NCIS Database

Henrietta "Hetty" Lange is the Operations Manager for the Office of Special Projects which is located in downtown Los Angeles.



Born February 28, 1948, which makes her a Leap Year baby, in a refugee camp in Bucharest, Romania following the end of World War II, Hetty never knew her parents although they spent two years in a German death camp.

Her father died two months before Hetty was born while her mother died two days after giving birth to her.

With her parents dead, the newborn Hetty was adopted by a Romanian family named Pavlenco who took care of her while they were in a refugee camp.

Following that, Hetty attended college.

She later attended the Defense Language Institute and became fluent in many languages including Russian, German, Mandarin, Spanish, Czech, Romanian, Hebrew, Arabic, Hungarian and Pashto.

She also went to the Sorbonne, a public research university in Paris, France, eventually earning a Master of Fine Arts degree in the process and the Ecole da la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne.

She also had a prior career in motion picture and stage costuming.

She soon developed skills in Hapkido, a hybrid Korean martials art, Wushu, a type of Chinese martial arts and Eskrima, the national martial arts of the Philippines while also becoming a pilot and accomplished novelist.

At some point, Hetty gained the Women's Senior Division record for the ascent of K2 and became a member of the Order of Orange Nassau.

While in college, Hetty joined the CIA on December 12, 1963.

She also participated in the 1964 Summer Olympics which was held in Tokyo, Japan, earning a Bronze Medal in the Small-Bore Rifle event.

During her time at the CIA, Hetty received a CIA Intelligence Star and also became a recipient of the Defense Intelligence Agency Award of Merit.

In 1966 in Langley, Virginia, Hetty met Clara Callen who was a new recruiter to the CIA and then returned to Romania as a student which was also her cover while Hetty was to be her handler.

For more than a year, presumably during 1967, everything went fine but one day, something happened, the death of her father, George Callen, Clara disappeared.

Once she left the CIA Academy, Hetty's first undercover assignment was in Saigon, Vietnam where she posed as a journalist in order to get close to the Prime Minister of Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh.

After the Vietnam War ended, Hetty was recruited into the CIA Cladestine unit that was formed with intelligence agents from different parts of the United States government with members including Hetty which was the head of the unit and an CIA officer, Harris Keane who was a CIA officer, A.J. Chegwidden, a Navy SEAL, Sterling Bridges, a Navy Captain and Charles Langston, an officer with the CIA.

Future NCIS Assistant Director Owen Granger joined the unit with the group being tasked with saving intelligence operatives with non-official covers that the US government had left behind after they had pulled out of Vietnam.

Six years later, presumably in 1973, Clara reappeared with her two young children, G. and Amy Callen, contacting Hetty through prearranged channels with Clara voicing her desperation to get out of Romania, possibly due to the Comescus who had killed her father were after her too. The two women agreed to meet on a beach in Romania but at the last minute, the CIA ordered Hetty to abort the mission.

While waiting for Hetty, Clara was approached by two men working for the Comescus as assassins.

With one keeping young Callen distracted while giving him a toy soldier, his partner approached Clara and shot her dead.

Following Clara's death, Hetty brought young Callen and Amy to the United States and then subsequently placed in the foster care system with the two siblings being separated.

As Amy Callen stayed in the orphanage she was placed in, Callen kept bouncing around many foster homes, earning a place in thirty-seven homes altogether with Hetty keeping an eye on him albeit from a distance as she watched his progress.

When Callen became a teenager and began to get into trouble, Hetty "rescued" him and took him under her wing, working with him while also training.

In 1978, after the group had finished their mission, they went their separate ways.

As the Iranian Revolution began in 1979, a SWAK operation named Hosein Khadem who Hetty had worked with went against the Shah and joined the Revolution but when Ruhollah Khomeini came to power, Khadem changed sides once, becoming her enemy.

In 1980, Hetty began working with NSA Special Agent Larry Basser and over the course of seven years, presumably from 1980 to 1986, the two worked in missions in Berlin and Moscow with the final mission being in Islamabad in 1987 when Basser saved Hetty's life.

After that, in 1987, Hetty and Granger met again and encountered Victor Potter and Barry Brooks.

With the four of them, they formed a joint CIA/NCIS Task Force that operated for about fifteen years with their last mission occurring in Karachi 2002.

During the Cold War, Hetty met a Kalinga headhunter, Tuhon with the two becoming friends.

In 2007, Tuhon led a coup to overthrow the Equatorial Guinea government which ultimately failed. This forced Hetty to send two groups of agents to the country: the first agent she had sent was murdered within 24 hours while the second agents being Callen and Sam who successfully rescued Tuhon.

