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Pauley Perrette

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Pauley Perrette
Perrette at the 2014 AHA Hero Dog Awards
Born (1969-03-27) March 27, 1969 (age 55)
Other namesPauley P.
Alma materValdosta State University
John Jay College of Criminal Justice
Occupation(s)Actress, singer
Years active1994–2020
(m. 2000; div. 2006)

Pauley Perrette (born March 27, 1969)[1] is an American actress and singer. She played Abby Sciuto in the television series NCIS from 2003 to 2018.

Early life[edit]

Perrette was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, to Paul Perrett[2][3] and Donna (née Bell) Perrett[4] and raised throughout the southern United States.[5] She lived in Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, New York, New Jersey, and California.[6] In a 2011 interview with the Associated Press, Perrette confessed her early ambitions were to work with animals, be in a rock and roll band, or be an FBI agent.[7]

Perrette attended Valdosta State University in Valdosta, Georgia, where she studied criminal justice,[8] and later moved to New York City to study at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. In New York, she held a variety of jobs: "Not only was I bartending in the club kids scene, with a bra and combat boots and a white Mohawk, but I also wore a sandwich board on roller skates passing out flyers for Taco Bell in the Diamond District." Perrette also worked as a cook on a Manhattan dinner cruise boat.[7]


Perrette at the NOH8 Campaign in 2009

Perrette has worked in television and film, mostly doing commercials, voice-overs, music videos and short films. She worked as a bartender in New York City.[5] While working odd jobs in New York, she was introduced by a friend to an advertising agency director. This prompted her move to Los Angeles, where she had a variety of bit parts and made several guest appearances.[7] She appeared as a waitress at Cafe Nervosa in the sitcom Frasier during season four (in the episode "Three Dates and a Break Up"), and she guest-starred in season one of 24. She has made appearances in several films, including The Ring and Almost Famous.

In 2001, as a recurring character introduced in season two of Special Unit 2, she played Alice Cramer, the Unit's public relations person. She landed her most prominent role, that of Abby Sciuto, an eccentric forensic scientist, in NCIS, a television series based on the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. Perrette's initial appearances as the character were in two episodes of JAG aired in spring 2003; these served as a backdoor pilot and introduced the characters. She has since appeared as Abby in two 2009 episodes of NCIS: Los Angeles, as well as in two episodes of NCIS: New Orleans in 2014 and 2016.

The character Abby Sciuto was created by Donald P. Bellisario, who "wanted to create ... a character who was seemingly an 'alternafreak', while portraying her as perhaps the smartest, most capable person on television. Not a junkie, killer, loser, or television stereotype." Perrette added some of her own "contributions" to the character, and also conferred with friend Clint Catalyst, the "author of Cottonmouth Kisses [who is] often brought in as a guest on TV shows when they are doing pieces on goth or alternative culture." Perrette explained that "Clint and I and our 3,000 closest friends all play together ... We've never sat around and labeled each other. Sure, there are nights when a certain event leans more towards one style than the other, but it's not like some turf war with gang colors." Like her character, Perrette has often been asked if she is goth or punk, to which her response is "Who cares?" Consequently, she told her employers that her character is not the type to seek out a label; Abby "wouldn't call herself anything but Abby ... What she represents is a smart, capable chick that cannot be reduced to a stereotype."[9] On October 4, 2017, TV Guide reported that Perrette would be leaving the series at the end of the 15th season; she made her final appearance in the episode "Two Steps Back".[10]

In addition to acting, Perrette is a poet[11] and author (her short story "Cheers..." appears in the anthology Pills, Thrills, Chills, and Heartache: Adventures in the First Person). In 2007, she began production on a documentary about U.S. civil rights attorney and author Mark Lane.[5][12] Entitled Citizen Lane, it was completed in 2013.[citation needed]

In a 2005 interview with Craig Ferguson, then host of The Late Late Show, Perrette said she has had a lifelong crime obsession. She was an undergrad student in sociology, psychology, and criminal science. She started her master's degree in criminal science before her career in the entertainment industry.[6]

In the January/February 2010 Performer Q Score, Perrette tied in the top three alongside Tom Hanks and Morgan Freeman. She was also the only woman to make the top 10.[13] Perrette began appearing in television commercials for Expedia.com in late 2010. She made a guest appearance as a judge on season four, episode six of RuPaul's Drag Race. As of winter 2018, her Q Score[vague] was 44, giving her the highest score of all current female television actors.[14]

Perrette played the lead role as Jackie in the CBS sitcom Broke, which aired in 2020.[15] In May 2020, Broke was cancelled after one season.[16] On July 7, 2020, Perrette retired from acting.[17]


