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‘Mentalist’ Star Amanda Righetti Confirms Departure

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Amanda Righetti, the 30-year-old actress who plays special agent Grace Van Pelt on CBS’ hit show, The Mentalist, has confirmed that she is set to be leaving the series. Righetti says that she and co-star, Owain Yeoman (‘Wayne Rigsby,’ her on-screen love) will both be exiting the show after this season’s finale.

Righetti has played special agent Van Pelt since the pilot episode of the series; The Mentalist airs Sunday nights on CBS.

The first reports of Righetti leaving the show surfaced back in August. At that time, creator Bruno Heller didn’t comment on whether or not those rumors were true.

We now know that they probably were, though Heller has not officially commented since Righetti announced the news of her exit. As for her reason for the departure, the actress told TVLine, “I feel like the time is probably right. It’s the end of one thing but the beginning of something new.”

The 30-year-old can’t comment, however, on the specifics of how the pair will be written out of the drama – and not just because she is sworn to secrecy.

“It keeps changing,” the Mentalist actress’ says. “It think it was an unexpected turn for the writers, too.”

Rigsby and Van Pelt will still be in the December 1st episode, which is set in the future – 2-years later, in fact.

Righetti explains the lovers’ roles in the ‘future’ episodes, saying, “Basically, they have their own private security company. So we sort of are outsourced and freelanced with the FBI, and that’s how we fit in.”

You can watch the next episode of The Mentalist on Sunday night on CBS; it airs at 10 p.m.

Main image courtesy Glenn Francis/toglenn/www.PacificProDigital.com via Wikimedia Commons.

‘Mentalist’ Star Amanda Righetti Confirms Departure
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  • Rich C

    Say it ain’t so Amanda. First Ziva now you. Two of the most interesting and beautiful women on TV.
    IF you must and want to Good luck and bon voyage.

  • Mike Compton

    Unless the ‘private security company’ (great… Rigsby and Van Pelt are mercenaries now?? How heroic.) info was already available somewhere, the revelation about their characters is a significant spoiler.

    As for Righetti… Baffling move. While ‘Van Pelt’ doesn’t often have enough lines/screen time for her to be considered a ‘juicy’ role, it’s not like the actress portraying her is a Streep-level actress. For someone whose looks got her a part in a pilot that took off and became a series, she’s done amazingly well. Seems a little crazy to abandon ship now.

    On a side note (for anyone bothering to read this comment), Righetti is one of the few actors whose appearance on a talk show dramatically altered the way I perceived them. I think it was the Craig Ferguson Show… Couple of years ago… Righetti was an amazingly dull interviewee.

    She just sat there like a lump, while Ferguson desperately attempted to overcome her refusal to engage. “Yes”…”No”…”I don’t know”…That’s about it for her contribution to the conversation. It wasn’t nerves… I would be very sympathetic to anyone nervous – but it wasn’t that. She was just dull, and had nothing remotely interesting to say – even in terms of standard polite conversation. It was excruciating to watch, and I’ve never seen her the same way since (I had previously held her in relatively positive regard).

    I mean… Who cares what I think about her and all, but… It really was unusually awful.

    Sorry to hear ‘Rigsby’ will be gone though. He was a good character, and his chemistry with ‘Cho’ was a big part of why the show took off to begin with (though they haven’t been featured as much in recent seasons, I don’t think)

    ‘The Mentalist’ will roll on. [Sadly, it's 'twin' show (y'know the way different networks always put out competing shows that are similar in theme), 'Lie to Me' didn't make it. In many ways, it was a superior show.]

    Now, if they could just stop perpetually dumbing down Robin Tunney’s character…