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Why The Chicago Fire Cast Looks Familiar

Since debuting in 2012 on NBC, "Chicago Fire" has become one of the network's biggest series and spawned an impressive franchise. Created by Michael Brandt and Derek Haas and executive produced by legendary "Law and Order" creator Dick Wolf, the series has taken viewers into the lives, both professionally and personally, of Firehouse 51 in Chicago, delivering some great personal drama that's kept viewers hooked for 10 seasons. The first series in the "Chicago" universe, "Chicago Fire" has been followed by "Chicago P.D.," "Chicago Med," and the sadly short-lived "Chicago Justice." More importantly, it's introduced quite a robust cast of characters.

Throughout its run, "Chicago Fire" has introduced plenty of characters that have led and crossed over into other "Chicago" series and featured a strong cast that fans have come to love. Whether they were only on a handful of seasons or have been there from the start, viewers have established a strong connection with every member of Firehouse 51 through all their fierce rescues and daily tribulations. However — and some may not know it — the stars of "Chicago Fire" have made appearances in tons of other well-known shows and movies, from "The Vampire Diaries" to "Sex and the City."

Daniel Kyri kicked it on Kid Nation

First appearing on Season 7, Daniel Kyri plays young-candidate-turned-prominent-member of Engine 51 Darren Ritter. As Ritter, Kyri has become a fan favorite for the heart and heroics he brings to the team and fans have loved the support (via Gay Times) he's gained for being openly gay. His ongoing relationship storyline with Eric, played by Curtis Edward Jackson, is something fans really enjoy and Kyri has already made a great impression even though he's newer to the show. But did you know that Kyri made his television debut as a part of the controversial reality show "Kid Nation"?

Back in 2007, "Kid Nation" brought a group of kids from around the country together to build their own town. Kyri, known as DK on the show, played a prominent role in the town's dynamics, even being a member of the town council for the second half of the series, and was awarded a gold star worth $50,000 by his peers. "Kid Nation" was widely controversial (via Variety) for its overall concept of putting kids in the middle of a deserted town. It also had some moments that didn't sit well with viewers, especially an incident involving bleach. According to an interview with AV Club, former contestant Anjay Ajodha recounted a time where Kyri accidentally mistook bleach for a glass of soda, leading to a scary situation involving paramedics. Thankfully, he was okay.

Before Chicago Fire, Taylor Kinney appeared on The Vampire Diaries

Kelly "Sev" Severide's arc within "Chicago Fire" has been one of the biggest aspects of the series that's kept viewers hooked from the start. While Sev was just a simple "ladies' man" at one point, he's developed into a real leader in the firehouse and has developed a very stable relationship with fellow firefighter Stella Kidd (Miranda Rae Mayo). His struggles with death and abandonment have resulted in some of the most emotional moments of the series and a lot of it stems from Taylor Kinney's continued commitment to the role, making him a major part of the glue that hold the series together.

Some fans might recognize Kinney from another major TV role he had on CW's "The Vampire Diaries" as Mason Lockwood, the werewolf uncle to mainstay character Tyler (Michael Travino). Introduced in Season 2, Mason quickly became a guiding patriarchal force for Tyler and a likeable, almost secondary antagonist for its titular duo of vampires. What most fans remember though is the great charm Kinney brought to Mason's character, making him easily one of the strongest and most memorable aspects of Season 2. It was what made his sudden and brutal death so tragic for everyone, including Kinney: in talking to Entertainment Weekly about his exit from the series, he mentioned accidently spoiling the scene for Nina Dobrev and the difficult time he had telling his mother about leaving the show.

From the jailhouse to the firehouse for Eamonn Walker

Eamonn Walker has also become a strong glue for "Chicago Fire" as Chief Wallace Boden, acting as a strong and loyal father figure for Firehouse 51. Boden has been a part of "Chicago Fire" since the start and has continually warmed the hearts of fans with his leadership of the firehouse over the years, becoming a key component of the show. Even Walker still looks back fondly on being a part of the series for so long and, in an interview Hollywood Outbreak, remembers first seeing the script for the series and saying that it was "the best pilot he had read at the time" and that it "read like a movie" rather than a standard TV pilot.

Some might remember that before "Chicago Fire," Walker was a series regular on HBO's "Oz" as Muslim Black nationalist prisoner Kareem Said. On "Oz," Walker brought a strong stoic demeanor to Said and expertly evoked his contradictory morality to create a complex and compelling entity. Although Walker has become known for "Chicago Fire," no one could forget his breakout performance in "Oz."

