John Kelly (NYPD Blue)

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John Kelly
NYPD Blue character
David Caruso as Det. John Kelly with Amy Brenneman as Janice Licalsi
First appearance "Pilot"
Last appearance "Dead and Gone"
Portrayed by David Caruso
Nickname(s) Johnny
Occupation NYPD Detective
Title Detective
Family John Kelly Sr (father, deceased)
Nationality American

John Kelly is a fictional character in the television series NYPD Blue. He was portrayed by David Caruso in the first season and the first four episodes of the second season of the series.

An Irish-American who was promoted to the rank of detective at the relatively early age of 28, Kelly was a brilliant and oft-smoldering cop, whose father was a heroic cop who was murdered in the line of duty. John Kelly Sr. was a member of the previously Irish American-dominated Police Department who according to fellow officer Jack Hanlon[1] would have made Chief of Detectives had he not been killed. Kelly always managed to stay just on the right side of the law, usually keeping his hotter headed partner Andy Sipowicz under control. This changed when he became involved with a uniform cop, Janice Licalsi, who murdered a mob boss named Angelo Marino who had ordered her to kill Kelly. Licalsi did this as her father, also a cop, was on the payroll of the mob boss and she was trying to protect him.

Eventually Licalsi was investigated and Kelly allowed her to destroy evidence that would have pointed to her involvement in the murder. After Licalsi confessed to killing Marino (and his bodyguard) she was tried and sentenced to two years in jail for manslaughter. It became evident to Kelly that he had no future in the job as Internal affairs came after him for his role in trying to help Licalsi and his testimony on her behalf. IAB couldn't find any hard evidence to end his career with, but Captain Haverill, an opponent of the 15th's detective squad commander, Lieutenant Arthur Fancy, had provoked Kelly into an act of insubordination and had demoted him to radio dispatch work until IAB could "find" the means to end his career. Kelly refused to accept this and resigned from the force. He was last heard to be acting as a bodyguard and security expert, and was not able to attend Andy Sipowicz's wedding because he was working in India. Lieutenant Fancy was not pleased to see Kelly's career end via Captain Haverill and would later force Haverill's retirement with an incriminating tape recording.

Kelly was married to Laura Michaels, a lawyer played by Sherry Stringfield. The couple were divorced during his time on the show although they continued to have sex for a while until they both decided they were falling into old patterns which they didn't wish to repeat. He also acted as a sort of mentor to James Martinez, a young cop in anti-crime whom he partnered for a while during the time Sipowicz was on probation; one famous episode showed Kelly walking Martinez through an intricate sequence of actions in order to get a murder confession.