Andre Braugher obituary: Homicide: Life on the Street and Brooklyn Nine-Nine star dies aged 61

Andre Braugher, best known for his lauded roles as Detective Frank Pembleton in Homicide: Life on the Street and Captain Raymond Holt in Brooklyn Nine-Nine, has passed away at the age of 61.

The two-time Emmy winner died after a brief illness as confirmed by his publicist Jennifer Allen.

Born in Chicago, Braugher graduated from Stanford University before attending the Juilliard School’s Drama Division.

His on-screen acting debut came in 1989 when he played Corporal Thomas Searles, a civil war soldier in an all-black regiment in the acclaimed historical drama Glory. During that period, he took on the first of several roles in authority playing Detective Winston Black in multiple television films based on the hit crime series Kojak (1989-90).

After appearing in the likes of Murder in Mississippi (1990), Somebody Has to Shoot the Picture (1990) and The Court-Martial of Jackie Robinson (1990), Braugher then took on the key role of self-righteous and fiery Baltimore Detective Frank Pembleton in the gritty crime series Homicide: Life on the Street (1993-98).

Across 100 episodes and a television film (as well as a guest appearance in Law & Order), the character became an instant favourite with critics and audiences and later brought Braugher the first of two Emmy wins.

Having already earned the first of eleven Emmy nominations for his role as Benjamin O. Davis in the war mini-series The Tuskegee Airmen (1995), Braugher later popped up in films like Primal Fear (1996), Get on the Bus (1998), City of Angels (1998) and Frequency (2000).

On the television front, he then played the role of physician Dr. Ben Gideon in the medical series Gideon’s Crossing (2000-01) for which he was nominated for both an Emmy, and a Golden Globe. A few years later, he then scooped a second Emmy for his performance as seasoned thief Nick Atwater in the crime-based mini-series Thief (2006).

Braugher’s other notable television appearances during that period would include The Practice (2000), Soldier’s Girl (2003), Salem’s Lot (2004), The Jury (2004) and The Andromeda Strain 2008), as well as film roles in Poseidon (2006), The Mist (2007), Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007) and Salt (2010).

After earning two more Emmy nominations for his work as anxiety-ridden father Owen Thoreau Jr. in the comedic drama series Men of a Certain Age (2009-11), Braugher then enjoyed recurring parts in House M.D. (2009-12), Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (2011-15) and Last Resort (2012-13).

However, he soon won a new army of fans with his memorable supporting turn as the uptight Captain Raymond Holt in the hit FOX and NBC sitcom Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Across over 150 episodes between 2013 and 2021, the character was celebrated for his no-nonsense yet humane approach to life in Brooklyn’s fictional police precinct.

Unsurprisingly, Braugher’s performance earned him a further four Emmy nominations for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series.

Away from the Nine-Nine, he also provided the voice of Woodchuck Coodchuck-Berkowitz in multiple episodes of the Netflix animation Bojack Horseman (2017) and later made a recurring appearance as Ri’Chard Lane in the legal drama series The Good Fight (2022).

His last major role on the big-screen came as New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet in the BAFTA-nominated factual drama She Said (2022).

Braugher is survived by his wife Ami Brabson, and three children.

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