NCIS

What Happened To Fornell On NCIS? The Real Reason Juliette Angelo Left The Series

“NCIS” is pushing 20 years old, and the procedural crime drama shows no signs of slowing down its naval investigations. Throughout its run, the CBS series has had a rotating cast of memorable characters, both main and side, killing off plenty of them to pull at fans’ heartstrings.

One of the show’s most lovable side characters was Emily Fornell, whose death sent the fandom into a tailspin. Fornell (Juliette Angelo) was a recurring character on “NCIS,” appearing in numerous episodes following her debut in Season 4. The daughter of FBI Agent Tobias C. Fornell (Joe Spano) and IRS criminal investigator Diane Sterling (Melinda McGaw), Emily’s story turned to tragedy when she died from a drug overdose in Season 18.

While Emily wasn’t a main character, “NCIS” depicted her struggles with addiction over her multi-season appearances. By Season 18, her years of hard work seemed to pay off, and it looked as if Emily had weathered the storm, coming out the other end a healthier person. However, that bliss was short-lived, as not only did she die, but she did so off-screen after relapsing alone, punching every “NCIS” fan right in the gut.

Juliette Angelo didn’t know about her NCIS death

Emily Fornell’s death on “NCIS” came as a surprise to everyone, including actress Juliette Angelo, who spent her formative years bringing the character to life.

“Thank y’all for your messages about ‘NCIS,” the actress posted on her Instagram story after the episode featuring Emily’s off-screen death aired. “It was a shock, for all of us. I found out the same time as you, via text. Lots of emotions about this. Just wanted to pop by in the midst of my social media break and say thanks for all the love these past years. Emily has been a part of my life since I was 13. As a newly 22-year-old, it has certainly been a journey. Onward.”

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Emily’s death was a hard enough pill for “NCIS” fans to swallow, not even seeing the beloved recurring character’s final moments on screen. However, the CBS series not informing Angelo of her long-running character’s fate makes the situation even worse. Given that Emily’s death happened off-screen, Angelo wasn’t on set to film anything, never saw a script, and learned that she was exiting “NCIS” simultaneously with the audience. While Angelo held her head high, we can’t imagine how shocking that revelation must have been. Cinema Blend went so far as to say “NCIS” went too far in how they approached Emily’s death, but thankfully, Angelo seems to have a promising career ahead of her following her exit from “NCIS.”

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