List of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit characters

List of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit characters
The cast of the thirteenth season (2011–2012). From left to right: Dann Florek, Danny Pino, Mariska Hargitay, Kelli Giddish, Richard Belzer, and Ice-T.

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, a spin-off of the crime drama Law & Order, follows the detectives who work in the "Special Victims Unit" of the 16th District, New York City Police Department, a unit that focuses on crimes involving rape, sexual assault and child molestation, as well as any crime loosely connected with any of the three, such as domestic violence, kidnapping and child abandonment. Since its debut in September 1999, the series has generally shown four detectives working the unit, though at times, five, under the leadership of Captain Donald Cragen. The unit also has a prosecutor assigned from the DA's office, and frequently interacts with specific medical examiners and the unit's psychiatrist George Huang.

Three of the regular characters have appeared in three other NBC series: Captain Donald Cragen (Florek), who was on the first three seasons of Law & Order, Sergeant John Munch (Belzer), formerly a Baltimore detective on Homicide: Life on the Street. This character also made appearances on Law & Order, Law & Order: Trial by Jury, Arrested Development, The Beat, The X-Files and the HBO series The Wire. Alexandra Cabot (March) was a lead character in the first and only season of Conviction where she had been promoted to Bureau Chief Executive ADA.


Creation and conception

The characters of Olivia Benson and Elliot Stabler were named for creator Dick Wolf's children. Wolf's third child, daughter Sarina, had a character named for her, Benson's mother was named Serena, as well as former ADA Serena Southerlyn on the original Law & Order and Det. Serena Stevens on Law & Order: Criminal Intent.

Main characters

Character Portrayed by Occupation Season #Episodes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
Olivia Benson Mariska Hargitay Junior Detective/
Senior Detective
Main ~279
Nick Amaro Danny Pino Detective Main 6
Amanda Rollins Kelli Giddish Detective Main 7
Elliot Stabler Christopher Meloni Senior Detective Main ~272
John Munch Richard Belzer Senior Detective/
Main 224
Odafin Tutuola Ice-T Junior Detective/
Senior Detective
Main ~257
Chester Lake Adam Beach Junior Detective Recurring Main 20
Monique Jeffries Michelle Hurd Junior Detective Main Recurring 25
Donald Cragen Dann Florek Captain Main ~278
Dr. George Huang B.D. Wong Psychiatrist Recurring Main 140
Dr. Melinda Warner Tamara Tunie Medical Examiner Recurring Main Recurring 202
Alexandra Cabot Stephanie March Assistant District Attorney Main Guest Recurring Main Recurring 92
Casey Novak Diane Neal Assistant District Attorney Main Guest Recurring 111
Kim Greylek Michaela McManus Assistant District Attorney Main 13


Olivia Benson

Olivia Benson is a detective in the Manhattan Special Victims Unit, which investigates sex crimes and abuse. She is primarily partnered with Elliot Stabler. She is tough, empathetic,[1] and completely dedicated to her job, to the point that she is seen as having no personal life. Her dedication sometimes wreaks havoc on her emotional state as she empathizes with victims of sexual assault, having been the child of rape and later the victim of sexual assault while undercover. She has allowed her compassion for victims of abuse to sometimes cloud her professional judgment and impede her ability to remain impartial. Hargitay has received both a Golden Globe and an Emmy Award for her portrayal of Benson.

John Munch

John Munch was a detective and now a Sergeant, in the Manhattan Special Victims Unit. A conspiracy theorist and dedicated detective, Munch is first partnered with Brian Cassidy (Dean Winters), whom he thinks of as a kind of younger brother, alternately poking fun at him and imparting (often questionable) advice on life and women. When Cassidy leaves the precinct in 2000,[2] Munch is briefly partnered with Monique Jeffries (Michelle Hurd),[3] and then with Odafin Tutuola (Ice-T).[4] He and the gruff, uncompromising Tutuola get off to a rough start, but gradually came to like and respect each other.

The character was first created for the NBC police drama Homicide: Life on the Street, where he worked as a homicide detective with the Baltimore Police Department. The character was based on Jay Landsman, a central figure in David Simon's true crime book Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets, a documentary account of the homicide unit's operation over one year.[5] After the series cancellation in 1999, the character was transferred to Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, having appeared within the original Law & Order in cross-over episodes. Within the series, it is eventually said he left Baltimore after his wife cheated on him with a friend. Munch has been the only fictional character played by a single actor to appear on eight different television shows: Homicide: Life on the Street, Law & Order, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Law & Order: Trial by Jury, The X-Files, Arrested Development, The Beat and The Wire.

