Who is Terrence O’Hara? Following tonight’s new episode of NCIS on CBS, you may have seen the emotional dedication. O’Hara was described as a “dear friend and colleague,” and we are here to say that he left a legacy on this show that is impossible to measure.
There are TV directors who sometimes come in and do an episode or two and that’s it; then, there is Terrence O’Hara. This is a man who was in the regular rotation of directors on this show for just about the entirety of its run. His first episode of NCIS was in season 1; most recently, he directed the final episode of season 19 “Birds of a Feather.” He set a standard for tone and style that is still being followed by everyone else who works on the show; in total, he helmed more than fifty episodes of the crime procedural.
O’Hara’s impact is also not limited to episodes of the flagship show; he also directed almost thirty episodes of NCIS: Los Angeles and did a handful of NCIS: New Orleans episodes, as well. Some of his credits outside of the franchise include The Blacklist, Grimm, and Rosewood. O’Hara passed late last year, per The Hollywood Reporter, following a battle with cancer. In a statement to the aforementioned website, here is what executive producer Mark Horowitz had to say:
“One of Terrence’s many strengths as a director came from his curiosity and understanding of human nature … He loved exploring human emotion and the things that make people tick. Whether it was a new actor in their first role onscreen or the star of the show, Terrence had such an instinct for helping actors, for quickly figuring out what each one of them needed. His ability to guide and take them to the next level was amazing to watch.
“He was always searching and pushing to find and reveal the human moments, the things that an audience recognizes as the truth. No matter how stressful the circumstances, everyone working with him knew, Terrence is here, we’ll get through this, and it’s going to be great. With empathy and openness, Terrence was a great director, an artist, a truly honest man and a dear, dear friend.”
Title cards are often the best way that a show can honor someone who was essential to its success — O’Hara was not just valuable to production, but also as a friend and constant source of inspiration. This card will live on in all subsequent airings of tonight’s season 20 episode “Bridges.”
Our thoughts and condolences go out to everyone who loved and cared about O’Hara during this difficult time. Hopefully, this tribute serves as a source of comfort. (Photo: CBS.)
This article was written by Jessica BunBun. Be sure to follow her on Twitter.