Before there was The Wire.
Before there was The Shield.
Before there was The Beast.
Way before American television got gritty, there was Da Vinci’s Inquest, a Canadian crime series loosely based on real-life Vancouver coroner (later Mayor) Larry Campbell. Created by Chris Haddock, who cut his teeth writing for shows like Airwolf and Night Heat. In the late 80s, he worked on a show called Diamonds, a somewhat frothy (think Castle) show starring Nicholas Campbell. Haddock created the character of Dominic Da Vinci especially for Campbell, who has said many times that the role is his favorite part ever.
Campbell, one of Canada’s most visible actors, had to fight off a “pretty boy” image in his younger days. He was the original Hitchhiker before Page Fletcher took over–but since then he’s alternated between leading man roles and character parts. He’s done a slew of movies and television series on both sides of the border, most recently playing Chief Wuornos in SyFy’s series Haven. (Audience might remember him as the murderous deputy in Stephen King’s Dead Zone.)