Fin Tutuola

  • Portrayed by Ice-T
  • Episodes: "Wrong is Right" – present

Odafin "Fin" Tutuola is a detective in the Manhattan Special Victims Unit. He was raised in Harlem and he served in the United States Army, where he saw combat in Mogadishu.[6][7] A former undercover narcotics detective, Tutuola replaced Monique Jeffries after she left the squad in 2000. He transferred out of narcotics after his partner was shot. He initially has a rocky relationship with his colleagues in SVU, especially his partner John Munch and Olivia Benson. He sees the world in black and white, with all criminals equally deserving of prison regardless of extenuating circumstances. He also keeps a tight rein on his emotions, refusing to talk about his problems or to admit that the grisly nature of his work often affects him. He rarely talks about his personal life, not revealing he has a son to his fellow detectives until the sixth season. As the series progresses, he becomes closer with Munch and saves Benson from being raped. However, he also begins clashing more frequently with fellow detective Elliot Stabler. As of the Season 8 episode "Screwed", he is assigned Chester Lake as his new partner. After Lake kills a suspect, Stabler accuses Tutuola of tipping him off before he is taken into custody, and checks his phone records. Tutuola admits he called Lake, but says he did not expect him to run. Stabler quasi-apologizes for not trusting him, but Tutuola dismisses his apology because he believes Stabler will always be the same "bulldog". Afterwards, he requests a transfer from the squad, however the man in charge of transfers is a former colleague of Tutuola's who holds a grudge against him. Tutuola resolves himself to being "stuck" and his captain, Don Cragen, orders him to investigate a case with Stabler, who he calls a "headcase" and "cranky-balls". In more recent episodes, Tutuola has again warmed to Stabler. In 2009's "Solitary", when a suspect injures Stabler, Tutuola nearly throttles the suspect for attacking his "friend".

Donald Cragen

  • Portrayed by Dann Florek
  • Episodes: "Payback" – present

Donald Cragen is the Captain of the Special Victims Unit. A former homicide detective, he is portrayed as a somewhat stern but understanding father figure to the detectives who work under him and he gives them a great deal of leniency because he trusts their ability to get results, although he had an early habit of haranguing them about the weaknesses of their investigations. He was an alcoholic for much of his early career, but goes sober after pulling his service revolver on a taxi driver in a drunken rage. He has remained sober since, even after the death of his wife in a plane crash. Florek originally portrayed the character from 1990 to 1993 in the original Law & Order series. In that series, Cragen was investigated by internal affairs for corruption. During the investigation to prove his innocence, he discovered that he was being framed by his former captain and mentor, whom he turns in. He has maintained bitter relations with the police bureaucracy ever since. He is later transferred out of the Anti-Corruption Task Force before transferring to the newly formed Special Victims Unit.

Nick Amaro

Nick Amaro is a New York detective who transferred to the Special Victims Unit from warrants and narcotics. He mentions that his wife is doing overseas reporting in Iraq. Seen in "Blood Brothers", Amaro is fluent in Spanish. He has a living mother (Nancy Ticotin) and a 4-year-old girl named Zara (Alison Fernandez) who are first seen in "Missing Pieces". While Rollins was used to flush out a suspect, Amaro risks losing a suspect after punching him repeatedly, as the suspect was attempting to rape Rollins. Amaro is a firm believer in divorce, and in "Russian Brides", he tells Olivia that his parents had an abusive relationship where his father abused his mother before he walked out of their lives and moved to Miami, FL when he was young.

Amanda Rollins

Amanda Rollins is a detective from Atlanta, Georgia and moves to New York City to join the Special Victims Unit, amazed at the work Detective Benson has done over the past few years. In "Double Stands" Rollins deals with a serial rapist who originated in Atlanta that began to victimize women the further he moved up the East Coast. Rollins does all she can to prove to Detectives Benson and Amaro that her rapist is in New York, almost falling victim to him in an attempt to flush him out; he took a preference to blonde and athletic women.

Elliot Stabler

Elliot Stabler is a detective in Manhattan's 16th Precinct, also known as the Special Victims Unit, which investigates sex crimes. A former Marine and a dedicated detective, he has a 97 percent closure rate, but his dedication can turn to obsession and cause him to take cases personally. At the start of the series he is married with four children. He separates from his wife Kathy during the series, and she files for divorce, but they reconcile after she becomes pregnant with his fifth child. He is a devout Catholic whose faith sometimes complicates the cases he works on. His partner is Olivia Benson, with whom he generally has a good working relationship, but it is not without tension and friction.

In the Season 13 premiere, Scorched Earth, it is revealed that Stabler has made the decision to retire from SVU.

