When Chicago PD began, few knew it would be the first of several spin-offs of Chicago Fire. Focusing on a special intelligence unit of the Chicago police force, the series balances top drama with some thrilling investigations.
It has discussed issues of police brutality but has also shown the cops doing their jobs against even worse crooks. The latest season amped up the drama culminating in a stunning finale that had a few lives in danger.
The cast has always been key, with several TV veterans mixed with fresher faces.
Almost every member of the cast has at least one successful TV show under their belt, with others often in minor roles in other series.
That means a few roles for the actors may have fallen under the radar of their fans. Some are so little known they don’t even show up on streaming but are intriguing as the actors play very different roles to their PD parts.
Here are ten little-known roles that popular PD cast members played.
Elias Koteas as an army doctor in Combat Hospital
One of the greatest heartbreaks in PD history was when Olinsky was stabbed to death in his jail cell over a crime he didn’t commit.
It was a blow to the show, given how Elias Koteas had been a great presence as this veteran cop. Koteas was known for his appearances in numerous TV shows as either a cop or a crook.
A departure came in ABC’s 2011 drama Combat Hospital. As the title implies, it was set in a military hospital in Afghanistan with Koteas, the head doctor of a multinational medical unit.
Koteas handled it well, with his doctor having to toughen up the rest of the bunch and putting his personal feelings aside for the job. Yet, he had a warm side helping soldiers through their trauma.
It lasted just one season, yet it was interesting to see Koteas playing a doctor rather than a cop.
Jon Seda as a special investigator in Close To Home
Jon Seda appeared just as upset as fans when, without warning, his Dawson was written out of the show after the sixth season.
Dawson had been on the show from the very start. He took a brief break in season 4 for the short-lived Chicago Justice spin-off before returning once again. But after falling into a drug habit, it was stated that Dawson had left for Puerto Rico.
Seda has appeared in several TV shows with an intriguing role in CBS’ Close to Home. The series focused on a prosecutor (Jennifer Finnigan) handling difficult cases in Indianapolis.
Seda was part of a second season overhaul for the show, playing one of the new investigators for the office. He had great charm, but that wasn’t enough to save the show from cancellation.
But it showed Seda always had a good touch for playing top investigators.
Sophia Bush as a gal in a unique triangle on Partners
Fans are still hopeful for a return visit sometime from original cast member Sophia Bush. Erin Lindsay left in season 4 to join the FBI in exchange for wiping her mother’s criminal record.
Bush was already well known for her role as the wealthy Brooke Davis on the long-running WB/CW dramedy One Tree Hill. But between that and PD, she worked in some comedy.
Partners was a 2012 CBS sitcom with Michael Urie and David Krumholtz as long-time friends and business partners. That’s tested when Krumholtz proposes to his girlfriend (Bush), with Urie realizing this threatens their “bromance.”
Bush was funny in the part trying to handle being the third wheel in this deeper friendship. Sadly, the show lasted only six episodes before being pulled by CBS. Still, it shows a lighter side to Bush than she had on PD.
Tracy Spiridakos as a secret agent in MacGyver
A great recent addition to the show, Tracy Spiridakos, has been showing some depth as Hailey Upton. Wrestling with personal issues and a romance on the job, Hailey has even worked with the FBI.
As it happens, this wasn’t Spiridakos’ first run with a secret agency. She starred in the pilot for CBS’ reboot of MacGyver as Mac’s lover Nikki.
Mac is naturally upset when it appears Nikki has been killed and wants revenge. But he gets a further shock to discover Nikki is alive and working for the bad guys.
Then it turns out Nikki really was the good guy and had been framed by the real mole, Mac’s own boss. The pair were happy for a brief reunion, but Nikki then decided she wanted out of the entire spy game.
It showed a much more vibrant version of Spiridakos than on PD but still proved her love for action.
Amy Morton as a Senator in Boss
As the seemingly mean-spirited but actually warm-hearted Trudy, Amy Morton has become a surprisingly loved and heartfelt character for the series (especially in her marriage to Fire’s Randall).
A veteran Chicago actress, Morton has taken part in scores of shows set in the city. That includes the Starz drama Boss. Kelsey Grammer played the ruthless Chicago mayor, who was hiding a serious health issue.
