In a time when shared universes are all the rage with the success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, NBC followed suit with a slew of interconnected procedural dramas collectively known as One Chicago. Chicago Fire and its spin-offs, Chicago P.D. and Chicago Med, all of which premiered within three years of each other, feature interweaving cast members and storylines all existing in the same titular Midwestern metropolis and have even crossed over with other series produced by Law & Order creator Dick Wolf.
The elder series in this shared “trilogy,” Chicago Fire, which debuted in 2012, and Chicago P.D., which premiered two years later, have followed two groups of professionals in their personal lives and with their lives on the line for eight years and six years, respectively. Given the severity of their professions, survival cannot be guaranteed for everyone, which has been made clear with some central characters’ succumbing to dire circumstances. Of course, some left just to explore other career aspirations, which is also the case for several of the actors involved.
Monica Raymund (Gabriela Dawson) - Chicago Fire
After her first starring role as human lie detector Ria Torres on the short-lived Lie to Me and landing a recurring spot on hit CBS political drama The Good Wife, Monica Raymund became a founding cast member of Chicago Fire as Gabriela Dawson. The temperamental ambulance paramedic turned firefighter had her association with Truck 81 end in 2018 when she left to provide medical attention to those in need in Puerto Rico. Following her exit, Raymund also went through a relocation of her own to Hightown, the STARZ series from producer Jerry Bruckheimer in which she currently plays a National Marine Fisheries Service agent struggling with her own sobriety as she becomes involved with a disturbing murder investigation in Cape Cod.
Yuri Sardarov (Brian Zvonecek) - Chicago Fire
Nicknamed "Otis" after a certain brand of elevators for his specialization in rescuing victims from said contraption, Brian Zvonecek, played by Yuri Sardarov, was a co-owner of the bar Molly's with a few of his colleagues from Truck 81 who also liked to share his experiences as a firefighter on his own podcast. The Season 8 premiere of Chicago Fire would be Sardarov's final episode as a series regular, with Otis succumbing to injuries from a mattress factory explosion. The Eurasian born actor will next be seen in the 2020 release of Adam, his first feature film to be released since 2012's Argo, despite being filmed in 2011, in which Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul plays real-life quadriplegic Adam Niskar.
Lauren German (Leslie Shay) - Chicago Fire
Years before the heartbreaking loss of Otis, one of the first bouts of personal tragedy the characters of Chicago Fire would face was the murder of paramedic Leslie Shay, played by Lauren German for the first two seasons. The actress had experience with location-specific TV series, from recurring roles on TNT original Memphis Beat and CBS's long-running modern day reboot of Hawaii Five-0, prior to playing the Ambulance 61 first responder. German has since continued her status as a procedural drama vet and low-key horror scream queen (particularly from 2003's The Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake and Hostel: Part II in 2007) by starring as Detective Chloe Decker on a show that combines both genres: Lucifer.
Charlie Barnett (Peter Mills) - Chicago Fire
Before he discovered the true nature of her sexuality, Leslie Shay briefly caught the eye of Peter Mills, a Squad 3 firefighter played by Charlie Barnett. Ironically, the actor, who left the show when Peter moved to North Carolina to open a restaurant with his family, is gay in real life, which he has expressed artistically in pre-Chicago Fire roles, such as the movies Private Romeo and Gayby, and since his exit, like on Netflix's series revivals of Tales of the City and You. Barnett, who also starred on Netflix's Russian Doll and as John Diggle's son on Arrow, will star opposite Drew Barrymore and Ellie Kemper in the comedy The Stand-In and will return to NBC in Matt Reeves' upcoming drama series Ordinary Joe.
