‘Chicago P.D.’ Star Jason Beghe Has Strong Ties to Chicago in Real Life

by John Jamison
(Photo by Timothy Hiatt/Getty Images)

We already know Chicago Fire uses real firefighters and Chicago natives on the show. Why would Chicago P.D. be any different? Hank Voight actor Jason Beghe isn’t quite a real police officer, but he can trace his Chicago roots back on his mom and dad’s sides.

Since 2014, Jason Beghe has been portraying the no-nonsense police sergeant. Over the years, he has appeared in 172 episodes of Chicago P.D. The Chicago-affiliated actor has also appeared in 24 episodes of Chicago Fire, three of Chicago Med, and three on the short-lived Chicago Justice. He’s also popped up in Law & Order: SVU, but that’s a story for another time.

Beghe’s dad, Renato W. Beghe, was born and raised in Chicago. He went on to become a tax court judge, per The Washington Post. The Hank Voight actor’s mom went to the University of Chicago. And his brother lived there as an adult.

The Chicago connection isn’t just limited to the Chicago P.D. star’s parents either. Jason Beghe’s grandpa was a musician with the Chicago Symphony. Beghe can even trace his name back to a former two-term governor of Illinois—it was his great-grandfather.

With all of his history, it’s only appropriate that Beghe would participate in the franchise and lead a Chicago-centric TV show.

“It seemed something almost destined in a way. I don’t put a lot of significance on symbolism or anything like that, but it seems pretty damn coincidental. And I know my parents would be very pleased and proud,” Beghe told The Chicago Tribune.

He recognizes the significance of it, but it nearly didn’t happen.

‘Chicago P.D.’ Star Jason Beghe Nearly Passed on the Show

That’s right, Chicago P.D. fans. Jason Beghe very nearly turned down the role he was offered on Chicago Fire. He made his debut on the sister show years before finding a home on Chicago P.D.

“When I got the script and the offer to do a recurring role on Chicago Fire, I was in the middle of a lot of personal stuff. Both my parents had just died, and I wasn’t sure that I was going to accept the job. But I ultimately decided to do it. Interestingly, I left to shoot my first day on Chicago Fire from my father’s funeral in Washington D.C. The many ways in which that decision has changed my life could fill a book,” Beghe told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in September. “Suffice it to say; I’m happy I made that choice.”

The role has not only made Beghe happy but it’s also changed his perspective. Prior to Chicago P.D., Beghe looked at police officers and only saw the badge. Now, he sees them as actual people doing an invaluable service.