'Chicago Fire' Casts Annie Ilonzeh as Brett's New Partner in Season 7

Chicago Fire has finally found a replacement for Gabby Dawson. Empire actress Annie Ilonzeh has joined the NBC series as Sylvie Brett's new partner.

Annie Ilonzeh. (Photo: Amanda Edwards/WireImage/Getty)

Ilonzeh will star as Emily Foster, an intelligent and confident new paramedic who will work with Brett (Kara Killmer), reports Variety. She has a chip on her shoulder from trouble in her past, but hopes to prove herself as a quick and effective replacement.

The Chicago Fire team has been searching for a new star to replace Monica Raymund's Dawson since the character left in the season 6 finale. Dawson's relationship with husband Matt Casey (Jesse Spencer) fell apart after he tried to adopt when she wanted to try to have her own biological child, despite health risks. Dawson chose to volunteer in Puerto Rico and left Chicago in the finale's final moments.

Steven Boyer is also joining the series as Assistant Deputy Commissioner Jerry Gorsuch. He is a former firefighter, dreaming of moving up the ladder in the Chicago Fire Department.

Ilonzeh had a recurring role in Empire's second season and appeared in Person Of Interest season five. Her other credits include episodes of American Horror Story, Graceland, Arrow, Drop Dead Diva, Switched at Birth and Entourage. Ilonzeh also starred in ABC's short-lived 2011 Charlie's Angels reboot. More recently, she starred in the Tupac Shakur biopic All Eyez On Me and stars in Jennifer Garner's action movie Peppermint.

Boyer stars on NBC's summer sitcom Trial & Error and also has a long list of roles in The Blacklist, Orange is the New Black and The Good Wife.

While Raymund has left the Chicago Fire fold, she is still working with NBC next season. This week, NBC named the actress as a finalist for its "Female Forward" campaign to promote women directors for its shows. She will shadow a director first, before getting to helm her own episode of Law & Order: SVU before the season ends.

“It has been an honor to play Dawson on Chicago Fire and one of the most meaningful experiences of my life,” Raymund said in a note to fans in May. “I am so thankful for the journey and especially to all of you for watching, but I have made the decision that it’s time for me to move on to the next chapter in life.”


Chicago Fire's seventh season kicks off on NBC Wednesday, Sept. 26 between new episodes of Chicago Med and Chicago P.D.

Photo credit: John Tsiavis/NBC