NCIS’ Gary Cole unrecognisable as star shows support for personal cause

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WARNING: This article contains spoilers from NCIS. 

NCIS’ Gary Cole spoke out for a non-profit 17 years ago and is unrecognisable from his days as Agent Alden Parker. 

Cole, 67, has been part of the NCIS family since joining the CBS police procedural back in 2021 and quickly found his footing as the new leader of the team. 

Of course, he had been in a plethora of other TV shows and films leading to him making his debut on the drama. 

Some of his previous work included the likes of Office Space, Midnight Caller, Suits, Veep and Dodgeball. 

An unearthed picture of a public appearance from almost 20 years ago, however, shows Cole in a different light. 

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In NCIS, fans are used to seeing Cole as a silver-haired fox with a full-on beard. 

But in an image that dates back to 2006, the actor looks entirely different, clean-shaven, brunette and donning a pair of thin spectacles. 

Cole was being photographed as he was speaking at The Help Group’s 29th annual Teddy Bear Picnic at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in California. 

According to its website, The Help Group is the “largest, most innovative, comprehensive non-profit of its kind in the United States”, helping young people with autism, learning disabilities and various other mental challenges.

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This is a worthy cause that’s close to Cole’s heart as his daughter Mary, who was born in 1995, has autism. 

He has previously said that he believes parents of children with autism should start therapies early on and encourage others to look for signs of the condition. 

Speaking to WebMD, he said in 2009: “When my daughter Mary was diagnosed with autism… all I had to go on was Rain Man.”

He added that if parents suspect something is different about their child, they should “seek answers, and the earlier the better”.

Fast-forward to 2023 and Cole is an ambassador for causes including The Help Group and Autism Speaks. 

When he isn’t paying attention to his charity work, the actor is starring in the latest episodes of NCIS. 

While the drama has been renewed for another season, there has been no indication when season 21 will begin due to the ongoing writers’ and actors’ strikes in the US. 

Lead star and producer Mark Harmon previously opened up about landing the role of Gibbs in NCIS given the veteran star has had a lengthy career to date.

Meanwhile, NCIS continues to go from strength to strength with the new spin-off NCIS: Sydney arriving very soon. 

NCIS is available to watch on CBS.

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