Andre Braugher has passed away at the age of 61 after a brief illness

Andre Braugher has passed away at the age of 61. It is a complete shock – Braugher seemed larger than life, an incredible acting talent with one of the best voices on the screen. Braugher’s longtime publicist told the media that Braugher passed away after “a brief illness.” He is survived by his wife and three sons.

Braugher graduated from Stanford and Julliard, and he easily moved from television, film and the stage, appearing in multiple productions of Shakespeare in the Park, winning an Emmy for his TV work, and appearing in dozens of films. He’s best known for playing cops in his two biggest television roles – a serious role in Homicide: Life on the Street, and the captain in the comedy Brooklyn Nine-Nine, where he played against type and ended up the most beloved character.

This is such a loss for his family and friends and for the entire entertainment community. Braugher had a lot of friends and colleagues who adored him. He will be tremendously missed.

Photos courtesy of Backgrid, Avalon Red, Cover Images.

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83 Responses to “Andre Braugher has passed away at the age of 61 after a brief illness”

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  1. Lala11_7 says:

    My generation don’t seem to be making it to 65😪

    • Chica says:

      All the actors from shows that got me through grad school. lance Reddick now Andre.

      Homicide Life on Street with him and Belzer never missed.

      • Chantal1 says:

        @Lala11_7 I was thinking the same thing!

      • BeanieBean says:

        That was such a great show! I still remember that gut-wrenching scene where Andre’s character is holding the hand of a man who’d been run over by a train (subway train?), talking to him, keeping him calm, but knowing full well his minutes were numbered. Could not sleep that night.

        In a very different role, he was absolutely wonderful on the TV show ‘Men of a Certain Age’ with Ray Romano and Scott Bakula. Fully grown man still dominated by his father.

      • antipodean says:

        @Chica, his Frank Pembleton was so masterful, and I will always remember his character’s assessment of the Jesuits who educated him. His loss is like a dagger in the heart. He was so young, and somehow I always thought he would be there, sharing his amazing talent with the world. His wife is a great actress as well, his family will be bereft. “Let flights of angels sing thee to thy rest”.
        Also, BeanieBean, the character whose hand he held was played brilliantly by Vincent D’Onofrio. I watched every episode of Homicide< life on the Streets at least twice. All the actors were so good, and it was wonderfully written.

      • manta says:

        The loss of Belzer and Reddick hit me hard. This one too. Homicide life on the street like Oz were really turning points for TV. And Frank Pembleton was such an iconic character.

    • MoxyLady007 says:

      Omg. This is achingly awful.

      His Captain Holt got me through some of my toughest times. When I thought I might never laugh again, his deadpan delivery made me shout with surprised laughter. He was a tremendous talent.

      His poor family. He seems like he was a man dedicated to the people in his life. What a horrific loss this is for them.

    • Neo says:

      I have to agree. I’m now 66 and getting kind of worried. I don’t think I’ll live nearly as long as my mom did.

  2. Tate says:

    My daughter texted me from college last night when she heard of his passing. We shared many laughs binge watching Nine-Nine. What a huge talent gone too soon.

  3. Maxine Branch says:

    Sad to read. A great actor. Condolences to his family.

  4. Josephine says:

    This really, really is awful. So young. He had such a commanding presence and your eyes just went to him in every role he played. Incredibly sad.

  5. Becks1 says:

    A huge loss. He was such a great talent.

  6. EllenOlenska says:

    Genius actor…I loved him in Glory and all the way thru to Brooklyn 99. He was slated to be in Shonda Times newest show…I hope we will get to see that performance (some was already filmed)

  7. ThatsNotOkay says:

    I hate this year.

    Homicide: Life on the Street is one of the greatest shows ever, and he was a main reason for that. He’s never made a wrong move acting-wise and, it appears, personally. Only the good die young, apparently. And I’m sick of it. RIP, beautiful Andre.

    • H says:

      I was in college when Homicide: Life on the Street was being filmed in Baltimore. Andre was known around town as a very kind and generous man.

      When NBC canceled the show, the production company had a massive garage sale of props. I’m proud to say that I have one of Frank Pemberton’s business cards. He and Kyle Secor (Tim Bayliss) were a force to be reckoned with on the show. Andre will be missed.

