Here's Where You Know The Cast Of Chicago Fire From

In 2012, legendary television producer and "Law & Order" creator Dick Wolf launched his latest procedural drama at NBC. "Chicago Fire," a show about the trials and tribulations of the firefighters and paramedics who operate out of Firehouse 51 in Chicago, was a massive success. Like other Dick Wolf projects, "Chicago Fire" eventually became a franchise starter, spawning two spinoffs; together with the original, "Chicago P.D." and "Chicago Med" form NBC's "One Chicago" block that often leads the TV ratings (per The Hollywood Reporter).

Over the years, "Chicago Fire" has seen cast members come and go, departing veterans being replaced by new fan favorites. The tenth season of the show launched in September 2021, picking up from a shocking cliffhanger that saw the fate of just about everyone left in the balance.

Fans were left wondering which characters would continue on with the show and who might be making an exit from the franchise. And, in considering cast switch-ups, viewers might be wondering how they even know some of these actors anyway, many of whom have had their careers made by their roles on the show. Never fear: grab your firefighting gear and read on for a roundup of the biggest "Chicago Fire" stars and where you may have seen them before.

Jesse Spencer was a teen heartthrob and a doctor on House

When "Chicago Fire" began in 2012, Jesse Spencer ("Matt Casey") was perhaps the most famous member of the cast. That same year, he was coming off a leading role on "House," where he played pretty boy doctor Robert Chase. Spencer has a lot of doctors in his family, and he told Time Out that they had trouble tuning into his show because of it. "They couldn't watch it," he said. "They were very nice about it. It's frustrating to watch if it's in your field 'cause, as medically accurate as 'House' was, we [took] creative license."

"House" wasn't Spencer's longest job, though. That honor goes to his role on long-running Australian soap "Neighbours," the same show that brought us international stars like Kylie Minogue, Margot Robbie, and Liam Hemsworth. Playing teen heartthrob Bill Kennedy, Spencer filmed a whopping 461 episodes of the soap before moving to America and finding success in Hollywood. And he sees similarities between Melbourne and Chicago, where he lives now.

"Chicago's like Melbourne—there's a city center, there's public transport, and there's more of a cultural scene. It's got some history, whereas L.A.'s more of a sprawl. I miss the beaches 'cause I surf, but it's nice to be in a city, and Chicago is a city," he told Time Out.

Eamonn Walker made TV history on Oz

On "Chicago Fire," Eamonn Walker plays Battalion Chief Wallace Boden, a character who The Sun writes "is universally celebrated by fans for his reliability and leadership." Walker has had a number of film credits that might make him recognizable to audiences, including "Cadillac Records," "Lords of War," and "Unbreakable."

However, he really broke out as the villainous Kareem Saïd on HBO's groundbreaking prison drama, "Oz." Saïd, HBO notes, "was the first recurring Muslim character on an American TV show," and Walker credits that role with his success in show business. "The door opened for me because of 'Oz,' he told Blackfilm. "That's the bottom line. Everything [that's] come, every job, every film, the play 'Julius Caesar,' has been because of 'Oz.'"

Reflecting on his character as "Oz" drew to a close in 2005, he told the Tampa Bay Times, "People always [look at] the murderers, the rapists, and they just blank out that person, forget they exist. What [creator] Tom [Fontana] says is, 'No matter who you think this person is, there's a lot you don't know about him.' It's truly about the journey of human beings whom society would rather ignore." Walker continued, "We enable shows like 'The Sopranos' to do what they do. I'm proud we were the original. And nobody can take that away from us."

Taylor Kinney was engaged to a pop star and played a werewolf on TV

Ever since the beginning of "Chicago Fire," the gang at Firehouse 51 has been led by Taylor Kinney as Lieutenant Kelly Severide. When the series began, Kinney was then best known for his role as bad-boy werewolf Mason Lockwood on "The Vampire Diaries," which he joined in Season 2, continuing his role into Season 3. Kinney loved the action of the series, telling Collider, "I've always wanted to be as much a part of the stunts, the fight scenes, and the choreography as possible. I want to do as much as the producers will allow. ... I revel in all the physical stuff, the fighting and the jumping around. That's cool."

He sometimes gets to do his own stunts on "Chicago Fire," too. Kinney told WGN Radio, "That's fun for me to do. I enjoy doing that stuff. You're playing a big kid. ... I'll do as much as NBC insurance cuts me off at." He even got his scuba certification!

Fans might also recognize Kinney as red carpet arm candy to a pop superstar. He dated Lady Gaga for five years after meeting her on set at her mermaid-themed music video for "Yoü and I" in 2011. They got engaged in 2015 before later calling things off. Years after Kinney and Gaga split, he praised her work in "A Star Is Born," telling Entertainment Tonight, "I'm really proud. ... It's watching someone live their dream."

Christian Stolte was 'unfamous' before Chicago Fire

Before he was cast on "Chicago Fire" as Randy "Mouch" McHolland, Christian Stolte was primarily a theatre actor. For many years of his career, Stolte often played smaller parts in movies and TV, including bank robber Charles Makley in "Public Enemies" and the father of Thomas Dekker's character in the "Nightmare on Elm Street" remake. He was also a  recurring prison guard on the first season of "Prison Break," playing Keith Stolte in 18 episodes of the drama.

That all being said, he knows that you probably recognize him from "Chicago Fire." Stolte told the Chicago Tribune, "A certain level of fame has come from this show for all of us. But as I point out to these guys, I've been unfamous longer than any of you. The actor added, "So I still live in my head as a guy that no one recognizes. I can be a little surly, and it will take me a while to figure out what's going on." Stolte will wonder why people are staring at him, forgetting his star status at times.

Chicago Fire has been life-changing for Joe Miñoso

Joe Miñoso plays Joe Cruz on "Chicago Fire," a former gang member who finds redemption working at Firehouse 51. Before joining the cast, Miñoso mostly worked in theatre and in small roles on TV and film, including a policeman in Zack Snyder's Superman movie, "Man of Steel."

When he first started acting, including for much of "Chicago Fire," Miñoso was credited without the tilde in his name. He told the Chicago Sun Times that he had to "gentrify" his name to get acting work, saying, "I would have a few conversations with some professors and other colleagues, and people who would come in and do workshops and say: 'You might want to take that tilde away. It's gonna confuse people; they're not gonna know how to say it.'" In the credits for the tenth season of "Chicago Fire," though, the tilde came back, and Miñoso was happy about that.

He had been without a job before reaching Firehouse 51, and Miñoso still expresses how much the series means to him. "The 'Chicago Fire' experience has been the most influential event in my life," he told BE Latina. "This opportunity gave me so much. This role has given me my first home, it's where I met and married my wife [Caitlin Murphy Miles], and brought people to my life that I adore. Being part of this show has changed everything for me." 

Sex and the City vet David Eigenberg is grateful for his Chicago Fire role

"Sex and the City" fans will recognize David Eigenberg, who plays Lieutenant Christopher Herrmann on "Chicago Fire." He's also known as Steve Brady, the bartender who kissed Miranda in the rain before becoming her long-term love interest. He reprised the role in both films, but he's had to stay quiet about the upcoming "Sex and the City" revival, "And Just Like That." "Every time I see a picture of 'Sex and the City' on my iPhone, they make me sign a new disclosure statement," he joked with E! News.

In 2008, before he was cast on "Chicago Fire," he reflected on his career with Entertainment Weekly. "You never know when your last day gig is, and if you spend your life thinking about it, you'll drive yourself nuts," he said. "I'm happy to work when I've worked, and you've got to take the hard times with the good times."

Now, Eigenberg is very much in "the good times," having been on "Chicago Fire" for every season. In fact, it's his favorite gig ever, according to an interview with the Daily Herald. "I love this job. It's everything for me," the actor said. He expressed his gratitude in 2012 by stating, "I've had an amazing career. I never pushed the envelope of wanting people to know me, or be on the cover of magazines. ... I'm hoping ['Chicago Fire'] sticks around. I would love to ride this as long as I could."

Alberto Rosende was a Freeform heartthrob before joining Chicago Fire in Season 8

For three seasons on Freeform's cult hit "Shadowhunters," Alberto Rosende played Simon Lewis, a "wholesome, geeky vampire" (per Meaww). Simon was a singer, meaning Rosende also sang on the show; he performed an original song called "Fragile World" in a Season 2 episode.

Though the show wasn't a huge smash, it managed to amass a group of passionate, devoted fans, thanks in no small part to Rosende's performance. He is proud of his time on the show and of the fanbase they built, telling Heavy that he was grateful for "the opportunities that we have had to travel all around the world and meet all the people connected to this thing that we have done. We've created this global community; I think that at some point in our lives as actors, we want to have people like what we do."

