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Why Captain Holt From Brooklyn Nine-Nine Looks So Familiar

Over the course of its run, first on FOX and then on NBC, "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" introduced fans to a host of beloved characters. These included series regulars such as Jake Peralta (Andy Samberg), Rosa Diaz (Stephanie Beatriz), and Terry Jeffords (Terry Crews).

Of all of these characters, one who continuously stands out across the eight-season run of "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" is Captain Raymond Holt. The stoic and deadpan captain of the 99th precinct, Holt is a man of culture. His demeanor often makes for a hilarious juxtaposition against Jake's more casual and dimwitted detective style. However, as the series progresses, he develops a strong bond with his officers that continues throughout the show's run.

There is a good chance that Captain Holt from "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" will look familiar to eagle-eyed fans of the series. That is because the fan-favorite character is portrayed by none other than Andre Braugher, an actor with no shortage of iconic roles on a resume dating back to the '80s. Braugher has plenty of legendary performances scattered throughout his lengthy IMDb list of credits, and the following are some of the most iconic of the bunch that fans may know him best from throughout his years of acting on the big and small screens.

He fought for the North in Glory

One of Andre Braugher's earliest notable on-screen roles came in 1989 with his performance as Thomas in "Glory." Directed by Edward Zwick, the film chronicles the experiences of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment, a unit comprised of African-American soldiers fighting for The Union during The Civil War. The story of the film primarily centers on Matthew Broderick as Colonel Robert Gould Shaw, as well as the various men who staff the regiment. Braugher portrays Thomas as an intellectual who initially seems unfit for combat until eventually proving himself on the battlefield and earning the respect of his peers.

Braugher had minimal film experience prior to his work on "Glory." However, in an interview with HistoryNet, the actor revealed that his co-stars Denzel Washington and Morgan Freeman helped prepare him for working in the medium. Braugher explained, "I came from a theater background and hadn't had much experience in film. By the time we got to training camp [in Savannah], I had learned some of the rudiments of the process, and Denzel Washington and Morgan Freeman really put their arms around my shoulders and taught me everything I needed to do—all the basics: eyeline matching, how to hit your mark and so on." So while he had primarily worked in the theater up to that point, Braugher was able to get some great hands-on tutoring from two of cinema's most iconic and beloved actors.

He played Detective Frank Pembleton

Andre Braugher has played many police officers throughout his career. Long before portraying the hilariously stern Raymond Holt in "Brooklyn Nine-Nine," the actor took on the comparatively more hard-hitting and dramatic performance as Frank Pembleton in the iconic NBC drama, "Homicide: Life on the Street." The series chronicled the work of Baltimore Police Department's Homicide Unit across seven seasons, as well as a film, which served as the series finale for the show and capped off the story. Braugher played Pembleton as a tough Baltimore detective who excels at getting confessions out of criminals.

What made Pembleton so interesting for audiences was his eventual willingness to bend the rules to serve the law. Despite the popularity of the character, this is something that Braugher (via Den of Geek) has had to grapple with in his portrayal of cops. Braugher explained, "Cops breaking the law to quote, 'defend the law,' is a real terrible slippery slope. It has given license to the breaking of law everywhere, justified it and excused it. That's something that we're going to have to collectively address — all cop shows."

The role of Frank Pembleton has become regarded as one of the most iconic performances of Braugher's career. During his run as the character, he was nominated for multiple Emmys, eventually earning the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series in 1998 (via Emmys) for his work on the series.

He appeared in multiple thrillers directed by Gregory Hoblit

Andre Braugher has collaborated with numerous filmmakers over the years. One particular director whom he has worked with on several occasions is Gregory Hoblit. The two most notable collaborations between these two are "Primal Fear" and "Frequency." "Primal Fear" centers on a lawyer (Richard Gere) tasked with defending an altar boy (Edward Norton) who has been accused of murdering a prominent figure in the Catholic church. In the film, Braugher plays Goodman, an ex-cop turned private investigator who becomes embroiled in the investigation.

