Inside Eamonn Walker's Stunning Exit From Chicago Fire

"Chicago Fire" has lost yet another cast member. Just under a year after Taylor Kinney took a months-long break, and a few months after Kara Killmer completely left the show, Eamoon Walker has also departed the "Chicago Fire" in a full-time capacity, after 12 seasons and over 250 episodes. Deadline reported the news in early May 2024, ahead of the "Chicago Fire" Season 12 finale. While the outlet didn't outline Walker's reasoning, they noted that he decided to leave the role on his own. However, fans will be happy to know that Walker has plans to return to the show in a recurring capacity in future seasons.

Walker played the role of Chief Wallace Boden who, as of Season 12, was up for First Deputy Fire Commissioner. Thanks to the relationship he formed with their fathers, Boden also served as a paternal figure to Matt Casey and Kelly Severide, portrayed by Jesse Spencer and Taylor Kinney. Walker's last episode as a full-time cast member, titled "Never Say Goodbye," aired on May 22, 2024. Walker's character decided to leave the firehouse in order to go after a job he felt more aligned with his passion. He also gave Christopher Herman his blessing to take over his role as fire chief. You can look after our family," Boden said to Herrmann ahead of an emotional send-off from his team.

However, Walker also got a send-off in person as well.

Eamonn Walker made a lasting impact on Chicago Fire

Eamonn Walker received a glowing send off from "Chicago Fire" creator and executive producer Dick Wolf. In a statement to Deadline, Wolf, who created the popular series over a decade ago, spoke highly of Walker and his contribution to the show. "Eamonn was the first actor cast on Chicago Fire, and we knew once he said yes, that we were off and running," said Wolf, adding, "His character Chief Wallace Boden was the undisputed leader of Firehouse 51 and, off-screen, Eamonn has filled the same role with our ensemble cast." Producer Andrea Newman also gushed about Wolf, calling him "the most big-hearted, passionate, hard-working and dedicated actor (and human)."

Unsurprisingly, Walker seemed to feel just as strongly about his time on "Chicago Fire." During his last day on set for Season 12, after his final shot wrapped, he poured out his heart as he took a moment to address his castmates and crew members. "I just want to say ... Best cast, best crew, best production. Best job of my life. Thank you," Walker, who was still dressed in his character's fire gear, said during a clip posted to the Wolf Entertainment Instagram account. His reception was just as emotional, with the cast and crew breaking out into a round applause. Near the end of the video, an unidentified staffer walked up to Walker and embraced him. "Love you bro," he said.

What Eamonn Walker has planned next

With nearly 40 years worth of acting credits in his wake, Eamonn Walker's fans are eager to see how his career will evolve after spending over a decade on "Chicago Fire." However, the show's devoted viewership is also hoping Walker will reprise his role as Wallace Boden sooner rather than later. Afterall, Taylor Kinney has since returned to "Chicago Fire," and fans can't wait until Walker follows suit as a recurring cast member. "Eamonn Walker portrayed Chief Boden like no other actor could. I wish him well! But I need to see that face at least once next season," tweeted one fan on X, formerly known as Twitter.

In the meantime, producer Andrea Newman has already started mulling over how the show will account for his absence. "Only time can tell — it all depends on exactly where Boden ends up, and exactly who sits in that Chief's chair," Newman told Deadline about the changes to come. "Whatever the plan is initially, Fire fans can rest assured it will be a lot more complicated, bumpier and emotional than anyone expects. And it will cause a lot of firehouse chaos!" Newman also revealed that, while Season 12's theme centered on change, the essence of Walker's Boden will always be present.

Fortunately, Walker will have his wife to keep him company until he decides to return to the screen.