NCIS: Los Angeles Season 1

Hetty in the NCIS: Los Angeles Season 1 premiere episode, "Identity".

Hetty made her debut appearance in the NCIS: Los Angeles Season 1 premiere episode, Identity (episode) where she was seen waiting for NCIS Special Agent Sam Hanna upon his return to the Office of Special Projects after he had collected his partner, fellow NCIS agent G. Callen who had been recovering from being nearly fatally wounded during the NCIS Season 6/NCIS: Los Angeles backdoor pilot, "Legend Part 2".

Once Callen and Sam had arrived in the Second Office of Special Projects Building, Sam met with Hetty who told him that if every agent came from an undercover assignment with expenses unaccounted for, she would be out of a job or out of pocket and that she had no intention of being either.

Sam thought he was down 15, 20 dollars with Hetty correcting him, stating it was actually sixty-one dollars and a nickel with Sam paying her the sixty-one dollars and Hetty telling Sam she'd spot the nickel, causing Sam to thank her and remark he was good for it.

As soon as that had ended, Hetty met Callen who she noted hadn't even due to return to work until the next month with Callen admitting he missed her sunny smile with Hetty wryly laughing at that comment.

She later told him they had to update his biometrics, new photos for driver's licences, passports, general backstopping, not to speak of documents, credit cards, so forth and wardrobe before glancing at his sleeping bag which prompted to wonder if Callen was having problems with the neighbors with Callen telling her it was something like that.

Unconvinced, Hetty told him not to even think about unrolling that disgusting thing in here.

When Operations Psychologist Nate Getz, Tech Operator Eric Beale and probationary Agent Dominic Vail were trying to come up with a plan to gain access to a house owned by Manny Cortez, Hetty arrived into the Ops Centre, quoting a Latin term that meant "Give him what he wants".

She then stayed there, expressing dismay when Nate revealed that the operation had been compromised thanks to Luis Perez who had contacted NCIS Special Agent Kensi Blye and learnt NCIS were searching for his missing daughter who Luis had also arranged to kidnap, presumably to spite his ex-wife Helen McGuire, the sister of murdered Navy Commander Helen McGuire.

Once Callen and Sam had managed to defeat Luis and his men, Hetty was seen relieved at what had happened.

A while later, after Callen had returned to the building, Hetty presented him with some expense reports, telling him that he was six months, something Callen was dismayed at with Hetty remarking that she thought that seeing as he had so much time off for recuperation, he would have caught up on his paperwork before telling him there was no rush and tomorrow would be fine, implying she wanted him to finish those reports off by tomorrow.

Two or three hours later, Hetty prepared to head home for the night, having shut down her laptop and gotten her handbag.

She was about to leave but then saw that Callen had fallen asleep on the couch and also placed his jackets on the railing.

Preferring to leave him there, Hetty placed a blanket over him before she left.

NCIS: Los Angeles Season 2

NCIS: Los Angeles Season 3

NCIS: Los Angeles Season 4

NCIS: Los Angeles Season 5

NCIS: Los Angeles Season 6

NCIS: Los Angeles Season 7

NCIS: Los Angeles Season 8

NCIS: Los Angeles Season 9

NCIS: Los Angeles Season 10

NCIS: Los Angeles Season 11

NCIS: Los Angeles Season 12


Hetty is a very independent, determined woman who runs the OSP with an iron fist.

She gives her agents a lot of space to do their job but has no problem interfering in an investigation concerning a case if she feels it's getting personnel for someone.

When she's surprised or even caught off guard, she has a tendency to say "Bugger" or "Oh, bugger".

She also cares greatly about her agents and is known to become upset or distraught if one of them is injured or worse, ends up getting killed in the line of duty.

Physical Appearance

Hetty is a woman in her sixties or seventies with short brown hair and grey or brown eyes.




In addition to speaking English, Hetty speaks Russian, German, Chinese, Spanish, Czech, Romanian, Arabic, Aramaic, Hebrew, and Magyar.

Relationships with NCIS Colleagues

G. Callen

Sam Hanna

Kensi Blye

Nate Getz

Dominic Vail

Marty Deeks


For a more detailed list, see Henrietta Lange/List of Appearances.


Seasons Episodes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 Eps
Season 1 (2009-10) 24
Season 2 (2010-11) 24
Season 3 (2011-12) 24
Season 4 (2012-13) 24
Season 5 (2013-14) 24
Season 6 (2014-15) 24
Season 7 (2015-16) 24
Season 8 (2016-17) - - - 21
Season 9 (2017-18) - - - - - - - 17
Season 10 (2018-19) - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 5
Season 11 (2019-20) - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 6
Season 12 (2020-21) - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 4
Season 13 (2021-22) - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -