Andre Braugher

Active - 1989 - 2021  |   Born - Jul 1, 1962 in Chicago, Illinois, United States  |   Genres - Drama

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Biography by Jason Buchanan

Gaining notice in the early '90s for his Emmy-winning portrayal of Detective Francis Xavier "Frank" Pembleton on the popular television police drama Homicide: Life on the Street, tireless Chicago native Andre Braugher remained with the show through 1998 while simultaneously building a feature career with roles in such theatrical releases as Primal Fear (1996) and City of Angels (1998). A graduate of Stanford University who also received a M.F.A. from the prestigious Juilliard School, Braugher claims to have originally taken up acting to meet girls. He later changed his major after realizing his true calling during a production of Hamlet, and his first professional role came in a performance at the Berkley Shakespeare Festival.

Making the leap from stage to screen with the 1989 civil war drama Glory proved an eye opening experience, and following numerous appearances as Detective Winston Blake in a series of made-for-TV Kojak features, Braugher held onto his badge by joining the cast of Homicide in 1993. Later alternating successfully between film and television, Braugher was voted one of the "50 Most Beautiful" people in a 1997 issue of People magazine; the following year, the handsome actor turned down a prominent role in the sci-fi drama Sphere in order to spend more time with his family. Jumping back into features in 2000, roles in Frequency, Duets and A Better Way to Die proved that Braugher was still in top form, and, in 2002, he turned back to the small screen with the made-for-TV feature Hack (and later reprised his role when the feature was turned into a weekly series).

Following a role in the made-for-TV feature A Soldier's Girl (2002), Braugher joined the cast of the television remake of the Stephen King vampire chiller Salem's Lot (2004), then returned to television - and changed camps to tap into the underground element - on the weekly crime drama Thief. As Nick Atwater, one of the most genial and principled of all television criminals (!), Braugher evoked an unusual ethical balance in his character and tapped into the fence's deep-seated devotion to his family, even as he drummed up a fiery intensity from episode to episode. Successive years found the actor moving into supporting roles in Hollywood A-listers with a heightened emphasis on effects-heavy action, adventure and fantasy-themed material; projects included Poseidon (2006), Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007) and Stephen King's The Mist (2007).

Braugher would star in the TV mini-series The Andromeda Strain in 2008, before taking on a role in the cult favorite comedy series Men of a Certain Age from 2009-2011. He would also enjoy a recurring role on House M.D., and play a memorable supporting role in the Angelina Jolie action flick Salt.

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  • Initially majored in pre-med at Stanford before switching to drama.
  • Role models were James Earl Jones and Sidney Poitier.
  • Claimed to have stopped watching TV in the 1970s, with the last straw being Three's Company.
  • Made TV debut in 1989 as Det. Winston Blake in Kojak: Ariana; first theatrical movie was the 1989 Civil War drama Glory.
  • Won fame as Det. Frank Pembleton in Homicide: Life on the Street, appearing from 1993 to '98; returned to the role for 2000's Homicide: The Movie.
  • Played the title role in Henry V in a 1996 Shakespeare in the Park production and won an Obie Award for his work.
  • Starred in the premiere of Matthew Lopez's The Whipping Man, at the Manhattan Theatre Club in 2011.