Photo Credit: Gordon Lonsdale (Pounder); Ashley Lorraine Photography (Paintings).

NCIS: New Orleans star and art collector CCH Pounder takes us inside her captivating, colorful world.

By John Griffiths

Sometimes life just is art. Especially if you're estimable actress CCH Pounder, who—after notching a day of playing coroner Dr. Loretta Wade on NCIS: New Orleans—comes home to a vast array of paintings, sculptures, and tapestries that adorn her walls, floors, tables, cabinets, counters, and chairs. Some of her chairs are art pieces and presented as such, mounted in all their ornate, colorful glory alongside framed sketches in the star's two-story Big Easy abode.

 

Acrylic and charcoal on paper artwork by artist Bambo Sibiya.

Street Barbershop (triptych), 2018 by artist Bambo Sibiya. Acrylic and charcoal on paper.

Photo Credit: Ashley Lorraine Photography.

In her living room can be found two giant wooden statues of Anubis, the jackal-headed Egyptian god who cares for the dead. "I'm really lucky to have high ceilings," a laughing Pounder says of the place she's inhabited since 2017. Back at her former home in L.A., those mega-statues "used to scrape at the top."

Meanwhile her kitchen, she doesn't mind saying, is "jammed" with fantastical Ardmore ceramics—vases, urns, and teapots festooned with tiny tigers and elephants handmade by South African artists. Her overall art collection of more than 500 pieces takes up half her first floor "and three storage rooms outside, too!"

 

Free Woman Of Color by American artist Pamela Mower-Conner.

Photo Credit: Ashley Lorraine Photography.

"CC," as she likes to be called, says her favorite type of art is the kind that "tells a story." So her collection is rife with portraitures, many of them of females. "At one point my husband [fellow art-lover Boubacar Koné, who passed away in 2016] said, 'I've only got one wife, but I'm looking at all of these women here—what's going on?!'"

 

Sculpture by late Jamaican artist Gene Pearson.

First Wife by late Jamaican artist Gene Pearson.

Photo Credit: Ashley Lorraine Photography.

One of her prized pieces, a striking stone bust by the late Jamaican artist Gene Pearson, is titled First Wife. "Her look, at least to me, is very powerful," says Pounder. Outside a bedroom, say hello to a large, heart-shaped quasi-mask showing a woman in serene slumber. "She says, 'This is a place to sleep in,'" Pounder quips of the piece by Haiti's François Cauvin

  

Painting of a woman doing laundry by Congolese artist Mayemba.

The Laundress by Congolese artist Mayemba.

Photo Credit: Ashley Lorraine Photography.

She's placed Congolese artist Mayemba's The Laundress, a vibrant painting of a young woman mysteriously distracted from her bin of soaking clothes, right beneath a portrait of fearless abolitionist Harriet Tubman. "I recently discovered that [Tubman] became a laundress herself," says a still-surprised Pounder. "After all the running and magnificent kind of cowboying she did, her life settled into a rather quiet—well, I'm assuming quiet—life."

 

Painting of woman staring at a tray of coffee and half a corncob.

Awake by Nigerian-Brit artist Ndidi Emefiele.

Photo Credit: Ashley Lorraine Photography.

More personal is the stark Awake, a voyeuristic peek at a woman staring at a tray of coffee and half a corncob. The painting, by Nigerian-Brit Ndidi Emefiele, "speaks to me about my colonial past and Western future and present," says Pounder, who was born in Georgetown, Guyana. "Not that I was eating roasted corn growing up—that's a decidedly African breakfast. But the woman, with her coffee cup, is in this sort of dual world."

Look closely and you'll see a little bird popping out of that cup. Says Pounder with delight: "Birds represent messengers."

 

Painting of heart-shaped quasi-mask showing a woman in serene slumber.

Sleep by Haitian artist Francois Cauvin.

Photo Credit: Ashley Lorraine Photography.

The worldly CCH (Carol Christine Hilaria) Pounder, who attended boarding school in England and studied acting at New York's Ithaca College, almost opted for a painting career herself. "I was conflicted with these two great, measly paying art forms!" Nabbing the role of a nurse in 1979's All That Jazz sealed her fate. (Later came an Emmy nomination for The Shield.)

So, to satisfy her other yen, she took to throwing dinner parties to trumpet talented starving-artist pals in her cramped apartments (first in NYC, then L.A.). "I would call my friends and say, 'Come and get a painting!'"

 

Painting of black women by artist Mouhamadou Dia. \u200b

Sous Sous by Senegalese artist Mouhamadou Dia.

Photo Credit: Ashley Lorraine Photography.

She's long been most keen on contemporary African art. "I like works by artists that reflect the state of the world that they're in. Western art is floating off into the interior world and talking about highly intellectual things—which does not interest me at the moment."

