Linda Hunt joins “NCIS: Los Angeles”

If you’ve never watched The Year of Living Dangerously, add it to Netflix. It’s a beautiful and touching movie, with wonderful performances by Sigourney Weaver and Mel Gibson (when he was still a pretty face instead of an ugly mouth). But no character was played as brilliantly as photographer Billy Kwan.

Linda Hunt won an Oscar for the performance. I wasn’t familiar with Hunt at the time and honestly was amazed that Billy was played by a woman. With the award, Hunt became the first actor to win an Academy Award for portraying a member of the opposite sex.

Hunt has been a staple in Hollywood ever since — who could forget her as Alice B. Toklas in Waiting for the Moon?

In recent years, Hunt has shown up more often on television than film, most memorably as the voice of Management in Carnivàle and as Judge Hiller on The Practice.

Now, for the first time, she will be a series regular — she has just signed on to NCIS spin-off, NCIS: Los Angeles. Hunt will play “an efficient and hard-nosed former film industry technician who now oversees the ‘backroom’ support staff — the folks tasked with providing everything from micro surveillance cameras to cars for the team.” Sort of the Navy version of Q, I guess.

Hunt’s character is not intended to replace Louise Lombard’s Agency Macy, who was dropped from the cast. But adding someone of Hunt’s caliber certainly puts the show on my radar. NCIS: Los Angeles premieres in September on CBS.

What about you? Are you a fan of Linda Hunt? Is NCIS: Los Angeles part of your fall schedule?