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9 Reasons To Celebrate Pauley Perrette

Photography by Patrick Demarchelier. Originally published in Watch! Magazine, October 2011.

The NCIS fan fave was winning hearts from the very start.

When the actress whose likeability quotient has been compared to Tom Hanks' exits TV's most iconic drama after a 15-season run, we say it's time for a tribute. Here's to Pauley Perrette, aka the loveable, mini-skirted, pigtail-rocking forensic forager Abby Sciuto on NCIS.

Just ahead are a few of the many reasons this faux-tattooed talent remains not only a viewer favorite, but one of ours as well. Pauley will be seriously, majorly missed.

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She's a poet at heart.

Black and white image of Actress Pauley Perrete reclining in a feathered dress.

Photography by Cliff Lipson. Originally published in Watch! Magazine, August 2010.

Though she's eternally grateful for the opportunities NCIS has afforded her, acting isn't Perrette's only means of self-expression.

"I've been a poet since I was young," she tells our writer during her first Watch! photo shoot and interview in Paris in 2010. "But I also realized when I was young that... Nobody buys poetry and, like, hangs it on their wall. You gotta be something else, and then you can go back to it later."

She's a product of her childhood in the best possible way.

Black and white image of Actress Pauley Perrete in a floral print dress.

Photography by Mark Mann. Originally published in Watch! Magazine, June 2013.

Pauley's political beliefs grew from her spiritual beliefs.

"From a very young age I was thinking a lot about everything," she shares in her June 2013 Watch! cover story. "I grew up in the church in a very conservative area and I developed a lot of my beliefs about inclusion and justice and civil rights and unconditional love for people, because I came from a certain environment that was the opposite of that."

She seeks out the unique.

Black and white image of Actress Pauley Perrete in a dramatic black dress.

Photography by Cliff Lipson. Originally published in Watch! Magazine, August 2010.

Rather than see the usual sights in Paris during downtime from her 2010 Watch! photo shoot, Perrette visited houses of worship in the City of Light.

"I already churchhopped a couple of churches around here," she tells Watch! in our August 2010 issue. "That's what I would do if I had another day: Hit every church in Paris. All of them. It's a lot of candle lighting! But especially in Paris, it's a very peaceful place to be."

She gets out of her comfort zone, even if it scares her.

Black and white image of Actress Pauley Perrete applying lipstick.

Photography by Cliff Lipson. Originally published in Watch! Magazine, August 2010.

Though she's lived in Alabama, New York, Los Angeles, and many points in between, Pauley admits that she's more of a homebody but doesn't let her hermit tendencies hold her back from life's adventures and trying new things.

"There have been years of being a total recluse," she shares during her Watch! photo shoot and cover story in 2010. "Wherever I am, I just want to be back at my house, on the couch. But sometimes things that you're scared of—like traveling—all you gotta do is do 'em and they're not so scary anymore."

She's a devoted daughter.

Black and white image of Actress Pauley Perrete wearing an apron in front of baked goods.

Photography by Christopher Ross. Originally published in Watch! Magazine, June 2012.

In April of 2011, Pauley Perrette and two friends opened a quaint and wildly popular Hell's Kitchen bakery Donna Bell's Bake Shop, named after Perrette's late mom, who is the beloved inspiration for everything they make from scratch daily. She also pays homage to Donna Bell's storied family recipes in a best-selling cookbook Donna Bell's Bake Shop.

"Donna Bell was a classic Southern belle who loved to cook and bake," an apron-clad Perrette shares with Watch! in our June 2012 feature. "I have many memories of my sister and me baking and decorating cakes with my mom... Now we have this little piece of Southern goodness right off the heart of Times Square."

She's down to Earth.

Black and white image of Actress Pauley Perrete in a sheer off the shoulder dress.

Photography by Mark Mann. Originally published in Watch! Magazine, June 2013.

While Pauley Perrette exquisitely transforms to eccentric Abby on set or gorgeous glamazon for fancy soirees, her signature style is casual, comfortable, and very ordinary.

"In my real life this is my uniform," she tells Watch! after a glamorous 12-hour photo shoot in London. "I look like a scruffy 17-year-old boy because in my other life with my job, I'm in incredible costumes all day, and then I have the charities so I'm always at events doing red carpet stuff. So when I'm not working, it's jeans and a hoodie."

She gives back.

Black and white image of Actress Pauley Perrete in a form-fitting black dress.

Photography by Mark Mann. Originally published in Watch! Magazine, June 2013.

A supporter of more than 30 charities, both animal and human, Pauley Perrette is a champion of the disenfranchised and has a philanthropic soul.

"I find it hard to say no," she tells Watch! during our 2013 London interview. "It's endless, but it's better than going to a club, right? Also, I love the people; they're all there because they want to be doing something good with their time. Those are the people I want to hang out with."

She can play against type.

Black and white image of Actress Pauley Perrete wearing a stylish hat.

Photography by Patrick Demarchelier. Originally published in Watch! Magazine, October 2011.

When cast as midcentury socialite Babe Paley for a Watch! cover shoot in October 2011—with renowned photographer Patrick Demarchelier—the typically sneaker-clad Perrette played the role of style icon with aplomb.

"Whatever [Babe] did could become a trend," Perrette muses. "But it wasn't only what she wore, it was the way she held herself and carried her fashion. The way she stood could start a trend!"

She's ink inspiration.

Black and white image of Actress Pauley Perrete reclining on a couch in a pleated dress.

Photography by Mark Mann. Exclusive to CBS.com.

Fans don't just like Pauley, they absolutely adore her. As one of the original cast members of TV's top-rated scripted show, the actress' Q-score (market-research speak for likeability score) has even matched that of Tom Hanks.

One of the edgier ways fans show their love NCIS star: Getting inked with Abby-inspired tattoos. "There are people out there who have me tattooed all over them," she shares in her first Watch! feature interview in 2010. "Me as Abby. Let's just say there are a lot of Abby tattoos out there."


PHOTOS: More Beautiful Photos Of Pauley Perrette Like You've Never Seen Before

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