Why Mayor Chase From Blue Bloods Looks So Familiar

If you're one of the more than six million viewers (as Deadline reports) who tune in each week to watch the various crises, debates, hardships, and heartfelt moments that accompany the Reagan family's multi-generational engagement in New York City law enforcement, you probably have a thought or two about Mayor Peter Chase. Maybe, like Tom Selleck's police commissioner Frank, you're incensed by Chase's repeated cuts to the budget, or with some of the policies he's insisted on pushing through since his appointment in Season 10. 

Or maybe, on a more benign level, you just can't help but shake the feeling that you've seen this mayor somewhere before. Of course, there's the obvious fact that he bears an occasional resemblance to former New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg, but you'd never confuse the two of them in a line-up. 

As it happens, you absolutely have seen Frank's political adversary "somewhere" before, though considering his career began over three decades ago, it's more likely you've seen him "everywhere" before. In fact, the actor behind the mayor, Dylan Walsh, has enjoyed such a prolific and extensive career in both film and television that the odds of you somehow not having seen him in anything prior to "Blue Bloods" are astronomically low. 

Dylan Walsh starred alongside 1990's biggest names in Betsy's Wedding

Though Walsh's resume technically begins in 1987 with a role in a CBS School Break Special, his career as a film and television star properly began in 1990, when he landed a lead role opposite megastar Molly Ringwald in "Betsy's Wedding." 

The comedic tale of two very different lovers — Ringwald's Betsy Hopper and Walsh's Jake Lowell — was written and directed by Hollywood heavy-hitter Alan Alda, who stars as Betsy's well-intentioned but filterless and misguided father, Eddie. Despite the young couple's desire to keep their event as intimate and low-key as possible, hilarity ensues when the working class Eddie and his wife become entranced by Jake's wealthy parents. In an effort to prove themselves capable of providing for their daughter, the Hoppers quickly get in over their heads financially, and turn to their sketchy relative Oscar (Joe Pesci) for help.

The film was jam-packed with some of the era's most popular stars, including Ally Sheedy, Madeline Kahn, and the still, always, and forever popular Catherine O'Hara, and helped take Walsh's still fledgling career to the next level.  

Dylan Walsh went from law to order with his first two series

By the early 1990s, Dylan Walsh had already established himself as a regular on police and courtroom procedurals. In 1990, the actor landed the role of defense attorney Louis Klein in ABC's "Gabriel's Fire." The series starred James Earl Jones as former cop Gabriel Bird, who's released from prison on a technicality (by Laila Robins' Attorney Victoria Heller), after serving twenty years of a life sentence for killing his partner during a raid. Although Bird is guilty, there are a number of still all-too-relevant mitigating circumstances with regard to law enforcement's treatment of the Black community (via IMDb and Sun Sentinel), and Heller and her second chair (Walsh's Klein) end up hiring Bird as a private investigator. Though the series lasted only a year, it took home three Emmys, and no-doubt went a long way in helping Walsh landed his next major TV role (via IMDb).

From 1997 to 1998, Walsh played Officer Jimmy Doyle in "Brooklyn South," a gritty police procedural (surprise, surprise) from "NYPD Blue" and "Hill Street Blues" creator Steven Bochco. The series also starred future "Bosch" star Titus Welliver as Officer Lowery and "Criminal Minds'" and Richard T. Jones ("The Rookie") as Officer Johnson. Clearly, Bochco had an eye for actors who could give (and would continue to give) compelling performances while in uniform. In between these two break-out television roles, Walsh landed on the silver screen as well, this time as a scientist. 

Unfortunately for Dylan Walsh, Congo was no Jurassic Park

In 1995, just two years after Michael Crichton's "Jurassic Park" had been adapted for the big screen, director Frank Marshall brought his novel "Congo" to theaters with the help of a screenplay by John Patrick Shanley. The film was nominated for a handful of Razzies and aggressively, almost joyfully, panned by critics and audiences alike (via Rotten Tomatoes), but thankfully, its leads would suffer little in the way of career consequences. 

