Pauley Perrette On Leaving 'NCIS': 'I'm Still Grieving. And It's Sad'

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Actress Pauley Perrette is reflecting on her time with hit crime show NCIS. Perrette revealed why she's stepping away from her most famous character.

An Emotional Time

The actress plays beloved tattooed scientist Abby Sciuto and is one of the most popular crime-fighting nerds on TV. After 15 years, Perrette is stepping away from the show and, naturally, she's finding it difficult to say goodbye.

"It makes me sad to imagine a world without Abby in it. It really makes me sad," she admitted in a new interview with CBS News.

Perrette revealed that she's currently crying on the drive both to and from the set because the thought of leaving the show is so emotional for her.

An Influential Figure

Abby is a hugely influential and progressive character in her own right. She's a female scientist, driven by her career aspirations as opposed to any romantic interests, who is often the smartest person in the room.

"Abby made science cool and attainable for young women," Perrette said.

She even created a scholarship for young women who wish to follow in Abby's footsteps.

"In honor of Abby, and in honor of young women that want to pursue science and math and forensics," she explained.

Not The Typical Hollywood Type

The actress doesn't quite resemble her most famous character in real life, given that the body art is fake and her hair is naturally blonde. Perrette is a real-life crime-fighter, however, studying criminal science in college and moving to NYC originally to finish her Master's degree.

After stumbling into the acting world, primarily attracted to the decent paychecks, she found herself on NCIS three years later. Although she loves her job, the Hollywood life isn't really for her.

Perrette, who is divorced, spends most of her time chilling out with her dogs. She regularly attends church and is a vocal supporter of LGBTQ rights, penning the song "Beautiful Child," for suicide prevention among teens.

On what's up next, she remains coy, only saying that she loves the work and there are definitely offers out there for her. As for Abby, it's clear that Perrette will find it hard to almost impossible to leave her character behind.

Perrette's final NCIS episode will be the season finale, due to air on May 22. It's unclear how Abby will be written off the show, but fans are preparing for the worst. Still, her legacy lives both in Perrette and the opportunities she created for young women.

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