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Andre Braugher, star of ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ and ‘Men of a Certain Age,’ dies at 61

Flowers on a casket. (Unsplash)

Andre Braugher, who captivated television audiences in the gritty crime drama “Homicide: Life on the Street” and cop comedy “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” among other standout roles, has died. He was 61.

The two-time Emmy winner died Monday after a brief illness, his publicist, Jennifer Allen, confirmed to the Los Angeles Times.

Braugher earned a permanent place on the honor roll of iconic TV detectives with his portrayal of the intense, no-nonsense Frank Pembleton on the groundbreaking series “Homicide: Life on the Street.” That role on the Baltimore-set drama, which ran from 1993 to 1999, earned him rave reviews and an Emmy Award for lead actor in a drama. He later added a second Emmy statuette for his rare turn as a baddie in the 2006 FX miniseries “Thief.”

Born July 1, 1962, in Chicago, Braugher kicked off a career largely defined by law enforcement roles playing Det. Winston Blake in a series of TV movies inspired by the popular 1970s series “Kojak” in 1989 and 1990, starring opposite Telly Savalas as a young colleague of the New York police officer.

Indeed, though he made a mark in films — from the Academy Award-winning “Glory” (1989), starring alongside Denzel Washington and Matthew Broderick as a Union corporal in the Civil War, to last year’s “She Said,” as New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet — it was on television that Braugher became a household name.

In addition to his work on “Homicide,” he appeared in series such as the ABC medical drama “Gideon’s Crossing,” lauded TNT dramedy “Men of a Certain Age” and, most recently, acclaimed legal procedural “The Good Fight.”

Speaking to the Los Angeles Times in 2014 about his portrayal of Capt. Ray Holt in “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” Braugher said he had no problem playing the straight man while his cast mates improvised.

“I’m the string, they’re the kites,” Braugher said. “I’m really a believer in the script. I don’t want to embarrass myself by jumping out here with professional comedians trying to catch up. They’re much too swift for me. The best I can do at this moment really is to ride the rapids and try to stay afloat.”


(Los Angeles Times staff writers Jeremy Childs and Greg Braxton and Deputy Editor Matt Brennan contributed to this report.)


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