Braugher's first film role was in the 1989 Civil War epic Glory as Thomas Searles, a free, educated black from the North who joins the first black regiment in the Union Army. He subsequently moved on to a role on the television series Homicide: Life on the Street as Det. Frank Pembleton, a self-righteous, fiery, unyielding, Jesuit-educated police detective. Playing opposite Kyle Secor (who portrayed Det. Tim Bayliss), Braugher became the series' breakout star. He received Television Critics Association awards for individual achievement in drama in 1997 and 1998. He was nominated for an Emmy Award for best actor in a drama series in 1996 and 1998, winning in the latter year. He left Homicide after its sixth season but returned for the successful reunion made-for-TV film. He has also starred in the movies City of Angels and Poseidon.
In 1997 he was selected by People as one of the "50 Most Beautiful People in the World." At New York City's Shakespeare in the Park Festival from June 18