Pounder definitely has an eye. She's helped put several young masters-to-be on the map. For a time she and her husband owned a gallery in L.A., and they also built a museum, the Musée Boribana, in his hometown, Dakar, Senegal, which they gifted to the nation in 2014. (She's heading there this summer to visit the Dakar Biennale art festival.)

 

Sculpture of African woman by late German artist Luise Kimme.

Marianne by late German artist Luise Kimme.

Photo Credit: Ashley Lorraine Photography.

CCH Pounder is reprising her big-screen role as Queen Mo'at in Avatar's two upcoming sequels, yet she does make time to doodle. "I keep books of ideas, and some day I'm going to sit back and paint them." And, apparently, N'awlins' spirits also love art. "My house keeps talking to me. I think eventually she's gonna push me out and become a gallery."

Originally published in Watch! Magazine, January-February 2020.

NCIS: New Orleans returns Sunday, Feb. 16 at 10/9c on CBS and CBS All Access.

Phil Keoghan, host of The Amazing Race and Tough as Nails

"My resolution, especially in this 2020 election year, is to find a way to stay focused on what we have in common instead of what divides us. We have to come together. I'm an immigrant, and I came to this country. I want to use my storytelling abilities to help unify everyone."

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Quote originally published in Watch! Magazine, January-February 2020.

Raegan Revord, Young Sheldon

Actress Reagan Revord of TV show Young Sheldon.

Photo Credit: David Needleman.

"... to finish two books I've been writing and to eat less sugar and drink more water. My mom should be very happy about that!"

Watch all-new episodes of Young Sheldon on Thursdays at 8/7c on CBS and CBS All Access.

Quote originally published in Watch! Magazine, January-February 2020.

Maya Lynne Robinson, The Unicorn

Actress Maya Lynne Robinson at the Entertainment Weekly Pre-SAG Party Arrivals.

Photo Credit: David Crotty/Getty Images.

"It is always my New Year's resolution to be better than I was the year before personally and professionally. I keep it simple."

Watch all-new episodes of The Unicorn on Thursdays at 8:30/7:30c on CBS and CBS All Access.

Quote originally published in Watch! Magazine, January-February 2020.

Brian Dietzen, NCIS

Brian Dietzen "Jimmy Palmer" of NCIS holding a glass of wine and reflecting.

Photo Credit: Ian Derry.

"... to listen more. 'Two ears and one mouth may mean that we should listen twice as much as we speak.' Not sure where I read that, but I like it, and it'll be my resolution."

Watch all-new episodes of NCIS on Tuesdays at 8/7c on CBS and CBS All Access.

Quote originally published in Watch! Magazine, January-February 2020.

Montana Jordan, Young Sheldon

Actor Montana Jordan of TV show Young Sheldon giving two thumbs up.

Photo Credit: David Needleman.

"... to continue my fitness journey by working out and eating healthy. I also plan to act in many more episodes of Young Sheldon."

Watch all-new episodes of Young Sheldon on Thursdays at 8/7c on CBS and CBS All Access.

Quote originally published in Watch! Magazine, January-February 2020.

Jacqueline MacInnes Wood, The Bold and the Beautiful

Actress Jacqueline MacInnes Wood of soap The Bold and the Beautiful.

Photo Credit: Jill Johnson/jpistudios.com.

"Between my baby and career, I'm learning how to dance through the chaos of a busy life. My resolution is to carve time out of the bedlam to be of service and volunteer at more animal rescues."

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Quote originally published in Watch! Magazine, January-February 2020.

Ebonée Noel, FBI

Actress Ebon\u00e9e Noel of TV show FBI in a photo studio.

Photo Credit: David Needleman.

"... to Marie Kondo my email inbox."

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Quote originally published in Watch! Magazine, January-February 2020.

Iain Armitage, Young Sheldon

Actor Iain Armitage of TV show Young Sheldon in a photo studio.

Photo Credit: David Needleman.

"... to continue working hard towards getting my black belt in Tae Kwon Do, to see more theater, and to speak up respectfully about problems I see in the world."

Watch all-new episodes of Young Sheldon on Thursdays at 8/7c on CBS and CBS All Access.

Quote originally published in Watch! Magazine, January-February 2020.

Emily Wickersham turning up the heat. Wilmer Valderrama making a splash. Sean Murray loving Las Vegas.

The creative team at Watch! share their all-time favorite portraits of NCIS stars that we've captured over the years—like Emily Wickersham's smoldering gaze against a cozy fireplace backdrop.


A look back at some of the best photographs of NCIS stars.

Christopher Ross, the magazine's Director of Photography, spent the first day shooting NCIS' leading lady among the grapevines and woods of Sonoma County. The next day, rain greeted them before they were ready to wrap, but thankfully The Farmhouse Inn made the perfect rustic chic location for some breathtaking interior shots.

