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These days, Eamonn Walker is known for his role as the chief on “Chicago Fire,” but back in the day, he became famous for a character who was on the other side of the law.

The veteran TV actor, who now portrays Battalion Chief Wallace Boden on the NBC show, also played prison leader Kareem Saïd in the HBO drama, “Oz.”

“Oz” – which ran from 1997 to 2003 and chronicled the prison politics inside a fictional lockup – recently marked its 20th anniversary, and Walker said fans have asked him and his former cast mates if the cult classic would ever be revived.

“There isn’t gonna be anymore because you can’t top that,” Walker told us. “But it still stands up (today) because of the level of the quality, the cast involved. It was my first real family…I have a family again in ‘Chicago Fire,’ but this was my first real family.”


Walker said filming “Oz” with his fellow co-stars felt more like theater because the subject matter was so graphic and intense that each of them would turn up to watch the other film. And the London-born thespian said when he got the “Oz” gig, he had no clue about what it meant to be an African-American Muslim – but he said he was a quick study.

“I know (that was) groundbreaking television that we made then,” Walker said. “We didn’t know the journey we were on. (The show’s creator, Tom Fontana) just asked us to trust him – and sign the naked clause.”



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