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Why Katherine Brennan From Chicago P.D. Looks So Familiar

The antagonistic Deputy Superintendent Katherine Brennan doesn't exactly come into "Chicago P.D." trying to be a fan-favorite character with her Season 6 entrance, but instead firmly situates herself in opposition to gruff lead Hank Voight (Jason Beghe). She shows up to ruin his day by suspending him, then twists the situation to use him for her political agenda — electing Season 6's villain, the corrupt Brian Kelton (John C. McGinley), as mayor of Chicago. Of course, Voight has done some pretty bad things, so maybe she's right to question him.

Over the season they become tense allies, but that falls apart by the end of Season 7's premiere and Brennan is out of the picture. So who is the woman behind this serious, ambitious, and morally dubious character? That would be Anne Heche, who's sure to be a familiar face to many. In fact, this isn't the first time she and Beghe have shared the screen: In "Everwood," they had a very different relationship, as a married couple. And even if you aren't a Beghe super fan, you've likely seen her before.

In Another World, Heche had a twin

Anne Heche's first on-screen acting role was actually two parts in one: She played twin sisters Vicky Hudson and Marley Love on the NBC soap opera "Another World" from 1984 to 1992. She wasn't the first to portray either character, but the third Vicky and the second Marley; both characters were recast after she left the series.

Audiences might remember that the twins were born to teenage parents and separated at birth. Marley grew up with their wealthy family, believing her mother was actually her sister, while Vicky was secretly given up for adoption and taken in by a poor family. Of course, that was just the start of a long string of wild experiences for the twins as they fell in and out of love and comas, got married and kidnapped, and found themselves on trial for murder while swapping places.

Heche did not know what they did last summer

Anne Heche's rise in popularity coincided with the resurgence of slasher flicks, so she got in on the action with 1997's "I Know What You Did Last Summer." The premise is simple: A year after four teenagers hit a man with their car and dispose of his body, a mysterious murderer is out to get them. While on the hunt for the person threatening them, Julie (Jennifer Love Hewitt) and Helen (Sarah Michelle Gellar) seek out Heche's character Missy Egan, the sister of the late David — who is possibly the man they ran over.

Though she doesn't have much screen time, the scenes with Heche are tense, as the teens don't know whether she's a danger to them or simply a victim of their actions. Critics praised Heche's performance in particular. Dustin Putman wrote, "Perhaps the best character is that of Missy Egan (Anne Heche), a lonely backwoods woman whose brother was the one Julie thinks they hit. Heche's performance is a standout, as she is able to create a full character in only about ten minutes of screen time." For Variety's review, Derek Elley picked her out as well, lauding her portrayal of Missy as a haunted woman.

Things took a turn for Heche after she dated Ellen

For Anne Heche, the late '90s brought plenty of media attention as she dated Ellen DeGeneres from 1997 to 2000. However, she said in a 2021 interview with Page Six that their relationship actually hurt Heche's career. Just before they went public, Heche was in talks to be cast alongside Harrison Ford in the adventure-comedy-romance "Six Days, Seven Nights." The attention put her job in question, but she recounted that Ford called her and said, "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn who you're sleeping with. We have a romantic comedy to make. Let's make it the best one that's ever happened."

They got the movie made and Heche starred as the fashion magazine editor Robin Monroe who meets pilot Quinn Harris (Ford) while on vacation with her boyfriend. When their plane crashes, Robin and Quinn are forced to survive together in the jungle while running from pirates, and they inevitably fall for each other. "Six Days, Seven Nights" certainly wasn't a critical hit, but film critic Roger Ebert liked their performances well enough. "Heche is plucky and has unforced charm, and does a great job of looking searchingly into Ford's eyes while he talks to her," he wrote.

But while Ford may have helped her keep that job, Heche's career took a turn at the turn of the century. For much of the early 2000s, she only did indie films and a few TV roles. "I didn't do a studio picture for 10 years," she said to Page Six. "I was fired from a $10 million picture deal and did not see the light of day in a studio picture."

Heche's return to TV

In 2001, Anne Heche joined the cast of legal dramedy classic "Ally McBeal" in Season 4 as Melanie West, a love interest for series regular and imaginative lawyer John Cage (Peter MacNicol). "Ally McBeal" was her first recurring TV role since "Another World" and she followed it with short-lived parts on "Everwood" and "Nip/Tuck," before starring in "Men in Trees" and "Hung."

Even doing small budget movies, Heche was able to make a splash. She scored a nomination for a Primetime Emmy Award for her part in the 2004 Lifetime movie "Gracie's Choice." In it, Kristen Bell stars as the teenage girl Gracie who is trying to keep her family together after the arrest of her mother (Heche), an addict. Inspired by a true story, the movie becomes a court battle between the two women, as Gracie tries to legally adopt her younger brothers. The New York Times reviewed her favorably, writing, "Heche gets Rowena's foxy seductions just right, as she manipulates everyone around her — boyfriends, children, Gracie and her own mother (Diane Ladd) — to get her drugs and her good time."

A 'brave' starring role

More recently, and maybe more relevant to "Chicago P.D." fans, Anne Heche had a guest role on "Quantico" Season 1 Episode 9 and then briefly starred in the 2017 NBC military drama "The Brave." For 13 episodes, she played the smart leader Patricia Campbell, deputy director of a CIA-like covert defense agency, amidst their tense, but formulaic, operations to save people. Patricia stays in Washington, while her team goes into the field undercover with plenty of high-tech help.

In a recap for Entertainment Weekly, Lincee Ray wrote, "I wasn't expecting how much I enjoyed [Heche's] performance as Patricia Campbell ... She intrigued me, and of all the characters' backstories, hers is the one I'm the most curious about." It only ran for one season before getting canceled, and Heche then moved on to "Chicago P.D." However, she's now done with the One Chicago world and is moving on to her next series.