Brian Dietzen started his acting career in the early 2000s and it only took him a few years to score his biggest gig: the role of Jimmy Palmer on NCIS.
Today, Dietzsen has starred in more than 330 episodes of the popular television show, with more certainly to come. Besides acting, the Barrington, Illinois native has also produced and directed several episodes. At the same time as Brian rose to become a star of the show, however, he’s also suffered from some pretty alarming health issues.
So how did Brian land his role on NCIS? And what does his private life look like? Here’s all you need to know about him!
Being an actor sure sounds like a fantastic job on paper. You get to experience the excitement of being on set – sometimes in different locations around the world – work with really talented people, and try all manner of different roles. Put simply, actors get to occupy the skins of people from all walks of life, including those they may have dreamed of becoming when they were young.
Of course, we all know that the acting business can be a rough environment. Just as with any other line of work, those who are successful must work hard to reach their dreams.
Harder than most, in many instances. When it comes to working in the entertainment business, it can take years, sometimes decades, before one lands a role they really want.
Naturally, this doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with an actor’s talents, but rather about them being in the right place at the right time.
For some, though, a dream role can come sooner rather than later. Just ask Brian Dietzen, who scored the most significant role of his career after only a few years in the business.
Dietzen has starred on NCIS as medical examiner’s assistant Jimmy Palmer since 2003. He’s still going strong to this day – even if an alarming health issue might’ve ended everything.
Here’s all you need to know about the prominent NCIS actor.
Brian Dietzen was born in Barrington, Illinois, on November 14, 1977. As a young kid, he knew that he wanted to become an actor when he grew up.
“Figure out what you love, and then figure out how to get paid for it,” Dietzen’s dad told him.
Dietzen started in the theater, doing school plays in elementary school. He starred in Christmas plays in second grade, and his interest only grew in high school. It was clear from the beginning that Brian had found his true passion in life.
Dietzen was also a singer in several punk rock bands during his high school and college days and went on to study acting at the University of Colorado Boulder. Graduating with a BFA in acting, began to perform with the Colorado Shakespeare Festival, and was honored with the UROP grant for Outstanding Achievements in the Creative Arts.
Besides his love for acting, Brian Dietzen also found a passion for writing.
“It’s kind of an extension of acting. It’s creating a script, it’s moving forward, and expressing some sort of artistic vision. I went to school at CU in Boulder, and even there, I loved reading scripts,” Brian Dietzen explained.
“I loved studying the classics, studying the masters, and that sort of stuff. And moving out here when I started writing with my friend Abby Miller, we wrote a musical together, a feature musical.”
He added: “We realized, shortly thereafter, that it would cost millions of dollars to make that feature, so we decided to try our hand at writing something on a much smaller subject, and we came up with Congratulations.”
The film Congratulations was released in 2012, and was selected by over a dozen film festivals. It also won Best Feature awards from United Film Festival and New Filmmakers. However, Dietzen had already become a major star on a whole different show at that point.
After making the inevitable move to Los Angeles, Dietzen got his first big breakthrough by starring as a drummer in the series My Guide to Becoming a Rockstar. Sadly, the series didn’t last long, and Dietzen moved on to make his screen debut alongside Kelly Clarkson in the 2003 film From Justin to Kelly.