‘Homicide’ Actor Andre Braugher, Who Played Cops With Humility, Dead At 61

Andre Braugher
Source: Brooklyn Nine-Nine YouTube

The Hollywood star Andre Braugher, who was best known for his work playing police officers on television shows like “Homicide: Life On The Street” and “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” died on Monday at the age of 61.

Braugher’s Life And Career

Braugher’s death was confirmed to Variety by his publicist, who said that he died after a “brief illness.”

Born in Chicago in 1962, Braugher graduated from Stanford University before attending Juilliard School to study drama. He made his big screen debut in the 1989 Denzel Washington movie Glory, with Braugher portraying the Union soldier Thomas Searles, a free Black man who joins the first Black regiment. From there, he went on to play Kojak’s sidekick in the television movie revival of “Kojak.”

Braugher’s big break, however, came when he was cast as Detective Frank Pembleton on NBC’s “Homicide: Life On The Street” in 1993. He starred on the series until 1998, when Braugher won the lead actor Emmy for his work on the gripping police drama series.

“Homicide” showrunner Tom Fontana said in 2014 that the show had originally began “as an ensemble piece. And it became The Andre Braugher Show. All the writers wanted to write for him because he was great and because they wanted to see if they could screw him up, throw him off his game.”

“He could say so much with his eyes,” Fontana added, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “We’d write these incredibly glorious speeches for him, and then you would see him just look at someone, and we’d sometimes go: ‘Drop the monologue. He’s already sold it.’”

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Braugher’s Later Years

Braugher continued acting consistently after leaving “Homicide” in 1998, taking home a second Emmy for his work in the 2006 FX miniseries “Heist.” It wasn’t until 2013, however, that he returned to mainstream television success with another hit police show, this time playing the uptight Captain Raymond Holt on the police procedural comedy series “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” from 2013 until 2021. 

“Brooklyn Nine-Nine” introduced Braugher to a whole new generation of fans, and it showed that he was just as capable of being a comedic actor as he had always been in dramas. The show brought Braugher four more Emmy nominations, this time for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series, with the most recent nod coming in 2020.

“Brooklyn Nine-Nine” ended the next year, but Braugher continued acting right up until his death, with IMDB saying he has two projects that are yet be released.

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Braugher Was A Family Man

Braugher is survived by his wife Ami Brabson, who played his wife on “Homicide,” and their three sons. A few years before his death, Braugher told reporters that he’d always prioritized time with his family over pursuing bigger roles that could have made him an A-list Hollywood star.

“I’ve got three boys, and I want them to know me as someone other than the guy who takes them to the circus every once in a while,” he said in 2020, according to US Weekly. “I wanted to be there through the course of their life because I know how important fathers are.”

“It’s been an interesting career, but I think it could have been larger,” he added. “I think it could have spanned more disciplines: directing, producing, all these other different things. But it would have been at the expense of my own life.”

Please join us in saying a prayer for Braugher’s family and friends during this tragic time.

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