Chicago Med and Chicago Fire’s Jeff Hephner celebrates his birthday

CHICAGO MED -- "Brother's Keeper" Episode 204 -- Pictured: (l-r) Jeff Hephner as Jeff Clarke, Marlyne Barrett as Maggie Lockwood -- (Photo by: Elizabeth Sisson/NBC)
CHICAGO MED -- "Brother's Keeper" Episode 204 -- Pictured: (l-r) Jeff Hephner as Jeff Clarke, Marlyne Barrett as Maggie Lockwood -- (Photo by: Elizabeth Sisson/NBC) /

Chicago Fire turned Chicago Med fan favorite Jeff Hephner is celebrating his birthday today, so we’re celebrating him and his character Jeff Clarke.

Today we’re saying happy birthday to possibly the most beloved recurring player in the One Chicago universe: the ever-versatile Jeff Hephner.

Hephner’s such an awesome actor, we’ve had him as a recurring guest star on not one but two One Chicago shows—the only person to accomplish that feat thus far.

His character Jeff Clarke was first introduced as a firefighter in the second season of Chicago Fire, and then came back in the second season of Chicago Med as a medical student.

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He has yet to surface as a detective on Chicago PD, but we wouldn’t put it past him.

There aren’t that many characters, and that many actors, you can do that with. It’s not easy to take a character and translate them to a whole other show, even if it’s a show in the same franchise.

And not every actor has the ability to adapt that easily, to throw themselves into an almost entirely new challenge, and make it seem like this was the plan all along.

But in that sense, Jeff Hephner is kind of a unicorn.

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Clarke is such a great character—charismatic, hard-working, down to earth and up for any kind of challenge—that we fell in love with him. We went along with the idea that he was studying while at the firehouse and got into med school, because that’s how happy we were to have him back.

And while writing is a part of it, most of the qualities that make us love him come from the actor who’s playing him.

Now there’s a suggestion going around that he should be the new paramedic on Chicago Fire, and we’re prepared to go along with that too, because we know how much of an asset Jeff Hephner is to the franchise we love.

While we don’t know if Clarke is going to resurface, we can tell you that there’s plenty of Jeff in our future. He’s part of the cast for NatGeo’s original series Mars season 2 (premiere date TBA) and he also has a role in the new season of USA‘s Queen of the South, which just premiered last night.

If you haven’t had a chance to see him outside of One Chicago, make sure you tune in because he’s great in every role he takes on. He’s not going anywhere, and that’s fantastic news since he’s one of the best actors we’ve got.

Next: Should Jeff Clarke return to Chicago Fire?

Join us in wishing Jeff Hephner a happy birthday in the comments and on Twitter! To keep up with everything he’s doing now, follow his actor category at One Chicago Center.