Rosende has connected with a whole other group of fans on "Chicago Fire." His character, Blake Gallo, first showed up in Season 8. The actor stayed around and was promoted to series regular in Season 9. Rosende joked with Hello! that alongside fellow newcomers Daniel Kyri and Hanako Greensmith, he's part of "the new blood" of the show. "When all the guys who have been there a long time make a joke about a Season 3 reference, we are [lost], and we'll bring things up from TikTok and they're like 'what?'" he said.

Miranda Rae Mayo played The Game before joining Chicago Fire in Season 4

Miranda Rae Mayo joined the cast of "Chicago Fire" way back in Season 4, playing a new firefighter named Stella Kidd. She was promoted to series regular in Season 5 and soon became an inseparable part of the Firehouse 51 crew. In the Season 9 finale, Severide finally asked Stella to marry him, pleasing fans of the long-time couple.

Viewers may recognize Mayo from a number of different roles she had before signing on to "Chicago Fire." She appeared on five episodes of BET's "The Game" in 2013,  romanced Shay Mitchell's character, Emily, on "Pretty Little Liars," led the cast of the short-lived "Blood & Oil," and even had an arc on legendary soap opera "Days of our Lives."

After so many guest roles, she expressed to Hello! that she was grateful for the dedication that comes with being on a long-running procedural like "Chicago Fire." "At this point in time in my life, I really believe commitment is a facilitator of freedom, and that commitment provides a bed of trust, whether in a relationship or a practice," she said. "With my own self, if there is trust, I feel more free to try things, and ask for things, and play, because I know the commitment is there, and there is a sturdy, solid foundation."

Early-season favorite Charlie Barnett says Chicago Fire brought him 'everything'

Fans binging "Chicago Fire" for the first time may wonder why they recognize Charlie Barnett, who played rookie firefighter Peter Mills for the show's first three seasons. And fans who have been here since the beginning, of course, may be wondering what Barnett has been up to since he left. It turns out that he's been busy! Since leaving the One Chicago family, Barnett has had a starring role on "Arrow," and he also managed to book roles in three Netflix hits. On the second season of "You," he played a friend of Victoria Pedretti's character, Love; in "Russian Doll," he was the only other person experiencing the same time loop as Natasha Lyonne; and in "Tales of the City," he was Ben, the younger boyfriend of middle-aged character Michael (Murray Bartlett).

"I'm incredibly thankful and honored," he told PopDust about his luck in signing on to those three Netflix shows in one year. "[I] feel like I'm getting an opportunity to play different and diverse characters, which is a dream for any actor."

Like many of his other cast mates, Barnett speaks fondly of his time at Firehouse 51. Discussing the possibility of a future for Peter Mills, he told TVLine in 2019, "I would be more than happy to return. I love the show; it brought me ["Arrow"], everything I have. It was an incredible window in my career."

Treat Williams hopes you know him from Everwood

Over the course of "Chicago Fire," veteran actor Treat Williams recurred as Benny Severide, father of Taylor Kinney's character, Kelly. Benny suffered a shocking stroke in Season 7, resulting in Williams being written off the show.

Fans will recognize him from a variety of film appearances, including "Hair," "Once Upon a Time in America," and "Dolly Parton's Christmas on the Square." As TV goes, though, Williams is most proud of his work on "Everwood," the WB series where he played a surgeon and widower who moves his family to a small town in Colorado to open a free clinic. 

"​I have extraordinarily warm feelings about [Everwood]," he told TV Insider. "I'm glad other people are discovering it because I think it's probably the best television series I was ever on." He also shared, "It was just so full of love and good people and surprises and dealing with real life stuff that hadn't been dealt with on the networks before."

Williams enjoyed his time on "Chicago Fire," too. Looking back on his career, he agreed with TV Insider that it's unfortunate Benny won't be able to return to the show. "I told them when they told me they were going to kill me off, I said, 'Well, it's a good thing the guy's got a twin brother,'" he joked.

Randy Flagler is living his childhood dream

On "Chicago Fire," Randy Flagler plays Capp, one of the firemen who's been with Firehouse 51 since the very beginning. Before joining the show, Flagler mostly played small roles on various television episodes. He was often cast as some variation on a security guard ("Prison Break," "The Nine"), bailiff ("The Young and the Restless"), military officer ("NCIS," "Women's Murder Club"), or criminal ("24," "Shark," "NYPD Blue").

