Billy Dee Williams to Guest Star on NCIS as ...

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How did NCIS' Leroy Jethro Gibbs get his somewhat unusual name?

This season, Billy Dee Williams might help shed more light on that.

TV Guide's Will Keck reports that the 75-year-old actor best known for the Star Wars franchise will guest star as another Leroy Jethro, the man Mark Harmon's beloved character was named after.

In an October episode, Williams will play LJ, a World War II veteran and close friend of the Gibbs family. Ralph Waite will also reprise his role as Gibbs' father that week.

Gibbs Pic

"This is a very rich, emotional story and we couldn't be happier to have Billy Dee Williams bringing this character to life," executive producer and show-runner Gary Glasberg said of the casting.

"Mr. Williams appeared in some of my favorite films from Lady Sings the Blues and Brian's Song to the Star Wars saga. Watching him work with Mark Harmon and Ralph Waite will be a real treat."

Should be a great episode with those three actors together, don't you think? What do you suppose brings Gibbs' father back into the mix in NCIS Season 10, along with their old friend?

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.


I love Billy Dee Williams and can not wait to see this episode. I can not wait for season 10. :)




The name of the episode in which the photo of Gibbs, Sr. and LJ together is shown is entitled "Heartland". It is one of my absolute favorite episodes!


do you remember which episode it was that showed the photo of LJ and Mr. Gibbs? I don't remember seeing it.... but that doesn't mean much. I thought we were going to have a member of Leon Vance's family--or perhaps his wife's family... He'd make a great father-in-law and grandfather for the Vance kids.


I saw the photo in Gibbs' Father's store as well, so I knew he was named after an African-American friend. My thoughts on Billy Dee Williams as that guy - AWESOME! This is going to be so touching!


Many African-Americans were denied a chance to serve in uniform during World War II. The Army limited them to civilian auxiliary service until President Truman (who took office after V-E Day) signed an executive order barring such practices. The Navy allowed African-Americans to serve as cooks, haulers and in various shore occupations. Most of the civilian and uniformed workers who died in the Port Chicago munitions plant explosions outside San Francisco were African-Americans; it took the Navy decades to appropriately honor their sacrifice for this country. I don't know how and when the Marine Corps allowed African-Americans to serve.


L.J. was a partner in Gibbs' father's store. We saw a very brief shot of a photo showing them together... long enough to see that L.J. was African-American. I believe L.J. is based on someone Don Bellisario knew in the Marine Corps.


I am excited about this to see Billy Dee and how Leroy got his name, this be quite interesting

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NCIS Quotes

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McGee: It's an obscure Skyrim reference boss that actually makes perfect sense.
Gibbs: Thank you elf-lord. What did you find, dragon-priest?

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Gibbs: You know her?
Tony: Um, well a sort of...yeah. She's Philly PD.
Keates: She was. She's ATF now. Special Agent Zoe Keates. You want to get that gun out of my face and come over here and give me a hug?