Brown played Connie, the Assistant to Chief Boden on the windy city's first responder drama. She passed away just after noon on Friday, according to the Chicago Tribune, at the Franciscan St. James Health Olympia Fields. The Cook County medical examiner's office did not disclose the 49-year-old actress's cause of death. However, a report by TMZ claimed that it was related to a "cardiac episode."
"The Chicago Fire family is devastated to lose one of its own," Dick Wolf said. "Our thought and prayers are with DuShon's family and we will all miss her." The TV legend has executive produced the series since it began in 2012.
On screen, Brown played a stern, practical woman, who was seen as a grounding influence on the group of hot-headed fire fighters. Her co-workers were devastated by her passing.
"We are devastated by the loss of a very talented and kindhearted soul," said Brown's manager Robert Schroeder, of Grossman & Jack Talent in Chicago. "She brought laughter and joy to many, and she will be greatly missed."
Brown was mourned by others on Twitter, where her co-star Melissa Ponzio wrote, "Bowing my head to a great woman, mother [and] beloved Chicago Fire cast member, [DuShon Monique Brown], well known [and] loved as Connie on Chicago Fire. Our house will never be the same."
bowing my head to a great woman, mother & beloved #ChicagoFire cast member ...@DuShonMonique well known & loved as #Connie on @NBCChicagoFire...our house will never be the same. https://t.co/1U0Mkh3yGR— Melissa Ponzio (@MelissaPonzio1) March 24, 2018
Brown was a long-time stage actor in the city of Chicago, where she was born and raised on the south side. She reportedly performed at the Goodman, Victory Gardens, Lookingglass, Drury Lane, MPAACT and Pegasus Players, according to the tribune.
She had done some work on TV in the past as well, including a recurring role on Prison Break as infirmary nurse Katie Welch, who was on the air for 13 episodes. She also had a one-time spot on both Empire and Shameless.
When she was first cast on Chicago Fire, Brown to the Huffington Post that "people are always asking me about my kid and how my day is going and they are all so very sweet and kind." The interviewer referenced Brown's master's degree in counseling and her background as a social worker, and asked half-jokingly how she would feel about a spin-off called Chicago Ed, or Chicago Shelter. Without irony, Brown said "I'm there! If they pull that show out, I will be an actor and a consultant! Trust me."