'Chicago Fire's Season 7 Premiere Was a Way for the Cast to Say Goodbye to Connie

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Mar. 18 2021, Updated 4:11 p.m. ET

The Season 7 premiere of Chicago Fire featured a heartfelt and touching tribute to Connie, played by late actress DuShon Monique Brown. Connie had worked in the bullpen of Firehouse 51 since the series' first season and brought warmth and humility to her role as Chief Wallace Boden’s assistant.

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Audiences loved Connie from the start and while the character leaving the show wasn’t surprising, it was still heartbreaking. But exactly what happened to Connie from Chicago Fire and how did actress DuShon Monique Brown figure into the way Connie was written off from the show? Keep scrolling to find out…

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What happened to Connie on 'Chicago Fire'?

It’s always a sad day when a beloved character from a favorite show has to leave the series and gets written off. But while not all characters get a beautiful exit from a show, given what happened to actress DuShon Monique Brown, the writers of Chicago Fire were careful to give her a special goodbye.

In March 2018, actress DuShon Monique Brown died unexpectedly from a blood infection of unknown origin. The 49-year-old actress had underlying conditions that included hypertensive cardiovascular disease and obesity, which were said to have contributed to the factors causing her death.

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DuShon was a successful TV, film, and voice-over actress who also loved the theater. In addition to being on hit shows like Empire, Shameless, and Prison Break, she also played numerous roles on stage at the Steppenwolf, Goodman, and Chicago theatre companies.

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The death of this Chicago native caught the entire cast and crew of Chicago Fire off-guard. DuShon was loved both on and off-screen and in a statement mourning the loss of this fine actress, producer of Chicago Fire, Dick Wolf, said that the show “was devastated to lose one of its own… Our thoughts and prayers are with DuShon's family and we will all miss her.”

With DuShon’s sudden passing, the writers of the show didn’t have time to wrap up Connie’s story in Season 6. Executive producer Derek Haas said that they didn’t want to rush anything that may have ended up being disrespectful to either Connie or actress DuShon and her still-grieving family and friends, including her castmates on the show.

In the end, the writers came up with a fitting tribute to the character of Connie and the talented actress behind her. 

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In the Season 7 premiere, Chief Boden tells the team that Connie had been working on a master's degree in counseling and after recently finishing her program, she was offered her dream job. But since Connie’s new employer needed her to start immediately, Boden continued, Connie had to leave before getting the chance to say goodbye to anyone other than the chief.

Connie’s departure story was particularly thoughtful as it mirrored actress DuShon’s real life.  

DuShon actually had a master’s degree in counseling from Governors State University and had served as a counselor at Kenwood Academy High School on the South Side of Chicago.

The writers also ran the idea by DuShon’s real-life family so they wouldn’t be caught off-guard when the episode aired. “I wrote it as what I wanted to say. We didn’t get a chance to say goodbye, but she was loved,” Derek said.

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