Andre Braugher, Emmy-winning actor who starred in ‘Homicide’ and ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine,’ dies at 61

Andre Braugher, Emmy-winning actor who starred in ‘Homicide’ and ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine,’ dies at 61

Andre Braugher, the Emmy-winning actor known for his role in the US comedy ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ and the gritty cop drama ‘Homicide, Life on the Streets,’ has died at the age of 61.

According to his publicist, Jennifer Allen, he died after a brief illness. No further details were given.

Braugher’s “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” co-star Terry Crews was among those paying tribute to him Monday night.

“Can’t believe you’re gone so soon,” Crews said on Instagram. I’m honoured to have known you, laughed with you, worked with you and shared 8 glorious years watching your irreplaceable talent. This hurts.”

Winning his first Emmy

The Chicago-born actor had his breakthrough role in 1989’s “Glory,” starring alongside Morgan Freeman and Denzel Washington, who won an Oscar for the film about an all-Black Army regiment during the the Civil War.

However, it was in the role of Detective Frank Pembleton, the lead role on “Homicide: Life on the Street,” a dark police drama based on a book by David Simon, where he became a recognised star.

The show, which focused on the homicide unit of the Baltimore Police Department, ran for seven seasons on NBC, and would win critical acclaim with Braugher as its dramatic centre and breakout star.

He won his first career Emmy for the role, taking the trophy for lead actor in a drama series in 1998.

He feared he would be typecast after spending most of the 1990s as the brooding detective.

“If I do it too long then I’ll stop really searching and probing inside my own work,″ he told the AP in 1998. ”That’s just a great danger. I think I’m going to escape that trap, and get an opportunity to do some work that will be more challenging for me.”

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Gritty drama to light-hearted comedy

Braugher’s concerns of being typecast did not prove to be a problem.

He went on to play a very different kind of cop on a very different kind of show, shifting to comedy as Capt. Ray Holt on the beloved Andy Samberg-starring “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.”

It would run for eight seasons from 2013 to 2021 on Fox and NBC.

Though he’d dipped his toe into comedy in the TNT dramedy “Men of a Certain Age,” “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” still represented a major shift for Braugher.

“I just felt as though it was an opportunity to do something strikingly different from the rest of my career,” Braugher told the AP in 2019.

“I like it because it just simply opens up my mind and forces me to think in a different way. So I think I’ve become much more sort of supple as an actor, and more open to the incredible number of possibilities of how to play a scene.”

He would be nominated for four Emmys during the run.

Braugher won his second Emmy for lead actor in a miniseries or movie for the 2006 limited series “Thief” on FX. Braugher would be nominated for 11 Emmys overall.

He also acted frequently on the stage, often doing Shakespeare. He won an Obie Award for playing the title role in “Henry V” at the New York Shakespeare Festival, where he also appeared in “Measure for Measure,” “Twelfth Night” and “As You Like It.”

Braugher most recently starred in “She Said,” the 2022 film about the New York Times journalists who broke the story of Harvey Weinstein’s years of sexually abusing women. Braugher played Times editor Dean Baquet.

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