Updated with statement from showrunner/EP R. Scott Gemmil: NCIS: Los Angeles started a new chapter of crime-fighting when it returned to CBS for its Season 13 premiere on Sunday. However, series stars Chris O’Donnell, Daniela Ruah and LL Cool J weren’t the only ones in the spotlight in the premiere. Longtime crew member Michele Poulik was celebrated at the end of the episode, titled “Subject 17.”
“In loving memory of Michele Poulik, whose smile, presence, and and laughter, lit up every day,” a dedication card read ahead of the credits.
Poulik served as a set decorator on the long-running CBS drama, starting from 2009 to her final days. Poulik died Tuesday August 2, in her Los Angeles home after a long battle with cancer, per the Set Decorators Society of America. She is survived by her sister Janet.
The Toronto-born decorator began her entertainment career with the independent film Singing Birds, which she wrote and produced. Poulik worked on a number of projects including Army of Darkness, Hard Target and Joe Somebody. She earned an Emmy-nomination in 1998 for her work on the miniseries From the Earth to the Moon. She was also the original set decorator of The Shield and nearly 280 episodes of NCIS: Los Angeles.
Beyond her on-set work, Poulik was a longtime member of the Set Decorators Society of America, where she served on the SDSA Board of Directors and multiple key communities.
NCIS: Los Angeles showrunner and executive producer R. Scott Gemmil shared the following statement with Deadline:
“Michele was a native of Detroit and a force of nature to be reckoned with. She always championed those that might otherwise be overlooked and had the courage to speak her mind and let you know exactly what she thought. She was a truly talented artist that made every day an adventure full of laughter—even if it was at her own expense. She was a true gift of life and whenever we remember her it will be with fondness and smiles.”