NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – “NCIS” fans are saying goodbye to one of its most popular actresses.

Pauley Perrette’s last episode as quirky forensic scientist Abby Sciuto airs Tuesday night.

Fans are sad to see the actress and her groundbreaking character go.

For 15 seasons, Perrette has been a staple on the show. Her character’s looks made her stand out immediately.

“She’s so unique and different, and she doesn’t look anything like you would think a forensic scientist would look, with the goth hair and the tattoos and everything,” said NCIS fan Lisa Helm.

That was the intention of the show’s creator, and it really resonated with fans, especially young women.

“Piercings, tattoos or how you dress, it doesn’t affect how well you can do your job,” said 19-year-old Hannah Zeitner. “She made me want to be a scientist for a while.”

Perrette, 49, is a New Orleans native but called New York home for years. She studied criminology at John Jay College, and currently co-owns Donna Bell’s, a bakery named after her late mother on Manhattan’s West Side.

Matthew Sandusky is her long-time friend and business partner.

“Hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of young girls have come into this shop, more than any other demographic, saying how much they love Pauley, respect Pauley and want to grow up to be like Pauley,” he said. “Not just Abby, but Pauley.”

People CBS2’s Elise Finch spoke to say this is more than just a popular actress leaving a popular TV show. It’s an inspiring and game changing character leaving a highly visible platform.

“With this, it feels like the loss is a little personal, because anyone who feels they can relate to an outsider is also losing that part of themselves with the character,” said Hell’s Kitchen resident Gregory Kimball.

Her departure is not a surprise – she announced she was leaving the show last year. But now that it’s here, she’s bracing her fans for an emotional goodbye.

Sandusky said there’s no one thing in particular that made her leave the show, she just thought it was time.

Her last episode airs tonight at 8 p.m. right here on CBS2.

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