Here's where you've seen Chicago Fire's Chief Robinson before

The drama's latest villain actually has a Dick Wolf connection.

6th Annual GM Ten - Red Carpet
6th Annual GM Ten - Red Carpet / John Shearer/GettyImages

Chicago Fire kicked off the second half of season 12 in a big way. The show introduced Paramedic Chief Robinson as a major adversary, not only for the recently promoted Violet Mikami (Hanako Greensmith), but Firehouse 51 as a whole.

Chief Robinson may be new to the world of Dick Wolf television, but the actress who plays her, Laura Allen, is not. In fact that the actress has a long history with Dick Wolf Productions, and is one of many actors who've appeared in both the One Chicago franchise AND the Law & Order franchise.

Laura Allen appeared on Law & Order

Laura Allen
2019 Outfest Los Angeles LGBTQ Film Festival World Premiere Of "HAM: A Musical Memoir" / Amanda Edwards/GettyImages

Allen made a single episode appearance "Alternative", which is a 2007 episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. She played a character named Cass Magnall, though some fans may forget because the main guest star on the episode is Sex and the City actress Cynthia Nixon.

The synopsis for "Alternate" reads as follows:

"Benson and Stabler investigate the case of a woman (Cynthia Nixon) with multiple personalities who may have abused and killed her daughter; the detectives must adjust to sweeping changes in the SVU."

Allen has dabbled in procedural dramas over the years, but Chicago Fire will mark the first time she gets to play someone who works in the paramedic/emergency response arena. It's fitting, given that she studied to be an EMT prior to becoming a full-time actress.

Allen almost worked as an EMT in real life

Chicago Fire - Season 12
CHICAGO FIRE -- "All the Dark" Episode 12008 -- Pictured: (l-r) Laura Allen as Chief Robinson, Eamonn Walker as Chief Wallace Boden -- (Photo by: Adrian S Burrows Sr/NBC) /

During a 2019 interview with Backstage, Allen revealed that she underwent a ten week course to become an EMT before deciding against it as a career path:

"There was something about it, the rhythm of being an EMT, that seemed somewhat similar to being an actor…. I perform well in high-drama situations, and I respond to emergencies."

Allen had the good fortune of booking a leading role on the show The 4400, and has since been a steady presence on film and television.

Chief Robinson is one of her most overtly villainous roles to date (at least, so far), but knowing what we do about her past, and the fact that she nearly wound up driving an ambulance in real life, it's very fitting that she's been hired to play the person who oversees all of the ambulance drivers.

A full circle moment if ever there was one.

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