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Here's Where Else You Recognize NCIS Star Rocky Carroll From

If you've watched "NCIS" or any of its several spinoff shows, you will more than likely be familiar with the stern, yet good-natured character Leon Vance. First appearing in Season 5 of "NCIS," Vance joined the main cast of the show and inherited the mantle of director of the titular NCIS organization. To this day, Vance is still one of the most prominent characters across the franchise, having appeared in the main cast in every season of the original "NCIS" since his debut and popping in sporadically on the spin-off shows — except for the newly-released "NCIS: Hawai'i," but that only feels like a matter of time.

Since his first appearance, Vance has been played by actor Rocky Carroll. While his role as Vance is perhaps the most prominent and long-running of his career thus far, Carroll has accumulated his fair share of acting credits over the past few decades, and TV and film devotees might be surprised to find that they recognize the actor from some of his other roles on other prominent properties.

He helped make history with Law & Order

Oddly enough, Carroll played a small role in one of the biggest legal drama series of all time: "Law & Order," the half-criminal-investigation and half-court-procedural TV classic with episodes based on real stories and real crimes. But even though the show has had one of the longest lives in television history, going for 20 seasons during its original run, spawning six spin-off shows, and just recently having been revived itself for a 21st season, Carroll made just one single appearance in the series — and during its debut episode, no less. 

In the series premiere, titled "Prescription for Death," Carroll had a cameo as Dr. Davids, a third-year medical student at a hospital. It's such a relatively minor role for a show as historically renowned as "Law & Order," but Carroll nonetheless retains the honor of having appeared in the very first chapter of one of television's all-time juggernauts.

Carroll led a mutiny on the big screen with Crimson Tide

Carroll played a relatively major role in the 1995 war film "Crimson Tide," an action-thriller movie that isn't necessarily about fighting a war, but the risk of starting one. Set during the Cold War, the movie focused on a power struggle between two officers in a U.S. military submarine over conflicting orders to launch missiles at Russia as a pre-emptive defensive maneuver. The central conflict pitted Denzel Washington's Executive Officer Ron Hunter and Gene Hackman's Capt. Frank Ramsey against each other and forced all other members of the crew to choose their loyalties. 

In the film, Rocky Carroll portrayed Lt. Darik Westerguard, an executive member of the crew on the submarine who throws yet another wrench into the troubling power dynamic aboard the ship. After Hunter stages something of a mutiny against Ramsey and decides not to launch the missiles, Westerguard attempts to enact a counter-mutiny against Hunter alongside several of his fellow officers. Fortunately, the crew is able to verify that they were specifically ordered not to launch the missiles before the nuclear option is pushed.

The actor laughed it up on The West Wing

For those into political dramas, Carroll guest-starred on an episode of arguably the biggest of the bunch: the acclaimed series "The West Wing." During its seven-season run, the show chronicled the term of the fictional United States President Josiah Bartlet and the lives and operations of the people in his administration. However, Carroll didn't appear on the show as a politician or public official, but as a comedian. 

The actor appeared on Season 2, Episode 12, titled "The Drop In," where he portrayed a New York-based professional jokester named Corey Sykes. Actress Allison Janney's Press Secretary C.J. Cregg was put in a tough spot, as even though she was a friend of the comedian, she had to work to stop him from performing at the annual Will Rogers Dinner, as the comedian had previously made a distasteful joke in the vicinity of the president.

Carroll engaged in some body horror on Grey's Anatomy

Rocky Carroll also appeared on another long-running procedural show in the form of the medical drama series "Grey's Anatomy," which focuses on the lives of a group of medical practitioners based in a fictional Seattle hospital. In the 5th episode of Season 4, titled "Haunt You Every Day," the actor guest-starred as James Miller, a patient with intense body dysmorphia who believes his foot does not belong to him. 

Miller requests that the doctors amputate his foot, and takes matters into his own hands when they refuse. In a particular gross-out scene, the practitioners discover Miller in one of the hospital rooms, halfway through cutting off his own leg with a chainsaw and with blood splattering everywhere. After assessing the damage, the doctors have no choice but to complete the amputation. It goes without saying that watching this Carroll credit is certainly not for the fainthearted.