Monique Jeffries

Monique Jeffries was a police detective with Manhattan's 16th Precinct, which investigates sex crimes, and one of the initial detectives in the SVU unit. Earlier in the series, she is partnered with various detectives, including Brian Cassidy. Initially, she is only seen at headquarters, doing research and showing up in court for various cases to represent the department. After Cassidy's departure near the end of the first season, she partners with Munch and begins going actively on investigations. Shortly after this, she is physically and emotionally shaken when a car explodes while she is pursuing a fleeing suspect. Survival of the incident leaves her feeling "restless", and she has a one night stand with a man she recognized as a suspect in a previous sexual assault case the unit had investigated. After she confesses this to a department psychiatrist, who is working for a commission investigating problems in various police units, she is taken off active duty and ordered to receive treatment. Captain Don Cragen, feeling she has become "reckless" and "a danger" to herself supports the decision. Finding desk duty intolerable, she cleans out her desk and leaves her gun and badge on the desk of Captain Cragen. In the second season, it is revealed that she was eventually reinstated and transferred to the Vice Unit.

Chester Lake

Detective Chester Lake transferred to the Manhattan SVU from the Brooklyn Special Victims Unit at the end of the eighth season and was partnered with Detective Fin Tutuola. He is of Native American ancestry, specifically Mohawk, and speaks proudly of his ancestors. He also used to compete as an amateur mixed martial artist under the name "Naptime", but had to quit after tearing his ACL. In the final episode of the ninth season, Lake begins attending meetings of individuals in Philadelphia who share information on "cold" murder cases. He later shoots and kills a fellow police officer, who was suspected of raping two illegal immigrant girls ten years ago, killing one. Lake disappears while his fellow detectives investigate. They are able to prove Lake killed the other cop in self defense after he was shot at himself by a second NYPD officer with a history of brutality. Lake is found, wounded, and taken to the hospital. The second officer, however, is released after the jury deadlocks. The officer is killed the same night and Lake is found standing over the body and makes no denial to his fellow SVU detectives. He is arrested and last seen in the series sitting handcuffed in a police car. It was confirmed on April 18, 2008 that Beach would not be returning to the series to reprise the role in the subsequent season.[12]

Brian Cassidy

  • Portrayed by Dean Winters
  • Episodes: "Payback" – "Disrobed"

Brian Cassidy was a detective in the SVU during the series' first season. The youngest and least experienced member of the precinct, he has a genuine desire to put rapists and child molesters in prison, but lacked the professional detachment necessary to deal with the often grisly sex crimes. He often has trouble concealing his anger and revulsion toward the cases he investigates and this created friction between him and his colleagues, made worse when they poke fun at his relative lack of sophistication. A genuinely talented and driven police detective, he makes a real effort to learn from the other members of the precinct, particularly Munch, whom he thinks of as a sort of older brother/mentor figure. He has a brief affair with Olivia Benson, and has trouble dealing with her after the relationship ends. Cassidy was written out of the show midway through the first season. Cragen sends him to interview a young girl who was repeatedly raped and brutalized, causing Cassidy to realize that he cannot emotionally handle the types of crimes that a SVU detective must deal with on a daily basis. Cragen then offers to assist Cassidy with a transfer to another department, narcotics.

Danielle Beck

Detective Danielle "Dani" Beck was Detective Olivia Benson's temporary replacement in season 8, while Benson was on an undercover assignment (Mariska Hargitay was on maternity leave). Dani had a husband, a cop named Mike Dooley, who was shot and killed in the line of duty. Off to a rocky start at first, she and Stabler eventually gained a mutual respect for one another. A turning point in their relationship occurred when they shared a passionate kiss after celebrating a case at a bar, although post-kiss nothing more than increased sexual chemistry was ever implied. Following a case involving child abuse in which a traumatized adopted girl, whom Beck had been caring for, attempted to burn down her apartment and kill them both, Beck said to Stabler she could not stand working in the Special Victims Unit anymore unless he asked her to stay. Stabler reluctantly said he could not make that decision for her, so Dani decided it would be best to return to her old post at the Warrants squad. Hargitay returned to her role as Benson in the following episode.

Medical experts

George Huang

  • Portrayed by B.D. Wong
  • Episodes: "Pique" – "Bombshell"

Dr. Huang is an FBI forensic psychiatrist and criminal profiler, specializing in studying sexual predators and their victims. Though he is liked and respected by the SVU detectives and they generally defer to his professional judgment, his diagnoses sometimes hinder prosecutions, particularly where he finds mental illness, making defendants either not fully responsible for their crimes, or not fit to stand trial. He frequently observes interrogations of suspects, advising detectives on how to best interact to obtain a confession. Very little is known about Huang's personal life, other than that he is gay, which he noted in "Hardwired", has a sister (noted in "Inheritance"), and that he speaks Cantonese and Mandarin.

