When it launched in 2012, almost no one expected Chicago Fire to not only become a massive hit but launch its own TV franchise.
A simple drama about Chicago firefighters has captivated fans with its personal dramas, amazing action and often frank discussions on social matters. It’s aided by a top-notch cast, most of whom have been with the show since the first episode.
Even with PD, Med, and the short-lived Justice, Fire is the Chicago show fans can never get enough of. It’s aided by the cast’s experience, many of them TV veterans with numerous shows on their belts while others are more rookies in the TV world.
Yet, they can all boast a few credits that may have escaped fans of the show. Some were from short-lived TV series, while others were small roles on hit shows. It’s interesting how some roles seemed to be trial runs for their Fire characters while others are entirely different.
Here are 10 past TV roles fans may not realize the current Fire cast members have had to showcase their talents when not racing into burning buildings.
Daniel Kyri as part of a complex love triangle, The T
It looked like Darren Ritter’s firefighting career was over as soon as it began. The promising rookie froze up on a job and was kicked out of his unit. But Hermann took pity on the guy to offer him a second chance with Firehouse 51.
Daniel Kyri has been good in the role with Ritter handling the job and opening up about his sexuality which the team accepts. Kyri is a Chicago native who popped up in a few shows.
He also showed his talent by writing, directing, producing, and starring in the web mini-series The T. It focused on a trio of unique Chicagoans who have a wild New Year’s Eve together. They then handle the ensuing emotional fallout.
Kyri was Carter, the male friend in the group balancing his complex love affairs with his feelings for his two companions. While little-seen, it shows the great talent Kyri brings to FIre.
Alberto Rosende as a youth in a hard crime, Blue Bloods
As the bumbling but well-meaning Gallo, Alberto Rosende is a bright spot to Fire’s latest seasons.
The actor did gain fame for his role as vampire Simon on the cult Freeform series Shadowhunters. Before that, he appeared in the hit CBS series Blue Bloods.
In “Sins of the Father,” Jamie and Eddie are investigating a hit-and-run accident where a man confesses. A detective insists that’s the end of it, but the pair sense something is off about the man confessing so fast.
They realize it was his son (Rosende) who was actually driving, and his father was taking the fall for it to protect him. Rosende shines in a scene of the two guilting him into letting his father be blamed for this, so he does the right thing.
Rosende also had a minor role in an SVU episode to show he had a flair for procedurals before Fire.
Miranda Raye Mayo in a steamy soap, Blood & Oil
A great addition to the series, Miranda Raye Mayo’s Stella Kidd has proven herself as a firefighter.
She and Severide have had a steamy relationship, culminating in him proposing to her in the middle of a raging fire. This wasn’t Mayo’s first turn in a steamy role.
In 2015, Mayo starred on the ABC soap Blood & Oil. It focused on a small North Dakota town that booms in population when oil is discovered.
Mayo played the illegitimate daughter of the local oil baron (Don Johnson), who always felt the outsider to the family. This had her acting up, including having an affair with the family’s driver.
The series amped up the dangers with Mayo’s character getting involved in blackmail and even murder. It was canceled after ten episodes but still managed to show a more conniving side to Mayo than her Kidd.
Kara Killmer as a spy’s wife, My Husband’s Secret Life
Not having as many acting credits as her co-stars, Kara Killmer is best known for her role as Sylvie Brett. The paramedic gets into a lot of scrapes but is still trying to do well in her job.
Among the previous credits for Killmer was My Husband’s Secret Life (also known as Sleeper), a Lifetime network thriller.
She plays a woman whose seemingly perfect life is undone, first by a personal tragedy and then when her husband is put into a coma.
While looking into his past, she makes the chilling discovery that her husband is actually a deep-cover Russian spy and races to get someone to believe her.
For those used to Sylvie’s brushes with death, seeing her in an espionage thriller is a departure.
Joe Minoso as a construction worker, Boss
While it only lasted two seasons, Starz’s Boss was notable for having several One Chicago actors on it, such as Christian Stolte and Amy Morton.
The series revolved around Kelsey Grammer as the ruthless mayor of Chicago handling running the city while hiding a secret health issue.
