'Shield' Actor Michael Jace Led Unassuming Life Before Arrest

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Actor Michael Jace is best known for the seven years he spent playing a conflicted police officer on the FX drama “The Shield.” But his two decades of steady work on television and film began with a small role in the film classic “Forrest Gump” and later included portraying basketball legend Michael Jordan in a television biopic.

Jace’s role on the critical darling “The Shield” was a supporting one, but it was pivotal because of the issues a Christian officer in denial that he was gay presented to the fictional Los Angeles precinct. On Tuesday, Jace’s bosses and co-workers on that drama told NBC News they did not want to comment about the shocking situation that landed the quiet and unassuming actor in jail.


Michael Jace as officer Julien Lowe in "The Shield."Prashant Gupta / 20th Century Fox Courtesy Everett Collection

Jace, 51, was arrested and charged with suspicion of homicide, after his neighbors reported the sounds of gunshots coming from his home and Los Angeles police found his wife, April, dead inside the house, a police spokesperson said. April Jace, 40, had been shot multiple times; Jace was being held in lieu of $1 million bail, police said.

Sources close to the investigation told NBC News that the couple was having financial problems but the nature of those troubles was not disclosed. Neighbors told police they heard arguing before the shots were fired but described the family as "loving" to KNBC.

According to 40-year-old April Jace’s Facebook page, the couple would have celebrated their 11th wedding anniversary next month, and they have two young sons. Police told NBC News that the sons were in the house during the time of the shooting.

April Jace had an older son, Savoy, from a previous relationship. Jace also has a 17-year-old son, Jordan, from his first marriage.

Since “The Shield” ended in 2008, Jace has worked steadily, guest-starring in other popular shows like “Burn Notice,” “The Mentalist,” and a four-episode-arc on “Southland” as the married lover of Regina King’s character. He’s also had a handful of small film roles, including playing an officer on “State of Play.”

Jace studied acting at the Classic Conservatory in New York and worked in regional theater until he moved to Los Angeles and landed the role of the leader of the Black Panthers in “Forrest Gump.” That led to roles in “Boogie Nights” in 1997 and “Planet of the Apes” in 2001.

Before he was hired for “The Shield,” which launched in 2002, he had small roles in other popular cop dramas, “L.A. Law” and “NYPD Blue.”