‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ Star Andre Braugher Dead at 61

‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ Star Andre Braugher Dead at 61
Andre Braugher Dead at 61

Introduction

Andre Braugher, the Emmy-winning actor who starred in TV shows such as ‘Homicide: Life on the Street’ and ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’, died on Monday at the age of 61. Braugher’s publicist Jennifer Allen confirmed the news of his death to Variety, saying that he passed away after a brief illness. No further details were given.

Braugher was best known for his roles as Detective Frank Pembleton in the police drama series ‘Homicide: Life on the Street’ (1993–1999) and Captain Raymond Holt in the police comedy series ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ (2013–2021). For his television work, Braugher received two Primetime Emmy Awards from 11 nominations, as well as two Golden Globe Award nominations. He also had supporting roles in films such as ‘Glory’ (1989), ‘Primal Fear’ (1996), ‘City of Angels’ (1998), ‘Frequency’ (2000), ‘Duets’ (2000), ‘Poseidon’ (2006), ‘The Mist’ (2007), ‘Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer’ (2007), ‘Salt’ (2010), ‘The Gambler’ (2014), and ‘She Said’ (2022).

Braugher was praised for his range and versatility as an actor, as well as his ability to bring humor and depth to his characters. He was also regarded as a trailblazer for the representation and empowerment of black actors and artists in the entertainment industry.

Breakthrough and acclaim

Breakthrough and acclaim

Braugher’s acting career began with his first film role in ‘Glory’ (1989), a historical drama about the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment, the first all-black volunteer company in the American Civil War. Braugher played Thomas Searles, a free black man and a childhood friend of the regiment’s white commander, Robert Gould Shaw (played by Matthew Broderick). Braugher’s performance was praised for its dignity and intelligence, as he portrayed a character who struggled with racism, violence, and self-doubt.

Braugher’s breakthrough role came in 1993, when he was cast as Detective Frank Pembleton in the NBC series ‘Homicide: Life on the Street’, based on the book by David Simon. Pembleton was a brilliant, intense, and sometimes arrogant homicide detective, who often clashed with his colleagues and suspects. Braugher’s portrayal of Pembleton was widely acclaimed for its complexity and charisma, as he brought nuance and depth to a character who could have been easily stereotyped. Braugher also showed his range and versatility, as he handled both dramatic and comedic scenes with ease.

For his work on ‘Homicide’, Braugher received numerous awards and nominations, including a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series in 1998, making him the first black actor to win in that category. He also won two Television Critics Association awards for Individual Achievement in Drama in 1996 and 1998, and was nominated for two Golden Globe Awards for Best Actor in a Television Series Drama in 1997 and 1998. Braugher left the show in 1998, after six seasons, but returned for the 2000 TV movie ‘Homicide: The Movie’, which served as the series finale.

Legacy and impact

Legacy and impact

Braugher’s death has left a huge void in the entertainment industry and the hearts of his fans. His co-stars, colleagues, and admirers have expressed their shock and sorrow over his passing, and paid tribute to his talent, generosity, and kindness.

Terry Crews, who played Sergeant Terry Jeffords in Brooklyn Nine-Nine, tweeted: “I am heartbroken and devastated by the loss of my friend and brother Andre Braugher. He was a mentor, a leader, and a true gentleman. He made me a better actor and a better person. I will miss him terribly. Rest in power, Captain.”

Joe Lo Truglio, who played Detective Charles Boyle in Brooklyn Nine-Nine, wrote on Instagram: “Andre Braugher was the most generous, gracious, and funny co-star I ever had the privilege of working with. He was always supportive, always encouraging, always hilarious. He was a legend and a joy. I can’t believe he’s gone. I love you, Andre.” 

Joel McKinnon Miller, who played Detective Norm Scully in Brooklyn Nine-Nine, posted on Facebook: “Andre Braugher was a rare and wonderful human being. He was a master of his craft, a leader of our cast, and a friend to all. He was always there for me, with a smile, a hug, and a joke. He was the best. I’m so grateful for the time we had together. Andre, you are irreplaceable.” 

David Simon, the creator of Homicide: Life on the Street, shared his thoughts on Twitter: “Andre Braugher was one of the finest actors I ever worked with. He brought such depth, intelligence, and humanity to his roles. He elevated every scene he was in, every story he told, every character he played. He was a force of nature and a gentle soul. I’m honored to have known him.” 

Matthew Broderick, who co-starred with Braugher in Glory, spoke to Variety: “Andre Braugher was a brilliant and brave actor. He was my first friend in Hollywood, and he taught me so much about acting and life. He was a loyal, compassionate, and generous man. He was a hero to me, and to many others. I’m deeply saddened by his death.” 

Braugher’s fans also took to social media to express their grief and appreciation for his work. Many praised his portrayal of Captain Holt, a gay Black police chief who defied stereotypes and inspired many LGBT+ viewers. Others celebrated his diverse and memorable roles in various genres and mediums, such as Owen Thoreau Jr. in Men of a Certain Age, General Hager in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, and the voice of Woodchuck Coodchuck-Berkowitz in BoJack Horseman

Braugher’s legacy and impact will live on through his performances, his awards, and his fans. He was a trailblazer for the representation and empowerment of black actors and artists in the entertainment industry. He was also a beloved and respected figure who touched many lives with his humor and grace.

As he once said in an interview with The Guardian: “I love acting. I love the challenge of creating a character, of telling a story, of making people laugh, cry, think, feel. I love the magic of theatre, the power of cinema, the joy of television. I love being part of something bigger than myself, something that can make a difference in the world. I love what I do, and I hope to do it for as long as I can.”

Summary

  • Braugher died on December 11, 2023, at the age of 61, after a brief illness. His publicist Jennifer Allen confirmed the news to Variety
  • Braugher was best known for his roles as Detective Frank Pembleton in the police drama series ‘Homicide: Life on the Street’ (1993–1999) and Captain Raymond Holt in the police comedy series ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ (2013–2021). He also had supporting roles in films such as ‘Glory’ (1989), ‘Primal Fear’ (1996), and ‘Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer’ (2007).
  • Braugher received two Primetime Emmy Awards from 11 nominations, as well as two Golden Globe Award nominations. He was praised for his range and versatility as an actor, as well as his ability to bring humor and depth to his characters.
  • Braugher was also regarded as a trailblazer for the representation and empowerment of black actors and artists in the entertainment industry. He was a beloved and respected figure who touched many lives with his humor and grace.
  • Braugher’s co-stars, colleagues, and fans expressed their shock and sorrow over his passing, and paid tribute to his talent, generosity, and kindness. He was survived by his wife Ami Brabson and their three sons

Written by Vikram

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