‘NCIS: New Orleans’: CCH Pounder’s Heartbreaking Loss Will Remind You to Hug Your Loved Ones Today

NCIS: New Orleans has a diverse cast from all areas of the world. One of the show’s leading ladies, CCH Pounder, plays a Harvard-educated Jefferson Parish Coroner. In real life, Pounder has experience in loss, as so many of us do.

CCH Pounder been on ‘NCIS: New Orleans’ since 2014 but never thought it would last

CCH Pounder
CCH Pounder attends the premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures’ ‘Godzilla: King of the Monsters’ | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

CCH Pounder, or Carol Christine Hilaria Pounder after three female relatives, is NCIS: New Orleans resident coroner, Dr. Loretta Wade. But, the Georgetown, British Guiana native almost turned down the role.

“I’ll be honest. I just didn’t think that CBS could sustain yet another NCIS,” she told AARP. “And there was another problem: Black actors can get sidelined even when playing top cops or presidents because the roles are often generic and not fully rounded characters.”

She continued, “We play a person in authority, but with no relations, no daughter, no husband, no nothing. Just a judge or a policeman sitting behind a desk. Give them a family member, give them a flaw, give them something else to create the humanness of the character! So we’ve gotten to that place where now that is not the issue.”

Luckily for Pounder, series writers gave Dr. Wade enough depth the character stands on her own merit. NCIS: New Orleans aside, Pounder’s interests include gardening and art.

In 1997, she along with her husband, Boubacar Koné “founded Senegal’s only contemporary art museum, the Musée Boribana, just outside Dakar,” according to Pounder’s website. “It featured works by local artists and pieces from the African diaspora in the United States, Jamaica, Guadeloupe, and Haiti.”

They gifted the museum to the Senegalese people in 2014.

Pounder’s personal life took a devastating turn

Around the time the Emmy-nominated actress found her stride with NCIS: New Orleans, something tragic happened. On August 3, 2016, Pounder’s husband of 25 years passed away.

His obituary says Koné and Pounder also founded the Pounder-Kone Art Space in Los Angeles. Koné studied abroad at the Institute of International Journalism in Strasbourg, France and “was a member des Laboratoires (Etude de Systems de Pensees des Religions Africaine) in Dakar.”

At the time of his death, the pair had five children together, and three grandchildren. Pounder doesn’t speak much about her personal life or marriage, but 25 years together is something to treasure.

Another door opened for Pounder exactly one year after her husband’s passing

As shown on her website, Pounder surrounded herself with friends and loved ones on the one-year anniversary of her husband’s death. They prayed together and enjoyed a bountiful feast to celebrate his life.

Just under a string of photos showing the celebration, Pounder mentions a full-circle moment.

“In the balancing of life, I signed for a new home on the same day and realized another door was opening for me,” she said. “For the seller, a chapter in her life was closing. The circle of life is so obvious on cloudy days.”

As for her time left without her beloved, she told AARP it’s sort of a shock.

“The one thing I’ve learned sticking around this long is that your life is going be much longer than you think, and it will go much faster than you think,” she said. “This life is a real quickie we’re doing, man.”

NCIS: New Orleans returns to CBS on February 16.