CCH Pounder is a veteran Guyanese American actress who is frequently cast as a detective or doctor in TV shows. Arguably her biggest hit in the big screen is her role as Mo’at on James Cameron’s Avatar film series. Pounder has had a lot of prominent small screen roles from Dr. Angela Hicks in ER to Detective Claudette Wyms in FX police drama The Shield and Dr. Loretta Wade on NCIS: New Orleans.
CCH Pounder Biography
Carol Christine Hilaria Pounder was born on December 25, 1952, in Georgetown, British Guiana, (today’s Guyana) to Ronald Urlington Pounder and of Betsy Enid Arnella (nee James). She was raised on a sugar plantation and together with her sister, attended a convent boarding school in Britain.
Pounder’s love for performing developed while she was in the boarding school where she would often perform to her dorm mates with a flashlight after the lights were out.
“I’d be Count Dracula, or Shakespeare, or Yogi Bear, and leap from bunk to bunk,” the actress told the media. “I loved the laughter; I liked the way it made people feel.”
At the age of 18 in 1970, Pounder relocated to the United States where she would come to attend Ithaca College. While studying in New York, Pounder began acting in theater appearing on Broadway’s Open Admissions and Richard Wesley’s The Mighty Gents.
Subsequently, she dabbled in film, making her debut in All That Jazz (1979). To better her chances at an acting career, Pounder relocated to Los Angeles in 1982. She landed small roles in a number of films and TV shows and in 1987 she got her breakout role as Brenda in Bagdad Café. In the late 1980s, Pounder had a recurring role in Women in Prison. She would then appear in a string of TV shows and TV movies and on the big screen, she scored roles in Postcards from the Edge (1990), RoboCop 3 (1993) and more.
Pounder in 1994 received her first ever Emmy nomination for outstanding guest actress for her guest role as Agent Lucy Kazdin in an episode of The X-Files. The same year, she appeared in ER as Dr. Angela Hicks. For that role, she received two Image Award and one Emmy Award nomination for outstanding supporting actress.
In film, her notable credits included Demon Knight, Face Off, and End of Days. And then came the new millennium when Pounder focused more on the small screen, appearing as a guest in a number of shows like The West Wing and Law and Order: SVU. From 2002 to 2008, Pounder played Claudette Wyms in The Shield. That role brought her a Satellite Award for Best Actress as well as one Emmy and Image Award nomination. She also received an Emmy nomination in 2009 for her guest role in The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency.
Her other TV credits include Warehouse 13, Sons of Anarchy Aand of course NCIS: New Orleans. After a quiet period on TV, Pounder portrayed the role of Mo’at in Avatar (2009). In 2017, it was revealed that she would reprise the role in the subsequent sequels scheduled for release in 2020, 2021, 2024 and 2025. CCH Pounder has lent her voice to a number of video game characters most notably Amanda Waller in Batman: Arkham Origins.
CCH Pounder has got a lot of successful gigs on her resume and consequently, she is well paid for her works. For her role in NCIS New Orleans, she received $50,000 per episode. Her net worth is estimated at somewhere between $5 million and $8 million.
Family: Husband, Children
Pounder in 1991 married anthropologist Boubacar Kone. Unfortunately, she became widowed when he passed away on August 3, 2016, in Los Angeles. Born on October 25, 1942, in Senegal, he was aged 74. He attended the Institute of International Journalism in Strasbourg, France. Kone was a member of Daka’s Etude de Systems de Pensees des Religions Africaine.
Pounder and her husband shared a like passion for arts which could be what attracted them to each other. Together, they co-founded the Musee Boribana in Dakar, Senegal in 1993. The Museum was the first museum of contemporary art in Dakar. In 2014, they gifted the museum to the Senegalese people.
The couple also joined forces to found the Pounder-Kone Art Space in Los Angeles. They had 5 children together including Cheik, Aisha, Awa, Noah, and Mariama.