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Andre Braugher, ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ and ‘Homicide: Life on the Street' actor, dead at 61

The Emmy winner's two best-known roles were police officers.
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LOS ANGELES — "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" actor Andre Braugher has died after a brief illness, a representative said. He was 61.

Details about the illness were not available. Representative Jennifer Allen confirmed the news, saying Braugher died Monday.

His two best-known roles were police officers. Braugher won an Emmy for his depiction of police detective Frank Pembleton on the 1990s series “Homicide: Life on the Street.”

And he came to be known to a new generation of TV viewers in 2013 as a deadpan police captain on NBC's "Brooklyn Nine-Nine."

"Andre Braugher was the actor that others in the profession would always aspire to be," NBC Entertainment said in a statement late Tuesday. "In addition to his prowess as a dramatic actor, his comedy chops were also on full display as the determined and passionate Capt. Holt in ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine.’ We will miss him tremendously."

From left, Joe Lo Truglio, Andre Braugher and Andy Samberg in "Brooklyn Nine-Nine."
From left, Joe Lo Truglio, Andre Braugher and Andy Samberg in "Brooklyn Nine-Nine."John P. Fleenor / NBC

He was nominated for Emmy Awards 11 times and won twice, including for outstanding lead actor in a miniseries or a movie in 2006 for his role as Nick Atwater in the FX Network production “Thief.” His award for outstanding lead actor in a drama series came in 1998 for portraying Pembleton.

Braugher also had roles on "Law & Order: SVU" and other serious dramas and films, including "The Tuskegee Airmen." In 2000 and 2001, he portrayed Dr. Ben Gideon on the ABC drama "Gideon’s Crossing."

His decadeslong acting career stretched from “Glory” in 1989 to “Men of a Certain Age” in 2009-11 to the career-twist comedy of “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.”

On that show, he played Capt. Ray Holt, a sounding board for one-liners from the wisecracking Detective Jake Peralta, played by the show’s producer, comedian Andy Samberg.

The show went from Fox, where it started in 2013, to NBC in 2018, and it remained there until its last episode in 2021. NBC television and NBC News are both entities of NBCUniversal Media.

Homicide: Life on the Street
Andre Braugher in "Homicide: Life on the Street." Chris Haston / NBC

Braugher was from Chicago and went to Stanford University as an undergraduate before he earned a master's degree in fine arts from the Juilliard School, according to his Emmys biography.

He began his TV career as the sidekick to the character Kojak, played by the late Telly Savalas, in a number of made-for-television movies based on the New York City detective, the Emmys bio states.

Though it was his role as Pembleton that made Braugher a widely seen talent, he also worked onstage and even directed, debuting behind the camera in 1999 with one episode of the Showtime trilogy "Love Songs," according to the Emmys.

Braugher was also honored with Obie Awards for his New York City stage work in “Henry V” and “Whipping Man.”

According to IMDb, he is survived by his wife, Ami Brabson, also an actor on "Homicide: Life on the Street," and three sons.