“Brooklyn Nine-Nine Actor Andre Braugher Dead at 61”

Andre Braugher, known for his roles in “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” and “Homicide: Life on the Street,” has passed away at the age of 61 after a brief illness.

The 99th Precinct bids farewell to Andre Braugher.

The actor, famous for his portrayal of Captain Raymond Holt on “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” from 2013 to 2021, passed away on December 11 due to a short-term illness, confirmed by his representative to E! News. He was 61.

Details surrounding the cause of his death have not been disclosed.

His colleagues joined in mourning the loss, with Terry Crews expressing on Instagram on December 12, “Can’t believe you’re gone so soon. I’m honored to have known you, laughed with you, worked with you and shared 8 glorious years watching your irreplaceable talent. This hurts. You left us too soon.”

Born in Chicago, Braugher studied at Juilliard before entering Hollywood during a time when roles for African American actors were scarce, as he mentioned in an interview with the Associated Press in 2019.

He gained recognition for his breakout role in the 1989 film “Glory,” starring alongside Morgan Freeman and Denzel Washington. However, it was four years later that he achieved fame playing detective Frank Pembleton in “Homicide: Life on the Street.” Apart from winning an Emmy for the role, “Homicide” held a special place in his heart as he acted alongside his wife Ami Brabson, whom he married in 1991.

Transitioning from crime dramas to comedy, Braugher’s portrayal as the stern police captain on “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” might have seemed seamless nearly two decades later. Nonetheless, the actor admitted feeling anxious about returning to a uniform and entering the realm of comedy.

“Everything’s new. I’d never done it before. Am I any good?” Braugher recounted his thoughts to Variety in 2020. “I remember turning to my wife and asking her, ‘Is this funny?’ And she said, ‘Yes, of course, you’re not being deceived.’ But I kept looking at it, saying to myself, is this good? I couldn’t really judge.”

Despite his apprehensions, his co-star Andy Samberg noted Braugher’s innate comedic abilities suited for the role of the serious police captain.

“He has gotten even better as the seasons have gone on,” Samberg told Variety. “And very often when he’s concerned that a joke is sacrificing the greater good, his instincts are correct.”

Having portrayed law enforcement characters for years, Braugher reflected on society’s perception of police, particularly after the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor in 2020.

“I look up after all these decades of playing these characters,” he said, “I, too, have fallen prey to the mythology that’s been built up… It’s almost like the air you breathe or the water that you swim in. It’s hard to see.”

He believed that public perceptions about law enforcement were influenced by the numerous police procedural shows on television, stating, “That’s something that we’re going to have to collectively address—all cop shows.”

When he shed the badge at the end of each day on set, Braugher assumed his role as a father to three adult sons with Brabson, describing her as “like-minded” due to their similar upbringing.

“We share the same values,” the “City of Angels” star explained. “She knows me like the back of her hand, and I’m grateful for that.”

Although he prioritized family time over career advancement, Braugher managed to star in films such as “Frequency” (2000) and “The Mist” (2007), and the 2006 TV miniseries “Thief,” which earned him another Emmy and a Golden Globe nomination. More recently, Braugher appeared in the film “She Said”—focused on the #MeToo movement—and the CBS show “The Good Fight” alongside Christine Baranski and Audra McDonald in 2022.

“It’s been an interesting career, but I think it could have been larger,” he shared. “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.”