Melinda Warner

  • Portrayed by Tamara Tunie
  • Episodes: "Noncompliance" – present

Dr. Warner is the NYC medical examiner. She served as a doctor in the U.S. Air Force during the Gulf War. She is married and has a teenaged daughter. Though originally a recurring character she more recently became a regular cast member, and was most prominently featured in the episodes "Blast" and "Harm", the former seeing her becoming directly involved, through a series of circumstances, in the efforts to rescue an eight-year-old kidnapping victim who has just been diagnosed with leukemia, and the latter seeing her testifying against another physician who is accused of helping the military to develop torture techniques. She is well liked by most of the SVU staff, though briefly goes against Stabler when he accuses her of botching a DNA test on Benson, expected to absolve her of a homicide (the DNA is later discovered to have been intentionally doctored to make Benson look guilty).

Emil Skoda

  • Portrayed by J.K. Simmons
  • Episodes from: 2000–2001

Dr. Skoda is a psychiatrist who works with the New York Police Department. In addition to his own private practice, he often testifies for the prosecution as an expert witness on whether a defendant is legally sane to stand trial. He also profiles suspects and offers advice to the district attorneys regarding witnesses' and suspects' mental state.

Elizabeth Rodgers

Dr. Elizabeth Rodgers was a recurring character in the Law & Order franchise. She was the medical examiner on SVU throughout the first season and has since been replaced by Dr. Melinda Warner. She also had a recurring role on Law & Order and Law & Order: Criminal Intent.

Rebecca Hendrix

Dr. Rebecca Hendrix is a former police officer who was at the police academy with Detective Benson.[13] She left the force to become a psychiatrist. She appears for three episodes in the series' sixth season, to replace series regular B.D. Wong while he was performing in Broadway's Pacific Overtures.[14] Within the series, it is said that Wong's character George Huang is on special assignment with the FBI back in Washington. Masterson reprises the role in the seventh season episode "Ripped" and in season eight's "Philadelphia". Mike Barry of Anton News stated that Masterson was "best known" for playing the role between 2004 and 2007.[15]


Alexandra Cabot

Cabot first appears in the SVU episode "Wrong Is Right", when she is hired to work with SVU as their permanent ADA. She survived an assassination attempt by a drug cartel's hitman and then entered the Witness Protection Program. She returned to testify against her assassin and she had returned to the DA's office in season 10. She also appeared in the short-lived Law & Order spinoff Conviction. Cabot was absent for the first four episodes of the 11th season to do some training in Albany in order to return to work with the SVU detectives by the fifth episode ("Hardwired") after EADA Sonya Paxton entered court-ordered alcohol rehab. She left SVU in the season 11 episode "Witness" to work for the International Criminal Court to seek justice for rape victims in the Congo. She later returned in "Scorched Earth".

Elizabeth Donnelly

Elizabeth Donnelly was SVU's Bureau Chief Executive Assistant District Attorney for 12 episodes from season 3 to 6 and season 10. In the District Attorney's office, she serves as the supervisor for Cabot, and her successor Casey Novak. Donnelly is elevated to judge in season 7. In the season 10 episode "Persona", Donnelly takes a leave of absence from her role as a judge and resumes her previous role as ADA, to prosecute a cold case she was involved with in the 1970s, when a battered woman (Brenda Blethyn) murdered her husband. She admits to Det. Olivia Benson that she was somewhat responsible for the woman absconding from custody and therefore took on the case due to "unfinished business." Her role in the escape leads to mishaps in the justice system being termed "doing a Donnelly" for many years to follow. This episode calls attention to the difficulty Donnelly experiences as a woman working in the justice system. But the revelation that the fugitive had been pregnant at the time of her crime leads Donnelly to what, for her, is an act of leniency. She leaves the office, yet again, and returns to the role of a judge.

Casey Novak

  • Portrayed by Diane Neal
  • Episodes: "Serendipity" – "Cold", "Reparations", "Blood Brothers" – present

Casey Novak was SVUs Assistant District Attorney (Seasons 5–9), who replaced ADA Alex Cabot. Although she quickly loses her innocence when dealing with sex crimes, she still shows uneasiness when dealing with the gray areas of human involvement, preferring the letter of the law to the messiness of each individual reality. Nonetheless, Novak has a 71 percent success rate in the cases she prosecutes, whereas the average for prosecutors is 44 percent. After initial hesitation, she becomes particularly close to Stabler as they bond over being Catholic and a love for sports. It is revealed that in her final year of law school, Novak was engaged to a man (Charlie) who suffered from schizophrenia. She ended the relationship when his symptoms became so severe she felt she could no longer be intimate with him. In 2002, Charlie attacked her in her home during a psychotic episode. She convinced the police not to press charges, but ended the relationship. He eventually became homeless, and was found dead as a "John Doe" in the spring of 2007. She developed a deep compassion for the mentally ill afterward, but still feels guilty for not being able to help him. She states that she is a big supporter of the U.S military. She says that her father was an M60 Door Gunner on a Huey during the Vietnam War. His helicopter crashed three times and he received a Purple Heart. In her final year as the SVU ADA, she grew increasingly more reckless and unsure in her prosecution. It is implied that friend and former boss Liz Donnelly aided in her censure, leading to her replacement by Kim Greylek.

