Sasha Alexander is a Serbian-American actress, producer, and television director. She is known for her roles in various films and TV series, including TNT’s Rizzoli & Isles where she played the starring role of Maura Isles from July 2010 to September 2016.
The United States entertainment hub, Los Angeles, California, has seen quite a number of talents in different sectors. One of the notable players in this regard is Suzana S. Drobnjaković Ponti, the Serbian-American actress, producer and director who would become known as Sasha Alexander.
Growing up with her parents who at some point resided in Italy, Sasha learned multiple languages, including Italian, Serbian, as well as English. She began her journey in the entertainment world in 1997, appearing on both the big and small screens in films like Visceral Matter and All Over the Guy.
Right from high school, Sasha was very active and took part in activities that not only engaged her mind but her body as well. By the time she was in her seventh grade, she took part in the production of her school’s Baby.
Her performance was well-received by the audience and her star has only shone brighter since then. After playing Caitlin Todd for the first two seasons of NCIS, she left the series which left many wondering why.
Timeline of Sasha’s Professional Life
With acclaimed skills in both on-screen and behind the scenes, Sasha Alexander took to acting fully. She appeared in several short-lived TV series, including ABC drama Wasteland (1999), CBS medical drama Presidio Med (2002-2003), Fox’s Greg the Bunny (2002) where she reported as Laura Carlson, for a lesbian TV Guide and shared an on-screen kiss with Sarah Silverman.
In her early years as an actress, she also appeared in the fourth season of the teen drama series, Dawson’s Creek (2000-2001), as well as in an episode each of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (2001) and the TV sitcom Friends (2002). Her role in Dawson’s Creek as Gretchen Witter who dated the titular character earned her widespread media attention and critical acclaim.
In 2003, she received a role as special agent Caitlin Todd in over 50 episodes of the multiple award-winning TV series NCIS and although she exited the show after season 12, she has continued to add to her acting resume with appearances in several critically acclaimed independent films and musicals such as The Last Lullaby, The Girl from Nagasaki which has been screened in film festivals.
Her film credits also include All Over the Guy (2001), Lucky 13 (2005) which she also co-wrote and produced, Yes Man (2008) also starring Jim Carrey, He’s Just Not That Into You (2009) Tenure (2009), and Bernard and Huey (2017). In 2018, she appeared as Anna Mill in a single episode of the crime drama series Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and in the following year, she appeared as Valerie Caldwell in the drama series, FBI.
Why Did Sasha Alexander Leave NCIS?
In 2003, Alexander became one of the cast members of NCIS as Special Agent Caitlin “Kate” Todd, replacing Robyn Lively who played Vivian Blackadder. While Vivian only appeared in two back-door pilot episodes, Kate lasted for two seasons on NCIS.
Her character has been part of the NCIS show since its inception with the entirety of the pilot episodes centering on her collaboration with Mark Harmon’s Leroy Jethro Gibbs. Her exit from the series was consequent upon the killing off of her character by a terrorist, Ari (Rudolf Martin) who shot her between the eyes in the final episode of the show’s second season in May 2005.
Was her death part of the storyline or could there be another reason why she was killed off leaving seething fans behind? It was officially explained that the actress withdrew her contract with the producers so that she can pursue and explore other opportunities like starting a family.
According to her, on such a show, one makes 24 episodes a year which equals 10½ months a year, 17 hours a day. She added that although people loved her character in a really shocking way, she doesn’t want to wake up in her forties with regrets of not doing what she would have; getting married, being a mother, and doing other things she wants.
Sasha Alexandra isn’t the only key actress who left the show since its inception. There’s also Lauren Holly (Jennifer “Jenny” Shepard), as well as Michael Weatherly (Tony DiNozzo) who share Sasha’s reasons for leaving the show. Holly left after season 5, citing being bored with her role, while Michael left to spend quality time with his family.
Other stars who have also left include Cote de Pablo (Ziva David), Pauley Perrette (Abby Sciuto), Jennifer Esposito (Alexandra Quinn), and Duane Henry (Clayton Reeves).
What Has She Been Doing Since She Left NCIS?
Years after leaving the NCIS, Sasha Alexandra has been living up her dreams both professionally and personally. She has been able to build a happy home with her husband Edoardo Ponti who she married on August 11, 2007, following their engagement in January 2006. The union made her the daughter-in-law of actress Sophia Loren.
She tied the knot with the Italian director in Geneva, Switzerland, where their daughter Lucia Sofia Ponti was born on May 12, 2006. In 2012, three years after their marriage, Sasha and her husband welcomed their second child, a son named Leonardo. Sasha’s marriage to Ponti isn’t her first. She was initially married to Luka Pecel from September 18, 1999, until the marriage was annulled in 2003 without any stated issues.
In addition to building a home with her husband and kids, she has also excelled in her career as an actress. After a two-year tenure on NCIS (2003-2005) as Special Agent Caitlin Todd, she had a minor role in Mission: Impossible III (2006), as well as joined the cast of The Nine (2006) as Juliana.
From 2010, Sasha co-starred with Angie Harmon (Jane Rizzoli) on the TV drama Rizzoli & Isles as Dr. Maura Isles and stayed through the seven seasons of the TNT series. In turn, she won the 2016 People’s Choice Award for Favorite Cable TV Actress.
She took up the recurring role of Helene Runyon on Showtime’s Shameless in 2015. In 2016, she appeared in the Cooking Channel food-based TV series Dinner at Tiffani’s and in the syndicated game show Celebrity Name Game while she played Anna Mill in an episode of Law & Order: SVU (2018).
How Much Is Sasha Alexander’s Net Worth?
While some sources have placed her net worth between $215 and $225 million, others have it pegged below $10 million. Considering that she has been in the showbiz industry for more than two decades, no doubt Alexander would have amassed a fortune for herself through her acting career. Although a definite amount has not been agreed upon, it would be nothing less than impressive.