Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Why Kate Whistler From NCIS: Hawai'i Looks So Familiar

"NCIS: Hawai'i," the fourth series in the franchise centered on the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, premiered in 2021 with a brand-new set of NCIS special agents. Led by NCIS Special Agent in Charge Jane Tennant (Vanessa Lachey), this team of investigators does pretty much exactly the same thing all of the agents in the other "NCIS" series do, but with a noticeably better view of the Pacific Ocean.

The "NCIS: Hawaii" team includes a talented group of agents with a diverse set of skills. When the series begins, NCIS Special Agent Lucy Tara (Yasmine Al-Bustami) is notable for two different reasons. For one, she is the newest field agent on the team. Additionally, she is only the second series regular LGBTQ character in the entire "NCIS" franchise. Tammy Gregorio (Vanessa Ferlito) of "NCIS: New Orleans" was the first. Notably, the first season of "NCIS: Hawaii" spends quite a bit of time with Tara's first love interest, FBI Agent Kate Whistler (Tori Anderson).

If the actress playing Whistler looks familiar to you, there's probably a pretty good reason for it. Tori Anderson has been working as an actress in Hollywood for nearly two full decades now. With roles in everything from science fiction series like Syfy's "Killjoys" to multiple TV movie romcoms, Anderson has built quite a respectable career for herself. Here's a quick look back at the biggest moments of the first nineteen years of her time on the job. 

Anderson got her start with a variety of guest roles

Like most other actors and actresses, Anderson was not simply gifted long-running roles on television series. Before she began booking series regular and recurring roles, Anderson had to prove her worth through a variety of guest-star jobs. Her first such role came in 2003 with an appearance on the 2002 reboot of Rod Serling's "The Twilight Zone." Like most attempts to reboot this franchise, this iteration did not remain on the air for long. However, the short-lived series ultimately granted Anderson her first on-screen role in Season 1, Episode 39 ("Developing") as a character simply listed as "Teen" (via IMDb).

In subsequent years, Anderson followed this up with a number of similarly quick roles on popular series, including a 2003 appearance in "Tru Calling," a 2004 role in "Smallville," a 2007 spot on "The 4400," and a 2012 job on "Rookie Blue" (via IMDb). While these experiences were undoubtedly helpful for a young working actress trying to make it in Hollywood, they certainly are not among her best-known roles. Only two months after appearing in a single episode of "Rookie Blue," Anderson began her first recurring role in a television series.

Her first recurring role came in The L.A. Complex

2008's "Murdoch Mysteries" was actually the first TV series on which Anderson appeared in more than one episode. However, because both of these episodes are listed as the first and second parts of a chapter titled "Stroll on the Wild Side," we're going to skip ahead to Anderson's more sizable contributions on a Canadian TV series titled "The L.A. Complex."

Premiering in 2012, "The L.A. Complex" gave audiences the inside look at a life probably not completely unlike the one Anderson herself was living at the time. The series follows the lives and careers of six cohabitating adults doing their bests to make themselves stars in Hollywood. As most people experience in their lives, the goals of their personal lives and their professional aspirations often spillover in rather dramatic fashion (via Media In Canada). The series starred Jonathan Patrick Moore, Joe Dinicol, Cassie Steele, Jewel Staite, Andra Fuller, Kristopher Turner, Jordan Johnson-Hinds, Ennis Esmer, and Georgina Reilly (via IMDb).

Anderson first appeared on the series in the role of Charlotte Lake in Season 2, Episode 8 ("Stay"), subsequently appearing in each and every remaining episode of the second season. By the time, the second season concluded, Anderson had appeared in nearly a whole third of all aired episodes. Sadly, the series was canceled in December 2012, quickly bringing an end to Anderson's first sizable on-screen role (via The Hollywood Reporter).

She played Evie in No Tomorrow

Anderson's first series regular position came in the form of a 2015 Nickelodeon TV series titled "Open Heart." While this show only lasted a single season on the children's television network, it no doubt granted the actress with useful experiences for her career. As any actor or actress will surely tell you, a series regular role is quite different than a guest-star or recurring role (via Top Hollywood Acting Coach).

A little more than a year after "Open Heart" ended, Anderson began starring as Evie Covington in "No Tomorrow," a series on The CW about a young couple who seek to accomplish a rather strange checklist of items they call the "apocalyst." Actor Joshua Sasse co-starred on the comedy series as Xavier Holliday, the mysterious creator of the list and a doomsayer who insists that the world will end in less than a year. As the female lead on the series, Anderson appeared in all 13 episodes of the first season of "No Tomorrow" (via IMDb). 

During an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Anderson gushed about her character in the series, telling interviewers, "There's a lot of me in Evie." She also stressed that she felt "so damn lucky" to play this specific role, insisting that she was "very fortunate that this came across my desk." Unfortunately for Anderson, Sasse, and the rest of the crew who worked on the series, "No Tomorrow" was canceled on May 8, 2017, after only a single season on the network (via Variety). 

She was a recurring character on three seasons of Blindspot

Beginning in 2017, Anderson started a recurring role in Season 3 of NBC's "Blindspot." The series, which starred Jaimie Alexander and Sullivan Stapleton, focuses on an amnesic woman (Alexander) who is discovered with a variety of mysterious tattoos that serve as clues to some of the most violent crimes in New York City.

Anderson made her debut on the popular series in Season 3, Episode 4 ("Gunplay Ricochet"), where she played Blake Crawford, the daughter of a wealthy and powerful CEO by the name of Hank Crawford (David Morse). Blake becomes a romantic partner for Roman (Luke Mitchell) during the latter's undercover operation, but things sadly don't end well between the two of them. After discovering the undercover nature of Roman's deception, Blake murders him. Unfortunately for Blake, her victory at the end of their violent breakup is short lived as she is also later murdered.

Ultimately, Anderson only appeared in a total of 13 episodes of "Blindspot," but her character was apparently memorable enough for audiences that writers saw fit to invite her back for the series finale. In the last episode of the series, Blake is one of a handful of deceased characters who appear before Jane as a hallucination (via IMDb).

She's also done a lot of TV movies

Outside of her many appearances on various television series, Anderson has built up quite the resume in TV movies. While some film snobs may turn their noses up at the prospect of movies made for the small screen, it doesn't look Anderson has any such issue with them. Her first appearance in a TV movie goes all the way back to 2004's "Cable Beach." Two years later, Anderson followed this job up with supporting roles in TV movies like "The Mermaid Chair" and "To Have and to Hold."

After the latter 2006 project, Anderson spent quite a bit of time focusing on series roles, but she eventually returned to booking TV movies a whole seven years later. In 2013, the actress played a supporting role in a TV movie called "Blink," before following it up another year later with a TV movie titled "Killing Daddy." In the years since, Anderson has routinely bounced back and forth between TV series and TV movies.

Beginning in 2018, Anderson began appearing in lead roles in a plethora of Hallmark movies. These include films like 2018's "Return to Christmas Creek" and 2020's "Love Under the Olive Tree." Of course, while Hallmark is one of the best-known TV movie distributors, it's far from the only network that airs such material. In the same year that Hallmark released "Love Under the Olive Tree," Anderson appeared in Lifetime's "Spotlight on Christmas." The next year, she followed these up with "You May Kiss the Bridesmaid," "A Chance for Christmas," and "The Secret Sauce," all before also appearing in 2022's "A Bridesmaid in Love" (via IMDb).