It is revealed that Novak was censured for three years, and re-hired by the DA's office. This is explained in SVU episode "Reparations", where she returns to SVU to prosecute a rape case, with Law & Order: LA Deputy District Attorney Jonah Dekker representing the defendant. Casey not only finds herself at odds with Dekker, but also Judge Petrovsky, who she had previously lied to in the season 9 finale ("Cold"), which ultimately led to her censure.

Kim Greylek

Kim Greylek was the SVU's Assistant District Attorney who replaced Casey Novak at the beginning of Season 10. Greylek previously worked in the U.S. Department of Justice's Office on Violence Against Women in Washington, D.C. where she had the nickname of "The Crusader." A dogged prosecutor, she pushed the detectives to make cases for the sake of politics in favor of pursuing actual offenders. She can be unrelenting, threatening to charge a defendant with a hate crime for raping two women and of having a teenage boy charged with assaulting a police officer so he can be tested for HIV. After appearing in only 14 episodes, the character was written out of the series as having left the unit to return to Washington. Greylek was replaced by former unit ADA Alexandra Cabot.

Sonya Paxton

  • Portrayed by Christine Lahti
  • Episodes: "Unstable" – "Hammered", "Turmoil", "Gray", "Pursuit"

Sonya Paxton was SVUs Executive ADA who temporarily replaced Alexandra Cabot for four episodes in the 11th season, starting with the season premiere ("Unstable"). Working in the Appeals bureau, she was the first to get a Capital Conviction in New York when the then newly-elected Governor Pataki brought back the death penalty in 1995. Paxton was sent down by Jack McCoy to 'clean the house' in the 'he-said, she-said unit' due to too many convictions being overturned. However, things started out rocky as she butts heads with the SVU team, particularly Detective Stabler. In the second episode of Season 11 ("Sugar") she and he get into a heated argument after Paxton calls the suspect's lawyer after he declines his right to counsel twice. In the fourth episode of the season ("Hammered"), when a man drinks heavily and goes home and murders a woman he met at a bar, the defense blames alcoholism for the murder during the trial. Intending to use a computer-generated video mockup of the crime, Paxton accidentally plays a version in which the defendant's face is superimposed onto the attacker. The following morning, she arrives 45 minutes late to a mistrial hearing, appearing distraught and blaming a "fender bender". Judge Moredock asked if she would need medical help, but the defendant pointed out that she was drunk. Judge Moredock ordered Benson to come with a breathalyzer, which revealed her blood alcohol level was .082, resulting in a mistrial. The Judge ordered Paxton to seek treatment, prompting her temporary departure. At the end of "Hammered" she returns to the SVU squad and apologizes to the team, stating that she intends on making amends to each and every one of them.

She later appears in the episode "Turmoil", meeting Cabot outside the courtroom and telling her to watch out for Benson and Stabler, because they are only loyal to each other.

Sonya returned from her alcohol rehabilitation and served as an Executive ADA in the ninth episode ("Gray") of the 12th season to prove to the DA that she hadn't lost her 'winning ways'. In the seventeenth episode ("Pursuit"), she returns again to help out an old friend Alicia Harding who starts receiving personal threats. Paxton was murdered during the episode while investigating the identity of the stalker. While he was attacking her, she was able to obtain his DNA by biting him - which ultimately helped solve the case.

Jo Marlowe

  • Portrayed by Sharon Stone
  • Episodes: "Torch" – "Shattered"

Jo Marlowe is drafted by Jack McCoy in the season 11 episode "Torch" after ADA Alexandra Cabot leaves to help rape victims in the Congo ("Witness"). A former lieutenant, Marlowe had been Elliot Stabler's partner approximately four years before Benson.[16] SVUs Executive Producer Neal Baer describes her character as “a funny adrenaline junkie who loves to be in the middle of everything and shares a past with Stabler. She’s been married before and has a lot of secrets.”[17] In the episode "Shattered", she reveals that she was diagnosed with an "aggressive" type of cancer and had a bilateral radical mastectomy a year before joining the SVU squad.[18]

Gillian Hardwicke

Replacement for Mikka Von, she premieres mid-season. Hardwicke is a Brooklyn ADA who transfers to Manhattan SVU due to her great admiration for detectives Benson and Stabler. It is known that Hardwicke has had some previous experience with Benson, stating she did something for her and her family. She has a 92% conviction rate (SVU: "Branded").