Dora Madison Burge (Jessica Chilton) - Chicago Fire
Serving as Peter Mills' replacement on Ambulance 61 was Jessica Chilton, also known as "Chili" and played by Dora Madison Burge, but only for a short time, as the death of her twin sister, Alyssa, sent her into a grief-stricken spiral that cost her the job after 17 episodes. Chicago Fire is actually one of several hit series on which Burge has appeared in a short-lived recurring role, with others most notably being Friday Night Lights and Dexter. Since leaving the show, the actress has re-emerged as a rising scream queen in leading the disturbing 2019 psychological indie Bliss, playing a central character of Into the Dark's Mother's Day special, and appearing in two upcoming technophobic sci-fi thrillers: the feature-length 2020 SWSX submission Lapsis and the 10-minute short Into that Goodnight.
Sophia Bush (Erin Lindsay) - Chicago P.D.
After playing Brooke Davis on One Tree Hill from 2003 to 2012, Sophia Bush debuted as Detective Erin Lindsay on Chicago Fire the following year before becoming a series regular on the police-based spin-off. When Lindsay left CPD for an FBI position at the end of Season 4, Bush followed by taking several small roles in notable films and TV shows, including voicing a superhero in Incredibles 2 and playing a love interest for Kevin (Justin Hartley) in one episode of This Is Us. The actress will appear in Love, Victor, Hulu's series spin-off from Love, Simon, the indie music drama Hard Luck Love Song, and alongside Pierce Brosnan and Ilana Glazer in False Positive, which is being described as a modern Rosemary's Baby.
Jon Seda (Antonio Dawson) - Chicago P.D.
Another Chicago P.D. main character who first appeared on Chicago Fire is Antonio Dawson, played by Jon Seda. He actually stepped away briefly to star in the failed Chicago Justice, but then exited the franchise completely when the detective left the police department, supposedly, to aid his sister, Gabriela, in Puerto Rico. Antonio is actually the second of Seda's characters that also exist in the Law & Order universe, after Paul Falsone on Homicide: Life on the Streets, which had also crossed over with L&O, just as P.D. has. The former aspiring boxer is set to return to NBC for La Brea, a survivalist drama about a mysterious LA sinkhole.
Elias Koteas (Alvin Olinksy) - Chicago P.D.
Before playing CPD undercover operative Alvin Olinsky, Elias Koteas starred as more than a few characters with a badge, such as with his role in Collateral Damage, or as a man known simply as The Policeman in 2010’s Let Me In. However, the Canadian character actor is best known for classics like Terrence Malick’s The Thin Red Line, high school drama Some Kind of Wonderful from writer John Hughes, and the 1990s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movies, in which he played Casey Jones. Since his 2018 exit from Chicago P.D. after Alvin’s murder, Koteas has been filming the Syfy original movie Cipher, which will see him taking on an evil A.I. He is also joining the cast of Billy Bob Thornton’s Amazon series Goliath.
Anne Heche (Katherine Brennan) - Chicago P.D.
The death of Alivin Olinsky is actually what sparks the first appearance of Department Superintendent Katherine Brennan, a recurring character on Chicago P.D. played by Anne Heche. The Emmy-nominee has led a very eclectic career spanning three decades, from the daytime soap opera Another World, to Gus Van Sant’s infamous shot-for-shot Psycho remake, and the short-lived NBC military procedural The Brave in 2017. Heche will continue to show her various tastes with a slew of upcoming feature films that range from light family drama like Wildfire, to a tornado disaster flick called Thirteen Minutes, and the post-apocalyptic survivalist thriller Salvage, which is one of two films categorized as horror the actress has on the horizon.
Josh Segarra (Justin Voight) - Chicago P.D.
Another Chicago P.D. actor who has also led a career of impressive variety is Josh Segarra. His role on the series as Sgt. Hank Voight's (Jason Beghe) former inmate son, Justin, turned out to be shockingly brief, as it ended with the character's tragic murder. Segarra's character on daytime children's program The Electric Company, which lasted from 2009 to 2011, did not suffer the same fate. But, his antagonistic Arrow character Adrian Chase (also known as Prometheus) did, and this time it was self-inflicted. The actor, who has also lent his voice to video games such as Red Dead Redemption, most recently made a recurring guest appearance on another CW series Katy Keane, and is currently working on the comedy film First One In and a TV adaptation of the 2018 Kevin Hart movie Night School.