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Why Detective Paterson From Last Seen Alive Looks So Familiar

If there is one thing that people should have learned about Gerard Butler is that you definitely don't want to get on his bad side. He has kicked people into bottomless pits in "300," executed assassinations from a prison cell in "Law Abiding Citizen," and even bounty hunted his own wife in "The Bounty Hunter." Continuing this trend, the 2022 action thriller "Last Seen Alive" shows exactly why you don't want to kidnap his wife either, mainly because he will carve a bloody path through whomever he needs to in order to save her. In fact, "Last Seen Alive" is really a combination of all three of the above-mentioned films.

Joking aside, Butler's "Last Seen Alive" has been dominating Netflix's daily top 10 movies list. After she vanishes during a seemingly innocuous stop at a gas station, Will Spahn (Butler) is absolutely focused on rescuing his wife, Lisa (Jaimie Alexander), who was taken for ransom. There are also law enforcement agents involved in her recovery. These include Detective Paterson (Russell Hornsby), who initially suspects Will of having been involved in Lisa's disappearance, but he eventually realizes the true culprits. Viewers of "Last Seen Alive" may have recognized the actor who plays Detective Paterson, but where from, and why does he look so familiar?

Hornsby's first major endeavor was the medical drama Gideon's Crossing

The first place some may recognize Russell Hornsby from is the medical drama "Gideon's Crossing," which premiered in 2000. This short-lived television series only ran for one season, and it is about Dr. Ben Gideon (Andre Braugher) and his trials and tribulations at a hospital. Of course, being a medical drama from the early 2000s, "Gideon's Crossing" deals with issues that typically are resolved in one episode, though there are plots that stretch across the entire season. Hornsby plays the role of Dr. Aaron Boies, who has to treat his own father for lung cancer and deal with a malpractice suit, which causes the character a fair amount of anxiety.

In an interview with Baller Status, Hornsby was asked about his history with theater, and if the shift to television was tricky, and he answered, "I didn't feel like it was necessarily difficult. There was somewhat of a learning curve, but the way I approached my work is that truth is truth, and fortunately, that transition came in the form of a wonderful series called 'Gideon's Crossing' that was very well written. Because of that project, it felt seamless."

Hornsby plays a cop who moves back to his childhood neighborhood on Lincoln Heights

Another noteworthy Russell Hornsby part from the '00s is his starring role on the television series "Lincoln Heights." Premiering in 2007, "Lincoln Heights" is about Edward Sutton (Hornsby), a police officer who wants to make a difference in his titular childhood neighborhood, and he does this by moving himself and his family back home. Unfortunately, this doesn't go as smoothly as Sutton may have planned, and the series sees him contending with issues affecting his family and the neighborhood at large. 

Answering a few questions for Black Film in 2008, Hornsby was asked what it was like coming back for Season 3 of "Lincoln Heights," and he replied, "I have to tell you that it's a blessing, to say the least. For anyone, especially a person of color, to work in this business and to live in this business, is quite exceptional; and I'm quite fortunate to be one of those people. I think that goes without saying. Every time I look to do the best job I possible can because I'm quite fortunate to be able to work in this business. My work represents me."

Hornsby assists in hunting fairy tale creatures on Grimm

Continuing with his penchant for playing police officers, Russell Hornsby also appeared on the NBC series "Grimm" between 2011 and 2017. At first, one might expect "Grimm" to just be another police procedural, but it takes that formula and turns it on its head by introducing real-life fairy tale characters, which certainly adds an entirely different facet to the investigations. Predominately following Detective Nick Burkhardt (David Giuntoli), who comes from a long line of guardians focused on keeping legendary creatures under control, Hornsby co-starred as his partner Detective Hank Griffin. Although Hank is not initially aware of Nick's task of maintaining the balance between humans and fairy tale creatures, upon finding out about Nick's charge, he helps in any way he can.

As TV Insider reports, on the 10th anniversary of the premiere of "Grimm," Hornsby spoke about the longevity of the show's popularity by saying, "I think the legacy is strong. It still plays strong in America and overseas. I'll go all over the world and people recognize me from 'Grimm.' That's a wonderful legacy to leave. Old and young still love it. I have nothing but respect for that and the time I spent. Six years of my life were spent in Portland, Oregon in the freezing cold and rain in that forest. People still have many episodes to go back and watch."

Hornsby co-stars in the award winning The Hate U Give

In 2018, Russell Hornsby appeared in the drama film "The Hate U Give," which is an intense movie that takes a deep look at the interactions of a family, community, and neighborhood after the tragic slaying of the young Khalil Harris (Algee Smith). Having witnessed the murder, Khalil's friend Starr Carter (Amandla Stenberg) becomes entangled in the media frenzy surrounding Khalil's death, which causes Starr's father, Maverick (Hornsby), to do everything in his power to keep his family safe. The movie proved to be a resounding success in the eyes of critics, and Hornsby himself was nominated for and won several awards for his performance in the film. 

Speaking with Sheen Magazine, Hornsby said, "It's the film that I'm most proud of because I think for the first time as an actor on film or television, I was able to bring all of me and my depth of personality, character, and filming as an actor in a character. It was just a wonderful collaboration we did in order to bring this novel to life. It was a very intense film, we had a lot of fun but there were definitely moments where it felt so probable and real."

Hornsby appears on the final season of Lost in Space

Appearing on the final season of Netflix's "Lost in Space" in 2021, Russell Hornsby helped to send off the sci-fi show, which was based on the classic television series of the same name. "Lost in Space" follows the Robinson family, who are charged with colonizing an alien planet. Unfortunately, issues arise that strand the family, and many others, on different planets that are light years apart. As the biological father of Judy Robinson (Taylor Russell), Grant Kelly (Hornsby) is the commander of the Fortuna mission, which ended tragically and with Kelly in stasis. However, he is awoken from his induced slumber by his daughter Judy during the second episode of Season 3, and he is instrumental in getting things back on track.

In an interview with Pop Culture, Hornsby talked about being cast in Season 3, and said, "So just hearing about other people's excitement and enthusiasm about the show that me being a part of it got me more energized to be a part of it. So I'm excited. I was excited to work on it and I had a lot of fun ..."

Hornsby is a famous fight promoter on Mike

Other than "Last Seen Alive," the most recent place you've likely seen Russell Hornsby is the Hulu series "Mike." This limited series is about the ascent of Mike Tyson, who is played by Trevante Rhodes. As such, several real-life characters pop up in this fictional retelling of the legendary boxer's life, which has earned the ire of the real Tyson. Hornsby gets a chance to flex his acting chops as Don King, the iconic fight promoter with an even more iconic haircut. Verbose and animated, King helps make Tyson a household name.

Speaking with Complex, Hornsby was asked what it was like to be cast in "Mike," and he stated, "I'm very proud to be a part of the project, actually. I grew up a fan of Mike Tyson and grew up a fan of Don King, and I felt honored to have been selected to play the role. For so long in my career, I fought so hard telling people I can do characters. I can play the good guy, the bad guy, the funny guy." He later added, "So I felt honored to be a part of it, but also honored that somebody felt that I was good enough to give me the role, to give me the opportunity." 

Hornsby has popped up in all different kinds of roles over several years, and one can only hope that he will continue to do so in the future, even if he is busy helping Gerard Butler find his wife.