Monica Raymund left Chicago for Hightown

Gabriela Dawson has had an interesting arc within "Chicago Fire," starting as a paramedic in the firehouse and then moving up through the Chicago Fire academy to eventually become a firefighter. Most fans have loved seeing Dawson be a snarky rebel to higher authorities and Monica Raymund's performance has been a big reason why. Raymund constantly added some enjoyable charm to Gabriela's banter and showed some strong emotion during the tougher parts of Gabriela's story. Her exit from the series in Season 6 was a real heartbreaker for fans, but she had good reason as she was gearing up to star in Starz's "Hightown."

With "Hightown," Raymund started a new chapter in her career. She led her own series for the first time as federal agent Jackie Quinones, looking into drug trafficking cases in Cape Cod. "Hightown" has been such a hit that it recently just got a third season ordered. In an interview with NBC News, Raymund talked about being "attracted to characters who have very dense obstacles in front of them" and how she "knew [she] wanted to be a part of it." So for those missing Raymund on "Chicago Fire," they might want to check out "Hightown."

Jesse Spencer played a doctor before a firefighter

The road for Matthew Casey on "Chicago Fire" has been far from easy. From all the deaths he's had to deal with during all his years in Firehouse 51 to his and Gabriela's heartbreaking divorce after Monica Raymund's Season 6 exit, he's certainly been a tortured soul on the show. Jesse Spencer has been there since the start, making viewers connect to all the emotion and heart in Casey's story, but unfortunately his time on the show came to an end last season. With Casey leaving Chicago, Spencer is leaving "Chicago Fire" and in an interview with TV Line, Spencer talked about it being time to take a break after 18 years of network TV.

"It was a difficult decision because I've loved the show from the start," said Spencer. "But there are other things that I would like to do in the future, and there's some family that I need to take care of, and 18 years is a long time." Of course, not all of Spencer's 18 years were spent on "Chicago Fire," as the first eight found him playing Dr. Robert Chase on "House M.D." On "House," Chase was sort of a good-intentioned antagonist for House and a prevalent part of the series throughout its eight-season run.

Steven R. McQueen went from fighting vampires to fighting fires

Jimmy Borelli's story on "Chicago Fire" had a lot of heartbreaking ups and downs, from his bad first impression to Firehouse 51, and especially Boden, at the hands of his brother to the tragic end of his career. He was one of the firehouse's big young guns and a hole certainly could be felt when he was gravely injured in an explosion, causing him to lose an eye and be unable to continue as a firefighter. A lot of that heartbreak came from the genuinely emotional performance of Steven R. McQueen, who really felt like the little brother of the firehouse for his time on the show.

This isn't the first time that McQueen has played a little brother or dealt with a tragic storyline, as his character in "The Vampire Diaries," Jeremy Gilbert, dealt with some tough issues of his own. He died more than a handful of times throughout his long run on the series and was always at the center of some of the series' most emotional moments. In Season 6, Jeremy was written off the show: McQueen felt it was "fitting story-wise" and that Jeremy had finally lived up to his potential, meaning that "the kid deserved a break" (via Showbiz CheatSheet).

DuShon Monique Brown's small start on Prison Break

For several seasons, DuShon Monique Brown played Connie, Boden's administrative assistant, giving "Chicago Fire" fans some solid laughs and being a force for good under Boden. Unfortunately, Brown passed away in 2018 in between Seasons 6 and 7 from an unknown blood infection, meaning that Connie would ultimately be written off the series. However, during its Season 7 premiere, there was a tribute to both Connie and Brown as Chief Boden announced that Connie had resigned from her position to embark on her dream career path of becoming a counselor (via Chicago Tribune).

It's always nice when a series finds a more fitting and caring way to end a character's run, rather than just kill or write them off, and it's great that "Chicago Fire" left things on a more positive note. Brown didn't have too many notable roles outside of Connie, but some viewers might also recognize her from "Prison Break" through her recurring role as Nurse Katie Welch, who befriends main character Sara (Sarah Wayne Callies).

Miranda Rae Mayo's small but memorable role in Pretty Little Liars

First introduced in Season 4 of "Chicago Fire," Miranda Rae Mayo has become a staple of the series as Stella Kidd, proving on more than one occasion that she's incredibly capable in the firehouse. Fan have really warmed up to Kidd's charming chemistry with the rest of the team and her budding relationship with Sev. However, fans were pretty confused and frustrated that she was sort of MIA from the last season, but that could be because she's been working on a new film with a "Chicago Fire" alum.

