CCH Pounder

Though she was a busy performer in a variety of film and television roles for decades, actress CCH Pounder finally found her defining role when she was cast as the morally upright Detective Claudette Wyms on the dark, gritty cop show, "The Shield" (FX, 2002-08). Prior to that role, Pounder spent her illustrious career playing quiet, yet tough-as-nails women usually in positions of authority, as she did in a recurring capacity on television shows like "L.A. Law" (NBC, 1986-1994) and "ER" (NBC, 1994-2009). But it was her seven years playing Wyms, whose determination to take down crooked cop Vic Mackey (Michael Chiklis) reaches near obsessive proportions that earned Pounder the long-sought recognition and respect she deserved. Though she continued to give sterling performances over the years, particularly as real life politician and activist Winnie Mandela in "Redemption: The Stan Tookie Williams Story" (FX, 2004), Pounder was forever connected to Wyms, the true role of a lifetime.