With his sweet smile and peppy attitude, Bill Brochtrup, the openly gay blond with boy-next-door good looks, won the role in 1994 after playing a homosexual model with AIDS in the L.A. stage production of "The Raft of the Medusa". What followed during two seasons of recurring appearances was a chance to see not just Brochtrup's fine acting, but the character of Det. Sipowicz (Dennis Franz) finding he could relate to a gay male as a human being and not as someone who made him uncomfortable. So popular was Irvin that his character was moved to the short-lived 1996 CBS sitcom "Public Morals", which, like "NYPD Blue", was executive produced by Steven Bochco. As a result, the actor has become one of the producers stock players, landing a role as yet another gay character in the ensemble of "Total Security" (ABC, 1997). When that show succumbed to early cancellation, the actor rejoined "NYPD Blue" in early 1998 and remained with the series through the end of its run in 2005.
Raised in Washington, Brochtrup moved to Los Angeles to pursue acting soon after his graduation from NYU in 1985. He appeared in stage productions, made his TV debut on such cheaply-made series as "Divorce Court" and "Superior Court" and made bigger bucks doing TV commercials. Early in his career, he was billed as William Brochtrup as in his film debut as a hairdresser in "Kinjite: Forbidden Subject" (1989), other minor film roles, guest spots on "Murder, She Wrote" and "Alf" and his first TV-movie, "Everybody's Baby: The Rescue of Jessica McClure" (ABC, 1989). Since his "NYPD Blue" exposure, Brochtrup co-starred in "Man of the Year" (1995), the feature about secretly gay PLAYGIRL Centerfold Dirk Shafer, and played key roles in the Showtime original "Space Marines" (1996) and in "Two Voices" (Lifetime, 1997). He has also continued to appear in Los Angeles area stage productions.