The film follows a ragtag team of scientists, a treasure hunter, and a gorilla as they attempt to unravel the mystery surrounding the recent disappearance of a diamond-discovery team in the heart of the Congo. Tim Curry played the stereotypically greedy and untrustworthy treasure hunter, while Oscar and Emmy award winner Laura Linney ("Ozark") tackled the role of scientist Karen Ross. For his part, Walsh played Dr. Peter Elliot, a professor and primatologist whose research involved teaching human language to primates with the help of his friend Amy — a gorilla. 

Though all three of the commercial flop's stars would go on to lead successful and (in the case of Linney, at least) A-list level careers, it would take Walsh roughly a decade to return to mainstream feature films. That said, when he finally did return, he returned in a big, big way. 

In the early 2000s, Dylan Walsh was no stranger to moviegoers

In 2006, Walsh played Sandra Bullock's generally repulsive on-again-off-again (non-Keanu) love interest in "The Lake House." If you're somehow unfamiliar with this odd little movie, it's like this: Kate (Bullock) and Alex (Reeves) fall in love with each other through a series of letters. It's the perfect long-distance relationship, but for this: Kate and Alex actually live in the same place, they just don't live in the same time. It may not have been a major cinematic achievement, but like so many early aughts romances, it swept plenty of audience members off their feet (via Rotten Tomatoes). 

Following "The Lake House," Walsh starred in the lesser-known dark comedy "Just Add Water" as the film's endearing, unlucky underdog Ray Tuckby. Written and directed by actor and "NCIS: New Orleans" director Hart Bochner, the film also starred Jonah Hill, as well as a post-"Gilmore Girls," pre-"Bridesmaids" Melissa McCarthy

The actor's next role — that of serial killer David Harris in Nelson McCormick's "The Stepfather" — could not have been more different from his turn as the lovable Ray Tuckby. In McCormick's movie, Walsh's secretive and psychopathic Harris makes his suspicious new stepson Michael's (Penn Badgley) life a living hell as he attempts to keep his double-life under wraps. Finally, in 2010, Walsh played Penny Chenery's (Diane Lane) old-fashioned and controlling husband Jack Tweedy in Disney's based-on-true-events story about a Triple Crown winning horse and his courageous owner, "Secretariat." 

Despite his string of cinematic hits, it was Walsh's multi-season television series that he would be most known for by the end of 2010.

Dylan Walsh was Dr. Sean McNamara on Nip/Tuck

From 2003 to 2010, Dylan Walsh starred as none other than the conflicted, guileless, semi-sympathetic and extraordinarily skilled surgeon Dr. Sean McNamara on Ryan Murphy and FX's "Nip/Tuck." As part-owner of the thriving McNamara/Troy plastic surgery business in Florida, McNamara was often reeling-in or butting heads with his charismatic (but wholly unscrupulous) partner Dr. Christian Troy, who was portrayed by "FBI: Most Wanted" star Julian McMahon

The series, which Vulture's Becca James says is "still the ultimate Ryan Murphy show," kicked-off the exceedingly prolific creator's career, and helped set his frequent presence on both network TV and streaming services into motion. According to James, "'Nip/Tuck' is the key to understanding what makes a "Ryan Murphy show" — genre-bending television that wraps its social issues in a sheer, shimmering glamour, its true intentions only becoming apparent upon a closer look." The series was indeed a bit of a genre bender, and over the course of its 100-episode run, it presented as everything from a dark comedy, to a social satire, to a straightforward soap opera, to a medical thriller, to a crime drama, to... well, the list goes on. Even though Walsh had already enjoyed a career as an in-demand actor in both television and film, his portrayal of the complicated doctor helped cement his "go-to actor" legacy for years to come. 

From 2011 to 2016, Walsh was in pretty much everything

If you happened to turn your television on after 5pm at any point between 2011 and 2016, odds are you were greeted by Dylan Walsh's face. Following his success on "Nip/Tuck," Walsh went on to cameo in a litany of television series, beginning, in 2012, with a role on Lifetime's "Drop Dead Diva." From there he proceeded to appear in various episodes of CBS' "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," ABC's "Revenge," "Castle," and "Designated Survivor," CTV's "Motive," and CBS' "NCIS: New Orleans." All the while, Walsh was enjoying a full-time role on John Bellucci and Ed Redlich's "Unforgettable," which was picked up by A&E after being dropped by CBS. 