Perrette recorded her song "Fear" (co-written with Tom Polce) under the name "Stop Making Friends". The song was recorded for NCIS: The Official TV Soundtrack which was released on February 10, 2009. "Fear" was featured in the NCIS episode "Aliyah" (season 6 episode 25), according to the soundtrack's website.[18]

Prior to this, Perrette was the lead singer in the Los Angeles-based all-female band Lo-Ball, using the stage name "Pauley P."[19] The song "Can't Get Me Down" by Lo-Ball is heard in the film Legally Blonde. Perrette appeared in "The Unnamed Feeling" video for heavy metal band Metallica from their album St. Anger. In 2011, Perrette was the featured vocalist on a song called "Fire in Your Eyes" by B. Taylor, a Las Vegas-based hip-hop artist.[20] She also sang on the 2011 single "Attention Please" by DMC.

Personal life[edit]

Perrette in 2009

Perrette married Canadian actor and musician Coyote Shivers in 2000; the couple separated four years later, with their divorce becoming final in 2006. She was granted restraining orders against him, alleging that he subjected her to physical, emotional, and sexual abuse during and after their marriage.[21]

Perrette worked with America's Most Wanted in February 2004 to present the city of Prattville, Alabama, with a check for $10,000, which will be used to supplement the reward offer for information leading to the arrest of the person who killed Shannon Paulk.[22] Paulk was from Prattville, Alabama, near where Perrette had once lived as a child. Perrette also donated $10,000 to Detroit law enforcement officials in 2007 to be used as a reward for information regarding the disappearance/murder of Raven Jeffries,[23] a seven-year-old Detroit girl. (Perrette's then-partner was from Detroit.)[24] The story originally aired on America's Most Wanted on September 8, 2007, on Fox. She also asked them for help in finding the person(s) who killed her friend, Lisa Williamson, who was murdered in 2007 after her Detroit home was set on fire. In 2009, Perrette worked with America's Most Wanted on the case of Tammy Vincent.[25]

Perrette supports many charitable organizations, including animal rescue organizations, the American Red Cross, civil rights organizations, and LGBT rights organizations. Perrette opposed the California ballot initiative Proposition 8 in 2008, writing a public letter in fall of that year urging votes against the measure.[26] She is a member of the Hollywood United Methodist Church.[27]

She dated cameraman Michael Bosman for four years before their engagement; however, the two did not marry, saying they would wait until everyone can get married in the United States. They instead filed for all the legal protections that are available to same-sex couples. Bosman did not propose until the legalization of same-sex marriage in California in June 2008. The couple campaigned very publicly against Proposition 8.[28] Perrette and Bosman split, and in December 2011 she announced her engagement to former British Royal Marine Thomas Arklie.[29] She had again announced that the couple would not marry until Proposition 8 is invalidated.[30]

Perrette, who is a natural blonde, was hospitalized in 2014 after "a severe allergic reaction to her [character's] trademark ink-black [hair] color." She told CBS News in Los Angeles that her face had swollen to twice its size and warned that "anyone out there [who] dyes their hair, particularly black, you need to be aware of the symptoms."[31]

On November 12, 2015, Perrette was assaulted by a homeless man outside her Hollywood Hills home. Los Angeles Police arrested and charged the suspect with felony battery. Perrette later told Entertainment Tonight that she does not blame her attacker nor does she hold ill will against him.[32]

Perrette co-owned Donna Bell's Bake Shop, named for her mother, in Manhattan, New York City.[33] The shop closed in December 2020 after nearly 10 years of business.[34]

On June 7, 2019, Perrette said she left NCIS due to an on-set dog-biting incident and alleged multiple physical assaults. She also stated that she was "terrified" of her former co-star Mark Harmon.[35]

In September 2022, Perrette revealed that she had suffered a stroke in September 2021.[36]



Year Title Role Notes
1997 The Price of Kissing Renee
1998 Hand on the Pump Hi-Girl
Hoofboy Short film
2000 Civility Carolyn
Almost Famous Alice Wisdom
2001 My First Mister Bebe
2002 The Ring Beth
Red Skies Patty Peirson
Hungry Hearts Cokie Conner
2003 Ash Tuesday Gina Mascara
Brother Bear Female Lover Bear Voice[37]
2004 Cut and Run Jolene
A Moment of Grace Dr. Grace Peters
2005 Potheads: The Movie LuLu
2008 The Singularity Is Near Ramona
2010 Satan Hates You Marie Flowers
2011 Pride Angela Short film
2012 I Am Bad Mom [38]
Superman vs. The Elite Lois Lane Voice, direct-to-video[37]
2013 Citizen Lane Self Documentary; also director, writer, executive producer
2015 Scooby-Doo! and Kiss: Rock and Roll Mystery Delilah Domino / The Crimson Witch Voice, direct-to-video[37]


