How this 'NCIS' actor's role mirrored real life

Posted May 10, 2018 5:07 a.m. EDT

— "NCIS" fans said goodbye to two popular characters this week: goth forensic scientist Abby Sciuto and MI-6 agent Clayton Reeves.

Abby's departure after a 15-season run was planned, but Clayton's exit in a body bag was an unexpected plot twist that got lost in the hype of actress Pauley Perrette leaving the long-running crime drama.

Fans were stunned to see Clayton's lifeless body on a gurney minutes into Tuesday night's show after he was shot protecting Abby during a robbery. To honor Clayton for saving her life, Abby decided to start a charity that he had planned for his late mother.

Turns out the character of Clayton mirrors the life of the actor who has played him for two years, Duane Henry.

In a tweet after the show aired, the UK native paid tribute to his co-stars, saying they gave him a family after he found himself across the pond with no relatives.

Like Clayton, the actor said he had once been homeless before snagging the role on "NCIS."

"NCIS will always have emotional attachment to me for the rest of my life, not only being homeless before this show and it changing my family's life and showing people dreams do come true," Henry tweeted.

Losing loved ones

Henry said that he's lost loved ones in recent years and that being a part of the show helped in his healing.

"I don't know how I would have dealt with these losses without coming to work, putting on a suit and playing Clayton Reeves," he said.

Henry joined the show in 2016 for a few episodes but soon won fans' hearts with his quick wit, sharp dark suits and British accent.

He thanked fans after the final episode, saying how difficult it was to leave "NCIS."

"It is one of the toughest things I've ever had to deal with, not only saying goodbye to playing Clayton Reeves with a great cast and incredible crew and to most of all you guys ... who made me feel like your family," he tweeted.

The show marked the first US television gig for the actor from Birmingham, England. He also has appeared in "The Dark Knight Rises" and on "Doctor Who."

"NCIS" premiered in 2003 as a spinoff of "JAG," the popular Navy legal drama. Based on the real-life Naval Criminal Investigative Service, it stars Mark Harmon as Jethro Gibbs, who leads an elite group of investigators.

It climbed steadily in the ratings and marked its 300th episode two years ago.