Even if you don’t know the name D’Wayne Swear or any of the man’s numerous accomplishments, you’re probably aware of one way he’s impacted television in recent years. With a past in Louisiana law enforcement and the real-life NCIS, Swear played a big role in making the high-rated CBS drama NCIS: New Orleans as accurate as possible, and he is an inspiration for Scott Bakula’s lead character Dwayne Pride, down to the first name. Sadly, Swear has passed away at the age of 60.
A native of Gretna, Louisiana, D’Wayne Swear passed away on Monday, March 5, at his home in Gulfport, Mississippi. He’d apparently been dealing with a battle with cancer, according to Deadline, and it was sadly a battle he eventually lost. Swear is survived by his wife, Susan Swear, and three children, among other family members.
Notably, NCIS: New Orleans will honor D’Wayne Swear with an In Memoriam card to give thanks for his years of work as the show’s technical advisor. That particular episode will air on Tuesday, March 13.
Below is a statement from star Scott Bakula, who has quite a few lovely things to say about D’Wayne Swear.
D’Wayne led with a grin, a hug and a joke. He was the heart and soul of our show. The greatest ambassador for the city of New Orleans and a shining beacon for good cops everywhere. His life was devoted to service — to his family, to NCIS, to law enforcement, to everyman — no matter his or her station in life. He was a legend. Everywhere we went law enforcement officers sought him out to shake his hand and relive old times. I was proud to know him and humbled to portray a character based on his honorable life.
Back in 1977, D’Wayne Swear kicked off his law enforcement career with the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, serving as a helicopter pilot and a Patrol Sergeant. Years later, in 1985, he joined the NIS (Naval Investigative Service), which predated the official NCIS title change. Having served in the New Orleans office, among others, Swear also worked a handful of other federal posts over the years and around the globe. He retired in 2010.
Living in Gulfport and offering some assistance to the local police departments, D’Wayne Swear later found himself talking to the late Gary Glasberg, who was a showrunner with NCIS before creating the NOLA-based spinoff. That led to him working as the show’s Technical Advisor, and the information and professional opinions he provided were more than enough to give Scott Bakula’s character an apostrophe-free version of Swear’s first name.
CinemaBlend sends our thoughts and condolences to D’Wayne Swear’s friends and family in their time of mourning.