Four years after the release of "Primal Fear," Braugher would once again team up with Hoblit, this time for a thriller with a sci-fi/supernatural spin. "Frequency" follows a cop named John (Jim Caviezel) who finds himself able to communicate with his deceased father Frank (Dennis Quaid) in the '60s when their ham radios are affected by a solar storm in the atmosphere above their house. In the film, Braugher appears as Satch DeLeon, John's boss and an old friend of Frank's who appears in both portions of the film's timeline.

Both "Primal Fear" and "Frequency" were well reviewed at the time of their respective releases. Moreover, "Primal Fear" earned $56 million at the box office (via Box Office Mojo) while "Frequency" earned $68 million worldwide (via Box Office Mojo).

He played a General in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer

While many of Andre Braugher's most well-known performances come in the worlds of small screen police stories and heartfelt dramas, he has also made his way to the realm of big budget blockbusters as well. In fact, he appeared in one of the last major Marvel adaptations to debut in cinemas before the inception of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2008. Specifically, he appeared in Tim Story's 2007 film, "Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer." A sequel to the 2005 "Fantastic Four" film, the film sees the titular team contend with the arrival of the Silver Surfer (Doug Jones) and Galactus, in addition to the return of the villainous Victor Von Doom (Julian McMahon).

In "Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer," Braugher portrays General Hager, a former associate of Reed Richards (Ioan Gruffudd), and an important military commander. Alas, things do not end well for General Hager. Despite his intentions to bring Dr. Doom in to aid against the apparent threat posed by the Silver Surfer, he is eventually killed when Doom turns on the United States government and attempts to (once again) kill the heroes.

"Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer" was met with widespread negative reviews upon its debut in 2007 (via Rotten Tomatoes). This entry effectively ended the Tim Story-directed franchise, paving the way for another ill-fated 2015 reboot and the eventual MCU revival of the series.

He was killed by creatures in The Mist

In 2007, Andre Braugher teamed up with director Frank Darabont for "The Mist," an iconic adaptation of Stephen King's novella of the same name. In the film, he portrays Brent Norton, a man skeptical of the presence of monsters hiding in the titular fog. However, his skepticism turns out to be his undoing fairly early in the film.

One interesting thing to note about "The Mist" is the chaotic filmmaking style used to capture the footage. In an interview with Fangoria, Braugher explained that Darabont's style required the actors to be just as committed in the wide shots as they were in the close-ups. He said, "this wasn't the stately kind of formal filming in which you could delay your close-up until the afternoon and really get it together. It was gonna be as dangerous and uncertain in the master as it was in the close-up. So like on 'Homicide,' you just had to be ready. We had marks so we could find focus—you always want to be in focus—but we weren't married to them, because there was a lot of panic and confusion going on, and you were going to wind up two feet off your mark when you were scuffling around or batting down birds with flaming mops." So, unlike many other members of the cast, Braugher had experience with that type of guerilla filmmaking due to his time on "Homicide: Life on the Street."

He played Bayard Ellis in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

While Andre Braugher did appear in the "Law & Order" universe in the '90s during his time on "Homicide: Life on the Street," that appearance would not be his final outing in Dick Wolf's exploration of the criminal justice system. In fact, Braugher would go on to return to "Law & Order" years after the retirement of Frank Pembleton by appearing in several episodes of "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit." In the series, Braugher portrayed Bayard Ellis, a defense attorney who changed job paths to prioritize pro bono work after a career of defending drug dealers for a profit.

As Ellis, Braugher would debut on "SVU" in Season 13. During his time on the show, he would appear in a total of six episodes across Season 13, Season 14, and Season 16. His character is a brief love interest for Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay), and he eventually meets John Munch (Richard Belzer). His acquaintance with Munch is particularly notable, as Belzer and Braugher spent several years working on "Homicide: Life on the Street" together, and "Law & Order" even calls out the fact that they have met before when their characters meet for the first time.