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Chris O'Donnell as Special Agent in Charge G. Callen - NCIS: Los Angeles

Updated on February 9, 2014
Special Agent in Charge G. Callen, NCIS: Los Angeles.
Special Agent in Charge G. Callen, NCIS: Los Angeles. | Source

Chris O'Donnell Trivia

  • Got his start in a McDonald's commercial
  • Beat out Leonardo DiCaprio for the role of Robin in Batman Forever
  • Of predominantly Irish and German decent
  • Named one of 12 Promising New Actors in 1992 - John Willis' Screen World, v44

Chris O'Donnell

Born on June 26, 1970 in Winnetka, IL, Chris O'Donnell is the youngest of seven with four sisters and two brothers. After growing up through the Catholic school system. he earned a Bachelor's degree in marketing from Boston College in 1992.

At the age of 13, O'Donnell started modeling and appearing in commercials before being offered his first television role on Jack and Mike's in 1986. When he was 17, the actor landed his first movie role in Men Don't Leave with Jessica Lange.

There was no looking back for Chris O'Donnell. After successfully starring in his first movie, he starred in many consequent blockbusters including Fried Green Tomatoes (1991), Scent of a Woman (1992), and Batman Forever (1995).

After a few short stints on television series and mini-series, O'Donnell took on the role of Special Agent G. Callen on NCIS: Los Angeles. He has been a lead character on the popular CBS show since 2009.

Being Dad

When he is not busy making movies and starring on television, Chris O'Donnell is busy helping his wife, Caroline Fentress, raise their five children. Fentress is a former elementary school teacher and has been married to the actor since April, 1997. O'Donnell's five children include:

  • Lily O'Donnell - September 3, 1999
  • Christopher Eugene O'Donnell - October 24, 2000
  • Charles McHugh O'Donnell - July 11, 2003
  • Finley O'Donnell - March 24, 2006
  • Maeve Francis O'Donnell - December 10, 2007

Chris O'Donnell and his wife, Caroline Fentress.
Chris O'Donnell and his wife, Caroline Fentress. | Source

Special Agent G. Callen

Special Agent in Charge G. Callen heads up the NICS Special Projects Department under Henrietta or Hetty Lange, the Operations Manager. His leadership is strengthened by partner and former Navy SEAL, Sam Hanna. Special Agent Kensi Blye and Detective Marty Deeks round out Callen's team.

Very little is known about Callen's earlier life, even to himself. His mother, Clara Callen, was a CIA agent. Her handler was none other than Hetty Lange. Although she was able to flee to the United States from Romania, where G. was born, she was later killed by a member of the Comescu family who held a grudge against the Callens. Apparently Clara's father and grandfather killed many members of the Romanian family.

As an orphan, G. Callen grew up through a series of roughly 37 foster homes. When he turned 18, he joined the Army and later worked for the CIA. He also had short stints with the FBI and DEA as Federal Agents for those organizations.

When he eventually joined NCIS, Callen found himself working alongside Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs, who heads up the Major Case Response Team at NCIS in Waschington, DC. From there, Callen was reassigned to the Office of Special Projects, where he remains today.

G. Callen's First Appearance - Spin Off Episode

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Special Agent G. Callen is the product of the foster system. As he was passed from home to home, he was referred to as G. He has no idea what the "G" stands for as nobody has ever told him.

Most of his colleagues and friends call him G. His superior, Hetty Lange, refuses to do so. She claims that it is a letter and not a name, therefore, referring to him as "Mr. Callen".

Although Hetty knows quite a bit about Callen's past, having been his mother's CIA handler, she does not know what the "G" stands for. She only acknowledges the fact that she is taking care of or watching over Callen because she had failed, once upon a time, to save his mother. She at least owed him that much after his mother's death launched him into the foster care system.

Special Agent in Charge G. Callen and his partner, Special Agent Sam Hanna.
Special Agent in Charge G. Callen and his partner, Special Agent Sam Hanna. | Source

G. Callen is Multilingual

The many languages G. Callen is fluent in include:

  • English
  • Spanish
  • Polish
  • Russian
  • German (with an English accent)
  • Italian (with a northern accent)
  • French
  • Czech
  • Romanian

Chris O'Donnell's TV Series Roles

TV Show
Seasons and Episodes
NCIS: Los Angeles
Special Agent in Charge G. Callen
Season 1, 2009 - present
Hawaii Five-O
Special Agent G. Callen
2012 for 1 episode
Special Agent G. Callen
2009 for 2 episodes
The Company
Jack McCauliffe
2007 for 6 episodes
Grey's Anatomy
Dr. Finn Dandridge
2006 for 9 episodes
Head Cases
Jason Payne
2005 for 2 episodes
Two and a Half Men
Bill / Jill
2004 for 1 episode
The Practice
Brad Stanfield
2003 for 4 episodes
Jack and Mike
1986 for 1 episode
Chris O'Donnell and four of his five children.
Chris O'Donnell and four of his five children. | Source

Chris O'Donnell Filmography

The Tournament Challenge Challenged (short)
WWII in HD: The Air War (TV Documentary)
John Gibbons (voice)
Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore
A Little Help
Bob Pehlke
Max Payne
Jason Colvin
Kitt Kittredge: An American Girl
Jack Kittredge
The Sisters
David Turzin
The Amazing Westermans (TV movie)
Wardell Pomeroy
29 Palms
The Hitman
Vertical Limit
Peter Garrett
The Bachelor
Jimmie Shannon
Cookie's Fortune
Jason Brown
Batman & Robin (video game)
Robin (voice)
Batman & Robin
Robin / Dick Grayson
In Love and War
Ernest Hemingway
The Chamber
Adam Hall
Batman Forever
Robin / Dick Grayson
Mad Love
Matt Leland
Circle of Friends
Jack Foley
Blue Sky
Glenn Johnson
The Three Musketeers
Scent of a Woman
Charlie Simms
School Ties
Chris Reece
Fried Green Tomatoes
Buddy Threadgoode
Men Don't Leave
Chris Macauley
Spin-off episode - Special Agents G. Callen (NCIS: Los Angeles) and Leroy Jethro Gibbs (NCIS) work together on a case.
Spin-off episode - Special Agents G. Callen (NCIS: Los Angeles) and Leroy Jethro Gibbs (NCIS) work together on a case. | Source

A Family Guy

Chris O'Donnell gave up fame and fortune on the big, silver screen so he could have a somewhat "normal" life providing for a family and raising children. After his stint as Robin in "Batman Forever" and "Batman and Robin", O'Donnell was on the brink of making it big. He was offered numerous roles and auditions that would have launched his movie career forward.

Instead, Chris O'Donnell chose to marry the love of his life and raise children. He signed on to play G. Callen in NCIS: Los Angeles so that he would have a somewhat regular job. He wouldn't have to travel to and shoot on location across or outside the country. O'Donnell did not want to raise his children in the "gypsy" lifestyle that others have chosen for their kids. His schedule would be somewhat regular as a television star and he would be able to raise his five children alongside his wife Caroline.


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