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Why Caitlin Todd From NCIS Looks So Familiar

"NCIS," the popular police procedural drama, is now in the midst of its 19th season and has racked up well over 400 episodes. Created by Donald P. Bellisario and Don McGill as a spinoff of the legal drama "JAG," "NCIS" is based in Washington, D.C., and follows a fictional team of special agents of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. The team's leader was Supervisory Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs, played by Mark Harmon, who remained a series regular until his departure early in the 19th season.

At the beginning of the series, one of the most major characters alongside Gibbs was Caitlin Todd, played by Sasha Alexander, another special agent. Caitlin remained a main character for the first two seasons before moving into a guest role and only occasionally showing up. For new viewers watching "NCIS" — or old fans revisiting the early episodes — the actor playing Caitlin may seem familiar-looking.

So why does Alexander look so familiar? Here's a rundown of some of the actor's most notable roles where you may be remembering her from.

Alexander's career began with two Kevin Williamson shows

In 1999, Alexander starred in the ABC drama "Wasteland," which was created by Kevin Williamson, who later went on to create popular series such as "The Vampire Diaries." The series follows six friends, including Alexander's Jesse Presser, as they navigate their post-college lives. Jesse is a publicist and serial dater. Unfortunately, the series ended up being short-lived and canceled after just one season.

However, the cancellation cleared up Alexander's schedule for her to take on a recurring role on the very popular WB teen series, "Dawson's Creek," which was also created by Williamson. Alexander played Gretchen Witter, the older sister of Pacey (Joshua Jackson), who drops out of college during her sophomore year and moves back home. She ends up beginning a romantic relationship with Dawson (James Van Der Beek), who had a crush on her when they were younger. In 2012, Alexander told IGN that their romance wasn't initially planned. She said, "They weren't sure about my role in the beginning, but then the chemistry [with Van Der Beek] kind of worked and then they really loved the storyline and began to go with it."

Alexander then reflected about her time on the show overall, while speaking with the Associated Press in 2014. Alexander said, "That was a really special environment and it was a really innocent and honest show. I haven't seen anything like it on television." She then concluded that she found the whole experience "wonderful" and has "nothing but fond memories."

Alexander had a guest appearance on Friends

"Friends" — the popular sitcom about a group of six twenty-somethings navigating their lives in New York City" — is known for having a long list of famous guest stars, including everyone from ultra-famous movie stars such as Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts to lesser-known actors known for more niche roles, such as Kristin Davis of "Sex and the City." In Season 8, Alexander became one of the many recognizable guest stars of "Friends" when she appeared as The Interviewer in "The One with Joey's Interview." Despite her character not actually having a name, per IMDb, Alexander's character plays a major role in the episode.

At the beginning of the 2002 episode, Joey (Matt LeBlanc) tells the rest of the friends that Soap Opera Digest wants to do a profile on him, but he turned them down because the last time he did an interview, he ended up getting fired for bragging that he wrote most of his own lines. Joey agrees to go through with it only if the friends will stay close by to make sure he doesn't put his foot in his mouth again.

Throughout the episode, The Interviewer asks Joey questions, such as about his career leading up to "Days of Our Lives" and what he does in his spare time. Then, she asks what other soap operas Joey enjoys — to which he responds that he doesn't watch any because he "[has] a life." After the article comes out, when the friends remark on how crazy it is that The Interviewer left out his quote about not watching soap operas, Joey admits that he slept with her.

Alexander starred in Rizzoli & Isles

Sasha Alexander starred as Dr. Maura Isles on "Rizzoli & Isles" for all seven seasons it aired on TNT, alongside Angie Harmon as Jane Rizzoli. The series follows a Boston Homicide police detective, the brash Jane Rizzoli, and a medical examiner, the analytical Dr. Maura Isles, as they work together to solve various cases. Throughout the series, we see Isles excel at her job, due in part to her vast encyclopedia-like knowledge, even if her analytical personality makes it hard to connect with other people, including the men she's interested in. In the series finale, Isles decides to take a sabbatical in order to work on her book in Paris, France.

In 2016, Alexander spoke with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution to speak about "Rizzoli & Isles" as the series was coming to an end. Explaining why she never got tired of playing Isles, Alexander said, "I have really enjoyed playing Dr. Maura Isles. I really can say in seven years, I never had a boring day playing her. It was never tedious for me to play her. She's a sunny personality and curious and interested and funny. I was constantly amused by the role. I will miss playing her."

Further, she credited the success of the show to the two lead characters and how well-written they were. "Jane and Maura. That's the formula," Alexander explained. "We've rarely seen two women at the helm who get along and support each other. We're friends. I think that people connect with that relationship. It made them feel good to see women in this dark crime world navigate personal lives along with solving crimes."

Alexander had a recurring role on Shameless

"Shameless," which ran from 2011 to 2021, follows Fiona Gallagher (Emmy Rossum), the eldest of six siblings, as she takes care of the household and her younger siblings because the family is largely neglected by their alcoholic, troublesome father Frank (William H. Macy). Alexander began a recurring arc on the show in Season 5 and acted in 11 total episodes over two seasons. She plays Helene Runyon, Lip's (Jeremy Allen White) Critical Theory professor, with whom he begins an affair. Their affair becomes exposed when Lip's ex-girlfriend distributes a nude photo of Helene that she found in Lip's room. In order to keep her job, Helene tells the college board that she'll cut off contact with Lip — despite his declarations of love, she keeps up this promise and tells him to stop seeking her out.

Speaking with Deadline in 2015, Alexander discussed what excited her about the role — including the fact that it was a departure from Maura Isles, who she was still portraying at the time. Alexander said, "['Shameless'] was edgy, it was sexy and different in the sense that, you know, not to say that Dr. Isles isn't an adult, but I felt like we were reaching into kind of deeper waters here, in terms of adult territory, and what we were playing with. It was more provocative and it was a risk, it was scary."