      • MipMip says:

        I loved Homicide. I watched it every Friday night (didn’t have a lot going on at the time). I love that you got a prop from the show, that’s so neat.

        He was so great on Homicide, and Brooklyn 99. What a huge loss. RIP sir.

      • TigerMcQueen says:

        I was in college during that time too (not in Baltimore) and loved that show. When I did eventually move to Baltimore, I’d point out filming locations to Mr. TMcQ when we were driving around town.

        Andre Braugher was a brilliant actor. I loved him in many roles, but he will always be Detective Pembleton to me. Seeing the news last night was shocking.

      • Blithe says:

        When I moved to Baltimore, I reassured my worried Mom that not only was my new neighborhood very safe — it was a block away from a very active police station. It took a few before I realized that it was actually a stage set for Homicide.

        I’ve long admired Andre Braugher’s work — from first seeing Glory, to learning, just today about his role in House.

        May his memory be a blessing. May he rest in both peace and power.

      • manta says:

        So true. Them and Yaphet Kotto and Melissa Leo

    • Agreatreckoning// says:

      Oh man, @ThatsNotOkay. You said all the things. My eyes are raining.

  8. Roo says:

    This hurts. My family heard the news last night, and we are mourning the loss of a great actor and person. He was so powerful in Homicide and B99; in any role, you were just drawn to him.

  9. Christine says:

    You never know which celebrity deaths are going to feel personal, until it happens, but damn. This feels personal, and it hurts.

    Watching him face off with Hugh Laurie on House was breathtaking. I found myself holding my breath during some of their scenes together.

    Andre Braugher’s death hit like a gut punch. Rest in peace.

    • Mip Mip says:

      The loss of Andre Braugher, Matthew Perry and Lance Reddick this year SUCKS. Their losses all feel like gut punches. Probably because they were all relatively young but also because they featured so prominently in shows I grew up on. The gut punch is still surprising though, considering I never knew any of these people. It’s not a parasocial association either because it’s not like I was actively following their personal lives. But the loss still feels personal.

      I hope they all know, on some level, that they are so loved.

      • Christine says:

        I think that’s the part that surprised me so much about Andre Braugher’s death. I couldn’t have told you one thing about his personal life, I had no idea he was married with three kids, and yet his loss still feels personal. I’m just sad.

      • Jenn says:

        Me, too, Christine. I couldn’t have told you one thing about him as a person. But people were sharing their funny, warm memories of him on Twitter yesterday, and I was overwhelmed with grief. Such an enormous loss. I’m in shock.

    • lucy2 says:

      Yes this one did feel personal. Brilliant actor, B99 is one of my go to comfort comedies, and his character was just the best. All of his costars seem heartbroken by this and had so much respect and admiration for him, as an actor and a person.
      Far too young, and I’m so sorry for his loved ones.

  10. Anna says:

    Man, I haven’t felt this shook by a celebrity death since Chester Bennington. Sixty-one seems awfully young for someone that felt like such a big personality on screen..Rest in Peace Captain Holt

  11. Moira's Rose's Garden says:

    Totally heartbroken. He was such an amazing and gifted actor. Didn’t watch nine-nine, but I absolutely adored him as Pemberton in Homicide. (Anyone else recall The Subway episode with Vincent Denofrio stuck between the car and the track?) Now maybe, they’ll start streaming Homicide on some platform.

    • H says:

      A friend and I were talking about this last night when we heard about Andre’s death. We have no idea why Homicide is not on a streaming service.

    • BeanieBean says:

      That’s it! That’s the episode I just wrote about above! That one has stuck with me all these years. I couldn’t go to sleep afterward. My god, the power of that episode.

      • kyliegirl says:

        I remember this episode well. It is the reason why to this day I do not stand close to the tracks waiting for a train. It’s haunted me.

  12. Plums says:

    absolutely shocked when I saw this. way too young.

  13. paddingtonjr says:

    I have been in awe of him since Glory, which I wanted to see because I had crushes on Matthew Broderick and Cary Elwes. Then Andre came on screen and it was “Denzel who? Cary who? Matthew who?” He was always quietly commanding and powerful – no matter the role, no matter the production, you were drawn to him. I loved B99, in large part because of the masterful way he played Captain Holt; it could have been played for obvious laughs or been a caricature, but the way he played it was just captivating. I wanted more Holt!

