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Why One Chicago's Jay Halstead Looks So Familiar

In exploring the nexus of firefighters, medical professionals, and law enforcement, the "One Chicago" series necessarily captures the tight-knit community between first responders. Nowhere is this more evident than the Halstead brothers, whose familial bond extends beyond the boundaries of mere professionalism. While Dr. Will Halstead (Nick Gehlfuss) of "Chicago Med" acts rashly at times, his detective brother Jay (Jesse Lee Soffer) is determined to uphold the call of duty, even if it leads to a singular, sometimes myopic pursuit of justice.

An integral member of the "One Chicago" universe, Jesse Lee Soffer first appeared as recurring character Jay Halstead in "Chicago Fire" in 2013. Though he was eventually bumped up to a main role in "Chicago P.D.," the character has cropped up in all three Chicago-based series, featuring in 18 episodes of "Chicago Fire," 28 episodes of "Chicago Med," and 180 episodes of "Chicago P.D." (via IMDb). His entrée into "Chicago P.D." begins one month after his transfer as an undercover cop to a member of the Intelligence Unit. Beyond the extensive world of "One Chicago," Soffer has appeared in a number of films and TV series. Here's where fans may recognize Soffer — that is, when he's not acting as a brash young detective.

At 10 years old, Jesse Lee Soffer starred in The Brady Bunch Movie

Soffer got his start as a child actor, appearing alongside the likes of John Goodman and Susan Sarandon in 1993's "Matinee" and 1994's "Safe Passage." From that period, he is perhaps best known for playing Bobby Brady in 1995's "The Brady Bunch Movie" and its follow-up a year later, "A Very Brady Sequel." Though the "Brady Bunch" revival received mixed reviews, it was a boon at the box office, grossing over $54 million (via Box Office Mojo). Furthermore, the film and its sequel have achieved a cult following among viewers drawn to a film that was, as Variety called it, "part homage, part spoof" of the classic sitcom.

Though Soffer as the youngest Brady gets little screen time compared to his older siblings or his on-screen parents, Bobby is elemental to the jarring contrast between the squeaky-clean Bradys and their jaded 1990s counterparts. Fans will remember Bobby pouting about his status as a squealing hall monitor, resulting in one of Mike's (Gary Cole) many exaggerated, moralizing screeds. 

Soffer and Cole even reunited in an episode of "Chicago Fire" years later. Behind the scenes, Cole reportedly joked, "Jesse, if you look like this, I should be dead!" (via TV Insider). Soffer also told TV Insider that the role is still producing dividends, albeit in the form of 12 cent checks.

Soffer appeared on Two of a Kind alongside the Olsen twins

During his Bobby Brady years, Soffer tacked other gigs onto his child acting resume. He appeared in the sitcom "Wings" and had a starring role in an adaptation of "From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler." The TV film gave the young Soffer the opportunity to act alongside Hollywood legend Lauren Bacall.

Speaking of Hollywood legends, Soffer secured his first recurring role in "Two of a Kind," the Mary-Kate and Ashely Olsen sitcom that ran from 1998 to 1999. In his six-episode arc, Soffer stars as Taylor Donovan, Mary-Kate's math tutor and the subject of Ashley's debilitating crush. "Two of a Kind" helped launch the 14-year-old Soffer into the world of television, and it also allowed him to showcase his late-nineties tween heartthrob hairdo. Moreover, his turn on the sitcom inspires one of many sister-swapping plotlines that the twins would incorporate over the course of their storied career.

He received Emmy nominations from starring in As The World Turns

Before joining "One Chicago," Soffer made his name in soap operas. In 1999, he originated the role of Max Nickerson in "Guiding Light" (via IMDb). After taking a break from acting to resume his studies, Soffer returned to soaps in 2004 playing Will Munson on "As The World Turns." Soffer left the series in 2008, then reprised his role in 2010 for the series' 54th and final season. All told, the actor appeared in 500 episodes of "As The World Turns," during which time he received three Daytime Emmy nominations for Outstanding Younger Actor in a Drama Series (via IMDb).

As the son of ​​Detective Hal Munson (Benjamin Hendrickson) and Barbara Ryan (Colleen Zenk), Munson got into more than a few soapy scrapes, including (but not limited to) breaking and entering and stealing from his mother. Soffer insists that despite his character's angsty hijinks, the vibe on set was more than amicable: "I did it for four years and when you work so long with the same cast you get [close]. They see your dirty laundry. We were all a big family like we are here on this show" (via TV Insider).

Following his time on "As The World Turns," Soffer appeared on a number of crime procedurals and one-off television episodes, including "CSI: Miami," "The Mentalist," and "Rizzoli & Isles." These roles, not to mention his career-bolstering award nominations, seem to have primed him for his turn as a tough but lovable cop in "One Chicago."

A short-lived leading role led Soffer to One Chicago

Following his time on "As The World Turns," Soffer appeared on a number of crime procedurals and one-off television episodes, including "The Mentalist" and "Rizzoli & Isles." In a 2008 episode of "CSI: Miami," Soffer plays Shane Huntington, a renegade businessman who gets caught up in his ex-girlfriend's murder. These roles, not to mention his career-bolstering award nominations, seem to have primed him for his turn as a tough but lovable cop in "One Chicago."

In 2012, Soffer landed a main role in the Fox drama "The Mob Doctor." The series follows Grace Devlin (Jordana Spiro), a surgeon who agrees to pay off her brother's debt to the mob, with Soffer starring as the offending brother. The series was canceled after one season (via IMDb). Fortunately for Soffer, his work on "The Mob Doctor" must have piqued the interest of the "One Chicago" honchos at NBC, leading to his soon-to-follow role as Halstead.