Chicago Fire’s Treat Williams celebrates his birthday

Treat Williams as Benny Severide on Chicago Fire. Photo Credit: Courtesy of NBC.
Treat Williams as Benny Severide on Chicago Fire. Photo Credit: Courtesy of NBC. /

Chicago Fire actor Treat Williams celebrates his birthday today, so we’re looking back at his character, Kelly Severide’s father Benny Severide.

Today we’re saying happy birthday to Chicago Fire recurring guest star Treat Williams, who’s left his mark on the series as the complicated Benny Severide.

A former firefighter, Benny had a very difficult relationship with his son Kelly (Taylor Kinney), and that relationship came to an abrupt end in Chicago Fire season 7.

After years of disagreements, reconciliations, and a long-running joke about Benny’s womanizing, the series decided to kill off Benny this year. He died of a stroke off-screen and his funeral was the center of the episode “What Will Define You.”

Benny Severide was a true character in the One Chicago universe, and Treat Williams played him so well for so many seasons.

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Treat Williams deserves a lot of credit for how he took on the character. One Chicago has quite a few not so great fathers (we documented them here), and Benny could’ve easily been just a playboy dad who constantly frustrated Kelly.

Instead, their relationship wound up being deeper than that. There was frustration and disappointment, sure, but Chicago Fire also pointed out that Benny was part of why Kelly became a firefighter. And the way he was written out also showed something much deeper.

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The fact that Benny was respected during his firefighting career was mentioned a few times on the show, and it came into play during what would be his last appearance. Knowing that he needed some help from above to rid Firehouse 51 of Jerry Gorsch (Steven Boyer), Kelly asked his father for assistance.

It wasn’t until after Benny had died that Kelly learned his father had called in not one favor, but all the favors he had left to ensure that Gorsch was dealt with. He laid it all on the line for his son and his son’s firehouse, and then had a stroke and died—a pretty tragic ending, honestly.

But even though he’s no longer part of Chicago Fire, his influence will always be felt and we’ll be able to look back on Treat Williams’ performance. The TV veteran (you may also recognize him as the father on the popular drama Everwood)  made sure his character was a lot more than a dad with issues, and made us appreciate Benny right up until the very end.

Next. Did Chicago Fire have to kill Benny Severide?. dark

For the latest Chicago Fire season 7 spoilers and news, plus more on the entire series, follow the Chicago Fire category at One Chicago Center.