    I didn’t know much about his personal life, which is a great testament to him; he was an actor, it’s what he did and then he went home and had his family life. No fuss, no muss, no drama.

    Thoughts and prayers to his family and friends. Please know his performances meant a lot to people and he will be missed.

    • Christine says:

      Good call, he was brilliant in Glory.

    • SadieMae says:

      “Glory” is one of my favorite films, partly because it has the powerhouse acting trio of Denzel Washington, Morgan Freeman and Andre Braugher. Spectacular performances from all of them. Braugher has to play a really complex, nuanced character arc, and he does it beautifully. I cry every time I watch it, and one of the parts that always gets me is right before the big battle when Matthew Broderick asks “If this man should fall, who will carry the flag?” and Braugher quietly, but with immense force and dignity, says “I will.” Braugher puts so much into those two little words along with his steady and loving gaze at Broderick. And then to see him on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, absolutely slaying comedy too … a rare talent indeed.

      • Paddingtonjr says:

        His portrayal of Thomas in Glory was amazing: a free man who had been educated and friends with Robert Gould Shaw (Matthew Broderick) and Cabot Forbes (Cary Elwes). The look of joy and then hurt when he and the other recruits are passing in front of Robert and Thomas calls out to him while Robert ignores him is so powerful. It’s a brief moment, but it was my first glimpse of Andre Braugher and I was hooked! And then the scene SadieMae mentioned above. He just had an amazing quiet power; he didn’t say a lot, but what he did say had a lot of impact.

  14. K says:

    Oh no. So brilliant So talented.💔

  15. [insert_catchy_name] says:

    Capt. Holt was such an amazing character, and Andre seemed like a cool guy. RIP.

    • Luna says:

      Woke up this morning after reading about his untimely passage last night and was so sad to find that this news is still true. My heart goes out to his family and other loved ones as they grieve their deep loss.

      I loved him on Brooklyn Nine-Nine and look forward to watching his other work now. He leaves a powerful legacy, just way too soon.

  16. SAS says:

    This is so sad. Lance Reddick was also only 60. Truly huge losses this year.

  17. Amy T says:

    Oh, awful. He was a brilliant and elegant actor and it sounds like he was also a very decent human being. May his memory be for a blessing and may his family be comforted.

  18. girl_ninja says:

    61 is way too young to die. What a brilliant bright light Mr. Braugher was and I am heartbroken that he is gone. My love surround his family and friends and my he rest well.

  19. Ameerah M says:

    I’ve been a fan since Homicide: Life on the Streets. He was an amazing actor. Lance Reddick and now Andre…we have lost some truly amazing Black actors this year.

  20. Lilly (with the double-L) says:

    I’m so sad and shocked. I admit, I don’t always fully understand the outpouring when a public figure passes, today I do. I love Andre and condolences to his loved ones. Too young.
    p.s. I will add, didn’t judge or put down reactions, I simply didn’t always get it.

    • Luna says:

      Lilly, my reaction is similar. I really get it this time. I can only imagine what his family is going through and it’s just not fair.

  21. Chantal1 says:

    I was shocked when I heard the news. I’ve always felt that he was a very underrated actor and I enjoyed most of the shows/movies he was in. I thought his most recent role in the show The Good Fight was also excellent (a spinoff of The Good Wife). RIP and condolences to his family and friends.

  22. Surly Gale says:

    Though he did not do the singing, I loved him in a small, silly movie called ‘Duets’. His portrayal of an escaped convict was powerfully touching. Re-watched it about a week ago; his performance is still fresh in my mind. RIP

  23. MinorityReport says:

    Oh. This hits hard. One of my favorite character actors.

  24. Jessica Mederson says:

    I was so sad when I saw this news last night. I still am. Such a talented actor and he just seemed like a force of nature. He had such gravitas and yet also the most beautiful, joyous smile and lightness of being.

  25. Scarlett says:

    I was on a flight home two nights back and they had 3 episodes of Brooklyn Nine Nine streaming which I watched. ( Any chance to watch that show, I have to ).
    Then I read the news last night, it stings, it really stings. He was a hell of an actor and an even greater human, he will be missed, so so very much. RIP Capt Holt, NINE NINE!!!

  26. CommentingBunny says:

    He was wonderful as Captain Holt. One of my favourite tv characters of all time. He could make you double over laughing (“BONE?!?!”). And he could turn around and make you weep: “Every time someone steps up and says who they are, the world becomes a better, more interesting place.” He was such a huge talent.