According to Deadline, Mayo was recently filming a dystopian black comedy film called "Daddy" which reteams her with fellow "Chicago Fire" alum Yuriy Sardarov, who played Brian. While her role as Stella Kidd is definitely the most notable of Mayo's career thus far, others might recognize her from her small role on Freeform's "Pretty Little Liars" as Talia. Mayo first joined the series in Season 5 as a short-lived love interest for main character Emily Fields (Shay Mitchell). While their romance was a memorable part of the season, it quickly flamed out by the end.

David Eigenberg's iconic Sex and the City role

Like Taylor Kinney and Eamonn Walker, David Eigenberg has been with "Chicago Fire" since the start as Fire Lieutenant Christopher Herrmann and is one of the few remaining veterans of the series. Eigenberg has become a beloved presence on the show as Herrmann, acting as a major father figure for the firehouse and a devoted family man. However, Eigenberg's most notable role is undoubtedly in "Sex and the City," where he plays Miranda's (Cynthia Nixon) husband Steve Brady. Eigenberg recently reprised his role for HBO Max's "Sex and the City" follow-up, "And Just Like That," but fans weren't exactly thrilled (via Cosmopolitan) about how this revival treated him.

Many fans felt that the revival basically tried to sideline Steve by having Miranda cheat on him, and they were very vocal about it. When talking with Vanity Fair, series writers Julie Rottenberg and Elisa Zuritsky defended the choices surrounding Steve by saying, "Miranda's journey is representing another reality out there, which a lot of people go through — the reevaluations and transitions in life." So while Steve was perhaps pushed to the side for a more complex Miranda story, Eigenberg is still clearly an adored member of the cast.

Alberto Rosende went from Shadowhunter to Chicago firefighter

One of the more recent additions to the cast, Blake Gallo has already made a strong impression on Christopher and Sev for his reckless behavior. Actor Alberto Rosende, who plays Blake, has made an equally big impact, being upgraded to a series regular (via Deadline). Introduced in Season 8, Rosende has already proven to be a rising star in the series as Blake's been getting more interesting story beats involving rivalry and romance. 

"Chicago Fire" isn't the only big series that Rosende has made a breakout appearance on, as he also starred in Freeform's "Shadowhunters." Rosende plays Simon Lewis, best friend of lead character Clary Fairchild (Katherine McNamara), and delivered plenty of charm, humor, and heart across all three seasons of the series. Simon's eventual transformation into a vampire certainly gave Rosende a lot to work with and he ultimately become a fan favorite. With both "Chicago Fire" and "Shadowhunters," Rosende has quickly become an up-and-coming talent everyone should keep their eyes on.

Trudy Platt isn't Amy Morton's first Chicago role

Although Trudy Platt is mostly known for being a tough desk sergeant on "Chicago P.D.," she's been one of the few characters that's extended her presence outside of just one "Chicago" show. Platt has actually become a notable character for the franchise and married "Chicago Fire" alum Randy "Mouch" McHolland (Christian Stolte) in Season 4. Platt's hard-nosed demeanor comes through excellently via Amy Morton's performance and this role marked a pretty important moment in her career.

Trudy Platt is the first lead TV role of Morton's career and viewers might also recognize her as the mother of main character Henry Rowengartner (Thomas Ian Nichols) in the 1993 film "Rookie of the Year," which was also Morton's first major film role (via Showbiz CheatSheet). As Mary, Henry's mother, Morton instantly won over audiences' hearts with the resilient support and love she gave to Henry when he is suddenly able to pitch in the MLB, ironically with the Chicago Cubs. 

Did you know Christian Stolte was in Prison Break?

Christian Stolte is another fan-favorite member of the "Chicago" franchise, and has been a regular on "Chicago Fire" since the start as Randy "Mouch" McHolland. Through his renowned couch potato lifestyle when not out on calls, which earned him the nickname Mouch, and being a strong advocate for making department voices heard, Mouch has made plenty of fans laugh over the years. But even with his comedic moments, he's had some strong emotional plotlines involving him fighting for his fellow firefighters, a lot of which comes from the writing for the character.

In an interview with Outsider, Stolte talked about his interaction with the show's writers and praised their work with his character, saying, "The writers keep finding ways to explore new facets of this cat and I am constantly amazed at what they pull out of their hats." While Stolte has certainly become best known as Mouch, some might remember his recurring role on "Prison Break" as corrections officer Keith Stolte, who was known for his harshness but was capable of showing compassion at times.