Michael Cutter

Executive ADA Michael Cutter (Law & Order) has been promoted to Bureau Chief Executive ADA and transferred to the Special Victims Unit where he is supervising the ADAs assigned to the precint. Show runner Warren Leight stated, "If Cutter was a bit of a hot head in the past, the passage of time and some added responsibility in his new job has made him more mature, and perhaps a bit more jaded." Roache had to say, "I learned a lot from my time on Law & Order and it's going to be interesting to experiment with Cutter's development in this new context — I think Special Victims is going to be an area where Cutter's passion for justice can really come forth". The season 13 premiere episode, "Scorched Earth" was Cutter's first appearance on SVU.[9]

Recurring characters

Other police officers outside of SVU

Name Portrayed by Year # Eps
Technician Ruben Morales Joel de la Fuente 2002–present 52
Officer Ramirez Donnetta Lavinia Grays 2003–2007 7
Officer Robbins William H. Burns 2002–2006 6
Chief of Detectives Muldrew John Schuck 2004–2010 8

Crime Scene Unit Technicians

Full title: New York City Police Department Crime Scene Unit Forensic Technician Officers

Name Portrayed by Year # Eps
Georgie Welly Yang 1999–2003 13
Captain Judith Siper Caren Browning 1999–present 42
Harry Martin Lou Carbonneau 2000–2002 12
David Layton Jordan Gelber 2002–2003 8
Burt Trevor Daniel Sunjata 2002–2004 15
Ryan O'Halloran Mike Doyle 2003–2009 52
Millie Vizcarrondo Paula Garcés 2005 4
Dale Stuckey Noel Fisher 2009 4
Adrienne ‘Andy’ Sung James Chen 2011–present 4

Assistant US Attorneys

Name Portrayed by Year # Eps
AUSA Claudia Williams Pam Grier 2003–2004 2
AUSA Raul Menedez Robert Montano 2005 1
AUSA Marion Springer Jayne Atkinson 2007 1
AUSA Christine Danielson Gloria Reuben 2010–2011 2
AUSA Camilla Velez Valerie Cruz 2010 1

Manhattan District Attorneys

Name Portrayed by Year # Eps Notes
DA Adam Schiff Steven Hill 2000 1 Crossing over from Law & Order
DA Nora Lewin Dianne Wiest 2000–2002 2 Crossing over from Law & Order
DA Arthur Branch Fred Dalton Thompson 2003–2006 11 Crossing over from Law & Order
DA Jack McCoy Sam Waterston 2007–2010 2 Crossing over from Law & Order

Bureau Chief Executive Assistant District Attorneys

Name Portrayed by Year # Eps Notes
BC-EADA Elizabeth Donnelly Judith Light 2002–2004, 2008 12 Later Judge Elizabeth Donnelly
BC-EADA Christine Danielson Gloria Reuben 2007 1 Later AUSA Christine Danielson
BC-EADA Michael Cutter Linus Roache 2011–present[9] 2 Crossing over from Law & Order

Executive Assistant District Attorneys

Name Portrayed by Year # Eps Notes
EADA Jack McCoy Sam Waterston 2000 1 Crossing over from Law & Order; later became DA
EADA Charlie Phillips Jeffrey DeMunn 2000–2001 2
EADA Stan Villani Ron Leibman 2001 4
EADA - Ben Gazzara 2001 1
EADA Tracey Kibre Bebe Neuwirth 2005 1 Crossing over from Law & Order: Trial By Jury
EADA Lydia Ramos Priscilla Lopez 2008 1
EADA Sonya Paxton Christine Lahti 2009–2011 7
EADA Garrett Blaine Teddy Sears 2010 1

Assistant District Attorneys

Name Portrayed by Year # Eps Notes
ADA Abbie Carmichael Angie Harmon 1999–2000 6 Crossing over from Law & Order
ADA Erica Alden Reiko Aylesworth 2000 3
ADA Kathleen Eastman Jenna Stern 2000 2
ADA David Goreman Liam Craig 2001 1
ADA Bettina Amador Marisol Nichols 2003 1
ADA Alexandra Cabot Stephanie March 2005–2009, 2011–present 10 Regular character from seasons 2–5, 11
ADA Brinkman Nick Basta 2007 1
ADA Fritz Albert Jones 2007–2009 2
ADA Kristen Torres Lizette Carrion 2008–2009 2
ADA Samantha Copeland Melinda McGraw 2009 1
ADA Kendra Gill Gretchen Egolf 2009–2010 2
ADA Jo Marlowe Sharon Stone 2010 4
ADA Sherri West Francie Swift 2010–2011 4 Later Defense Attorney Sherri West
ADA Mikka Von Paula Patton 2010 1
ADA Gillian Hardwicke Melissa Sagemiller 2010–2011 10
ADA Casey Novak Diane Neal 2011–present 4 Regular character from seasons 5–9
ADA Rose Callier Tabitha Holbert 2011 1

