Tamara Tunie (Dr. Melinda Warner)
Tamara Tunie was a successful actress who was most known for playing Jessica Griffin on As The World Turns before she landed the role of Dr. Melinda Warner on Law & Order: SVU. Tunie took the role in 2000 and played Dr. Warner for 15 years. She kept her skills sharp by directing and producing See You In September in 2010. Since leaving the show, she’s been on Blue Bloods and Elementary, among other series.
Chris Noth (Det. Mike Logan)
Chris Noth was better known as Detective Mike Logan during his run on Law & Order, which lasted five years from 1990 to 1995. However, most TV fanatics would know him better as Mr. Big from Sex and the City and the two film spinoffs from the popular show. He recently appeared as General William Cogswell on Tyrant and was given the honor of International Man of the Year by GQ in 2015.
Michelle Hurd (Det. Monique Jeffries)
While Michelle Hurd’s run on Law & Order wasn’t very long, she’s notable for having played two roles on the show. While she’s chiefly remembered for playing Detective Monique Jeffries from 1999 to 2001, she also appeared on a 1997 episode as Angela Roney! Since 2001, she has appeared on shows such as ER, Gossip Girl, Daredevil, Ash vs. Evil Dead, and most recently, Blindspot.
Benjamin Bratt (Det. Rey Curtis
Benjamin Bratt has had a long and fruitful acting career, which included a four-year stint as Detective Rey Curtis on Law & Order. In 1999, his character was written out of the show, with the explanation that Curtis’ wife had severe multiple sclerosis and needed around-the-clock care. Bratt returned as Curtis for an episode in 2009. He has also been seen in Private Practice, Modern Family, and the film Doctor Strange.
Fred Dalton Thompson (D.A. Arthur Branch)
Fred Dalton Thompson played District Attorney Arthur Branch on Law & Order while serving as senator of Tennessee! Talk about a busy lifestyle. Unfortunately for Thompson, his 2008 presidential bid fell short. He did continue acting in roles such as Secretariat and 90 Minutes in Heaven until health problems got the better of him. He died at age 73 in 2015 from lymphoma.
Carey Lowell (A.D.A. Jamie Ross)
Carey Lowell was a model before she began her acting career. She played Assistant District Attorney Jamie Ross for five years on Law & Order before leaving the show in 2001. She left the show to focus on her family and married Richard Gere in 2002. She went on to act in Law & Order: Trial By Jury, Six Degrees, and other shows and films and eventually divorced Gere in 2016.
S. Epatha Merkerson (Lt. Anita Van Buren)
S. Epatha Merkerson had one of the longest runs on Law & Order of any actor or actress. She appeared in almost 400 episodes before leaving the show in 2010, playing the no-nonsense character of Lieutenant Anita Van Buren. Since leaving Law & Order, Merkerson has acted in shows such as Chicago P.D. and Chicago Fire while racking up film roles in Lincoln, The Challenger, and other movies.
Carolyn McCormick (Dr. Elizabeth Olivet)
Carolyn McCormick was known to Law & Order fans as Dr. Elizabeth Olivet, who was a clinical psychologist that often worked alongside the police and district attorney on the show. McCormick is especially notable for having played her role in four separate Law & Order shows up until 2013. Since her time on Law & Order, McCormick has been seen in Elementary, Madam Secretary, and other films and TV shows.
Leslie Hendrix (Elizabeth Rodgers)
As Dr. Elizabeth Rodgers, Leslie Hendrix played a medical examiner that was always pressed for time in the various Law & Order franchises. As Rodgers, Hendrix was one of the few performers to play a role that persisted across all four of the shows in the Law & Order franchise. Her time with the franchise ended in 2011 and she was most recently seen on the hit series Gotham.