The aptly-named "Unforgettable" followed former detective Carrie Wells (Poppy Montgomery) as she made her reluctant return to police work. Wells had (or was cursed with) the unique ability to remember every single detail of every single thing she ever experienced, witnessed, or heard, which gave her quite the upper-hand when it came to solving crime. Walsh portrayed her partner and ex-boyfriend Al Burns, whose protective support of Wells made them a dynamic team. In 2012, "Unforgettable" won the People's Choice Award for Favorite New TV Drama (via IMDb), but by 2016, it had run its course. Walsh followed the show up with a part in the GLAAD Media Award-winning miniseries "When We Rise," and it wouldn't be long before he nabbed his next long-term television role.

Luckily, Walsh's turn on the CW wasn't a Life Sentence

Following a brief arc as crime boss Shane Muldoon in Season 5 of "Longmire," Walsh landed the role of patriarch Peter Abbott on the CW's awkward attempt at a YA cancer dramedy, "Life Sentence." The series follows Stella Abbott (Lucy Hale), as she navigates — and narrates, à la "Clarissa Explains it All" — a return to normalcy after she's miraculously cured of her terminal cancer. Though she is also apparently cured of any number of the long-term side effects brought on by cancer treatment, her homecoming is nonetheless "rife" with "drama." As it turns out, her family has been keeping a pile of secrets from her. Unsurprisingly, despite Walsh's compelling performance as Stella's stressed-out and recently separated father, the show could not be saved.

As The New York Times' Margaret Lyons explains, the series failed to realize that "the miseries and indignities of a devastating disease are not whimsical study-abroad programs." The writer added that the show "never meaningfully conveys Stella's illness as anything more severe than an occasion to wear a silk head scarf," and describes her "manic pixie cancer girl" as the most banal example of a "bohemian-aspirational" character. What's more, the most dramatic part of Stella's story (you know, the whole terminal illness thing) is magically resolved before the series begins. "How can any conflict matter," Lyons asks, "when the most trying thing in the story already happened?" Fortunately for Walsh, he only had to suffer through one season of the tonally-confused "Life Sentence," whose attempt to tack a too-sunny cancer narrative onto an already lackluster coming-of-age story was, at best, dull, and, at worst, cringeworthy. 

Like almost every actor with a decades-spanning career, Walsh starred in SVU

Like many artists with Walsh's TV-heavy resume, the actor popped up in "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," and on more than one occasion. In Season 8, Walsh tackled the role of sociopathic family annihilator Malcolm Royce in "Annihilated." In the episode, Royce goes on a killing spree when he begins to lose control of his double life, first murdering his fiancée, then his wife and children. Though he tries to frame his wife for the horrific act, his attempt to spin the scene into a murder-suicide fails, and the detectives manage to arrest him in the end. 

Most recently, Walsh starred in a two-episode arc that served as the premiere for the show's twentieth season. In "Man Up/Man Down," Walsh plays abusive father John Conway, whose rape of his teenage son (in an effort to "toughen him up") ultimately leads him to commit a school shooting that leaves two dead and four wounded. In the end, Walsh is also held accountable for his son's crimes, and convicted of Criminally Negligent Homicide (clearly, Walsh isn't winning any father of the year awards on "Special Victims Unit"). 

Just prior to settling into his role as Mayor Chase, the actor appeared in the short-lived ABC spy series "Whiskey Cavalier." Though the light-hearted spin on the familiar genre garnered some devoted fans — largely thanks to the presence of "The Walking Dead" star Lauren Cohan — it was ultimately cancelled due to low ratings (via Deadline). For now, it looks like Walsh can devote himself entirely to overseeing the city of New York on "Blue Bloods." That is, when he's not simultaneously playing General Sam Lane on "Superman and Lois" ...