Defense Attorneys

Name Portrayed by Year # Eps Notes
Roger Kressler Ned Eisenberg 1999–present 17
James Woodrow Craig Wroe 2000–2007 9
Pam Alder Paige Turco 2001 1
Don Newvine Frank Deal 2001 3
Ms. Regal Liz Larsen 2001–2002 2
Carolyn Maddox CCH Pounder 2001–present 5
Gina Bernado Illeana Douglas 2002–2003 3
Cleo Conrad Jill Marie Lawrence 2002–2008 17
Trevor Langan Peter Hermann 2002–present 27
Nikki Staines Callie Thorne 2003–2004 2
Morty Berger Michael Lerner 2003–2006 2
Barry Moredock John Cullum 2003–2007 6 Later Judge Barry Moredock
Donna Emmett Viola Davis 2003–2008 7
Rebecca Balthus Beverly D'Angelo 2003–2008 5
Lionel Granger David Thornton 2003–2010 10
Lorna Scarry Mariette Hartley 2003-present 6
Dave Seaver Michael Boatman 2003–present 7 Crossing over from Law & Order
Lynne Riff Blair Brown 2004 2
Chauncey Zierko Peter Riegert 2004–2007 7
Oliver Gates Barry Bostwick 2004–2007 5
Jason Whitaker Bradley Cooper 2005 1 Cross-over episode with Law & Order: Trial By Jury
Sophie Devere Annie Potts 2005–2009 4
Linden Delroy J. Paul Nicholas 2005–present 11
Hashi Horowitz Joe Grifasi 2005–present 8
Charlie Moss James Naughton 2006–2007 2
Matthew Braden Steven Weber 2007 3
Russell Hunter Austin Lysy 2007–present 7
Avery Hemmings Michelle Borth 2008 1
Julia Zimmer Kelly Bishop 2008–2009 2
Miranda Pond Alex Kingston 2009–2010 4
Patrice Larue Jeri Ryan 2009–2010 3
Dwight Stannich Robert Klein 2009–present 3
Ms. Owens Monique Gabriela Curnen 2010 1
Ingrid Block Lena Olin 2010 1
Orville Underwood David Patrick Kelly 2011 1
Jonah Dekker Terrence Howard 2011 1 Crossing over from Law & Order: LA
Stan Exley Ron Rifkin 2011 1
Sherri West Francie Swift 2011 1


Name Portrayed by Year # Eps Notes
Judge Kevin Beck Peter Francis James 2000 5
Judge Barry Abrams Patrick Tovatt 2000 1 Crossing over from Law & Order
Judge Walter Schreiber John Ramsay 2000 1 Crossing over from Law & Order
Judge Margaret Barry Doris Belack 2000–2001 2 Crossing over from Law & Order
Judge Susan Valdera Leslie Ayvazian 2000–2002 5
Judge Mark Seligman Tom O'Rourke 2000–2006 19
Judge Alan Ridenour Harvey Atkin 2000–present 18
Judge Lena Petrovsky Joanna Merlin 2000–present 43
Judge Arthur Cohen David Lipman 2002–2009 13
Judge Danielle Larsen Sheila Tousey 2003–2004 10
Judge Walter Bradley Peter McRobbie 2003–present 17 Crossing over from Law & Order
Judge Lois Preston Audrie J. Neenan 2003–present 20
Judge Mary Clark Marlo Thomas 2004 4
Judge Philip Wyler William Whitehead 2004 2
Judge Oliver Taft Tom Skerritt 2004 1
Judge Rebecca Steinman Susan Blommaert 2004 1 Crossing over from Law & Order
Judge Joseph Terhune Philip Bosco 2004–2006 6
Judge Karen Taten Patricia Kalember 2004–present 9
Judge Elizabeth Donnelly Judith Light 2005–present 13
Judge Joseph Malloy Ron McLarty 2006 1
Judge Peter Harrison Peter Gerety 2007–2008 3
Judge Gregory Trenton John Henry Cox 2007–2010 2
Judge Barry Moredock John Cullum 2008–present 5
Judge Hilda Marsden Swoosie Kurtz 2009 1
Judge Joshua Koehler Alan Dale 2009 1
Judge Maskin Tonye Patano 2009–2010 4
Judge D. Andrews Lindsay Crouse 2009–present 7
Judge Sylvia Quinn Kate Nelligan 2010–present 2
Judge Marcus Ridiger Dick Latessa 2010 1
Judge Sheila Tripler Anita Gillette 2010 2

Medical Experts and Hospital personnel

Name Portrayed by Year # Eps Notes
Dr. Elizabeth Rodgers Leslie Hendrix 1999–2000 9 Crossing over from Law & Order
Dr. Emil Skoda J.K. Simmons 2000–2001 6 Crossing over from Law & Order
Dr. Melinda Warner Tamara Tunie 2000–2005, 2011–present 70 Regular character from seasons 7–12
Dr. George Huang B.D. Wong 2001–2002 20 Regular character from seasons 4–12
Paramedic Martinez Joselin Reyes 2003–present 14
ER Nurse Carey Hutchins Elizabeth Flax 2003–present 12
Dr. Rebecca Hendrix Mary Stuart Masterson 2004–2007 5
Dr. Emily Sopher Linda Emond 2004–2009 4
Dr. Kyle Beresford Stephen Gregory 2004–present 18
Dr. Manning Amir Arison 2009–present 8