Morton appeared in a recurring role as Catherine Walsh, a Senator whose favor Grammer tried to win over. However, she targeted his attempts to shut down a housing project, which turned them into enemies.
This led to Grammer making a bold move using Walsh’s personal life in a powerful scandal. It was intriguing seeing Morton showing some Trudy-style strength before being undone.
LaRoyce Hawkins as a vice lord on South Side
LaRoyce Hawkins doesn’t have as many TV credits as his Chicago PD co-stars. He did have a few minor roles on Ballers and Detroit 1-8-7, but his role as Kevin Atwater is his first major credit.
Yet PD fans may not know that Hawkins is in another Chicago-themed TV series. He had a recurring role in the first season of the Comedy Central series South Side.
Filmed in Chicago, the series focuses on two friends (Sultan Salahuddin and Kareem Young) trying to build a business in the rough Englewood neighborhood.
In an opposite from his PD role, Hawkins plays a local vice lord who everyone fears. In a funny touch, the man is a vegan, so he isn’t quite as intimidating as he tries to be.
It shows some nice comedic chops for this tough cop.
Marina Squerciati as a sharp agent in Gossip Girl
Right now, PD fans are frantically waiting to see if Burgess survived her brutal attack in the season 8 finale.
Marina Squerciati has been terrific, showing Burgess’ growth from patrolwoman to top detective. That’s a far cry from her turn on the original CW dramedy Gossip Girl.
As Alessandra Steele, a literary agent who takes Dan under her wing, Squerciati showed a conniving side with Alessandra pulling moves like pretending to be a hater of Dan’s book online just to stir up publicity.
The pair had a brief hookup, with Alessandra wanting more but then realized their relationship was more about Dan getting back at Serena. Eventually, they split when Dan chose to go to Europe.
For those who love the tough Burgess, it’s fun seeing her showing a sultry side.
Patrick Flueger as criminal twins in Scoundrels
Before he became daring cop Adam Ruzek, Patrick Flueger was notable for the cult sci-fi show The 4400.
Between that and PD, Flueger played a dual role in ABC’s 2010 series Scoundrels. It revolved around a family of crooks who are thrown when their father is arrested.
Their mother (Virginia Madsen) declares they’re going straight, but both the cops and other crooks assume this is a new scam.
Flueger started as Logan, the one member of the family who’s pretty smart and honest. He also played Cal, Logan’s twin brother, who’s his total opposite in personality as not only a crook but a complete idiot.
It was interesting to see Flueger play the dual roles, Logan trying to break free of the family legacy while Cal embraced it. There was also their pitiful attempt at swapping lives to bring some humor.
The series lasted just eight episodes yet showed how well Flueger could handle being on both sides of the law.
Jesse Lee Soffer was tied to the mob in The Mob Doctor
As Jay Halstead on PD, Jesse Lee Soffer is known as a tough cop whose intensity can get him into trouble (like killing a suspect).
Soffer was on the opposite side of the law in the short-lived 2013 Fox drama The Mob Doctor. He played a guy whose gambling problems led him to get heavily in debt to the mob.
Desperate to help, his surgeon sister (Jordana Spiro) pays off his debt by setting herself up as the go-to surgeon for any criminals in trouble.
Soffer was fun in the role as he clearly couldn’t keep staying out of trouble even while feeling guilty about getting his sister into this jam. Unfortunately, there were also hints he might be falling deeper into the criminal lifestyle.
The series was canceled after one season yet showed Soffer could handle both sides of the law well.
Jason Beghe as a lovelorn Navy man in Melrose Place
Hank Voight is known for his amazingly tough attitude and no-nonsense approach to crime-fighting. Over the years, Jason Beghe has proven his skill at playing scores of cops over various TV shows.
Yet an intriguing early role by Beghe was on the 1990s Fox soap Melrose Place. He played Jeffrey, a Navy officer who fell in love with regular character Matt.
Sadly, in the early ‘90s, Jeffrey had to keep this entire relationship secret for fear of losing the job in the military he loved so much. It eventually drove a wedge between him and Matt.
Jeffrey later returned as he had left the military after contracting AIDS. He now had a “live life to the fullest” attitude, but Matt couldn’t deal with it, and they broke up for good.
It’s remarkable to see the hard-bitten Voight in a more sensitive role.
Chicago PD seasons 1-8 streaming on Hulu and Peacock.