'Criminal Minds' Trivia: 5 Things You May Not Know About the Cast
Following our latest Criminal Minds slideshow of the best cast pictures, we have more behind-the-scenes scoop for you about your favorite Criminal Minds actors.

Fact #1: Mandy Patinkin (Jason Gideon) left Criminal Minds in season 3.

What you may not know: This was not the first time the actor left a CBS drama series early- on in its run. Patinkin also departed from the medical drama, Chicago Hope, several years before the show came to an end. The actor did manage to stick with the Showtime series Dead Like Me for the entirety of its run, but the show was canceled after only two seasons, roughly the amount of time Patinkin spent on both Chicago Hope and Criminal Minds. The actor now stars on another Showtime series, Homeland, which is going strong in its premiere season and has already been picked up for a 2nd season. With Homeland, will Patinkin break his trend of only sticking with shows for their early years or will history repeat itself once again?

Fact #2: Veteran television actress Dina Meyer will guest star in Criminal Minds' 150th episode.

What you may not know: The actress has worked with Criminal Minds star Shemar Moore (Derek Morgan) once before. The duo starred on the short-lived WB series, Birds of Prey, back in 2002. Meyer played Oracle, the wheel-chair bound superhero formerly known as Batgirl, while Moore played Jesse Reese, a detective who often tangled with Oracle's team. The show was loosely based on the DC Comics series by the same name.

Fact #3: Rachel Nichols had a brief stint on Criminal Minds last season, as rookie agent Ashley Seaver.

What you may not know: This was not the first time the actress played an FBI agent. Nichols starred in the short-lived FOX series, The Inside, as Special Agent Rebecca Locke. A predecessor to Criminal Minds, the show revolved around a team of profilers tasked to investigate brutal murders by delving into the killers' psyches. Like Seaver, Rebecca Locke had a dark childhood that gave her a special insight into the cases the team tackled. Coincidentally, the actress played both roles for 13 episodes each, as The Inside was canceled after only one season.

Fact #4: Kirsten Vangsness (Penelope Garcia) is a very busy woman.

What you may not know: The actress is making a new movie, Kill Me, Deadly, and has roped in a few of her Criminal Minds co-stars. The film, which Vangsness is also producing, is a noir spoof that Vangsness thinks could be the next Young Frankenstein. The actress is making the film with some of her theater friends, but Criminal Minds stars Shemar Moore and Joe Mantegna (David Rossi) will also make appearances. It is currently in production on a very small budget and could possibly be released sometime next year. The actress can also be seen in two web series, Vampire Mob and Pretty, both of which can be found through a quick YouTube search.

Fact #5: Matthew Gray Gubler (Dr. Spencer Reid) is a director.

What you may not know: The actor has directed two episodes of Criminal Minds, but he has also directed a very interesting documentary. The doc, titled Matthew Gray Gubler: The Unauthorized Documentary, is not only hysterical, but also includes plenty of behind the scenes footage of the Criminal Minds cast and crew. The actor adopted the pseudonym Strudel Goolar to direct the project, which he also stars in. The 'episodes' of this documentary can be found on Gubler's website under the 'movies' section. I highly recommend that every Criminal Minds fan give this documentary a viewing. Or perhaps several.

Check out our Criminal Minds Holiday Trivia Contest for more trivia fun and some great prizes!

Megan Cole
Contributing Writer

(Image courtesy of CBS)