Brenda Leigh Johnson
Name Brenda Leigh Johnson
Rank DeputyChief Deputy Chief
Affiliation Los Angeles Police Department
Division Major Crimes
Gender Female
Family Clay Johnson (father)
Willie Rae Johnson (mother, deceased)
Clay Jr (brother)
Bobby (brother)
Jimmy (brother)
Charlene Johnson (niece)
Spouse(s) Fritz Howard
Played by Kyra Sedgwick
First appearance "The Closer (Pilot)"
Final appearance "The Last Word"
If I liked being called a bitch to my face, I'd still be married!

Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson is the commanding officer of the LAPD's Major Crimes Division (formerly known as the Priority Homicide Division) on The Closer.

She is an intelligent, determined, and exacting woman who may offend some people involved in her cases, or coworkers, but she has powerful skills to determine the facts of a crime, compel confessions, and close cases. Thus, she is "a closer".

Character Information Edit

An expert at interrogations, Brenda has a long history in law enforcement. She worked for the police in Atlanta, where she is born and raised, and later for the U.S. State Department as well as the CIA. She was married at one point to a co-worker in Atlanta, but it ended in divorce.

At the end of The Closer, she wanted to capture Phillip Stroh by any means necessary, leading her to assault him. Brenda, knowing she will lose her job, retires from the LAPD and accepts a new job as the Chief of the District Attorney's Office's Bureau of Investigation. While its more administrative, she can still work in the field sometimes if she so chooses. She also has David Gabriel transferred there to act as liaison officer for the LAPD.

In Season 3 of Major Crimes, Fritz tells the team she's considering a new job in Washington, DC. However, Fritz gets a job as the Deputy Chief in charge of the LAPD's Special Operations Bureau and it is unknown how it affects her choice. She is also unaware that Fritz had a heart attack and now needs a pacemaker with only Michael Tao knowing.

In “Sanctuary City, Part 1”, after Phillip Stroh's possible return, a protection detail is ordered for Brenda as well as Emma Rios, Rusty Beck and possibly Linda Rothman.

In “By Any Means, Part 3”, while putting on a show for Stroh and his accomplice Dylan Baxter, Fritz states that all security details will be pulled back. The detectives "angrily," as part of the show, point out that the detail on Brenda is unlikely to be pulled back by Fritz.

In “By Any Means, Part 4”, after Stroh is killed by Rusty, Fritz tells the young man that Brenda had a hard time processing the news that Stroh was finally gone as well.

Officer-involved shootingsEdit


  • When in uniform, Brenda wears four service stripes on her uniform. Each stripe represents five years of service in the LAPD which which would mean 20-24 years of service, even though she had only served for seven years at the time of her retirement at the end of The Closer. Her previous positions in law-enforcement throughout the country are most likely the reason for her stripes. (Last seen in "Repeat Offender"; July, 2011.)
    • Interestingly, this same courtesy is not extended to her husband, Fritz Howard, when he was appointed as the Deputy Chief in charge of the Special Operations Bureau in Season 3 of Major Crimes. Fritz had served 27 years with the FBI but didn't receive any service stripes for his uniform.
  • Brenda has three brothers, Clay Jr, Bobby and Jimmy. Clay Jr. is married to a woman named Amy. Bobby is married to a woman named Joyce, and they have a daughter, Charlene, named after Brenda's paternal grandmother. Jimmy lives in a small apartment in New York with his partner Frank.
  • Brenda's niece, Charlene (Charlie) Johnson was sent to her grandparents (Clay Sr. and Willie Rae Johnson) when her parents, (Bobby and Joyce Johnson), became tired of her. When her grandparents also got tired of her, they sent her to her aunt Brenda and her husband, Fritz. She eventually was sent home to her parents, after Brenda straightened her up.
  • Brenda's favorite merlot is a McCray Ridge 1997. ("To Protect & to Serve")
  • In “Reloaded”, the Major Crimes series premiere, its revealed that Brenda left her desk full of snack food. She later sends Fritz to clear it out, though he gives one to Captain Sharon Raydor. She later gives it to Rusty Beck but its not clear if he eats it or not.
The Closer Characters
Brenda Leigh JohnsonSharon RaydorFritz HowardWill PopeRussell TaylorLouie ProvenzaAndy FlynnMichael TaoDavid GabrielJulio SanchezIrene DanielsBuzz WatsonDr. Fernando Morales

Ad blocker interference detected!

Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.