By Steve Gorman
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Emmy-winning actor Andre Braugher, best known for two television roles playing cops – one dramatic, the other comedic – was diagnosed with lung cancer months before his death this week at age 61, his publicist said on Thursday.
Braugher, who made his 1989 film debut in the Civil War drama “Glory,” playing a corporal in an all-Black Union Army infantry regiment, died on Monday after what his publicist, Jennifer Allen, originally described only as a brief illness.
She revealed on Thursday that he died of lung cancer just a few months after doctors diagnosed the disease in him.
Braugher co-starred alongside Andy Samberg in the TV police satire “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” for eight seasons, from 2013 through 2021, in the role of Captain Ray Holt, for which he received four Emmy nominations and two Critics Choice awards as best supporting actor in a comedy series.
In his role as a buttoned-down commanding officer known for deadpan one-liners, he was frequently the “straight man” of the comedic ensemble, once saying in an interview: “I feel like all these incredible comedians are the kites and I’m the string.”
He had established himself as a dramatic actor playing hard-charging Baltimore police detective Frank Pembleton in NBC’s “Homicide: Life on the Street” from 1992 to 1998, a breakout role for which he won his first Emmy in 1998, for lead actor in a drama series.
The Chicago-born, Julliard-trained performer also won an Emmy for lead actor in a miniseries in 2006 for the role of Nick Atwater in “Thief.”
Braugher was a regular on stage at the New York Shakespeare Festival, winning an off-Broadway Obie Award in 1997 for the title role in “Henry V.” He also played in “Measure for Measure”, “Twelfth Night” and “As You Like It.”
His most recent film role was as New York Times Editor Dean Baquet in “She Said,” a dramatization of the newspaper’s Pulitzer Prize-winning work exposing the sexual abuse and harassment of Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein.
(Reporting by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; Additional reporting by Daniel Trotta in Carlsbad, California)