Now, though, Flagler has finally found the role he's always wanted to play. "You act and do a bunch of different jobs, different characters, but as a kid you always want to be a firefighter," he told Fansided. "As an actor, to have a gig and be a firefighter — to put on the gear and the tank and run into fires and play with the trucks and rigs and sirens going down the road — it is a dream job. An acting gig and a firefighter? It was the best job for me, so I'm extremely thankful." 

When Kara Killmer was on a reality show, she was just an aspiring actor

Kara Killmer has played paramedic Sylvie Brett on "Chicago Fire" ever since her character joined the squad in Season 3. Over the course of Season 9, Sylvie's relationship with Matt Casey finally developed into something serious; he declared his love for her in the finale, suggesting sparks would really fly during Season 10.

Before being cast on "Chicago Fire," Kara was best known for being herself on the short-lived Hulu reality show "If I Can Dream." The show was created by Simon Fuller, an "American Idol" producer (per The Stanford Daily) and featured five people who wanted to break into in the entertainment business while living in the "Dream House," which was wired for cameras so that anyone could watch online. Important developments in their lives were gathered into weekly episodes released on Hulu, and fans were encouraged to interact with the cast over MySpace (!) and Twitter.

"It's really nice being here with 'If I Can Dream,' because we actually get to dedicate all the time that we have in the day to our craft," she told Hollywire. "I'm not having to work an incredible amount of jobs while having to pursue my career; it's a really nurturing environment." The experience paid off. Within a few years, Killmer was working on "Chicago Fire," and the rest is history. The One Chicago world loves a crossover — Killmer has also appeared on "Chicago P.D." 10 times and has been on "Chicago Med" even more frequently.

DuShon Monique Brown found success on Chicago Fire before her untimely passing

When "Chicago Fire" began, DuShon Monique Brown's character, Connie, was an assistant to Wallace Boden. Throughout her time on the show, Brown saw Connie through a series of life changes, including leaving her job at Firehouse 51 to become a counselor. 

Like her co-star Christian Stolte, DuShon Monique Brown was best known for a recurring role on "Prison Break" before she was cast on "Chicago Fire." She played Nurse Katie Welch, friend and coworker of Sara, for 13 episodes of the hit show.

However, it was on "Chicago Fire" that she found her biggest success. The actor told Hidden Remote, "I'm just this goofy, nerdy, violin-playing, singing goofy songs with my kid, tree-hugging, sometimes foul-mouthed Chicagoan who plays the violin, likes karaoke, embraces the trees, loves to be appreciated for her work, and dreams of playing a superhero in the movies."

Unfortunately, Brown passed away in 2018. Per the Chicago Tribune, the show paid tribute through an emotional scene where Firehouse 51 is informed that Connie has moved away to fulfill her dreams. "I didn't get a chance to say goodbye," said David Eigenberg's character Christopher, speaking for the other characters as well as the cast. On social media, her co-stars honored Brown when they heard the news. Kara Killmer tweeted, "Your lovingkindness and understanding have been a safe place of great importance to me. I will always love you. I miss you."

Gary Cole loves when you quote Office Space to him

For three seasons of "Chicago Fire," Gary Cole played Chief Carl Grissom, who often caused problems for the Firehouse 51 gang. Fans of the show may have wondered why he seemed so familiar. Well, if you could stop wondering where you know Gary Cole from and just read the rest of this article, "that would be great..."

Cole has a long list of credits that stretch back to the early 1980s. He played Vice President Bob Russell on "The West Wing," and an assistant to the Vice President on "Veep." He's played Kurt McVeigh, a ballistics expert, on both "The Good Wife" and "The Good Fight," and he played the grandfather of Tracee Ellis Ross' "Black-ish" character on prequel spinoff "Mixed-ish."

Above all, though, Cole is perhaps best known for his iconic role as Bill Lumbergh in the cult comedy "Office Space." Talking with Vulture, he said he doesn't mind at all that this is what people know him from, and in fact, he loves it when people quote "Office Space" to him. "I'm grateful for that," he said. "People say you get identified with a role and you get stereotyped, but I haven't found that to be the case. We were all surprised by the fact that the movie had legs like that."