    • Anners says:

      Captain Raymond Holt is one of the best and most brilliant characters ever, in large part to Andre Braugher’s enormous talent. He will be missed. Wishing his family and loved ones peace at this tragic time.

  27. lisa says:

    man this hurts

    I was young and in my club going age when homicide was on and I used t always tell my friends that I was tired and stay in to watch it. such a great great actor.

  28. JaneS says:

    So talented. RIP.

  29. Lolalola says:

    Heartbreaking! That voice, that presence. Damn that man was talented and should have had many many more years on this earth.

  30. Isa says:

    I cried last night when I read this. Captain Holt was my tv dad. He got me through some tough times. The tributes to him have been so lovely and you can tell they’re very well deserved. My condolences to his family and friends.

  31. TIFFANY says:

    When my mutuals were talking about this on Twitter, I was in denial and thought they were kidding.

    This one knocked the wind out of me.

  32. kyliegirl says:

    This one hurts. I have always really loved him as an actor. He had such a presence and you could feel his emotions coming through the screen. My thoughts are with his family, especially reading how much they meant to him and what he wasn’t willing to sacrifice for his career so he could spend time with them. What a loss.

  33. MsIam says:

    He was one of those actors that you just think will always be around, always in some new role. He had such a presence. This was such a shock. RIP and condolences to his family.

  34. DeeSea says:

    This one really hurts. He elevated every role he touched, but his comedic roles were my favorite—especially Captain Holt. Rest in peace.

  35. Jais says:

    Ugh. Had to wait to read this post and comment bc it sucks hard. Hate this. Will remember how amazing he was in every role and condolences to his family.

  36. Krystal says:

    This one hurts. There will never be another like him, and he will be truly missed.

  37. Giddy says:

    When he was in a production that was an automatic reason for me to watch it. His presence lifted whatever he worked in whether it was on stage, tv, or movies. What a huge loss.

  38. Lucía says:

    Tremendous loss. He was simply fabulous and far too young to go. Have seen so many lovely tributes to his life and body of work already.

  39. MyCatLovesTV says:

    I was introduced to Andre Braugher like many of us were…on the excellent gritty drama Homicide: Life on the Streets. He played a psychiatrist on House, MD who played so well with Hugh Laurie’s character. And recent generations enjoyed his comedic side. This man brought an elevation to EVERY role he played. I was dumbstruck when I read that he passed. RIP to one of the best actors we’ve had the pleasure to watch over these many years. Sixty-one is way too young.

  40. Bean says:

    This one hurt my heart.

  41. val says:

    This one definitely felt personal. I hope he did not suffer in the end. May he rest in power.

  42. sparrow says:

    I adored him in Brooklyn because my son loves the show and we watched it together during a period of bullying at school. “My wife was murdered by a man in a yellow sweater” became a huge joke for us. It’s so sad. I can’t believe it. He was a brilliant actor.

  43. Shannon says:

    I’m thankful that Andre Braugher was offered the B99 roll and that he took it. He has brought, and will continue to bring, lots of joy and laughter.

  44. NeoCleo says:

    I’ve admired this man’s towering talent since “Homicide: Life on the Streets.”

  45. Sass says:

    Oh my god. This is horrible.

    His acting always brought me so much joy. We haven’t introduced our kids to B99. What a tragic loss for the industry, and his loved ones.

  46. Beth says:

    I am absolutely gutted. Andre Braugher was, by far, my favorite actor. He was so amazing and captivating on “Homicide.” I’ve never watched “Brooklyn Nine Nine,” so now I know what my Christmas binge is.

  47. Su says:

    Rest In Peace. His passing is such a loss to the entertainment industry and to us the viewers. Obviously, it is even more a loss to his family and my heart goes out to them.

    On a selfish note, I wanted a show centered around Captain Holt and Cheddar.

  48. kel says:

    It’s very sad news.

    rest in peace.

  49. NaTalia says:

    I saw this last night when his agency announced. My husband and I were in such shock. He was a shining star on Earth. My heart is broken for his family and friends.
    Lance and Andre in one year. It doesn’t seem real.

  50. vpd4 says:

    He was younger than me. I teared up.

  51. Flying fish says:

    And amazing talent.