NBC Insider Exclusive

Create a free profile to get unlimited access to exclusive show news, updates, and more!

Sign Up For Free to View
NBC Insider One Chicago

What's Happened to Daniel Kyri's Character Darren Ritter on Chicago Fire?

The actor has been stealing hearts since Season 7 as the firefighter (and fire dog owner).

By Jessica White

Firehouse 51 has welcomed several dynamite new candidates to their ranks on Chicago Fire, but no one has emerged as a scene-stealer faster than Darren Ritter, played by Daniel Kyri.

How to Watch

Watch Chicago Fire Wednesdays at 9/8c on NBC and next day on Peacock.

RELATED: Daniel Kyri Was on Chicago Med Before He Was Ritter

Ritter is passionate and tender-hearted, always looking out for his 51 friends when they're in need. Aside from being one of the best friends someone could have, Ritter never backs down on calls and is an exemplary first responder. Ritter was also the proud owner of 51's former firedog, Tuesday, the darling Dalmatian who stole hearts from Seasons 7 through 10.

As a 51 fan favorite, Ritter has been the cornerstone of several dynamite storylines, and Chi-Hards are always rooting for him.

Stuido portrait of Daniel Kyri as Darren Ritter

How did Darren Ritter join Chicago Fire?

Ritter made his way to the One Chicago universe in Season 7 Episode 2 ("Going to War"). At the time, Ritter was a candidate for a neighboring company and was struggling on his first day. 

Christopher Herrmann (David Eigenberg) noticed the young candidate at the scene of an all-hands-on-deck apartment building fire. When Ritter's lieutenant was breathing down his neck and hurled unhelpful criticisms, Herrmann told the officer to back off. Amid the chaos, Ritter took a massive fireball to the face, instantly rattling the budding candidate.

RELATED: What's Happened to Christopher Herrmann, David Eigenberg's Chicago Fire Character?

Ritter was shellshocked, leading him to freeze up in the building's stairwell. Randall "Mouch" McHolland (Christian Stolte) found him and encouraged him to move.

The young firefighter however, was locked, so Mouch stuck by his side, ultimately telling him that the main difference between firefighters and civilians is taking action, inspiring Ritter to finally get to his feet.

The two helped escort victims out of the building, securing Ritter's first civilian save.

RELATED: Who Is Mouch on Chicago Fire? Everything to Know About Randall McHolland

After his chaotic first day, Ritter was removed from his previous company and kicked to the CFD floater pool. Mouch visited him and encouraged him to stay positive, but Ritter said he was quitting the CFD, much to elder man's dismay.

Ritter then visited Mouch to thank him for his support, gifting him a pen his Uncle Tony had given him when he initially joined the CFD.

Luckily, Mouch and Herrmann were able to show Ritter the light by offering him a spot on their engine, and he formally joined 51 in Season 7, Episode 4 ("This Isn't Charity"). 

Who was Darren Ritter's uncle, Tony?

From the moment Chi-Hards met Ritter, his love for his Uncle Tony stole the spotlight. 

RELATED: Where Is Chicago Fire Filmed? A Co-Executive Producer Tells All

Tony was a respected firefighter and Ritter's inspiration for joining the CFD. As he started opening up to his colleagues, it was revealed that his uncle had died by suicide a few years before Ritter joined 51. 

Darren Ritter (Daniel Kyri) appears in Season 10 Episode 10 of Chicago Fire.

When did Darren Ritter come out as gay on Chicago Fire?

Ritter revealed to his ;good friend Herrmann that he is gay in Season 8.

In the Season 8 scene, Ritter visited Herrmann at Molly's, getting an invite to his barbecue. After Herrmann told Ritter to bring his girlfriend, Ritter corrected him — he had a boyfriend. After a beat, Herrmann quipped, "You aren't vegan too, are you?"

“It didn’t have to be this whole dramatized thing about this character coming out with backlash,” Kyri said in a 2021 NBC News interview. “All of that extra stuff wasn’t there, and it ended up being a very simple and lovely moment. I look back on it, and I’m really, really proud of it, because I think that that scene is so refreshing. It’s like a cool drink of water on a hot summer day.”

