Christine D'Antonio reporting

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.

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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.

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“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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