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Chicago Fire's Taylor Kinney looks so different in throwback photo as hiatus from show continues

The actor's charactor Kelly Severide has been absent on the show since March 2023

CHICAGO FIRE -- "The White Whale" Episode 721 -- Pictured: Taylor Kinney as Lt. Kelly Severide
Hannah Hargrave
US Deputy Editor
August 4, 2023
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As Taylor Kinney's future on NBC firefighting drama, Chicago Fire, remains uncertain unearthed photos from the early days of his career have surfaced - and he looks so different.

The actor, 41 - who took an unexplained hiatus from the show in January 2023 - had his first big break in 2006 when he landed the role of Luke Gianni on Fashion House.

He walked the red carpet of MyNetwork TV Upfront Presentation the same year and while his dashing good looks were evident, his then-and-now photos show just how much he's changed. 

WATCH: Inside Taylor Kinney's dating history

In the photo from 17 years ago, Taylor's salt-and-pepper hair was nowhere to be seen and he rocked a head of jet-black curls.

 Stubble adorned his jawline and his piercing green eyes were scene-stealing even back then. Taylor has played firefighter, Kelly Severide, since the start of the show in October 2012.

Fans were devastated when it was revealed that he was taking a break from filming at the beginning of the year. 

Taylor Kinney in 2006 at the start of his career© Getty Images
Taylor Kinney in 2006 at the start of his career

His character appeared until March with episodes which had already been filmed, but he is yet to return. 

Very few details have emerged about the reasoning behind his departure, although Taylor broke his lengthy social media silence to pay tribute to his late co-star, Treat Williams

Taylor Kinney looks handsome with grey hair© Getty Images
Taylor Kinney looks handsome with grey hair

Due to the 2023 writers strike, the show is not currently creating new material. It remains unclear whether Severide will be back with Firehouse 51 for season 12 but NBC has made no comment about Taylor's long term commitment to the show. 

It has been confirmed, however, that in season 12 the main cast, including Miranda Rae Mayo (who plays Stella Kid, Kelly's wife), Hanako Greensmith, David Eigenberg and Kara Killmer, will appear in fewer episodes than usual due to budget cuts. 

CHICAGO FIRE -- "The Man of the Moment" Episode 1113 -- Pictured: (l-r) Assaf Cohen as Alexander, Taylor Kinney as Kelly Severide, Kara Killmer as Sylvie Brett© Getty
Fans are eager to find out if Taylor will return to Chicago Fire

Taylor's absence is reported to be down to "personal reasons" but nothing more is currently known. Taylor is in a relationship with model Ashley Cruger who he has been dating since 2022. 

He was previously engaged to singer, Lady Gaga, whom he met in 2011 on the set of her music video You and I. Sadly, they ended their engagement in 2016, and Lady Gaga confessed her work on the film A Star Is Born impacted their relationship. 

At the time, she released a statement that read: "Taylor and I have always believed we are soulmates. Just like all couples, we have ups and downs and we have been taking a break.

Lady Gaga (R) and actor Taylor Kinney attend the 88th Annual Academy Awards in 2016© Jason Merritt
Taylor was previously engaged to Lady Gaga

"We are both ambitious artists, hoping to work through long-distance and complicated schedules to continue the simple love we have always shared. Please root us on. We're just like everybody else and we really love each other."

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