Year Title Role Notes
1994 Magical Make-Over Shannon ABC Afterschool Specials
1996–97 Murder One Gwen Main role (season 2)
1996 Frasier Waitress 2 episodes (credited as Pauley P.)
1997 Early Edition Theresa Laparco Episode: "Mob Wife" (credited as Pauley P.)
1998 That's Life Lisa Main role
The Naked Truth Ilana Episode: "The Seer and the Sucker"
The Drew Carey Show Darcy 4 episodes
1999 Batman Beyond Cop, Dottie (uncredited) Voice, episode: "Golem"[37]
Jesse Gwen 3 episodes
Veronica's Closet Nicole Episode: "Veronica's Little Ruse"
1999–2000 Time of Your Life Cecilia Wiznarksi Main role
2001 Smash Charley Unknown episodes
Dead Last Erica Episode: "Death Is in the Air"
Philly Angela Episode: "Light My Fire"
Dawson's Creek Rachel Weir, Ph.D. 2 episodes
The American Shame N/A Associate producer
2001–02 Special Unit 2 Alice Cramer Recurring role; 4 episodes
2002 24 Tanya 2 episodes
Haunted Nadine Episode: "Fidelity"
2003 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Candeece Episode: "Lady Heather's Box"
JAG Abby Sciuto 2 episodes
2003–18 NCIS Main role (seasons 1–15); 352 episodes
2009 NCIS: Los Angeles 2 episodes
2014, 2016 NCIS: New Orleans 2 episodes
2017 When We Rise Robin Episode: "Night IV: Part VI and VII"
2020 Broke Jackie Main role; 13 episodes

Video games[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1997 Blade Runner Lucy Devlin

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Association Category Work Result Ref.
2014 People's Choice Awards Favorite Dramatic TV Actress NCIS Nominated [39]
2016 People's Choice Awards Favorite Crime Drama TV Actress NCIS Nominated [40]
BTVA Special/DVD Voice Acting Awards Best Female Vocal Performance in a TV Special/Direct-to-DVD Title or Theatrical Short Scooby-Doo! And Kiss: Rock and Roll Mystery Nominated [41]
2017 People's Choice Awards Favorite Crime Drama TV Actress NCIS Nominated [42]


