Billy Mac, a propman who worked on the CBS crime drama NCIS, passed away in February 2023. His death was announced by Paul Snider, the first assistant director of the show, on his Instagram account. The latest episode of NCIS season 20, which aired on March 14, 2023, paid tribute to him with a touching title card at the end of the closing credits. Many fans and viewers of the show wondered who Billy Mac was and how he died. Here is what we know about the beloved crew member and his cause of death.
Who Was Billy Mac?
Billy Mac, whose full name was Billy McLaughlin, was a propman who had worked on NCIS for many years. He was responsible for arranging and providing the stage properties used in the filming of the show, such as weapons, gadgets, documents, and other items. He was also known for his creativity, humor, and good attitude on set. He was a member of Affiliated Property Craftspersons Local 44, a professional association of craft persons and skilled laborers working in the entertainment production industry, based in Valley Village, California.
Billy Mac was well-liked and respected by his colleagues and friends, who shared their memories and condolences on social media after his death. Avery Drewe, the co-executive producer and supervising producer of NCIS, wrote that Billy Mac was a propman who read the script and had creative ideas on how to make a scene work better. He also said that Billy Mac kept it light when it was needed, and switched on a dime to having the right thing ready in a crunch. He added that Billy Mac was a guy who lived life fully and made their world better.
Other crew members also praised Billy Mac for his professionalism, kindness, and fun-loving personality. June Bracken, a makeup artist, described him as a good man with a kind heart who always made them laugh, especially on St Patrick’s Day. Christos Bitsakos, a cameraman, said that Billy Mac was one of those guys that you just want to be around and always had your back.
How Did Billy Mac Die?
Billy Mac’s family and friends have chosen to keep the cause of his death private. His demise was publicized by Paul Snider on February 25, 2023, who posted a photo of Billy Mac wearing a green hat and sunglasses on his Instagram account. He wrote: “NCIS lost another family member with the passing of Billy ‘Billy Mac’ Mclaughlin. A great propman, the class clown, a good friend, and a great human being. RIP Billy.”
The tribute to Billy Mac was shown at the end of the sixteenth episode of NCIS season 20, titled “Rule 91”, which followed the efforts of the NCIS team to capture a bioterrorist and save Knight’s father in Japan. The title card featured an image of Billy Mac wearing an enormous green felt top hat for St Patrick’s Day celebrations, along with the message: “In memory of our dear friend and colleague, Billy Mac. We will miss you.”
The NCIS cast and crew have previously honored other members who have passed away, such as Gary Glasberg, the executive producer and showrunner, who died in 2016, and Ralph Waite, who played Gibbs’ father, who died in 2014. The show has also paid tribute to some of its former actors, such as Miguel Ferrer, who played NCIS Assistant Director Owen Granger, who died in 2017, and Muse Watson, who played Mike Franks, who died in 2018.
Billy Mac’s death is a sad loss for the NCIS family and fans, who will remember him for his contributions and legacy to the show. He will be missed by many who knew and loved him.