Andre Braugher dead at 61: Emmy-winning actor best known for stints on Homicide: Life On The Street and Brooklyn Nine-Nine passes away after ‘brief illness’


Actor Andre Braugher on Monday died at the age of 61 following a brief illness.

The Chicago-born actor was best known for his work on Homicide: Life on the Street, which he appeared on from 1993 to 1998, playing the role of Detective Frank Pembleton on 100 episodes.

He played Raymond Holt on 153 episodes of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, which he appeared on from 2013 to 2021.

He had won two Primetime Emmys in his career: in 2006 for his role of Nick Atwater in Thief in the category of lead actor in a miniseries or movie; and for his work on Homicide: Life on the Street in 1998 in the category of lead actor in a drama series.

In his career, Braugher was nominated for a total of 11 Emmys, including four for his work on for Brooklyn Nine-Nine; and other projects including Men of a Certain Age, Gideon’s Crossing and The Tuskegee Airmen. 

Actor Andre Braugher on Monday died at the age of 61 following a brief illness, Deadline reported. Pictured in 2022 in NYC

Actor Andre Braugher on Monday died at the age of 61 following a brief illness, Deadline reported. Pictured in 2022 in NYC

Braugher played Raymond Holt on 153 episodes of Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Braugher played Raymond Holt on 153 episodes of Brooklyn Nine-Nine

The actor is survived by his spouse of more than 30 years, Ami Brabson; their three sons Michael, Isaiah and John; his brother Charles Jennings and mother Sally Braugher.  

News of the actor’s passing was first published by Deadline, and also confirmed to Variety by his rep Jennifer Allen. 

Braugher was a graduate of Stanford University, and honed his acting skills studying at the The Juilliard School’s drama department.

His first motion picture appearance came in 1989’s Glory, which starred Morgan Freeman, Denzel Washington and Matthew Broderick. He portrayed Union solider Thomas Searles in the film by director Edward Zwick.

The following year, he also costarred with the late Telly Savalas in the TV film Kojak: It’s Always Somethings playing Detective Winston Blake. 

Other notable TV shows he appeared on during his career included Men of a Certain Age, Hack, Gideon’s Crossing, House, M.D. and The Good Fight. He also provided voice work on animated shows such as BoJack Horseman, Jackie Chan Adventures and Axe Cop. 

Braugher spoke to Variety in 2020 about his history playing law enforcement roles in a cover story following the fallout of the killing of George Floyd.

‘Cops breaking the law to quote, “Defend the law,” is a real terrible slippery slope,’ he said at the time. ‘It has given license to the breaking of law everywhere, justified it and excused it.

‘That’s something that we’re going to have to collectively address – all cop shows.’

The actor is survived by his spouse Ami Brabson (pictured); their three sons Michael, Isaiah and John; his brother Charles Jennings and mother Sally Braugher

The actor is survived by his spouse Ami Brabson (pictured); their three sons Michael, Isaiah and John; his brother Charles Jennings and mother Sally Braugher 

Braugher was pictured with Brooklyn Nine-Nine costars Terry Crews and Stephanie Beatriz in a 2014 episode of the series

Braugher was pictured with Brooklyn Nine-Nine costars Terry Crews and Stephanie Beatriz in a 2014 episode of the series 

He appeared on the popular police comedy from 2013 to 2021

He appeared on the popular police comedy from 2013 to 2021

Braugher was pictured alongside costar Andy Samberg on a 2019 episode of the show

Braugher was pictured alongside costar Andy Samberg on a 2019 episode of the show 

In the 2020 Variety interview, Braugher looked back on his career, saying that he chose spending time with his family over getting more involved in all aspects of TV and film production.

‘It’s been an interesting career, but I think it could have been larger,’ Braugher said. ‘I think it could have spanned more disciplines: directing, producing, all these other different things. But it would have been at the expense of my own life.’

‘I’ve got three boys, and I want them to know me as someone other than the guy who takes them to the circus every once in a while. I wanted to be there through the course of their life because I know how important fathers are.’