Anthony Anderson (Det. Kevin Bernard)
Anthony Anderson has long been known as a versatile actor, able to handle comedic roles as well as more dramatic fare. He showcased his dramatic side on Law & Order, in which he played Detective Kevin Bernard from 2008 to 2010. Like Michelle Hurd, he played two separate roles in the franchise, having appeared for a single episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit in 2006 as Detective Lucius Blane. He now stars in the hit show Black-ish.
Michael Moriarty (D.A. Ben Stone)
Michael Moriarty was very well-regarded by viewers and critics alike for his role of Executive Assistant District Attorney Ben Stone on Law & Order. He received Emmy and Golden Globe award nominations for the role before leaving in 1994. Moriarty is a politically active individual and moved to Canada for political reasons after he left Law & Order. He has been seen in Shiloh, Along Came a Spider, and other films since leaving the show.
Melina Govich (Nina Cassaday)
Melina Govich is one of the more memorable actresses in the Law & Order main series, as she was the first female detective on the show as Detective Ed Green’s partner. She reprised her role until 2006 and has since gone on to act in films such as Pass The Light and shows such as Finding Carter. She is also a talented singer and has toured and sung the National Anthem at sporting events as a musician.
Jill Hennessy (D.A. Claire Kincaid)
Jill Hennessy played the character of District Attorney Claire Kincaid, which was actually a role that began on Homicide: Life on the Streets and continued over to Law & Order. Her role on the show ended when her character was killed by a drunk driver. In real life, Hennessey has starred on Crossing Jordan and carved out a respectable singing career, releasing two albums.
Linus Roache (D.A. Michael Cutter)
Linus Roache is known by Law & Order fans as District Attorney Michael Cutter, a role that he played for three seasons on the show. His character was known as doing whatever it took to convict criminals, even if the rules had to be compromised from time to time. Since leaving Law & Order, Roache has been known for playing the role of King Ecbert on Vikings, a History Channel original series.
Jeremy Sisto (Det. Cyrus Lupo)
Jeremy Sisto played the role of Detective Cyrus Lupo for three seasons of Law & Order before leaving in 2010. Since then, he has been active in television on such shows as Suburgatory, the short-lived drama Wicket City, and Ice, among others. He has also been seen on the silver screen in Girl Flu, The Other Side of the Door, and other films.
Richard Brooks (D.A. Paul Robinette)
Although Richard Brooks only appeared on Law & Order on a full-time basis for the first three seasons of the show, he also reprised the role of District Attorney Paul Robinette in 2005 and 2006. Since his time on the show, Brooks has taken up the role of producer and continued to act on shows such as The Good Wife and films such as the TV movie The Rich & the Ruthless.
Dennis Farina (Det. Joe Fontana)
In 2004, Dennis Farina made his first appearance as Detective Joe Fontana, who replaced Senior Detective Lennie Briscoe. Farina’s stint on the show would be short-lived, as he left the show in 2006. He continued to act until his death from a pulmonary embolism in 2013, appearing in the HBO series Luck and the network comedy show The New Girl.
Andrea Navedo (Det. Ana Cordova)
Talented actress Andrea Navedo played Detective Ana Cordova on Law & Order from 2001 to 2004. Nine years later, she would also appear on three episodes of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit as Cynthia Mancheno. Her other acting credits in recent years include the film Superfast! and the TV series Jane the Virgin. She also starred alongside Will Smith in the Netflix original film Bright.
Ice-T (Det. Odafin Tutuola)
Ice-T was known exclusively as a rap artist until he crossed over into acting in films such as New Jack City. His success in acting undoubtedly led countless other rappers to follow in his footsteps. He first began playing Detective Odafin Tutuola on the second season of Law & Order. He has also appeared on the Netflix original series Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and released new music with his band, Body Count, in 2017.
Richard Belzer (Det. John Munch)
Richard Belzer was perhaps best known for being injured during an ill-fated interview with Hulk Hogan before joining the Law & Order universe as Detective John Munch in 1993. He played the role on several shows, including the main series and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. In 2013, he ended his 20-year run on the series, but returned for a guest appearance three years later. He is mostly retired from acting.
