Andre Brugger, the Emmy Award-winning actor best known for playing stoic police officers in the TV series “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” and “Homicide: Life on the Street,” died Monday. He was 61 years old.
His death was confirmed Tuesday by his longtime publicist Jennifer Allen. Mr. Prager, who lived in New Jersey, died after a short illness, she said. She did not explain that.
Mr. Prager had a prominent role as an intense cop in “Homicide,” a crime series set in Baltimore in the 1990s that chronicled the frustrations of policing a city plagued by homicides. He spent the last years of his life playing another serious police officer on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, but in a very different register: the series was a sitcom, and he played his role as a police chief for laughs. he is too happened Approval For his portrayal of an openly gay policeman, he did not adhere to stereotypes.
In between, he showed his range by playing roles as diverse as Shakespeare’s Henry V, a car salesman named Owen Thoreau Jr. and a New York Times executive editor grappling with investigative reporting that would usher in the #MeToo era.
“I’ve worked with a lot of great actors,” said former Baltimore Sun journalist David Simon, who wrote the book on which “Homicide” was based years before creating the groundbreaking crime drama “The Wire.” He said in another On social media. “I will never work with someone better.”
Andre Keith Prager was born in Chicago on July 1, 1962, and grew up on the city’s West Side. His mother, Sally, worked for the United States Postal Service. His father, Floyd, was a heavy equipment operator in Illinois.
“We lived in a ghetto,” he told the New York Times in 2014. “I could pretend to be tough or tough and not square. I was done with not getting in trouble. I don’t consider myself particularly wise, but I will say that it’s pretty clear that some “People want to get out and people don’t. I wanted to get out.”
Mr. Prager attended St. Ignatius College Preparatory, a prestigious Catholic Jesuit high school in Chicago, and later received a scholarship to Stanford University. His father, who wanted him to become an engineer, was furious when he was drawn to acting instead.
He remembers his father telling him, “Show me black actors who are making a living.” “What the hell are you going to do, move around and travel across the country?”
After graduating from Stanford University with a major in mathematics, Mr. Prager earned a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Juilliard School.
One of his first acting roles was in “Glory,” a 1989 Academy Award-winning film about black soldiers fighting for the Union during the American Civil War. The film’s stars include Matthew Broderick, Morgan Freeman, and Denzel Washington.
“I would rather not work than do the part I’m ashamed of,” Mr. Prager told The Times that year. “I can tell you now that my mother will be proud of me when she sees me in this role.”
Mr. Braugher, who insisted on living in New Jersey even though he often worked in California, would go on to star in several other films. Highlights include “Ride the Bus” (1996), about a group of black men who travel to Washington to participate in the Million Man March, and “City of Angels” (1998), about an angel (Nicolas Cage) who falls in love. With Doctor Meg Ryan.
One of Mr. Brugger’s recent film projects was She Said (2022), a drama about the efforts of New York Times reporters to document sexual assault at the hands of movie mogul Harvey Weinstein. Mr. Prager played Dean Baquet, the newspaper’s executive editor at the time.
He also performed Shakespearean roles at the New York Shakespeare Festival and elsewhere. In 2014, he told The Times that he was saving the play “Pericles, Prince of Tyre” for later in life.
“I’ve never read it because I’d like to see one Shakespeare play and not know what’s going to happen,” he said.
Mr. Braugher is survived by his wife, the actress Ami Brabson, Ms. Allen said. His sons are Michael, Isaiah and John Wesley. His brother, Charles Jennings. And his mother. His father died in 2011.
His latest project, “The Residence,” a miniseries about a murder in the White House, was scheduled to resume filming in January after being shut down by the Writers Guild of America strike, entertainment website Deadline. mentioned.
Mr. Braugher is best known for his acting in popular television series, which includes the lead role of an unconventional doctor in the ABC drama series “Gideon’s Crossing” (2000-1) and the role of car salesman Owen Thoreau Jr. in the TNT series “Men.” “Of a Certain Age” (2009-11). He also starred in the sixth and final season of the Paramount+ legal drama “The Good Fight” (2017-22).
In “Homicide,” a police procedural that ran from 1993 to 1998, Mr. Braugher played Frank Pembleton, a Baltimore homicide detective. It was a breakout role that earned him an Emmy Award in 1998, along with Television Critics Association Awards in 1997 and 1998 for Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series.
In 2006, he won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Performance by a Lead Actor in a Miniseries for his starring role as a gang leader in “Thief,” an FX miniseries about crime in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.
On Brooklyn Nine-Nine, a comedy that aired from 2013 to 2021, Mr. Braugher played Captain Raymond Holt, the comically tough precinct commander. He received four Emmy Award nominations and won two Critics’ Choice Awards for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series.
After the first few episodes of Brooklyn Nine-Nine aired, he told the New York Times that he saw similarities between that show and Homicide.
“I don’t want to talk too much about this. You know what I’m saying, and you should challenge me on it,” he said. “But I think they’re both workplace comedies. In essence, it took 20 years to come full circle, but I think they’re in the same place.”
Rebecca Carballo Contributed to reports.
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