Ritter is the first openly gay firefighter in the company. "For this Black, male character to come out as gay in this blue-collar, first-responder world, I wanted to do it justice,” Kyri added.

What happened between Darren Ritter and his Season 12 boyfriend Dwayne Morris?

Throughout Season 12 of Chicago Fire, Ritter explored a new romance with Dwayne Morris (Samuel B. Jackson), an officer with the Chicago Police Department.

Ritter was positively smitten in Season 12, Episode 7 ("Red Flag") after spending the night with Dwayne, but was also secretive about his new paramour, refusing to give his BFF Violet Mikami (Hanako Greensmith) any information about his new man.

It was eventually revealed Ritter's secrecy was because his boyfriend was a cop, and Ritter was worried about what his colleagues would think when they found out he was dating a member of the rival force.

Then, in Season 12, Episode 11 ("Inside Man") — after Truck 81 was hijacked by gunmen — Ritter called Dwayne for help despite the his concerns about his fellow firefighters discovering his relationship with a cop.

Dwayne was able to track and arrest the hijackers, bringing peace to 51 — and Ritter told Violet that the diligent Officer Morris was actually his boyfriend. Violet gave her earnest approval, telling Ritter that he never needed to keep secrets from her. 

Darren Ritter (Daniel Kyri) appears in an episode of Chicago Fire

What happened between Darren Ritter and his ex, Eric Woodruff?

In Season 8, viewers learned Ritter was in a long-term relationship with his then-boyfriend, Eric Woodruff (Curtis Edward Jackson), a travel agent. 

The couple broke up sometime before Season 9, Episode 11 ("A Couple Hundred Degrees") because they'd grown tired of each other after quarantining together for so long during the pandemic. 

In an effort to lighten Ritter's post-breakup life, Herrmann and Mouch set their friend up on a blind date with a man named Andy. It didn't go very well: It turned out that Andy had previously dated Eric and began insulting him. Ritter had no interest in bashing his ex, so he left.

Eric later learned of the incident, leading him and Ritter to reconcile.

RELATED: These Are The Most Beloved Couples on Chicago Fire, Med, and P.D.

Despite getting back together, Ritter and Eric failed to get their groove back, which came to a head in Season 10, Episode 4 ("The Right Thing"). While enjoying a night at Molly's, a homophobic patron hurled insults toward Ritter and Eric, leading Herrmann to swiftly throw the dude out. When Ritter and Eric left together, the bigot attempted to throw a glass bottle at the couple but, as he sped away, he crashed. Despite being the target of this man's hate crime, Ritter flew into action, saving the bigot after pulling him out of the blazing car. 

Following the incident, Eric couldn't help but notice the excitement and "all-in mode" Ritter experienced with his 51 friends, telling Ritter that he remembered that mode from when they first started dating but he hadn't been like that in their relationship for a long time. The ultimately decided to break up for good.

How did Darren Ritter, Blake Gallo, and Violet Mikami become best friends?

After joining 51 in Season 7, Ritter crossed paths with another new recruit, Blake Gallo (Alberto Rosende), and it didn't take long for the two to become the best of buds. 

In Season 8, Violet transferred to the station and quickly became friends with Gallo and Ritter.

RELATED: Hanako Greensmith & Daniel Kyri Had the Coolest Bestie Night at a Bar

That got a little complicated after Gallo fell head over heels for Violet and Ritter found himself giving Gallo a lot of advice — but the situationship was ultimately just a short-lived fling. 

In Season 10, the three decided to start a microbrewery, and found themselves getting approval and business advice from neighborhood bartender Herrmann. They officially debuted their offerings in Season 10, Episode 9 ("Winterfest").

Since Gallo left in Season 12, Violet, and Ritter have stuck together as two besties even as new candidates joined the crew.

Gallo Ritter and Violet on Chicago Fire Episode 1118

Watch Chicago Fire on NBC and Peacock.