Scroll to see more stunning photographs of your favorite NCIS stars.

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Brian Dietzen dashing in London

Photography by Ian Derry. Originally published in Watch! Magazine, August 2015.

"As a fellow Brit, I love how Brian Dietzen fits right in while sauntering around the grand old streets of Kensington in London. I wonder if he stopped off for a quick pint and some bangers 'n mash once the shoot wrapped? I hope so!" — Alice Ross, Deputy Photo Editor

Wilmer Valderrama making a splash in Hawaii

Photography by Nino Muñoz. Originally published in Watch! Magazine, July-August 2017 .

"Who doesn't love an actor willing to get a little dirty (or wet in this case)? We were in Honolulu at The Kahala Hotel & Resort, and Wilmer Valderrama was in a full suit and jumped right in with the dolphins. I love watching Nino Muñoz work—his positive energy is contagious!" — Christopher Ross, Director of Photography

Emily Wickersham glowing in the California sunshine

Photography by Christopher Ross. Originally published in Watch! Magazine, August 2014.

"One of the last shots of of an all-day outdoor shoot in Sonoma County. We were losing light fast and the golden hour was cooling. I stood on top of the location van with a telephoto to get this shot. Emily Wickersham couldn't hear what i was saying so she just stared beautifully into my lens." — Christopher Ross, Director of Photography

Mark Harmon caught in a moment

Photography by Art Streiber. Originally published in Watch! Magazine, February 2009.

"This black and white portrait is such a commanding image where the control of light and shadow, mirror the attributes of the subject. Strength in displaying the two strengths of Mark Harmon; one side of his shirt smooth and neat and the other side with conveys the man's working toughness. And in his face, telling a story of a hero of the moment." — Ed Mann, Creative Director

Sean Murray betting on Las Vegas

Photography by Tom Corbett. Originally published in Watch! Magazine, July-August 2017.

"We started early that day at The Venetian, photographing Sean Murray throughout the property. This image was one of the last shots of the day. I have always loved the sense of comfort and energy that Sean brought to the moment. With fake money littering the set and a crew of ten crowded on either side, our star shows his poise, confidence, and sense of fun." — Ed Mann, Creative Director


Wilmer Valderrama sailing away

Photography by Nino Muñoz. Originally published in Watch! Magazine, July-August 2017 .

"A beautiful image of our fabulous Wilmer Valderrama riding the Pacific waters in Hawaii. I can't get enough of the simplicity of the vibrant orange and pale blue together. So dreamy and summery. We had torrential rain the following day, so luck really was on our side for this shoot!" — Alice Ross, Deputy Photo Editor


Brian Dietzen showing off two sides of his personality

Photography by Christopher Ross. Originally published in Watch! Magazine, December 2013.

"This was my very first photo shoot for Watch! and I have to thank Brian Dietzen for being so supportive. It was a simple concept of 'Good Brian/Bad Brian' and all shot on tripod, never moving the camera once it was in position.

This setup was captured in the The Jefferson hotel library where we secretly rearranged all the very neatly organized (rare) books on the side of 'Bad Brian' to echo his alter ego." — Christopher Ross, Director of Photography


Emily Wickersham looking oh-so-pretty in purple

Photography by Christopher Ross. Original published in Watch! Magazine, June 2015.

"I got to see Emily Wickersham again not too long after our Sonoma shoot—this time in Monaco. She was in town for the Monte-Carlo Television Festival.

We found a beautiful vine of Bougainvilleas covering the facade of a building just behind the casino. It was probably 100 degrees outside so we had to act fast. The result was a really fun color explosion." — Christopher Ross, Director of Photography


Rocky Carroll bringing the intensity

Photography by Cliff Lipson.

"What a kaleidoscope of tones, confidence, and a well-tailored subject. Rocky Carroll sets the bar in this striking black and white portrait. We love Rocky!" — Ed Mann, Creative Director

Sean Murray showing us the love

Photography by Tom Corbett. Original published in Watch! Magazine, July-August 2017.

"This was the first time Watch! traveled to Las Vegas for a photo shoot. LOVE this shot! Just a timeless image, great black suit and a bright red graphic sculpture with a positive message. And it worked well for us around Valentine's Day! " — Christopher Ross, Director of Photography


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We might be biased, but we think CBS has some of the best looking men on TV, and over the years Watch! has had the thrill of photographing many of them. Check out this collection of swoon-worthy images of the dapper dudes of television.

Shemar Moore of S.W.A.T. is a handsome hunk

Shemar Moore in a linen shirt

Photography by Kwaku Alston.

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Johnny Galecki, The Big Bang Theory

Johnny Galecki laughing with friends

Photography by Keiron O'Connor.

Kunal Nayyar, The Big Bang Theory

Kunal Nayyar looks deep into camera

Photography by Mark Mann

Simon Helberg, The Big Bang Theory

Simon Helberg looking dapper

Photography by Mark Mann

Donnie Wahlberg, Blue Bloods

Donnie Wahlberg of Blue Bloods

Photography by Patrick Demarchelier

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Will Estes, Blue Bloods

Will Estes of Blue Bloods carries a satchel

Photography by Cliff Lipson

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Tom Selleck, Blue Bloods

Tom Selleck from Blue Bloods

Photography by Patrick Demarchelier

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Christopher Jackson, Bull

Christopher Jackson in smoking jacket with pipe

Photography by David Needleman

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Michael Weatherly, Bull

Michael Weatherly with a motorcylce in the desert

Photography by Jeff Lipsky

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Adam Rodriguez, Criminal Minds

Adam Rodriguez in leather jacket

Photography by Michael Parmelee

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Matthew Gray Gubler, Criminal Minds

Matthew Gray Gubler on mountain top in a tuxedo with a helicopter

Photography by Christopher Ross

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Joe Mantegna, Criminal Minds

Joe Mantegna in a turtleneck

Photography by Cliff Lipson

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Jonny Lee Miller, Elementary

Jonny Lee Miller relaxing on some pillows

Photography by Mark Mann

Zeeko Zaki, FBI

Zeeko Zaki in leather trenchcoat

Photography by Dario Calmese

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Alex O'Loughlin, Hawaii Five-0

Alex O'Loughlin in a wheat field

Photography by Nino Muñoz

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Scott Caan, Hawaii Five-0

Scott Caan in black tee

Photography by Emily Shur

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Alan Cumming, Instinct

Alan Cumming in a wool longcoat on a stone rooftop

Photography by Mark Mann.

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Thomas Sadoski, Life in Pieces

Thomas Sadoski with a dog on a rustic deck

Photography by Christopher Ross.

Lucas Till, MacGyver

Lucas Till of MacGyver looks stoically at the camera

Photography by Kurt Iswarienko.


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Erich Bergen, Madam Secretary

Erich Bergen sings mightily on stage

Photography by Mark Doyle.

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Jay Hernandez, Magnum P.I.

Jay Hernandez of Magnum P.I. wears an orange jacket and sunglasses

Photography by Derek Blanks.

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Brian Dietzen, NCIS

Brian Dietzen of NCIS on a european-style sidewalk

Photography by Ian Derry.

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Sean Murray, NCIS

Sean Murray of NCIS stands in front of a fireplace

Photography by Tom Corbett.

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Wilmer Valderrama, NCIS

Wilmer Valderrama with a yellow flower lei

Photography by Nino Muñoz.

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Chris O'Donnell, NCIS: Los Angeles

Chris O'Donnell on a rocky beach

Photography by David Needleman.

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LL COOL J, NCIS: Los Angeles

LL COOL J wears a white suit poolside

Photography by Gilles-Marie Zimmermann.

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Eric Christian Olsen, NCIS: Los Angeles

Eric Christian Olsen wearing a vest and resting his arms on a wiffle bat

Photography by Adam Secore.

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Scott Bakula, NCIS: New Orleans

Scott Bakula of NCIS: New Orleans wearing suspenders

Photography by Randee St. Nicholas.

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Rocky Carroll, NCIS

Rocky Carroll stands backstage

Photography by Cliff Lipson.

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Mark Harmon, NCIS

Mark Harmon of NCIS

Photography by Art Streiber.

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Kenny Johnson, S.W.A.T.

Kenny Johnson in a SWAT locker room

Photography by Cliff Lipson.

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David Boreanaz, SEAL Team

David Boreanaz of SEAL Team poses next to a mirror

Photography by Cliff Lipson.

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Cedric The Entertainer, The Neighborhood

Cedric The Entertainer stretches out in a classic auto

Photography by Peggy Sirota.

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Ethan Peck, Star Trek: Discovery

Ethan Peck of Star Trek Discovery poses in a tight Izod shirt

Photography by Matthias Clamer.

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Paul Wesley, Tell Me A Story

Paul Wesley of Tell Me A Story wears a tuxedo and enjoys red wine

Photography by Cliff Lipson.

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James Wolk, Tell Me A Story

James Wolk of Tell Me A Story lounges with a martini

Photography by Andy Marx.

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Phil Keoghan, The Amazing Race

Phil Keoghan of The Amazing Race poses on a beach

Photography by Christopher Ross.

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Matt LeBlanc, Man With A Plan

Matt LeBlanc against a rainy window

Photography by Cliff Lipson.

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