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CMU Instructors Remember NCIS Actress’ School Days

Christine D'Antonio reporting
(Photo Credit: ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

(Photo Credit: ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — It’s a big night for NCIS fans Tuesday night with season 10 wrapping up.

One of the show’s lead actors called Pittsburgh home for several years as she perfected her craft.

NCIS fans know her as Ziva, but Cote de Pablo learned much of what brought her stardom here in Pittsburgh.

Gary Kline, a 25-year musical theater professor at Carnegie Mellon University knew the Chilean-born actress and singer during de Pablo’s four-year tenure in the university’s musical theater program.

And although de Pablo’s voice struck a chord with many in the department, it was her acting chops that landed her a main role on the hit series.

“Her stage presence if phenomenal,” Kline said. “She really has a presence. It’s outrageous when you watch her.”

Barbara Mackenzie-Wood heads up the acting and musical theater department at CMU.

She remembers a hardworking and focused classical actress who stood out early on.

“That’s what I remember about her is her positive spirit,” Mackenzie-Wood said. “Her warmth, her generosity, her kindness. Her openness and a really hard worker she dug into her work 150 percent and it shows — pays off.”

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