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Russell Taylor

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Russell Taylor
Name Russell Taylor
Rank Captain (The Closer Seasons 1)
Commander (The Closer Seasons 2-7)
Assistant Chief (Major Crimes)
Affiliation Los Angeles Police Department
Division Robbery Homicide
Major Crimes
Gender Male
Family Unnamed teenage son
Spouse(s) (not mentioned)
Played by Robert Gossett
First appearance Pilot
Final appearance

Russell Taylor is the Assistant Chief of Operations for the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD). He is promoted to Commander by Chief Pope at the end of Season 1 after his predecessor, Commander Scott retires.


Taylor worked his way to become Captain after 21 years in the LAPD. Before Brenda Johnson's transfer, Taylor had been heading the Priority Homicide Division (later renamed to the Major Crimes Division). He was subsequently replaced by Brenda after a botched case resulted in the suspect being acquitted and a 20-year veteran of the LAPD being convicted of perjury.

At the end of Season 1, Taylor is promoted to the rank of Commander by Chief Pope and becomes head of the Robbery-Homicide Division, after dropping a complaint against Johnson.

For much of the series, Taylor is extremely resentful of Johnson's promotion and outsider status, often antagonizing her as well as trying to undermine her under the pretence of trying to assist in her cases. After his promotion, his attitude somewhat shifts and seems to be more willing to work with Johnson and occasionally asks for help in a few cases but still remains an adversary. Johnson eventually earns his respect after solving the murder of his family friend's son (The Big Picture).

At the end of Season 2, Taylor is given temporary control of Priority Homicide, following an incident where a F.B.I witness had used Lt. Provenza's gun to kill an F.B.I agent, resulting in Johnson being put on administrative leave (along with Provenza) (Serving the King (Part 1).

Taylor and Johnson form a stronger bond during Season 4 in which Taylor's role changes from "rival and in-house adversary" to that of "unambiguously loyal subordinate". Because of this, Taylor now reports directly to Deputy Chief Johnson and becomes noticeably helpful as he coordinates interaction between the Major Crimes Division and other units as well as the press.


Taylor is presented as an extremely ambitious and tough character who earns the loyalty of his detectives by helping them gain advanced education and promotions. He is especially protective of Sgt. Gabriel and often treats him like a son or protege, something that is seen in the episode Red Tape. He also poses the solution to Johnson, after the announcement of budget cuts, in sharing Gabriel between both their divisions.

Initially, Taylor is extremely resentful and bitter towards Johnson's joining in the LAPD. Because of this, he is seen to be insecure and eager to unite her squad against her and successfully captures Lt. Flynn as his anti-Brenda ally. He attempts to undermined her authority and status under the pretence of helping with her cases, when in fact, he tries to achieve the opposite.

His behaviour soon begins to turn many of his previous friends and detectives against him. Flynn realises Taylor's true motives after Johnson defends him in a cold case that would have cost him his career and pension whilst Taylor was happy to "throw him to the wolves".


Commander Taylor talking to the press.


Brenda Leigh JohnsonEdit

Taylor initially is very much anti-Brenda and resentful of her promotion of the Priority Homicide Division. However, their relationship soon becomes amicable and respectful to each other after Johnson solves the murder of his family friend's son (The Big Picture). Due to this, he is also eager to deal with the press on Johnson's behalf so that she can get on solving her case.


  • Taylor's father was also an officer for the LAPD.
  • It is not known whether Taylor is married or not.
  • Taylor has a son in High School, whom he tries to call to alert of a possible threat to the school he goes to. He leaves him a message saying "If you don't pick up, I'll take your phone away".

The Closer Characters
Brenda Leigh JohnsonSharon RaydorFritz HowardWill PopeRussell TaylorDavid GabrielLouie ProvenzaAndy FlynnMichael TaoJulio SanchezIrene DanielsBuzz WatsonDr. Morales
Major Crimes Characters
Sharon RaydorLouie ProvenzaAndy FlynnMichael TaoJulio SanchezAmy SykesRusty BeckFritz HowardRussell TaylorDr. Morales

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