Andre Braugher, Emmy-winning Brooklyn Nine-Nine actor, dies aged 61

Co-stars pay tribute on social media

Andre Braugher died on Monday after a brief illness, his publicist revealed. AP Photo
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Andre Braugher, the actor best known for playing Raymond Holt in the comedy series Brooklyn Nine-Nine, has died at the age of 61.

According to his publicist Jennifer Allen, Braugher passed away after a brief illness. No further details have been given.

The Chicago-born actor established his career with the role of Detective Frank Pembleton in Homicide: Life on the Street, a police drama that premiered in 1993. The show, based on a book by David Simon, focused on the homicide unit of the Baltimore Police Department. It ran until 1999 with seven seasons on NBC, and won critical acclaim with Braugher as its dramatic central and breakout star.

Braugher won his first Emmy for the role, taking the trophy for lead actor in a drama series in 1998. He worked on the series alongside his wife, Ami Brabson, who played his wife Mary Pembleton on the small screen. The couple married in 1991.

He is also survived by sons Michael, Isaiah and John Wesley, his brother Charles Jennings and his mother Sally Braugher.

After Homicide: Life on the Street, Braugher had a number of TV and film roles, including Frequency, Men of a Certain Age and City of Angels. However, in 2013, he returned to a fictional police department, this time with a comedy role in Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

The show, which also starred Andy Samberg, Terry Crews and Stephanie Beatriz, ran for eight seasons from 2013 to 2021 on Fox and NBC.

“I just felt as though it was an opportunity to do something strikingly different from the rest of my career,” Braugher told AP in 2019. “I like it because it just simply opens up my mind and forces me to think in a different way. So I think I’ve become much more sort of supple as an actor, and more open to the incredible number of possibilities of how to play a scene."

He was nominated for four Emmys during the run.

Braugher's co-star Crews was among those paying tribute to him Monday night.

“Can’t believe you’re gone so soon,” Crews said on Instagram. "I’m honoured to have known you, laughed with you, worked with you and shared 8 glorious years watching your irreplaceable talent. This hurts."

He added: “You showed me what a life well-lived looked like.”

Braugher most recently starred in She Said, the 2022 film about the New York Times journalists who broke the story of Harvey Weinstein's years of sexually abusing women. Braugher played Times editor Dean Baquet.

Born and raised in Chicago, Braugher graduated from Stanford and got a master of fine arts degree from Juilliard.

He had his breakthrough role in 1989’s Glory, starring alongside Morgan Freeman and Denzel Washington, who won an Oscar for the film about an all-black army regiment during the the Civil War. Braugher played the bookish, frightened union corporal Thomas Searles in the film.

Braugher won his second Emmy for lead actor in a miniseries or movie for the 2006 limited series Thief on FX. The actor was nominated for a total of 11 Emmys.

He also acted frequently on stage, often doing Shakespeare plays. He won an Obie Award for playing the title role in Henry V at the New York Shakespeare Festival, where he also appeared in Measure for Measure, Twelfth Night and As You Like It.

– Agencies contributed to this report

Updated: December 13, 2023, 10:48 AM