Movies

A Complete Timeline Of Dean Norris’ Cop Roles Before ‘Breaking Bad’

Dean Norris has had fruitful acting career, playing all sorts of parts from S.W.A.T. team leader to homicide detective to beat cop to security guard to highway patrolman. The man plays law enforcement parts a lot. He’s well-aware of his typecasting, too: “I used to call myself the alphabet actor. FBI, CIA, DEA, You name it, I’ll play it.” In total, Norris has played some sort of law enforcement official 35 times. (Surprisingly, he didn’t play a cop when he guest starred on NYPD Blue or Nash Bridges, and those shows were specifically about cops!)

To celebrate Dean’s birthday this week — he just turned 52 — here’s a look back at his law enforcement roles before chasing Heisenberg as Hank Schrader.

1. Police Academy 6: City Under Siege (1989), Cop At The Gym

2. Disorganized Crime (1989), Deputy Joe

3. Lethal Weapon 2 (1989), Tim Cavanaugh

4. Hard to Kill (1990), Det. Sgt. Goodhart

5. Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990), S.W.A.T. Leader

6. Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991), S.W.A.T. Leader

7. Money Train (1995), Guard


8. The X-Files (1995), Marshal Tapia
“F. Emasculata”

9. Gattaca (1997), Cop On Beat

10. The Practice (1999), Detective
“Free Dental”

11. The Cell (2000), Cole

12. Six Feet Under (2001), Detective Shea
“Familia”

13. The One (2001), Sgt. Siegel

14. Little Miss Sunshine (2006), State Trooper McCleary

15. Evan Almighty (2007), Officer Collins

Even while playing his most famous cop role on Breaking Bad, Norris still took the occasional cop role, like this 2010 episode of Criminal Minds that revolved around the mystery surrounding a serial killer’s suicide.

After Breaking Bad? Norris played a non-cop on the Stephen King TV series Under the Dome, but the call to the badge was too strong, and 2013’s Frozen Ground found him playing a homicide detective helping to track down a murderous John Cusack.

Dean Norris has also had plenty of non-cop roles, of course. Perhaps his greatest non-law enforcement part is this dude with the jacked-up forehead from Total Recall.

×