In the vast world of NCIS, one character stands out: the enigmatic investigator Abby Sciuto, brought to life by the talented Pauley Perrette. Surprisingly, Perrette and Abby share more than just a job title. In real life, Perrette embodies many of the same characteristics and dedicates significant time to giving back to her community. This article delves into the remarkable life of Pauley Perrette, from her humble beginnings to her iconic role on NCIS.
Early Life and Fascination with Crime
Pauley Perrette was born on March 27, 1969, in New Orleans, Louisiana, and spent her childhood moving around the Southern states. From North Carolina to South Carolina and then to Tennessee, she finally settled in Georgia for high school. Perrette’s early fascination with crime fiction was evident. As a child, she dreamed of being in a rock ‘n’ roll band, working with animals, or even joining the FBI.
Her interest in criminal cases was piqued by the Atlanta child murders that occurred between 1979 and 1981 when she was about the same age as the victims. “I became captivated by that case at a young age,” Perrette recalls. “After that, I became obsessed with Jonestown.” This early fascination with crime would become a recurring theme in her life.
Pursuit of Education and Unconventional Jobs
After high school, Perrette attended Valdosta State University in Georgia before relocating to New York City to study at the prestigious John Jay School of Criminal Science. She was a dedicated student, juggling multiple jobs to support her education. From working on Manhattan boats to bartending in the lively club-kids scene, she embraced unconventional employment.
A Chance Encounter with Stardom
Perrette’s path to stardom took an unexpected turn when she overheard someone boasting about earning $3,000 from a single commercial. Intrigued, she found herself on the road to fame. “I wanted to make $3,000,” she admits. “A filmmaker liked me and cast me in several music videos and commercials.” Her background in sociology, psychology, and criminal science unexpectedly became an asset in understanding and portraying characters.
The Breakthrough: NCIS
In 2000, Perrette earned a role in the iconic film “Almost Famous,” but an even greater opportunity awaited her. She stepped into the role of the eccentric investigator Abby Sciuto on NCIS in 2003. Although the show didn’t achieve immediate success, it eventually rose to become one of American television’s highest-rated dramas. NCIS garnered multiple awards and marked a turning point in Perrette’s career.
Challenges and Personal Struggles
Despite her success, Perrette faced personal challenges. Her marriage to Canadian musician and actor Coyote Shivers ended in divorce, and she even obtained a restraining order against him after a disturbing incident. Additionally, a dog bite incident on the NCIS set strained her relationship with co-star Mark Harmon, affecting the show’s harmonious atmosphere.
Farewell to Abby Sciuto
After 15 years on NCIS, Pauley Perrette said a heartfelt goodbye to the character that had become a part of her identity. She expressed her gratitude to the show’s dedicated fan base and her love for her co-stars. Leaving Abby behind was a poignant experience, and Perrette admitted to feeling grief and sadness.
A Bright Future
Despite her departure from NCIS, Perrette remains appreciative of the opportunities the show brought to her life. She continues to make a difference in the lives of others through her work and kind-hearted nature. We eagerly anticipate her return to primetime television and wish her the best of luck in her future endeavors.