Michael Ausiello
June 18, 2009 AT 10:37 PM EDT

Oscar-winning actress Linda Hunt (The Year of Living Dangerously) has come aboard NCIS: Los Angeles as a series regular, sources confirm to me exclusively.

The diminutive, husky-voice 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.

“Nothing fazes her,” says exec producer Shane Brennan. “But as tough as she might seem, she genuinely cares about Callen (Chris O’Donnell) and the team.”

Hunt’s hiring marks the latest tweak to the spin-off’s evolving ensemble. Louise Lombard, who appeared in the backdoor pilot as Macy, was dismissed last month. It’s still unclear whether she’ll be replaced.

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