The actor was well remembered on social media in the wake of his passing, as a number of costars, colleagues and fans took to various platforms to share memories of Braugher and condolences for his family.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s Terry Crews said, ‘Can’t believe you’re gone so soon. I’m honored to have known you, laughed with you, worked with you and shared 8 glorious years watching your irreplaceable talent. This hurts. You left us too soon.’

Crews said Braugher taught him ‘so much’ and that he was ‘forever grateful for the experience of knowing’ him.

‘Thank you for your wisdom, your advice, your kindness and your friendship,’ Crews said. ‘Deepest condolences to your wife and family in this difficult time. You showed me what a life well lived looks like.’

He wrapped up in writing, ‘Rest In Peace, Andre. I love you, man.’

The actor was well remembered on social media in the wake of his passing, as a number of costars and colleagues, including Terry Crews, took to various platforms to share memories of Braugher and condolences for his family

The actor was well remembered on social media in the wake of his passing, as a number of costars and colleagues, including Terry Crews, took to various platforms to share memories of Braugher and condolences for his family

Actor Joe Lo Truglio hailed his late friend and colleague as a terrific family man.

‘So many wonderful stories will be told about Andre but for now, all my love goes to his wife Ami and his three boys, who he loved very much and flew back every weekend from the show to be with,’ Lo Truglio said. ‘We all know how powerful an actor he was, but even more, Andre knew exactly well his most important role and was deeply proud of it.

‘He spoke often about his sons, and knew how lucky he was to have Ami. I’m grateful to them for allowing us to share eight years with him.’

Lo Truglio said that Braugher ‘was committed and passionate about the things he loved,’ and was a spirited and talented singer, as well as actor.

‘What you probably don’t know is that Andre could sing too, and did often at lunch, belting bassy vocals from his dressing room to whatever new music he found,’ Lo Truglio said. ‘At first, it was odd because well…*it was Andre Braugher crooning at full volume from behind closed doors*…but then very quickly it made all the sense in the world because the man was so full of song and that’s why the world took notice.

He wrapped up in saying, ‘I miss him so much already. What an honor to work with a man who knew what it was really all about. I feel blessed and thankful. Miss you Capt Holt. Love, Porkchop.’

Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s Dirk Blocker described Braugher as ‘fiercely intelligent, remarkably kind, supportive, [and] generous,’ possessing ‘a deep and extraordinary talent, and [having] had even more to offer.’

Said Blocker: ‘I am devastated. I love him. The 9 years I was able to work with him and to just be in his presence was truly a blessing. My heartfelt condolences go out to his family.’

A number of others in the entertainment community chimed in with poignant tributes for Braugher

A number of others in the entertainment community chimed in with poignant tributes for Braugher

Fans flooded social media on Tuesday with excerpts from the actor's career and praise for his talent

Fans flooded social media on Tuesday with excerpts from the actor’s career and praise for his talent 

Chelsea Peretti, who played Gina Linetti on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, shared an image of Braugher on the set of the series holding a portrait of himself.

‘I will always cherish our conversations, often with me hanging in your doorway barring your exit, and the insane opportunity to be your sidekick,’ Peretti said. ‘Is it weird that I am also grieving for what Captain Holt meant to Gina? I really hoped and knew I would see you again. Hate that I won’t.’

Actress Kyra Sedgwick, who played Madeline Wuntch on the series, said that it was one of the highlights of her career working with Braugher. 

Actress Marcy Jarreau, who appeared on an episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine with Braugher, said that ‘it was an honor’ to work with the actor, adding, ‘Rest in peace to this brilliant soul.’

Actor Joel McKinnon Miller shared an image of Braugher on the set of the series.

He wrote: ‘An actor prepares… Sending love to Andre’s family and friends and all of us who had the honor of working with him. #brooklyn99.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine actor Marc Evan Jackson shared a shot of himself with Braugher, writing, ‘O Captain. My Captain.’



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