Ziva David (Cote de Pablo) was a fan-favorite character to diehard fans of the show and served as a series regular from Season 3 to Season 11. Ziva abruptly left the show in 2013, but it was revealed in Season 13 that she had died off-screen.
Fans were devastated to learn that Ziva had died during a mortar attack on her house while living in Israel. The death was especially hard for special agent Anthony “Tony” DiNozzo (Michael Weatherly) as the two had a romantic relationship. Tony decides to quit NCIS to investigate Ziva’s death and focus on raising their daughter, who he only learns of shortly after the tragedy. The death of Ziva caused a significant blow to Tony and her former colleagues, and viewers also felt the shockwave.
In an interview with Vanity Fair, de Pablo said she left “NCIS” initially because she didn’t believe that her character was being treated fairly. Thankfully for Ziva fans, she reappears in Seasons 16 and 17, suggesting something changed de Pablo’s mind. Although it was later revealed that Ziva did not actually die, her initial death in Season 13 was undoubtedly a tragedy for the “NCIS” fan base.