CSI: Crime Scene Investigation star Marg Helgenberger has announced that she will leave the crime drama series when the show's forthcoming 12th season ends.
The 52-year-old actress revealed her intention at a Television Critics Association press conference in Beverly Hills today.
Helgenberger has been with the show since its inception more than a decade ago, appearing in nearly every episode of the programme as Catherine Willows, a former showgirl turned crime scene analyst.
The actress explained that the decision to leave had been a tough one and that she’d been “having a hard time letting go” but she was “itching” to return to the world of theatre.
However, Helgenberger added that she may return to the series eventually, revealing that “they’ve…left the door open for me.”
Her departure follows that of her erstwhile co-star Laurence Fishburne, who announced he was leaving the series earlier this year.
The new series of CSI will begin transmitting in the States on Wednesday 21 September.