Peter Gallagher (Deputy Chief William Dodds)
Peter Gallagher was already a well-known character actor before he joined the cast of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit in 2014. He played the role of Deputy Chief William Dodd on the show before leaving two years later, in 2016. Since then, he has appeared not only on TV films and series, but also in the Broadway production of On the Twentieth Century.
Jerry Orbach (Det. Lennie Briscoe)
Jerry Orbach was a famous actor before joining Law & Order, having appeared in the 1980s classic Dirty Dancing. Then, for 13 years, Jerry Orbach played the role of Detective Lennie Briscoe on Law & Order. He became synonymous with the role and was nominated for three Emmy awards due to his performances. Although he tragically passed away due to prostate cancer in 2004, he was also a published poet and author.
B.D. Wong (Dr. George Huang)
B.D. Wong was a successful actor in a number of television shows before debuting on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit in 2001. He was best known as Father Ray Mukada in the HBO series Oz. He played Dr. George Huang for 230 episodes of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit until 2015, continuing a long trend of portraying various doctors on TV and in movies. He has also been in the TV series Gotham and the film Jurassic World.
Dean Winters (Det. Brian Cassidy)
Another alumnus of the HBO show Oz, Dean Winters acted on the prison drama during a hiatus from Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. He returned in 2012 to play Detective Brian Cassidy once again, but only for a couple of seasons before moving on. He has also appeared on the HBO series Divorce and as “Mayhem” in the popular Allstate Insurance commercials.
Dann Florek (Capt. Donald Cragen)
Dann Florek was certainly one of the most well-tenured Law & Order cast members, playing Captain Donald Cragen on the original series for 14 years until 2004 and on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit from 1999 to 2014. He even directed three episodes of Law & Order! Although he has largely moved on from Law & Order, he continues to appear on television in movies and specials such as Captain Blackout and Under the Dome.
Allison Siko (Kathleen Stabler)
Although young actress Allison Siko debuted on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit in 2002 and appeared on the show through 2010, she was only on 16 episodes during that time. She frequently was featured to add a little trouble to Detective Elliot Stabler’s life, often getting in trouble for stealing or other blunders. She has not really added to her acting resume since leaving the show, although she did earn a BFA in acting from Rutgers University.
Jesse L. Martin (Det. Ed Green)
Jesee Martin has had a well-rounded acting career but is often selected to play a police detective. He did so as Detective Ed Green on Law & Order, playing the role for nine years and nearly 200 episodes. He also has been seen in the Broadway and film versions of the musical Rent and as Detective Joe West in the hit TV series The Flash.
Elisabeth Rohm (A.D.A. Serena Southerlyn)
Elisabeth Rohm is a German-born actress that has appeared on such shows as Heroes and The Client List. She is known by Law & Order fans as Assistant District Attorney Serena Southerlyn, which is a role that she played for four years until 2005. She was recently seen on TV series including The Last Ship, Hawaii Five-O, and Flaked, while she has earned recent film credits in Trafficked and Will Gardner.
Mariska Hargitay (Det. Olivia Benson)
Mariska Hargitay is an actress that is synonymous with the Law & Order franchise, having played Detective Olivia Benson in Law & Order, Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D., and of course, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Her character has been promoted to sergeant and personally, Hargitay has amassed a devoted fan base that includes singer Taylor Swift, who had Hargitay appear in her video for the song “Bad Blood.”
Angie Harmon (A.D.A. Abbie Carmichael)
Actress Angie Harmon first appeared as Assistant District Attorney Abbie Carmichael in 1998. She remained on Law & Order until 2001, when her character was written out of the show, with the explanation that Carmichael had joined the US Attorney’s Office. Harmon continues to work in TV, appearing on Inconceivable, Women’s Murder Club, and Rizzoli & Isles.