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Entertainment

Joe Mantegna pens emotional goodbye letter to 'Criminal Minds'

Wonderwall logo Wonderwall 2019-05-15 Mark Gray

Joe Mantegna looking at the camera: Joe Mantegna attends the George Lopez Foundation Celebrity Golf Classic in Burbank, California, on May 6, 2019. © MediaPunch/REX/Shutterstock Joe Mantegna attends the George Lopez Foundation Celebrity Golf Classic in Burbank, California, on May 6, 2019. "Criminal Minds" star Joe Mantegna is tearfully saying goodbye to the show he was a part of for a dozen years.

Earlier in the year it was announced that the CBS drama would be ending next year after 15 years on the air.

"As I wrap up my last day filming Criminal Minds, I can't help but reflect in awe at what a truly wonderful experience it has been. As you know I came to a show already in production. I was welcomed by the cast and crew instantly, making me feel part of the team on day one," Joe wrote on Twitter, recalling joining the show in 2007. "The next 12 years would be a wild and wonderful ride. Yes, I will miss playing David Rossi, and I'll miss the wonderful writing that brought him to life, but mostly I will miss seeing my fellow cast mates and our fantastic crew everyday [sic].

"It may sound cliché to say we're like family, but it's so very true. In 15 seasons we've all grown a little bit older, hopefully a little wiser too," he continued. "We laughed together, we cried together, and like a family we gained and lost members along the way. Some got married, some got divorced, some had children, some had more than one! Some of our family went on to other shows and jobs, and sadly, some we lost too soon to the heavens."

Joe added that he was "proud of the work" he did on the drama.

"An actor's life is always changing and I'm excited for what's next and hope that when I find that thing, you'll come along for that ride too," he wrote. "In the end, we owe it all to you, the fans. For being the most loyal, tolerant, and passionate fans we could have ever asked for. Thanks for being there."

Joe Mantegna looking at the camera: Mandatory Credit: Photo by Matt Baron/BEImages (2209051cv)  Joe Mantegna  CBS CW Showtime TCA Summer Party, Los Angeles, America - 17 Jul 2014 © Rex USA Mandatory Credit: Photo by Matt Baron/BEImages (2209051cv) Joe Mantegna CBS CW Showtime TCA Summer Party, Los Angeles, America - 17 Jul 2014

Joe's open-letter certainly tugged at the heart strings of his costars.

Paget Brewster retweeted Joe's noted, writing, "We all need to thank @JoeMantegna for becoming the captain of our Criminal Minds ship when we were lost at sea and scared. Joe, you are my mentor, my inspiration and my friend. Thank you."

Last week, Matthew Gray Gubler tweeted out behind-the-scenes images from the final episode, too, claiming he and the cast "don't want to let each other go."

Pictures: Air-time legends: the longest-running TV series ever (provided by Starsinsider)

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