The Stabler family

Name Portrayed by Year # Eps Notes
Kathy Stabler Isabel Gillies 1999–2011 30
Maureen Stabler Erin Broderick 1999–2007 13
Kathleen Stabler Holiday Segal 1999 6
Richard "Dickie" Stabler Jeffrey Scaperrotta 1999–2009 17
Elizabeth Stabler Patricia Cook 1999–2007 13
Kathleen Stabler Alison Siko 2002–2011 16 Replaced Holiday Segal as Kathleen
Eliot Stabler Jr. Various 2008-2011 3
Bernadette Stabler Ellen Burstyn 2008 1 Elliot's mother

Minor characters

Dean Porter

FBI Agent Dean Porter, worked with Benson as her handler during her stint undercover in an eco-terrorist group during season 8. He has also worked with the squad on several federal cases ("Savant", "Screwed", "Florida", "Infiltrated", and "Spooked").

Simon Marsden

Simon Marsden is Detective Benson's half-brother and caused extensive trouble throughout season 8 for Olivia and the entire squad.

Ed Tucker

Ed Tucker is a detective in Internal Affairs who usually comes to question the SVU detectives whenever there is an allegation of misconduct. He has been mocked by Stabler every time he has shown up at the unit, and has an ongoing feud with Captain Cragen. Tucker was introduced as a Sergeant, and later promoted to Lieutenant.

Dana Lewis

An FBI agent, first introduced in the episode "Raw" while working undercover to bring down a white supremacist group. Agent Lewis specializes in undercover work, often working under assumed identities for weeks or even months at a time. Her family (husband and children) are currently living in Europe to protect them from criminals who attempt to retaliate against her. One of these criminals, the leader of the aforementioned supremacist group, ordered a fellow inmate to attack and rape her ("Penetration"). Elliot Stabler has been injured each time she has worked with them, though she was only responsible for one of these.

Sister Peg

Sister Peg was a Catholic Nun who lived and worked in New York City. Most of her work involved helping and protecting prostitutes. As such, she sometimes came into contact with Manhattan SVU Detectives Elliot Stabler and Olivia Benson. She was killed in the 12th season finale episode "Smoked".


  1. ^ Kukoff, David (2006). Vault Guide to Television Writing Careers. Vault, Inc.. p. 71. ISBN 1581313713. 
  2. ^ Law & Order: Special Victims Unit episode "Disrobed"
  3. ^ Law & Order: Special Victims Unit episode "Limitations"
  4. ^ Law & Order: Special Victims Unit episode "Honor"
  5. ^ Simon, David (1991, 2006). Homicide, A Year on the Killing Streets. New York: Owl Books. p. hoto insert section. 
  6. ^ Episode E2318, "Rooftop", October 19, 2001
  7. ^ Episode 10007, "PTSD", December 2, 2008
  8. ^
  9. ^ a b c d Stanhope, Kate (August 8, 2011). "Law & Order Alum Linus Roache to Reprise Role on SVU". TV Guide. Retrieved August 8, 2011. 
  10. ^ twitter
  11. ^ Webb Mitovich, Matt; Ausiello (May 24, 2011). "Exclusive: Chris Meloni Exits Law & Order: SVU". TVLine ( Media). Retrieved May 24, 2011. 
  12. ^ " More cast departures for crime procedurals".;title;0om_act=convert&om_clk=headlinessh. Retrieved 2008-05-18. 
  13. ^ "Mary Stuart Masterson Reprises Role as Dr. Rebecca Hendrix on 'SVU'". The Futon Critic. 2005-10-10. 
  14. ^ Levin, Gary (2004-12-06). "'Law & Order' stays orderly". USA Today. Retrieved 2004-12-06. 
  15. ^ Barry, Mike. "Films Are the Stars". Retrieved 2008-07-11. 
  16. ^ "Torch". Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. NBC. April 28, 2010. 2:45–2:50 minutes in. "Jo Marlow: Eliot frigging Stabler. What's it been 10 years? Eliot: Closer to 15."
  17. ^ Keck, William (February 1, 2010). "SVU's Bringing Sexy Back". TVGuide Magazine (OpenGate Capital). Retrieved February 4, 2010. 
  18. ^ "Shattered". Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. NBC. May 19, 2010. 35:25–35:50 minutes in.
  19. ^ Q&A: 'Law & Order's' Linus Roache Makes A Welcome Return

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