Actor Andre Braugher has died at 61 years old. His passing was confirmed by his longtime publicist Jennifer Allen, with a cause of death described as “a brief illness.” He brought the comedic stylings of Captain Ray Holt to American television via “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” for eight seasons. The beloved character further catapulted Braugher’s dramatic career into the world of comedy. Born and raised in Chicago, the actor earned a B.A. from Stanford University and a graduate diploma from Juilliard.
Among Braugher’s other successful projects were “City of Angels” and “Homicide: Life On The Street.” The late actor won a primetime Emmy for outstanding lead actor in a drama series for his role in the latter. Other hit films included “Glory”, Spike Lee’s “Get On The Bus” and “Primal Fear.” After the 2013 debut of “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”, the actor told “The Today Show” in 2015 that he looked forward to delving into the comedy genre more.
“I felt I needed to grow as an artist,” he said. “I feel like my mind is expanding, my capability as an actor. My ability to mine the comedy is really rising up.” Braugher was known for his humorously deadpan delivery as the stoic yet soft Captain Holt, a gay character that broke a number of stereotypes. He received four Emmy nominations for his supporting role on “Nine-Nine.”
A number of the late Braugher’s former costars and collaborators are mourning his sudden passing. His “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” costar Terry Crews shared a heartfelt message about their time on the hit comedy show together, and what Braugher taught him about life.
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Comedian Joe Lo Truglio pointed out in his tribute that the actor brought just as much joy behind-the-scenes as he did onscreen. “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.”
Mark Evan Jackson shared a photo with his late costar, captioned simply “O Captain, My Captain.”
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Fans continue to mourn Braugher’s innovative take on comedy. His Shakespearan background allowed for him to master intricate dialogue in a manner so serious it became absurdly funny.
Get yourself a renowned Shakespearean actor for your ludicrously silly comedy, and you get scenes like this peppered in amongst the goofing and slapstick – ‘gravitas’ doesn’t even come close to describing Andre Braugher’s mastery of big speeches pic.twitter.com/0lu5niVrR6
— Greg Jenner (@greg_jenner) December 13, 2023
Others had hoped he would soon guest star on Quinta Brunson’s “Abbot Elementary,” as his comedic timing would have been a perfect fit.
I’m so sad Andre Braugher won’t ever guest star on Abbott Elementary as a retired Shakespearean college professor who thought subbing for 2nd grade would be easy and gets the surprise of his life pic.twitter.com/HSuhJiuPd0
— 📚Lydia M. Sigwarth📚 (@LibraryLydia) December 13, 2023
Braugher is survived by his wife, actress Ami Brabson, sons Michael, Isaiah and John Wesley, brother Charles Jennings and his mother Sally Braugher.