their own way, from Cote de Pablo as the badass Ziva David on Seasons 3 to 11 to Michael Weatherly as lovable rascal Tony DiNozzo Jr. on Seasons 1 to 13.

Some would argue that the most memorable former "NCIS" star, though, is Pauley Perrette, whose character, forensic scientist Abby Sciuto, was wholly unlike anyone else on television. Up until Abby's resignation from NCIS at the end of Season 15, Perrette brought a combination of wit, style, warmth, and eccentricity to the show that made her an enduring fan favorite and one of the defining "faces" of "NCIS'" multitudinous ensemble along with Mark Harmon. In fact, Perrette has become so identified with the role that a lot of Americans still think of her primarily as "Abby" — an association that, while telling of the weight of her work on "NCIS," somewhat shortchanges her status as a great actress in her own right. For an example of how good she is even outside of "NCIS," look no further than the small, yet memorable role she had in the 2000 indie classic "Almost Famous."

Pauley Perrette played an impassioned fan of the Doors in Almost Famous

One of the defining features of Abby Sciuto as a character was her musical taste. As Pauley Perrette explained in response to a fan question in 2012, Abby's love for industrial and gothic rock — manifested in her in-show namedropping of bands such as Android Lust and the Newlydeads — was a key inroad into her personality and worldview.

It's quite appropriate, then, that one of Perrette's most notable roles outside "NCIS" was in one of the quintessential rock'n'roll movies: three years before "NCIS" even premiered, she played rock DJ Alice Wisdom in Cameron Crowe's "Almost Famous." It's a one-scene role, during the first meeting between protagonist William Miller (Patrick Fugit) and real-life legendary music critic Lester Bangs (Philip Seymour Hoffman), with Perrette as the radio host interviewing Bangs and hearing his savage takes about Jim Morrison and the Doors. Despite her limited screentime, Wisdom makes a strong impression by "standing up" to Bangs and passionately defending her love of the Doors.

Fans of "Almost Famous" who know how much the movie culls from real music history will not be surprised to learn that Perrette's character had a real-life inspiration. According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, Alice is based on Gabriel Wisdom, a young disc jockey at KPRI-FM whom Cameron Crowe sometimes visited and chatted with in his years as a San Diego-dwelling music-obsessed teen. Perrette even had the chance to meet with Wisdom during the development of the movie, as he actively assisted in the recreation of the KPRI studio for the scene.