One of the mayor’s big plans is to knock down a neighborhood to expand O’Hare Airport. Blocking him is a construction firm owner (Minoso) who discovers Native American artifacts on the land.
Minoso is tough in the role but suffers when the mayor sends a brutal message to him. It was another way of showing how rough this version of his Chicago character could be.
Christian Stolte as a guard, Prison Break
As the loveable veteran Mouch, Christian Stolte is always good for some laughs on the show. He also has heart such as Mouch’s surprisingly warm marriage to PD’s Trudy.
With several TV credits, Stolte had a notable role in the first season of the Fox drama Prison Break. At first, his guard didn’t have a name before being called Keith. As he was a minor role, the writers gave him Stolte a last name.
One of the few honest guards in the prison, Keith handles some of the antics that lead to the epic escape. He also seemed to honestly care for convict Lincoln (Dominic Purcell) as he faces execution.
He returned in the second season where a former guard now lands inside as an inmate. It wasn’t a large role but showed some of the same heart as Mouch.
Eamonn Walker as a lawyer, Justice
It’s easy to forget Eamonn Walker is British. The actor seems ready for Chicago as the gruff leader Wallace Boden. Walker has specialized in hiding his accent for roles like the groundbreaking HBO drama Oz.
He also concealed it for the 2006 Fox series Justice. It revolved around a pack of lawyers handling high–profile cases with a unique style. The gimmick was that each episode ended by showing the audience what really happened in the crime in question and if justice was served.
Walker was a former District Attorney who switched sides. His insight was good as he knew just how the D.A.’s office would react and prepared the gang for their actions.
Walker was good, especially in an episode where he realizes he sent an innocent man to prison, defending him on new charges.
It lasted just one season, but given Boden’s low opinion of lawyers, it’s funny seeing Walker playing one.
David Eigenberg as a commando, Soldiers of Fortune, Inc
As the loveable, if slightly dim, Hermann, David Eigenberg is usually a source for laughs on Fire. He’s brave but not quite the toughest of the bunch.
So him playing a commando seems ludicrous. But Eigenberg did that on the 1990s syndicated action series Soldiers of Fortune, Inc.
The series revolved around a pack of soldiers working as mercenaries for the U.S. government. They run into Eigenberg, who appears to be a member of a drug gang. It turns out he’s really an undercover DEA agent, which the team can’t believe.
He ends up joining them full-time, an electronic specialist while also the comic relief. In a way, that’s not much different than Hermann, albeit using a gun more than a fire hose.
Taylor Kinney as a paramedic, Trauma
Taylor Kinney has been one of Fire’s best faces as the tough Severide. But it’s not his first run as a lifesaving character.
In 2009, Kinney played paramedic Glenn Morrison on the NBC drama Trauma. It was almost a dry run for the Chicago shows with some dramatic stunt-filled rescues amid wild antics.
Kinney’s character was proud but also easily distracted, which led to accidentally injuring another paramedic. That led him to a downward spiral and the hints it could drive him to darker places.
Before that could develop more, NBC canceled the series. Kinney moved on to his bigger role of Mason Lockwood on The Vampire Diaries before Fire.
Still, it’s easy to see how his Trauma character was an early run for Kinney’s Fire role.
Jesse Spencer as an alien, Time Trax
It can be surprising for fans to hear Jesse Spencer talk in his natural Australian accent, which sounds almost nothing like his voice as Matthew Casey.
The actor did gain fame on the long-running Aussie soap opera Neighbours. He also used his natural voice for his breakout role on House.
But Spencer’s very first acting credit is a funny one. Time Trax was a 1994 syndicated series about police officer Lambert (Dale Midkiff) from the year 2193 hunting criminals who escaped to the 20th century.
Lambert is surprised to learn that an alien has landed on Earth decades before the first contact with his species is supposed to be made. Spencer is the youth with Lambert not only having to keep him safe from suspicious townspeople but protecting history.
It’s odd that Spencer’s acting debut was a sci-fi role he avoided for the rest of his career.
Chicago Fire Seasons 1-9 are available for streaming on Peacock.