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Why Anna Valdez From Chicago P.D. Looks So Familiar

The "One Chicago" franchise continues to be one of writer Dick Wolf's most popular creations. The series first started off with "Chicago Fire," an intimate look at the trials and tribulations of the various firefighters and rescue officers who make up the Windy City's Fire Department. As the series grew popular, Wolf and broadcaster NBC commissioned several spin-offs, including "Chicago P.D.," which follows the city's everyday police officers and its Intelligence Unit.

Over its 150-plus episodes, "Chicago P.D." has delved into the various other institutions in the city that uphold the law, including the State's Attorney. One key character from the State's Attorney is Anna Valdez, a budding assistant attorney to Peter Stone (Philip Winchester), the son of "Law & Order" New York County District Attorney Benjamin Stone (Michael Moriarty).

Though Valdez only appeared in four "Chicago P.D." episodes, the character remains one of the most interesting guest characters, particularly for her drive to do good by her city. The young second chair to Stone is played by none other than Monica Barbaro, who has had a healthy and interesting career on the small screen.

Barbaro played 'Hot Rachel' in UnREAL

Though she had a slew of guest appearances in shows like "Hawaii Five-0" and "Stitchers," Monica Barbaro's first major role didn't come until Season 2 of "UnREAL." The Lifetime series functioned as a dramatization and behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to produce a reality television series like "The Bachelor." In the series, Barbaro appears as Yael, a fashion blogger who hopes to court football superstar Darius Beck (B. J. Britt), who is headlining as the suitor of "Everlasting."

The producers and creative talent behind "Everlasting" refer to Yael's character as "Hot Rachel" throughout the season as she appears to be a more successful, mature, and attractive version of Rachel Goldberg (Shiri Appleby), one of the lead producers on the fictional reality series. Barbaro's Yael is eventually revealed to be an undercover journalist who seeks to expose the various nefarious and illegal activities committed by the producers of "Everlasting". Yael and the series' showrunner for that season eventually die in a car crash after it's rigged by the "actual" Rachel's bitter ex (Josh Kelly).

While Season 2 of "UnREAL" wasn't as universally praised as Season 1, the show's sophomore outing served as Barbaro's first major role, which eventually led her to join the ever-expanding "One Chicago" franchise.

She played Anna Valdez elsewhere in the One Chicago universe

Monica Barbaro debuted as Anna Valdez in "Chicago P.D." in 2016, the same year she headlined Season 2 of "UnREAL." The character notably didn't appear in Season 3, Episode 21 of "Chicago P.D.," titled "Justice," which served as the backdoor pilot for "Chicago Justice."

Nevertheless, Valdez appeared in four episodes of "Chicago P.D.," Dick Wolf's second "One Chicago"' spinoff. Her first appearance was in Season 4, Episode 7, "300,000 Likes." Though her role in the police procedural was brief, she left a lasting impact that eventually segued into a leading role in "Chicago Justice," alongside Philip Winchester's Peter Stone.

In "Chicago Justice," the young Valdez assisted Stone's team on a variety of cases. Barbaro's performance as Valdez was praised but it wasn't enough to help the NBC series get renewed for a second season. Despite mostly positive reviews from critics and fans of the "One Chicago" franchise, the series was canceled to make room for other shows as it was too similar to "Law & Order" (via Deadline).

Barbaro was naturally disappointed by the cancellation as well, praising the chance to work with Dick Wolf in an interview with One Chicago Center shortly after "Chicago Justice" wrapped up.

She joined the cast of The Good Cop

After her stint as Anna Valdez in Dick Wolf's "One Chicago" universe came to a close, Monica Barbaro landed on her feet by nabbing a lead role in Netflix's "The Good Cop." Based on the Israeli series of the same name, "The Good Cop" focuses on fresh-out-of-jail ex-cop Anthony "Tony" Caruso Sr. (Tony Danza) who strives to help his son, NYPD Lieutenant Anthony "TJ" Caruso Jr. (Josh Groban) on his various cases and adventures. TJ and Tony naturally clash due to their various differences throughout the series.

Joining the father-son duo was Monica Barbaro's Cora Vasquez, a homicide detective who operates as Tony's parole officer and TJ's second-in-command. Vasquez's awkward relationship with the Carusos rounded out the Netflix series' interesting dynamic. Barbaro's character also happens to have a prominent will-they-won't-they relationship with Groban's senior detective.

Critics may not have loved "The Good Cop" but the series holds a strong 85% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. Unfortunately, the comedy-drama series was canceled after one season, putting an end to Barbaro's run as a cop.

She leaned into comedy with Splitting Up Together

After appearing as a lawyer and police officer, Monica Barbaro lightened up her roles by appearing in ABC's "Splitting Up Together." The sitcom starred "Rules of Engagement" regular Oliver Hudson and "The Office" star Jenna Fischer as a couple who decide to divorce but opt to live together in a bid to co-parent their three children.

As per their arrangement, one parent must live in the house and tend to the children and other household responsibilities, while the other can live in the garage and do as they please, including dating other people.

Barbaro appeared as the recurring Lisa Apple, a woman who begins to date Hudson's character. Apple was largely liked by the couple's kids, much to the chagrin of Fischer's worrisome mom. Eventually, the character becomes pregnant but her arc was largely left unresolved. Barbaro appeared in a handful of episodes over the show's two seasons, after which it was canceled by ABC.

Despite only making her television debut in 2015's "Stitchers," Barbaro has made headlines in the last few years as an actress. With a wide range of roles under her belt, we can't wait to see where Barbaro lands next!