Pauley Perrette

Actress, musician and activist Pauley Perette is best known for her role as a forensic scientist on the crime drama ‘NCIS.’


Actress Pauley Perette initially intended to pursue a career in criminology, earning a masters degree at Valdosta State College. Her first big break came in 1996 with a recurring role on the legal drama Murder One. She found her greatest success as Abby Sciuto, a forensic scientist on the crime drama NCIS. Perette is also a musician and runs her own independent music label.

Early Life

Actress, writer and singer Pauley Perrette was born on March 27, 1969, in New Orleans, Louisiana. Perrette moved around a lot as a child because of her father's job. The family lived in 14 different places, mostly in the southern United States. Perrette spent most of her teenage years in the Atlanta area, where she spent the majority of her time buried in books — particularly science textbooks.

After Perrette graduated from Crestwood High School, she began exploring her interests in science and criminology at Valdosta State College. She later earned a master's degree in criminology, and would have been a police officer or a federal agent if she had not discovered acting. Moving to New York City, Perrette worked as a bartender for a time, and a co-worker introduced her to a director. "I walked into this guy's office and was like, 'I was thinking maybe I could make $3,000.' And he hired me for commercials, short films, like 15 jobs in a row," Perrette told Entertainment Weekly.

Big Break

Her first big break came in 1996 with a recurring role on the legal drama Murder One. At the time, she used the stage name Pauley P. Two years later, she landed her first starring role on the short-lived sitcom That's Life. In 1998, she joined the cast of The Drew Carey Show for a handful of episodes playing Carey's girlfriend, Darcy. Perrette tried again for television stardom with a part on 1999's Time of Your Life, a spin-off from the popular family drama Party of Five. Set in New York City, the show featured Jennifer Love Hewitt as a new arrival to the city, and Perrette played a building manager who befriends her. Only 12 episodes aired before the series was canceled.


On the big screen, Perrette landed small parts in such films as Almost Famous (2000) and The Ring (2002). She found her greatest success, however, on the small screen in 2003. That year, Perrette debuted as Abby Sciuto, an offbeat forensic scientist known for her tattoos and goth fashion sense, on the crime drama NCIS. Her character works with a team of Navy investigators led by Leroy Jethro Gibbs (played by Mark Harmon). The show developed a huge following, and Perrette emerged as a fan favorite.

Other Endeavors

For a time, Perrette showcased some of her other creative talents by writing a blog for the show, as well as creating her own blog. She stopped blogging in 2007, however, after she was stalked by a fan. As a result of her stalking case, Perrette has been a vocal advocate for stalking victims and implementing stricter stalking laws. 

Music is another passion for Perrette. She was the lead singer for the punk band Lo-Ball. Working under the name Stop Making Friends, Perrette contributed a song, "Fear", to the first volume of the NCIS soundtrack. In addition to songwriting and performing, she runs her own independent music label, Go Records.

A dedicated activist, Perrette supports a number of causes and charities, including Save the Children and Habitat for Humanity. She lives in Los Angeles with her second husband Michael Bosman. The couple wed on Valentine's Day in 2009. Perrette was previously married to indie rocker Coyote Shivers.

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