Tragic news today out of the world of television:
DuShon Monique Brown, a veteran actress who had been a series regular on Chicago Fire since the inception of the NBC drama, has died of an apparent heart attack.
She was 49 years old.
Production sources tell TMZ that Brown admitted herself to an Illinois hospital a few days ago after suffering chest pains; she was reportedly tested at the time and then released.
But things then took a drastic and deadly turn on Friday.
The actress suffered some kind of cardiac episode and was found dead inside her home in Chicago.
The NBC star was a native of The Windy City who had portrayed Connie, the assistant to Chef Boden, since the very first episode of Chicago Fire.
She also appeared on Prison Break from 2005 through 2007.
Television fans may also recognize Brown from stints on Empire and Shameless.
Said Chicago Fire producer Dick Wolf upon learning of Brown's stunning and untimely passing:
"The Chicago Fire family is devastated to lose one of its own. Our thought and prayers are with DuShon's family and we will all miss her."
Along with her acting career, Brown had a background in social work and a Masters in Counseling. She once worked as a counselor at a local high school.
According to her IMDB page, she was also an accomplished violinist who played with the Illinois Symphony Orchestra at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana.
This same page lists a few other facts about the late star.
- Her nickname was "shoo-shoo."
- She attended the same high school as Michelle Obama.
- Her mom is a retired social worker and her dad is a retired math teacher.
- She inspired to perform after seeing the film version of The WIZ at age seven.
Most importantly, and sadly, she leaves behind a daughter named Zoe, who actually appeared with her mother in a 2007 Super Bowl commercial for Frito Lay.
It's unknown at this time just how Chicago Fire will wrote Brown's character out of the series.
It's also matters very little at the moment.
Our thoughts go out to the actress' friends, family members and loved ones.
May DuShon Monique Brown rest in peace.
UPDATE: Fans of Chicago Fire and Brown have responded to the sad news on Twitter.
Here is a sampling of their reactions: