Why Shannon Gibbs from NCIS looks so familiar

Mark Hammon as Leroy Jethro Gibbs and Darby Stanchfield as his wife Shannon on NCIS CB

As the questionable saying goes, behind (and sometimes in front of) every great man is a great woman. In the case of NCIS’s grouchy-but-good hero Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs, played by Mark Hammon, that woman is his first wife, Shannon, portrayed by Darby Stanchfield.

We only see Shannon Gibbs in flashbacks on NCIS, as she and their daughter Kelly (Sam Schuder) were killed in a car accident arranged by a Mexican drug dealer that took place over a decade before the show is set. So even though NCIS seems to be playing whenever you turn on the TV, Stanchfield’s Shannon isn’t as familiar as some of the other characters.

However, there’s a good chance you’ll know her from somewhere else. Stanchfield has appeared on some of the most renowned TV shows of the last 20 years, and is now starring on a Netflix series that’s hoping to continue the streaming service’s run of fantasy-horror hits. Here’s why Shannon Gibbs from NCIS looks so familiar.

Darby Stanchfield’s resume is a rundown of must-see TV
Darby Stanchfield as Helen Bishop, January Jones as Betty Draper and Jon Hamm as Don Draper in the garden on Mad Men AMC

NCIS has consistently ranked as the most watched drama in the U.S. — but it’s far from the only hit show Stanchfield has been involved with. One of her very first TV jobs was on an episode of Angel, and she also had a small role on everyone’s favorite boxset of the ’00s, 24, playing Mandy’s (Mia Kirshner) ill-fated neighbor Shari.

Aside from taking over the character of Amelia Joffe on General Hospital for two weeks in 2007, Stanchfield’s first recurring role was on the iconic drama series Mad Men. She played Helen Bishop, the divorcee who scandalized ’60s suburbia, for five episodes on the first two seasons of the series.

It took a while for Stanchfield to land another character who came back for more than one episode, but she worked consistently on many well-known shows. She has had one-off appearances on Bones, Private Practice, The Mentalist, Ghost Whisperer, and even How I Met Your Mother, on which she played the snobby former tenant of Marshall (Jason Segel) and Ted’s (Josh Radnor) apartment.

After booking NCIS, Stanchfield doubled down on the crime angle with two separate roles on CSI: NY and CSI: Miami. You may also know her as Richard Castle’s (Nathan Fillion) first ex-wife from crime-meets-comedy series Castle.

Darby Stanchfield held major roles on two big series

Darby Stanchfield as Abby Whelan on Scandal

Having popped up for one or two episodes of numerous hit shows, Stanchfield landed her first major recurring role in 2012. On the Shonda Rhimes-created political thriller series Scandal, the actress played Abby Whelan, the outspoken former Press Secretary and Chief of Staff at the White House and the (mostly) loyal best friend and colleague to Kerry Washington’s Olivia Pope.

Stanchfield also got the chance to influence Olivia Pope’s world off screen. She created and directed a promotional web series called Scandal: Gladiator Wanted, which was released a week before the show’s season 6 premiere. She must have impressed the showrunners because she later got the chance to direct an episode of the final season — the 15th episode, entitled “The Noise.”

If you’re more into supernatural demons than lawyers, you may know Stanchfield from her most recent role. She plays Nina Locke on Netflix’s adaptation of the graphic novel series Locke & Key, which hit the streaming platform on February 7, 2020. Stanchfield plays the mother of three children who return to their father’s childhood home after he’s murdered. The fun-slash-horror starts when they find mysterious keys that unlock supernatural portals and attract a demonic force. Nina is also an alcoholic, which gave Stanchfield an emotional new challenge to tackle. Although Netflix hasn’t confirmed anything yet, the ending of Locke & Key hinted that there could be a second season, meaning Stanchfield could be back for more spooks and scares.

Either way, it looks like Stanchfield’s long-running career isn’t slowing down any time soon.