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Why Leslie Shay From Chicago Fire Looks So Familiar

Racing into action from 2012 to 2015 aboard Ambulance 61 in NBC's blazing-hot action hit "Chicago Fire," the much-loved paramedic Leslie Shay was a familiar face to devoted fans of the show. As the firehouse's openly gay and highly competent team member, Shay's life-saving skills and razor-sharp wit were on display week after week during her almost 50 episodes in the series (via IMDb).

And "Chicago Fire" wasn't the only production in the One Chicago line-up of shows that observant viewers might have spotted the actress in. As it turns out, Paramedic Shay also visited the law enforcement squad of "Chicago P.D." in two crossover episodes of that series, appearing in the premiere "Stepping Stone" installment and the "8:30 PM" episode.

As a fan favorite with a well-established persona on the show, it came as a surprise to many viewers when the character was summarily killed off, dying as a result of an arsonist-set fire at the start of the series' third season. And while devoted Chi-Hards will always remember Shay as one of the most likable characters in the entire Chicago-verse, they may also have an unshakable feeling that they've seen this talented actress somewhere before. And, just by coincidence, we happen to have the 411 on her career beyond her memorable stint in "Chicago Fire." 

Lauren German's early roles include an MTV series and a made-for-TV sci-fi flick

The character Leslie Shay in "Chicago Fire" is played by none other than Lauren German. Her first, small role found her sharing the big screen with Freddie Prinze Jr., Selma Blair, and Henry Winkler in the 2000 feature film comedy "Down To You" (per IMDb). That same year, she would also gain valuable episodic TV experience playing the part of Kimmie on MTV's "Undressed," a series exploring the various hook-ups, and complications thereof, of kids from high-school age to post-college young adults.

As the young actress began to find her footing in Hollywood, the following years saw German cast in parts that included a pair of TV shows and an edgy made-for-TV movie, beginning with her portrayal of Marie in the 2001 "Apologize" episode of the long-running WB and Paramount series "7th Heaven." That same year she would also land the role of Beth in the pilot episode of the sci-fi-slash-fantasy "Shotgun Love Dolls," about an all-girl squad of crime fighters battling evil in an alternate-universe — a role that would be taken over by Rachel McAdams in subsequent episodes.

She was cast in iconic Western and slasher franchises

By 2002, Lauren German's showbusiness career began to hit its stride, as the parts coming her way now started to include significant and big-budget productions featuring more high-profile co-stars. These roles included playing Tiffany in the "Going to California" TV series and, in the same year, taking on the role of Belinda in "A Walk to Remember," based on the best-selling Nicholas Sparks novel and starring Many Moore, Shane West, Peter Coyote, and Daryl Hannah.

Also during this period, German would play Darcy Peters in "Dead Above Ground," Elena in "A Midsummer Night's Rave," and the role of Emily Landry in the WB's TV movie version of the "The Lone Ranger," where she shared the screen with Chad Michael Murray (via IMDb). Then, 2003 saw the actress cast in yet another legendary entertainment franchise when she played the anonymous "Teenage Girl" in a new incarnation of the slasher film series that refuses to die: "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre."

She busted crooks in Hawaii and dealt with the Devil

In 2005, Lauren German would make a breakthrough vis-a-vis episodic TV when she landed the recurring role of Rose Miller in eight episodes of UPN's TV series "Sex, Love & Secrets" (via IMDb). The next years would see her sharing the bill with Diane Keaton in the feature film "Surrender, Dorothy," playing Mary in "Love and Mary," and starring in the 2007 horror movie sequel "Hostel: Part II."

Attracting more interest from casting directors for both film and TV, German would become a regular in ABC's "Happy Town" starting in 2011, and also take on the recurring character of Lori Weston in 15 episodes of the "Hawaii Five-0" TV series from 2011 to 2012. It was at this point in her career that German entered into producer Dick Wolf's One Chicago slate of action-dramas, with her ongoing role as Leslie Shay in both "Chicago Fire" and "Chicago P.D." Following her exit from "Chicago Fire," German lost no time in finding work again, as she was quickly cast as Chloe Decker in the Fox TV fantasy-comedy "Lucifer," where she would team up with Satan himself played by Tom Ellis) for over 90 episodes.

So, from her early days of playing minor parts in occasionally forgettable film and TV productions, to major roles in hit TV series and films, to her eventual deal with the Devil, this is where fans of German's Leslie Shay may have seen the actress before.