Marg Helgenberger has bid a final farewell to 'CSI'.

The 53-year-old actress - who plays Catherine Willows in the TV series - has said her goodbyes to the programme after 12 seasons, and she is surprised to have been on the show for so long.

She said: "It was innovative and groundbreaking, so I knew it had lasting power.

"But I wouldn't have anticipated 12 years later still being on the show, and the show still going strong. That's such a rarity and something I'll always cherish."

But the flame-haired beauty - whose last episode on the programme was broadcast last night (25.01.12) - admits it was not an easy decision to leave "the best job I ever had".

She added: "When I was done with my last line, I started crying. I'm even getting sad about it now. It's such a long Journey and I love the character so much. Saying goodbye to her is hard."