  1. ^ "Pauley Perrette – Singer, Television Actress, Activist – Biography". The Biography Channel/A&E Television Networks, LLC. Retrieved December 17, 2018.
  2. ^ Shannon Heupel, 2019, Pauley Perrette sends Father's Day message to dad in Alabama, Montgomery Advertiser, accessed 27 May 2024, <https://www.montgomeryadvertiser.com/story/news/2019/06/17/pauley-perrette-sends-fathers-day-message-dad-alabama/1474851001/>
  3. ^ Gassett Funeral Home & Crematory LLC, 2021, Paul Jackson Perrett Obituary, accessed 27 May 2024, https://memorials.gassettfuneralhome.net/paul-jackson-perrett/4505859/>
  4. ^ Legacy Remembers, December 3, 2002, Donna Perrett Obituary, accessed 27 May 2024, <https://www.legacy.com/us/obituaries/legacyremembers/donna-perrett-obituary?id=47649602>
  5. ^ a b c "Pauley Perrette". CBS. 2007. Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. Retrieved October 10, 2007.
  6. ^ a b "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson". The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. May 25, 2005. CBS. Archived from the original on November 17, 2021.
  7. ^ a b c "Pauley Perrette: Goth go-to gal on NCIS". Kirksville Daily Express. Associated Press. December 15, 2011.
  8. ^ "Pauley Perrette Biography". TVGuide.com. March 27, 1969. Retrieved September 11, 2011.
  9. ^ Perrette, Pauley (Summer 2004), "Dearest Abby", Asleep by Dawn, p. 54
  10. ^ "Pauley Perrette Is Leaving NCIS". TV Guide. October 4, 2017.
  11. ^ O'Hare, Kate (August 21, 2005). "Naval Gazing With Pauley Perrette". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 23, 2019.
  12. ^ "Pauley Perrette". Hollywood.com. Archived from the original on July 30, 2015. Retrieved April 14, 2016.
  13. ^ Bierly, Mandi (March 22, 2010). "Pauley Perrette as appealing as Tom Hanks and Morgan Freeman? Kinda awesome". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved November 12, 2019.
  14. ^ "Pauley Perrette — NCIS Abby Q-score"; The Wrap.com; accessed June 2018
  15. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (March 6, 2019). "Pauley Perrette To Star In CBS Comedy Pilot 'Broke' With Jaime Camil". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 8, 2019.
  16. ^ Hardwick, Chris (May 7, 2020). "Pauley Perrette Reacts to Broke Cancellation Says CBS Sitcom Healed Her". E!. Retrieved May 8, 2020.
  17. ^ @PauleyP (July 7, 2020). "Actually I retired after NCIS but BROKE was important, beautiful. I did my last dance & am proud of it! Everyone that knows me knew I was retiring right after. I'm proud of my work. I love you guys! I AM FREE!!! (To be the tiny little simple human I am!) #Plants #RescuePets #Books" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  18. ^ "NCIS: The Official TV Soundtrack". Ncismusic.com. Archived from the original on December 19, 2008. Retrieved June 27, 2009.
  19. ^ Ridge, Carla (July 2000). "I Love the Nightlife". Mash Magazine.
  20. ^ Hatch, Danielle (May 6, 2011). "Dunlap native finding success in hip-hop world". Retrieved May 15, 2011.
  21. ^ "'NCIS' Actress Pauley Perrette's Endless Nightmare Divorce". Fox News. September 28, 2006. Archived from the original on May 22, 2013. Retrieved November 13, 2015.
  22. ^ "Unknown Shannon Paulk killer". America's Most Wanted. Fox. September 4, 2007. Archived from the original on October 10, 2007. Retrieved October 10, 2007.
  23. ^ "Unknown Raven Jeffries Killer". America's Most Wanted. Fox. September 7, 2007. Archived from the original on October 9, 2007. Retrieved October 10, 2007.
  24. ^ Nicholas, Jess. "Case gets 'N.C.I.S.' star's attention". Montgomery Advertiser – Prattville Progress. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved July 24, 2007.
  25. ^ "America's Most Wanted". KFXL-TV. February 22, 2009. Retrieved April 11, 2014.
  26. ^ "NCIS Star Pauley Perrette Takes On Prop. 8". The Advocate. October 28, 2008. Retrieved April 13, 2009.
  27. ^ "Pauley Perrette on life beyond "NCIS" after 15 years as Abby". CBS News. May 8, 2018.
  28. ^ Hernandez, Greg (April 12, 2009). "Why I am a fan of Pauley Perrette". Greg In Hollywood. Retrieved September 11, 2011.
  29. ^ Abrams, Natalie (December 2, 2011). "NCIS' Pauley Perrette Is Engaged — Again – Today's News: Our Take". TV Guide. Archived from the original on December 4, 2011. Retrieved November 13, 2015.
  30. ^ Gilchrist, Tracy E. (December 13, 2011). "Engaged NCIS Star Pauley Perrette Tweets She Won't Marry Until Prop 8 is Repealed". SheWired. Archived from the original on January 14, 2012. Retrieved November 13, 2015.
  31. ^ "NCIS Star Pauley Perrette Issues Hair Dye Health Warning After Severe Allergic Reaction". KCBS-TV. July 21, 2014.
  32. ^ "'NCIS' Actress Pauley Perrette Allegedly Assaulted By Homeless Man Outside Hollywood Hills Home". KCBS-TV/KCAL-TV/CBS Corporation. November 13, 2015.
  33. ^ "Donna Bell's Bake Shop". Retrieved September 1, 2017.
  34. ^ Phil O'Brien (December 28, 2020). "Donna Bell's Bake Shop Closes". W42ST.nyc.
  35. ^ Nakamura, Tracy E. (June 7, 2019). "Pauley Perrette Says She'll Never Return to 'NCIS' Because She's 'Terrified' of Former Co-Star Mark Harmon". TheWrap. Retrieved June 27, 2019.
  36. ^ Sarrubba, Stefania (September 6, 2022). "Ex-NCIS fan favourite reveals she's suffered stroke". Digital Spy. Retrieved September 6, 2022.
  37. ^ a b c d "Pauley Perrette (visual voices guide)". Behind The Voice Actors. Retrieved October 2, 2023. A green check mark indicates that a role has been confirmed using a screenshot (or collage of screenshots) of a title's list of voice actors and their respective characters found in its opening and/or closing credits and/or other reliable sources of information.
  38. ^ "I Am Bad on iTunes". iTunes. October 1, 2013. Retrieved November 13, 2015.
  39. ^ "People's Choice Awards: Fan Favorites in Movies, Music & TV - PeoplesChoice.com". www.peopleschoice.com. Retrieved November 6, 2016.
  40. ^ "People's Choice Awards: Fan Favorites in Movies, Music & TV - PeoplesChoice.com". www.peopleschoice.com. Retrieved November 6, 2016.
  41. ^ "2015 BTVA Voice Acting Awards". Behind The Voice Actors. Retrieved November 6, 2016.
  42. ^ "People's Choice Awards 2017: Full List Of Nominees". People's Choice. November 15, 2016. Archived from the original on November 17, 2016. Retrieved November 19, 2016.

Further reading[edit]

  • Hagan, Molly (October 2014). "Pauley Perrette". Current Biography. Vol. 75, Issue 10, pp. 49–54.

External links[edit]