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Mariska Hargitay. Stephen Trupp/ AP

Mariska Hargitay began playing Olivia Benson, a passionate new York City unique victims detective, in 1999. Benson is the heart of the show, leading many of the investigations. As a product of she mother"s rape, Benson regularly feels a an individual connection come the cases.

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While playing this function for two decades, Hargitay has actually earnedeight Emmy nominations and one win.

Twenty year later, Hargitay continues to play Olivia Benson and also says she has no plans to leave the drama collection any time soon.


Mariska Hargitay. Stephen Lovekin / Getty pictures

Hargitay has concentrated on sexual assault advocacy in actual life too, ending up being a rape crisis counselor and founding the Joyful love Association to assist survivors of sexual assault.

She has additionally continued come play Benson ~ above "SVU," coming to be the longest-serving actor in the "Law and also Order" franchise.

On the show, Benson was advocated to lieutenant and also has come to be a mommy to an embraced son, Noah. Over there doesn"t seem come be any type of end in vision for the character, as Hargitay claimed she has actually no plans to leaving the renowned drama.

"I said, "You save writing favor this, I"ll remain for 25 years,"" Hargitay told The Hollywood Reporter. "Why would I leave? I"m so grateful."

Hargitay has been married to Peter Hermann, that played Trevor Langan ~ above "SVU" for 32 episodes, due to the fact that 2004.

Christopher Meloni was among the initial leads, playing Detective Elliot Stabler, but he left the present in 2011.


Christopher Meloni. kris Pizzelo/ AP

Christopher Meloni starred alongside Mariska Hargitay because that 12 periods as Detective Elliot Stabler. Meloni"s character to be a dad of five, so he took a most sexual attack cases personally, and also his hot-headed method to crime-fighting regularly got him in trouble.

Between 1998 and also 2003, Meloni was concurrently starring in HBO"s "Oz," play an inmate. But it was for his role in "SVU" that Meloni earned an Emmy nomination in 2006.

Meloni abruptly left the crime drama in 2011 if filming the 12th season. In the season 13 premiere episode, the "SVU"s" writers defined away Stabler"s sudden lack as one abrupt retirement.

Since "SVU," Meloni has turned come comedy, starring in films like "Wet hot American Summer." however he's collection to make his return to the "Law and also Order" universe.


Christopher Meloni. Jordan Strauss/ AP

After leave the show in 2011, Meloni appeared on HBO"s "True Blood," "Surviving Jack," and "Veep." many notably, however, the reprised his function as Gene in the "Wet hot American Summer" reboots.

More recently, the actor has starred in SyFy"s "Happy!" as a hitman that befriends his daughter"s imagine friend. He likewise appeared ~ above Hulu "s "Handmaid"s Tale" in 2019.

In 2020, it was announced that Meloni will reprise his duty as Elliot Stablerin a "SVU" spinoff collection about arranged crime.

Richard Belzer. Walter Weissman/ AP

Richard Belzer introduced Detective john Munch to audience on NBC"s "Homicide: Life top top the Street" in 1993. Munch to be an offbeat detective known for his one-liners. When the present ended in 1999, Belzer was offered to reprise the function of Munch on "SVU."

While gift a series regular ~ above "SVU," Belzer took Munch outside of the "Law and also Order" franchise and also made cameos on "The Wire," "30 Rock," "X-Files," and also "Arrested Development."

In 2013, Belzer announced his exit from "SVU."

Richard Belzer. Reuters

Although Belzer left "SVU" in 2013, he ongoing playing Detective Munch for a few more years, make cameos ~ above Netflix "s "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" and "30 Rock." Munch also returned come "SVU" to assist Benson and also the team v a number of cases in recent years, coming to be one the the longest-running personalities on television.

Outside of acting, Belzer has written several books on conspiracy theories around the john F. Kennedy assassination, UFOs, and also Elvis.

Dann Florek. NBC/ Getty

Dann Florek very first played Donald Cragen in 1990 on "Law and also Order" together a captain of the homicide unit. That reprised this character when "SVU" premiered in 1999, play the captain that the one-of-a-kind Victims Unit.

In 2013, it to be announced that Florek would certainly be leave the crime drama after showing up in over 300 episodes.

"Friday to be the critical day because that Cragen/Florek. It to be a sweet send off! but he"ll live ~ above in syndication land 4 evah!" Florek created on Twitter at the time.

Dann Florek. Evan Agostini/ AP

Since leaving "SVU," Florek showed up on one illustration of CBS" "Under the Dome," and in a tv movie dubbed "Disillusioned." In 2015, the reprised his role as Cragen ~ above "SVU" for a single episode.

Michelle Hurd. Paul A. Hebert/ AP

In 1999, Michelle Hurd began playing Detective Monique Jeffries, that was Detective Munch"s partner. When her personality revealed she had had sex v a former rape suspect, she was taken off active duty and also transferred come Vice.

In the actual world, Hurd left the present in 2000.

