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Why Billy Tyson From 9-1-1: Lone Star Looks So Familiar

Before co-creating the Fox procedural drama "9-1-1" with Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuck, writer Tim Minear got the nickname "The Tim Reaper" (per the New York Times) for how often he killed off characters. On "9-1-1" though, he has to focus on the brave first responders trying to save people from the potentially fatal situations that crop up approximately three times an episode.

"9-1-1: Lone Star" is the franchise's second iteration, set in Austin, Texas rather than Los Angeles. The show stars Rob Lowe (Parks and Recreation), Liv Tyler ("Lord of the Rings”), and Gina Torres ("Firefly," Minear's old show) as first responders in Austin. Like its parent show, "Lone Star" follows firefighters, emergency medical service techs, and police as they respond to 9-1-1 calls across the city. Meanwhile, they have very dramatic personal lives of their own.

Captain Owen Strand (Lowe) has a complicated relationship with his station's former captain, Billy Tyson. The two captains butt heads over their different leadership styles, but bond over sharing cancer diagnoses. Billy Tyson is played by a real-life Billy, actor Billy Burke. Here's where you might have seen him before.

He was Bella's poor father in the Twilight Saga

One of Billy Burke's most prominent roles is that of Charlie Swan in the "Twilight" saga. The vampire romance epic begins with Bella (Kristen Stewart) coming to live with her dad Charlie in Forks, Washington, where he is Chief of Police. There, she meets the Cullen coven of sparkly vamps, including her future husband Edward (Robert Pattinson). Charlie does not take to Edward, especially after his daughter runs away from home and returns with a broken leg. When the pair weds in "Breaking Dawn: Part 1," Charlie uses his wedding speech to thinly veil a threat to track and murder Edward should he ever hurt his daughter.

Burke got a lot of love from the fandom for his role in the "Twilight" movies. One fan made a fake AITA reddit post laying out the entire franchise from Charlie's point of view, laying out the reasonable objections he would have over Bella and Edward getting married. "Charlie was the real victim, in all of Twilight," tweeted tabitha1777. Burke even won over non-fans, with one tweeting "I really hate Twilight as a whole but even I can say that Charlie Swan is a king who deserved better than what he was given and I would lay down my life for that man."

He was a villainous attorney on The Closer

On the opposite side of the law and order spectrum, we have Billy Burke in the TNT drama "The Closer" and its spin-off show "Major Crimes" as a defense attorney for murderers and rapists. His character, Phillip Stroh, made most of his money defending accused sex offenders. But in a chilling twist, Stroh's reason for defending alleged rapists was much more sinister than a paycheck.

Stroh first appears in Season 4's "Power of Attorney," where he is defending accused rapist Chris Dunlap. We learn in the episode that Stroh is coercing Dunlap to case victims for Stroh to assault. His crimes eventually escalate to murder, but he evades police capture for some time. Stroh becomes a key antagonist of Brenda Leigh Johnson (Kyra Sedgwick). Stroh's story concluded in the spin-off "Major Crimes," when he was finally taken down in the series finale. In all, Burke had nine appearances across both series and was one of the franchise's most memorable villains.

Burke led a Revolution

Billy Burke was part of the ensemble of the high-concept, post-apocalyptic drama "Revolution." The show imagined a world where all electronics were permanently disabled, and humanity is plunged into a new Dark Age. Created by "Supernatural" and "The Boys" showrunner Eric Kripke, the show ran for two seasons on NBC.

Burke starred as Miles Matheson, a disillusioned former military man who helped set up the Monroe Republic in what used to be much of the American south. He comes to take care of his niece Rachel (Elizabeth Mitchell) and help rescue his nephew Danny (Graham Rogers) from the forces of Sebastian "Bas" Monroe (David Lyons). Miles realizes that the pendants that many main characters on the show have are actually USB drives that contain the secret for turning the power back on. He vows to use these pendants to finally take down his former friend Bas. "Revolution" was canceled before a third season could air, but the story was later continued in a comic book.

He played another beleaguered PNW father in Maid

In 2021, Billy Burke appeared in the acclaimed Netflix limited series "Maid," based on Stephanie Land's memoir "​​ Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive." The show starred Margaret Qualley as the titular maid, Alex. Alex flees her abusive boyfriend and supports herself and her small child with maid work. Burke played Alex's estranged father, who helps as he can with Alex's plight.

It's interesting that Burke has played two semi-estranged fathers of women in the Pacific Northwest with controlling boyfriends. But while "Twilight" plays the scenario for romantic fantasy, "Maid" takes some of the same story notes and instead renders a brutally realistic drama. The series was praised by critics, with Rotten Tomatoes writing that the show "takes great care with its sensitive subject matter to craft a drama that is not always easy to watch, but undeniably powerful."