Why Did Linda Hunt Leave NCIS?

Linda Hunt is an American actress best known for her role as Henrietta “Hetty” Lange on the CBS drama NCIS: Los Angeles. After 10 years on the show, Hunt announced she was leaving NCIS: Los Angeles in 2019.

There have been a few different reasons given for Hunt’s absence from NCIS: Los Angeles. One reason is her age. Hunt is 77 years old, and she has said that she is slowing down and taking things easier. Another reason is her health. Hunt has been open about her struggles with arthritis, and she has said that she is not always able to travel for work.

The Specific Reasons Why Did Linda Hunt Leave NCIS

There are a few possible reasons

  • Health concerns: Hunt is 78 years old, and she has been open about her struggles with health problems in the past. In 2018, she was involved in a car accident that left her with a concussion and a broken arm. She also had to take some time off from the show in 2020 due to concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic. It is possible that her health has made it difficult for her to continue working on NCIS.
  • Creative differences: It is also possible that Hunt had creative differences with the show’s producers. In 2020, showrunner R. Scott Gemmill said that Hunt had “some concerns about the direction of the show” and that they were “trying to work things out.” It is unclear what these concerns were, but it is possible that they led to Hunt’s decision to leave.
  • Personal reasons: Finally, it is also possible that Hunt simply wanted to move on from NCIS. She has been with the show for 14 years, and it is understandable that she might want to try something new.
  • Age and Legacy: With over a decade on the show, Hunt might have simply felt it was time to move on to other projects and explore new creative avenues. Leaving on a high note while her character’s legacy remained strong could have been a desirable option for both the actress and the show.
  • Open Ending: Despite her reduced presence in recent seasons, Hunt’s departure from NCIS: Los Angeles wasn’t officially confirmed as permanent. Showrunners have left the door open for potential guest appearances or even a full-fledged return in the future, depending on various factors.

Impact on the Show

Filling the Void

Linda Hunt’s departure undoubtedly left a void in the “NCIS” team. The absence of Hetty Lange meant that the dynamics within the team had to shift. Writers and producers were tasked with creating a storyline that honored Hetty’s legacy while also introducing new characters to maintain the show’s momentum.

Fan’s Reactions

The departure of a beloved character like Hetty Lange was met with mixed emotions from fans. Many expressed their sadness at seeing her go, while others understood and supported Linda Hunt’s decision. The show’s dedicated fanbase continued to watch, eager to see how the show would evolve in the wake of this significant change.

Is Linda Hunt returning to NCIS?

Is Linda Hunt returning to NCIS

There is no official word on whether or not Linda Hunt will return to NCIS. However, she has not ruled out the possibility. In a recent interview, she said that she is “still talking to the producers” and that “anything is possible.”

If Hunt does return to NCIS, it will be a welcome surprise for fans. She is a valuable asset to the show, and her presence would be missed. However, it is also important to respect her decision if she chooses not to return. She has given us many years of great entertainment, and we should be grateful for that.

What is Linda Hunt Doing Now?

Linda Hunt is currently not active in any major projects. She has not appeared in any films or television shows since her departure from NCIS: Los Angeles in 2023.

In a recent interview, she said that she is “taking some time off” to focus on her health and family. She also said that she is “still interested in acting” and that she is “open to new opportunities.”

It is possible that Linda Hunt will return to acting in the future. However, it is also possible that she will choose to retire. Only time will tell what she decides to do next.

In the meantime, Linda Hunt is enjoying her retirement. She is spending time with her family and friends, and she is also pursuing her hobbies, such as painting and writing. She is also an advocate for people with dwarfism, and she is working to raise awareness of the condition.


In a recent interview, Linda Hunt revealed why she left NCIS after just one season. She explained that she felt like the show was “going in a different direction” and that she wasn’t given enough to do. Additionally, she didn’t feel like she fit in with the cast and crew.

While she enjoyed working on the show, she ultimately decided it wasn’t for her.

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