Michelle Hurd. Matt Sayles/ AP

Immediately after "SVU," Hurd play Athena Barnes on Showtime"s "Leap Years." since then, she has had actually several story arcs top top notable series like "ER," "Gossip Girl," "90210," "The Glades," Daredevil," "Hawaii Five-0," "Lethal Weapon," and "Blindspot." She likewise played Raffi Musiker in "Star Trek: Picard," i beg your pardon premiered on CBS All accessibility in January.

Hurd made headlines in 2014 once she revealed that comedian invoice Cosby to be inappropriate through her when she to be a stand-in ~ above "The Cosby Show." years later, she do news again as soon as she checked out Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein"s trial come showsupport because that his victims.

Stephanie March joined the display in its second season together Alexandra Cabot, the assistant ar attorney.

Stephanie March. Peter Kramer/ AP

In 2000, Stephanie March play Alexandra Cabot because that the an initial time. Cabot to be an assistant ar attorney that worked carefully with the SVU unit, do the efforts suspects the the detectives arrested.

When march was all set to leaving the show, the writers had actually her personality fake her own death and enter the Witness defense Program. March officially left the display after three seasons in 2003.

"It was a great work experience and I really miss the world quite a bit," March told TV Guide. "But, friend know, you gain to a point where you feeling like, together a character, you kind of said everything you deserve to say. And then that becomes fairly redundant. It was my very first on-camera project after college. I got really lucky and I thought, i just need to do a couple of an ext things before I obtain too comfortable. Maybe all I require is a lengthy break."

Stephanie March. Evan Agostini/ AP

Although March has actually returned come "SVU" a few times in recent years, she has actually expanded past the world of acting. She and also her makeup artist produced SheSpoke, a assembly bar in Manhattan the creates tradition makeup for customers. March is additionally known for she philanthropy and also travel writing.

Most recently, she to be the executive producer that "Social Ones," a mockumentary on society media influencers.

Ice-T. Malcolm Clarke/ AP

Ice-T was recognized as a rapper and musician, yet in the late "90s, he operated with the "Law and Order" creator ~ above a couple of crime shows. In 2000, Ice-T join "SVU" in its 2nd season, playing Detective Fin Tutuola. The character ended up being Detective Munch"s partner after Michelle Hurd"s personality left the show.

While Ice-T is tho on "SVU," he has additionally expanded right into the people of truth television through his wife, Coco.

Ice-T. Evan Agostini/ AP

Today, Ice-T proceeds to pat Tutuola ~ above "SVU," who has been advocated to sergeant. Past the show, the actor has actually co-starred in E! Network"s reality collection "Ice Loves Coco" with his wife, chocolate Austin. The collection lasted 3 seasons and also ended in 2013.

The couple took another stab at co-starring once they started a talk present called "Ice & Coco," yet it lasted only a couple of weeks in 2015.

In 2019, Ice-T released two songs, title "Feds in mine Rearview" and "I"m too Old because that This Dumb S---."

Tamara Tunie joined the cast in the show's seventh season come play clinical examiner Melinda Warner.

Tamara Tunie. Stuart Ramson/ AP

Tamara Tunie appeared in beforehand seasons of "SVU" as a recurring character, but it wasn"t until the saturday season that she became a series regular. She character, Melinda Warner, is a straightforward clinical examiner who strives to discover the truth.

Tunie appeared on the display as a collection regular native season 7 to 12, and also returned together a recurring character for seasons 13 come 17.

Since breaking far from "SVU," Tunie has appeared on number of TV shows, including "Better call Saul."

Tamara Tunie. Charles Sykes/ Ap

Tunie has ongoing acting, obtaining several story arcs ~ above "Better contact Saul," "Blue Bloods," "Dietland," "Black earth Rising," "The Red Road, and also "Almost Family."

Most recently, Tunie has transitioned into singing, release her first album, "Dreamsville,"in 2019.

The singer/actress is likewise known for she philanthropy, serving on plank for number Skating in Harlem, Harlem Stage/The Gatehouse, and also God"s Love us Deliver.

BD Wong first appeared on "SVU" in the 2nd season, but didn't become a series regular until the 4th season.

BD Wong. Brennan Linsley/ AP

BD Wong played Dr. George Huang, a forensic psychiatrist that specializes in sex-related assault. In the 2009 episode titled "Hardwired," Wong"s character comes out together gay.

Wong play Huang for 12 seasons and also announced in 2011 the hewas not returning because that the show"s 13th season.

Since "SVU," Wong has continued his exhilaration career on TV shows prefer "Mr. Robot" and also movies favor "Bird Box."

BD Wong. Vince Bucci/ AP

Despite leaving "SVU" in that is 12th season, Wong has actually made number of guest appearances in the last few years.

He"s likewise expanded his exhilaration career past the crime drama. In 2015, he play Dr. Henry Wu in "Jurassic World," and reprised the function in 2018"s "Jurassic World: please Kingdom." He also played a function in Netflix"s renowned film "Bird Box" in 2018.

