Chicago Fire’s Daniel Zacapa celebrates his birthday

CHICAGO FIRE -- "A Man's Legacy" Episode 607 -- Pictured: (l-r) Daniel Zacapa as Ramon, Jon Seda as Antonio Dawson -- (Photo by: Elizabeth Morris/NBC)
CHICAGO FIRE -- "A Man's Legacy" Episode 607 -- Pictured: (l-r) Daniel Zacapa as Ramon, Jon Seda as Antonio Dawson -- (Photo by: Elizabeth Morris/NBC) /

Chicago Fire recurring guest star Daniel Zacapa celebrates his birthday today, so we’re celebrating his Chicago Fire character Ramon Dawson.

Today we’re saying happy birthday to Chicago Fire‘s Daniel Zacapa! He’s the man behind Ramon Dawson, the notoriously difficult dad of Gabriela Dawson (Monica Raymund) and Antonio Dawson (Jon Seda).

Ramon is often a troublemaker for Gabriela and Antonio, either because he just doesn’t know any better or because he thinks they’re going to get him out of whatever predicament he’s landed in now.

This is the guy who saw no issue with announcing his divorce during his anniversary party last season, and this season got himself stabbed in one of Chicago Fire‘s many cliffhangers.

But as problematic as Ramon can be, particularly for his daughter, he is still a dad and has a love for his children. Even if he does things that make them (and the audience) crazy.

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Daniel Zacapa appeared in four episodes of Chicago Fire this year, with his most memorable one being the midseason finale “Down Is Better” which ended with the reveal that Ramon had been attacked.

It felt like a turning point for his character, especially when the show revealed in the following episode “A Man’s Legacy” that he hadn’t been stabbed for any selfish reason of his own—he had, for once, been trying to do the right thing.

Ramon Dawson hasn’t been seen on Chicago Fire since, though, so it’s not clear if he really did change for the better or if that was just one good moment. We’re hoping for the former.

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Ramon is definitely one of the biggest characters in the whole One Chicago fandom. He has a very big personality, you could say he’s got a big ego with how much he thinks about himself first, and he certainly grabs the audience’s attention when he walks into a room.

But underneath all that, Chicago Fire has developed a complicated relationship between Gabriela and her father. While things are not as clear between Ramon and Antonio (and, in fact, Ramon was never seen on Chicago PD anyway), Gabriela is still close to him because that’s her father.

Daniel Zacapa’s last episode seemed to suggest that things were looking up for Ramon, both in his relationships with his kids and how he became a minor celebrity for his act of heroism.

And that is also part of why his performance is memorable—as frustrating as he can be, there’s something in the way Zacapa plays him that makes you never quite write him off, if only because you know how much he means to Gabriela and like her, you think there’s the potential for better.

The question now is if we’ll continue to see Daniel Zacapa on Chicago Fire. With Monica Raymund having left the series, and most of Ramon’s storylines being with his daughter, will this be the end of his guest spots? Or will we get to see that different Ramon Dawson that was hinted at? The fall will tell, but we’d like to think Ramon has a bright future ahead.

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Join us in wishing Daniel Zacapa a happy birthday in the comments! We’ll see if he comes back to Chicago Fire when the new season begins Sept. 26.