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Why Russ LaPointe From Chicago Fire Looks So Familiar

Throughout the history of NBC's "One Chicago" franchise, the series of shows has featured plenty of guest characters. Whether it's patients with medical emergencies on "Chicago Med" or violent criminals on "Chicago P.D.," there are always new characters in the mix to keep the storylines fresh. One such character is Russ LaPointe, a retiring firefighter fans meet in Season 7, Episode 21 of "Chicago Fire," "The White Whale."

During his farewell party, Russ delves into stories from his 35 years on the force, with his tales getting darker and more gruesome as he continues to drink. He eventually has a breakdown, which results in the entire force showing up to his home and offering him help for his PTSD from the job. It's a heartfelt subplot that resonates with viewers at home as it puts a spotlight on a real-world issue.

While watching the episode, some viewers may have thought Russ has a familiar face. Well, it's likely because the actor, Abraham Benrubi, has been steadily acting since the early '90s.

He was Larry Kubiac on Parker Lewis Can't Lose

Abraham Benrubi's career kicked off in the 1990s, when he had a series of guest roles on major TV shows. The list is extensive, but a few standouts include "Growing Pains," "Married with Children," "The X Files," and more. He even portrayed a young Dan Conner in an episode of "Roseanne" back in 1992.

Benrubi's first major role, which really primed him for future TV roles, was as Larry Kubiac in "Parker Lewis Can't Lose." The comedy series was set in a stereotypical high school environment in which Kubiac was introduced as the resident bully. He's big and intimidating, especially considering he's well over 6 feet tall. The character, who would eventually tone down his bullying, has a ravenous hunger that can strike at any moment. His only warning sign is when he utters his catchphrase "Eat me" before devouring anything he can get his hands on, including the lunches of fellow classmates.

He had a long-running stint on ER

Arguably, Abraham Benrubi's best-known role is his long stint as Jerry Markovic in "ER." Jerry is the desk clerk at County General and made his debut during the medical drama's pilot episode. The inherently goofy character, who loves to play pranks and throw parties, brought humor to a show filled with darkness. However, his antics can sometimes get into trouble — like when he accidentally blows up an ambulance.

Jerry's story on "ER" is also fascinating. Benrubi has taken a few hiatuses, which the character attributes to times he went to find himself. Tidbits about his backstory are littered through the series, like the fact that he's been hit by lightning several times or that he's an ordained minister. Without Jerry, "ER" would have been a much more somber show, and Benrubi will always be remembered for offering some levity during his longtime gig on the series.

Benrubi is also an accomplished film actor

While Abraham Benrubi is probably best recognized for his TV work, that doesn't mean he doesn't have experience working on film projects. He's appeared in a wide variety of movies, such as Kevin Costner's 2003 Western "Open Range," the 2004 buddy comedy "Without a Paddle," the 2005's "Miss Congeniality 2: Armed & Fabulous," and the 2006 dark comedy "Wristcutters: A Love Story."

Considering his size, Benrubi tends to play a brooding supporting character whenever he's featured in a film. One example that exemplifies this is his role as Thor the poacher in 1997's "George of the Jungle." Thor and his partner, Max (Greg Cruttwell), are villainous henchmen who attempt to kidnap Ape (John Cleese) in order to make money in Las Vegas. However, George (Brendan Fraser) heroically knocks out the pair to save Ape, punching Thor and giving Max an atomic wedgie during the fight.

He had a recurring role on Bosch

In more recent years, Abraham Benrubi had a recurring role on the Amazon Original crime drama "Bosch." The series, which ran from 2014 to 2021, followed Los Angeles Police detective Harry Bosch (Titus Welliver). Benrubi first portrayed Rodney Belk back in the first four episodes of Season 1 before reappearing for a cameo in Season 7, Episode 5, "Jury's Still Out."

Rodney is an assistant city attorney who previously defended Bosch in a wrongful death lawsuit. Benrubi's character was a diligent yet unsteady defender, and his inexperience resulted in his becoming overwhelmed and sweaty in the courtroom at times. This, paired with his demeanor and his impressive height, led to him being nicknamed "Bulk" by his fellow colleagues.

Benrubi has definitely found a niche in law enforcement TV shows, from "Bosch" to his appearance as DEA Agent Joe McKenzie in the series "The Bridge."