Table of content    
  1. Does Cruz Leave Chicago Fire For Good?
  2. Who Is Joe Minoso?

Is Joe Cruz Leaving Chicago Fire? Who Is Actor Joe Minoso?

Rumors are spreading that beloved character Joe Cruz is leaving Chicago Fire Season 12 and fans are definitely frustrated. The news emerged after Joe Minoso's character was hinted to be absent in Episode 2, released shortly after the premiere.

So what's the fuss about?

Key Takeaways

  • Joe Cruz, portrayed by Joe Minoso, remains a key character in "Chicago Fire" Season 12, with no confirmed departure.
  • Joe Minoso's acting roots trace back to New York; he's known for his diverse roles in theater and TV, including "Chicago Fire."
  • Minoso's life intertwines with his work, evident in his marriage to a crew member and his impactful study abroad experience in Russia.

Does Cruz Leave Chicago Fire For Good?

Short answer: No, he is not leaving Chicago Fire
Long answer: In the second episode of "Chicago Fire" Season 12, titled “Call Me McHolland,” there's speculation about Joe Cruz's future with the show. The episode showcases a tense moment between Cruz and Lieutenant Kelly Severide, following Severide's return to Firehouse 51. Severide reprimands Cruz for a risky maneuver during a rescue, leading to a slip-up. This incident fuels speculation about Cruz's departure from the show.
Cruz, who stepped in as lieutenant in Severide's absence, expresses frustration over Severide's return and command style. He vents, “For three months, I cover for him, and he’s back barking orders. I’m tired of feeling disrespected. It’s time for me to leave 51.”
Despite this, it appears unlikely that Cruz will exit the show. In a January 2024 interview with TV Insider, showrunner Andrea Newman hinted at ongoing developments between Severide and Cruz in Season 12. She mentioned, “Cruz is really his right-hand man, so there’ll be some lingering issues between Severide and Cruz about that and some stuff to work out there.”
Joe Minoso, who portrays Cruz, has not explicitly stated his departure or continuation on "Chicago Fire." After the Season 12 premiere, he shared a tribute post by fellow cast member Christian Stolte, who plays Mouch. Stolte's post celebrated the show's new season and Minoso echoed these sentiments, showing admiration for Stolte.
Moreover, Minoso discussed the six-month time jump in the Season 12 premiere during an interview with WTHR in January 2024. He hinted at resolving unanswered questions from the previous season and expressed gratitude towards the show's fans, including a special mention of his mother and other devoted viewers.
Minoso also hinted at his ongoing involvement in the series when discussing the potential for a three-way crossover in the "Chicago" franchise in 2024. He appealed to Dick Wolf, the series creator, expressing enthusiasm for such a crossover and the unique opportunity to portray the same character across different shows.
Reflecting on his decade-long journey as Cruz in a 2021 interview with The Times Herald, Minoso expressed joy in exploring the character's multifaceted personality, including his experiences with trauma, love, and impending fatherhood.
Should Cruz depart from "Chicago Fire," he would follow the exits of Blake Gallo (Alberto Rosende) and Sylvie Brett (Kara Killmer), who left in Season 12, as well as Tracy Spiridakos, who will leave "Chicago P.D." in its 11th season.
"Chicago Fire" is broadcast on NBC every Wednesday at 9 p.m., and episodes are available for streaming on Peacock.

Who Is Joe Minoso?

Who Is Joe Minoso? Source: NBC


As a native New Yorker, Joe Minoso's acting career began in the bustling corridors of Lincoln High School in Yonkers, when he was a high school play actor. This led him to actively participate in school productions, culminating in a role in "Dracula." Determined to be an actor, Minoso joined Adelphi University, where he earned a Bachelor's degree in Fine Arts, followed by a Master's degree from Northern Illinois University. 

TV and Career

Joe Minoso's acting career is marked by his extensive work in theatre before venturing into television and film.
  • He has been a prominent figure in the Chicago theater scene, notably working with Teatro Vista, a renowned Latino theater company.
  • Minoso's most recognizable role is that of firefighter Joe Cruz on NBC's "Chicago Fire," a character he has portrayed since the show's inception.
  • His television career also includes appearances in series such as "Prison Break," "Boss," "The Chicago Code," and "Shameless."
  • Minoso also appeared in "Man of Steel" as a policeman.


Standing at 6 feet tall, he has a commanding presence that translates effortlessly into his roles. His personal life has been intertwined with his professional journey, notably marrying Caitlin Murphy Miles, a makeup artist from "Chicago Fire," on October 16, 2016.

He has lived with co-stars Charlie Barnett and Yuri Sardarov, reflecting a close-knit bond with his fellow actors.

Minoso had a transformative study abroad experience in Russia, which broadened his perspectives as an actor.

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