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Why Penny From CSI: Vegas Looks So Familiar

"CSI: Vegas" sparked a return of the old guard, with classic "CSI" characters Gil Grissom (William Petersen), Sara Sidle (Jorja Fox), David Hodges (Wallace Langham), and Jim Brass (Paul Guilfoyle) coming back to solve another round of cases. For Grissom and Sidle, their return felt both familiar and new: both characters leave retirement to be greeted by a near-completely different crime lab. They may be back in action, but things aren't exactly the same, and nothing is more indicative of that than the younger batch of CSIs that have been working there since Gil and Sara left.

Among these newcomers is Penny Gill, played by actress Sarah Gilman. While she isn't the first or foremost of the newcomers we are introduced to, Gilman's character gets her dues as the first season goes on. By the end of it, she has learned a thing or two from her predecessors, and she has started a blossoming mentor-mentee relationship with Maxine Roby (Paula Newsome). However, you may have noticed one other thing about Gilman's Penny, especially if you're a bit on the younger side — she does look familiar, and that's not by chance. That's because Gilman has actually portrayed characters in several well-known projects throughout the 2010s.

Gilman sat as one of the many women in Last Man Standing

Whether you're young or old, you probably associate the work of actor and comedian Tim Allen with one of two things. The first of these might be the sitcom series, "Home Improvement," where Allen plays a clumsy, yet handy father who runs a TV show centered around tools. The second is the "Toy Story" franchise, where Allen provides the voice of Buzz Lightyear. 

Between 2011 and 2021, however, Allen starred in another sitcom called "Last Man Standing," about a similarly traditional man who struggles with his day-to-day existence. If you happened to watch this show after Season 2, then that may explain why Penny from "CSI: Vegas" strikes such a chord: During that period of "Last Man Standing," Gilman had a recurring role as Cammy Harris, the best friend and soccer teammate of Mike Baxter's (Tim Allen) daughter, Eve. While Cammy made several appearances in the show, her character eventually stopped showing up after its sixth season in 2016.

Gilman went Disney as Delia Delfano

Another place you've probably seen Sarah Gilman is on the Disney Channel. Between 2014 and 2015, Gilman had a main role as the character Dia Delfano in the high school sitcom "I Didn't Do it." As far as sitcom roles go, Gilman's time on "I Didn't Do It" may be the most unique, due to the short-lived series' ever-changing format: The first season of the series was told primarily through flashbacks, a concept which was quickly abandoned in the next season. Season 2, though — as Gilman explained in an interview with FanLaLaTV – set itself apart by filming with a live audience.

"My favorite part of filming so far has been the live audiences," Gilman said. "They're completely new for this season, and it brings so much energy. Just being able to connect with the audience and seeing what works and what doesn't work, and what gets laughs, and what choices are actually funny and don't just bomb." Unfortunately, Gilman wouldn't be able to enjoy this experience for long. For all its strengths, "I Didn't Do It" would not be continued past its second season.

Gilman moved to Mystery Inc. for Daphne & Velma

For a long time, it seemed as if the "Scooby-Doo" franchise would never again see the light of day in live-action form, particularly following the not-so-successful release of 2010's "Scooby Doo! Curse of the Lake Monster." When Warner Bros. finally did decide to dust off the franchise in live-action again, they decided to go a slightly different route — this time, by making a 2018 spin-off movie solely focused on the characters of Daphne Blake and Velma Dinkley. Appropriately enough, it was named "Daphne & Velma," and starred Gilman alongside actress Sarah Jeffrey as Velma and Daphne respectively.

Like the live-action "Scooby-Doo" film before it, "Daphne & Velma" bypassed theaters and went direct to video, which may be why many people haven't seen it ... either that, or the poor reception it garnered upon release. Nevertheless, this flop wouldn't be the last we saw of Gilman before she made her way onto "CSI: Vegas."

Gilman acted alongside YouTubers in Foursome

When it comes to romantic comedies, names like Logan Paul and Jen McAllister typically aren't the first that come to mind. Both are predominantly known for creating content on YouTube and other platforms, with the latter working under the name jennxpenn. Paul, of course, has been involved in his fair share of controversies (per Vox), but has also dabbled in acting over the years. One of his longest running acting gigs was "Foursome," a YouTube Premium original produced by AwesomenessTV series that ran for four seasons. In the final of these four, viewers got to see Sarah Gilman take on the role of Wynn.

As the name suggests, "Foursome" focuses on the misadventures of a group of four friends as they make their way through high school. The twist, however, is that as the seasons went on, certain characters were added or removed from the eponymous main four. Wynn was one such character, introduced as a one-time member of "the OG Foursome" from their adolescence, who left but has since returned. Unfortunately, Season 4 of the series would also be its last, so we never got to see Gilman interact with her co-stars to the same degree as McAllister or Paul. Still, it serves as one of her more unique roles.