NCIS: Los Angeles has been missing a very important character this season. Henrietta “Hetty” Lange, the diminutive yet powerful Operations Director of the crime-solving unit has not made an appearance so far, which has caused concern for fans who love the character. According to Parade Magazine, the character’s absence was caused by a car crash involving the actress who plays her, Linda Hunt.
In July 2018, Hunt crashed into a sedan and then an SUV as she was trying to make a left turn, TMZ reports. Residents nearby helped her out of the wreck, guiding her to a lawn chair where she could recover. Hunt was later hospitalized. The other drivers sustained minor injuries.
In her first statement after the accident, she described the crash as ‘minor.’
“Yesterday I was involved in a minor traffic accident and taken to the hospital,” she said, as reported by People Magazine. “I’m pleased to report I’m recovering well and have no serious injuries. Thank you for all the well wishes! I’m looking forward to starting production on NCIS: Los Angeles later this summer.”
But it looks like her recovery may have been slower than she expected.
In a recent statement published by Parade, she revealed that she’d previously thought that she’d be healthy enough to return to work by the start of the show’s current season. But she’s still recovering from the accident.
“I first want to say how much I appreciate the outpouring of support from the NCIS: Los Angeles fans following my car accident this summer,” the statement read. “Though I had hoped to return to playing Hetty at the start of the season, I had to take some additional time to recover.”
If only they had known what would happen…
— NCIS LA (@NCISLA) September 29, 2018
But there’s good news for Hetty fans. Linda Hunt won’t be completely absent from the cast as the actress later said that’s she looks forward to returning “later this season.”
As part of the original cast, Linda Hunt has been in 200 episodes of NCIS: Los Angeles. As TMZ notes, her other credits include a voice acting role as Grandmother Willow in Disney’s Pocahontas. She has also done voice acting for video games.
Due to Hetty’s absence, actress Esai Morales has joined the cast as Deputy Director Louis Ochoa. As TV Line notes, his influence has been crucial in helping the team stay together after they conducted an off-the-books mission to Mexico, in an effort to save the son of Shay Mosley (Nia Long).
Here’s hoping that Hetty will be back to regulate the situation before it’s too late.