HomeOtherAndre Braugher, ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ and ‘Homicide: Life on the Street’ Star, Dies at 61

Andre Braugher, ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ and ‘Homicide: Life on the Street’ Star, Dies at 61

By Michaela Zee, Pat Saperstein

Andre Braugher, the acclaimed actor who earned two Emmy Awards for his roles in “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” and “Homicide: Life on the Street,” passed away at the age of 61 on Monday, following a brief illness. This sad news was confirmed by Braugher’s publicist, Jennifer Allen, to Variety.

A Legacy in Television

Braugher gained widespread recognition for his portrayal of the upright Captain Raymond Holt in the police procedural comedy series “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” from 2013 to 2021. His character, known for a stoic and no-nonsense demeanor coupled with a profound sense of humanity, quickly became a fan favorite, particularly in scenes alongside Andy Samberg’s hotshot Detective Jake Peralta.

Emmy-Winning Performances

In 1998, Braugher secured a lead actor Emmy for his role as Detective Frank Pembleton in NBC’s “Homicide: Life on the Street,” marking his final year on the series. His compelling performance elevated him as one of the standout stars from the critically acclaimed police drama, created by Barry Levinson, Tom Fontana, and David Simon.

The actor also claimed another Emmy for a miniseries or movie due to his exceptional portrayal of a master criminal in FX’s 2006 series, “Thief.

Challenging Police Roles

Braugher engaged with the complex legacy of portraying police officers in a 2020 Variety cover story. He addressed concerns about the portrayal of law enforcement in media, stating, “Cops breaking the law to quote, ‘defend the law,’ is a real terrible slippery slope. It has given license to the breaking of law everywhere, justified it and excused it.” The actor advocated for a collective reevaluation of the portrayal of law enforcement in television, including all cop shows.

Versatile Career and Recognition

Born in Chicago, Braugher graduated from Stanford University and later attended the Juilliard School in the drama division. His diverse career included roles such as a Union soldier in “Glory,” Detective in “Hack” from 2002 to 2004, and a psychiatrist on “House, M.D.” He received Primetime Emmy nominations for supporting actor in “Men of a Certain Age.”

Beyond television, Braugher left his mark on feature films, contributing to productions like “City of Angels,” “Frequency,” “Poseidon,” “Primal Fear,” “Duets,” “The Mist,” “Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer,” “Salt,” and “The Gambler.

Personal Priorities

Despite a successful career, Braugher prioritized his family over pursuing prominent lead roles. In an interview with Variety, he mentioned, “It’s been an interesting career, but I think it could have been larger. 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.”

Survived by Family

Andre Braugher is survived by his wife, Ami Brabson, who also appeared in “Homicide: Life on the Street,” and their three children. The actor’s legacy is not only marked by his outstanding contributions to television and film but also by the profound impact he had on those who admired his work.

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