Is Jason Beghe's 'gravelly' voice real? 'Chicago PD' star's brush with death in 1999 led to his signature voice

The actor's raspy voice adds tenfold and more to Hank Voight's persona and we could not imagine this character played by anyone else


                            Is Jason Beghe's 'gravelly' voice real? 'Chicago PD' star's brush with death in 1999 led to his signature voice
Jason Beghe (Getty Images)

Sergeant Hank Voight on NBC's 'Chicago PD' is one of television's most intimidating characters. First appearing on 'Chicago Fire' as a dirty cop in its first season, the character then became a lead role in the spinoff, 'Chicago PD', and has since become a fan-favorite character. Played by Jason Beghe, Hank Voight is intimidating for a number of reasons.

For one thing, Voight is not afraid to use any means necessary to get suspects to confess, even if the methods he employs are dangerous or even illegal. Voight's methods have often landed him in trouble but he usually manages to escape it. However, with police brutality being under a stricter lens following the Black Lives Matter protests of 2020, 'Chicago PD' is striving to bring about a change in the way Voight and his team do their job.

Of course, a major aspect of what makes Voight so scary is his voice. The actor's raspy voice adds tenfold and more to Hank Voight's persona and we could not imagine this character played by anyone else or even in a different voice. Viewers may have wondered whether the voice is a gimmick to add to the character but that is Beghe's real voice. Beghe had a low voice but it was not raspy as it is now and it was a tragic situation that led to his signature voice.

In 1999, Beghe was involved in a car accident that led to prolonged hospital admission. Beghe was in a coma and intubated but while he was in the coma for roughly three-and-a-half weeks, he would involuntarily pull out his tubes, creating more damage that eventually resulted in the unique "gravelly" voice, according to New York Daily News.

The accident was quite gruesome, according to Beghe, who told The Daily Beast that "I broke my neck, my back in a couple of places, all of my ribs, both of my lungs" and nearly lost his wife — whom he has since divorced. Nevertheless, his unique voice proved useful for his role in 'Chicago PD', as he tells The Daily Beast, "It’s good for Voight — not so good when I have to play the sweet dad. But it’s good with my kids. They’re good kids, but when I say, 'it’s time to clean up, they do it'."

In Season 8, Voight is tasked with changing his ways and the Intelligence's Unit's way of doing their job by the new recurring character, Deputy Samantha Miller (Nicole Ari Parker), who wants to change the way cops approach the public.

However, Miller wants to do this by involving Voight in the process rather than just ostracizing him because she believes if Voight can change his ways, so can the rest of the police department. Miller and Voight are already shaping up to provide viewers some great dynamics, with some viewers suspecting that there could be some sexual tension between the two characters.

'Chicago PD' returns with new episodes to NBC on Wednesday, January 6, 2021, at 10/9c.

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