On the small screen, Wong play Hugo weird on CW"s "Gotham," Whiterose ~ above "Mr. Robot," Dr. John Lee in "Awake."

Diane Neal. Peter Kramer/ AP

In 2001, Diane Neal guest-starred top top "SVU" together a female rapist called Amelia Chase. 2 years later, Neal went back to the display as a collection regular come play a different character: Assistant district Attorney Casey Novak. She changed Stephanie March"s character, Alexandra Cabot.

In season nine, Neal left the show amidst rumors the firing, despite nothing was ever before confirmed. Her character, however, was put on probation ~ she violated due process and was required to avoid working with the SVU team.

After "SVU," Neal showed up in several various other crime shows choose "NCIS," but an ext notably, she ran because that Congress in brand-new York.

Diane Neal. mary Esch/ AP

Neal went back to "SVU" a few times in recent years come reprise her role as Casey Novak, however she has likewise appeared in a number of other crime shows, choose "NCIS," "Blue Bloods," and also "Suits."

In 2018, Neal announced she was running for congress in brand-new York. At the time, the actress tweeted, "Ok, so it"s ON!!! but I"m act with virtually no staff, no donations (yet), with no party. Score is no negativity. Goal is HIGH road all the way."

However, theSupreme Court of new York blocked her from appearing on the ballot since she did no get sufficient signatures.

Adam Beach. Nick Ut/ AP

Known because that his duty in "Bury My heart at injured Knee," Adam beach joined "SVU" in season eight together Detective Chester Lake, and also became a collection regular in season nine together Detective Tutuloa"s partner. Lake was the first and so far only detective top top the show of aboriginal American descent.

In 2008, Beach and also his character left the series after simply one season.

"I very much took pleasure in my year on "Law & Order: SVU"," coast told The Hollywood Reporter in ~ the time. "Now I"m looking front to new adventures."

Beach go on to proceed his acting career in blockbusters choose "Suicide Squad," and also is additionally an activist for aboriginal American rights.

Adam Beach. Patricia Schlein/STAR MAX/IPx/ AP

After his brief stint top top "SVU," beach went on to play Tommy Flute ~ above HBO"s "Big Love" because that nine episodes.

In 2011, he appeared in "Cowboys & Aliens," the contrary Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, and also Sam Rockwell. Beach likewise took functions in "Suicide Squad," "Hostiles," and also "Supernatural."

Beach has additionally become an support for aboriginal Americans in Hollywood.

"There is no require to actors non-Native performers and also actresses in native roles," Beach wrote in one op-ed on deadline in 2017. "This is no 1950. The exercise of whitewashing is unnecessary, unacceptable and discriminatory. It promotes the erasure of areas of color. Natives are regularly typecast in stereotypical functions or removed from the narrative entirely."

Michaela McManus was a series regular for barely one season, playing Assistant ar Attorney Kim Greylek.

Michaela McManus. Peter Kramer/ AP

Michaela McManus joined "SVU" in its 10th season, acquisition on the function of assistant district attorney. Halfway through the season, however, McManus and also her character, Kim Greylek, were composed off the show.

Since then, McManus has ongoing her career as a TV actress, showing up in "SEAL Team" and also "The Orville."

Michaela McManus. man Nacion/ AP

After her quick appearance together a collection regular, McManus showed up on "CSI: Miami" and also CW"s "Vampire Diaries." She walk on to play Tara in NBC"s "Awake," alongside fellow "SVU" alum BD Wong.

McManus has since had recurring functions on "Aquarius," "SEAL Team," and also "The Orville."

She likewise played buy it Campbell ~ above NBC"s "The Village," which adhered to multiple residents in a Greenwich village apartment building.

Danny Pino. Henny ray Abrams/ AP

In season 13, Danny Pino joined the actors in 2011 together Detective Nick Amaro, who ended up being Olivia Benson"s new partner ~ Christopher Meloni left the show.

After four seasons, it to be announced Pino would certainly leave the show for good in 2015. His character, Amaro, left the force and also moved to California.

Danny Pino. Willy Sanjuan/ AP

In 2016, Pino joined the cast of ABC"s "Scandal" to play the Alex Vargas. He climate went on to play Luke Healy in "BrainDead" because that 13 episodes.

Pino then played the Bishop in "Gone" opposite kris Noth. Today, he plays Miguel Galindo in "Mayans M.C.," i m sorry is a spin-off that "Sons the Anarchy."

Kelli Giddish. Heidi Gutman/ Getty

Kelli Giddish do her first appearance on "SVU" in 2007 as a rape victim, but she returned to the display in 2011 for the 13th season together Detective Amanda Rollins. In the season, it"s revealed the Rollins has actually a gambling addiction, i beg your pardon she encounters over the course of the series.

Giddish came to be pregnant in the show"s 17th season, and also her pregnant was written right into the show. She offered birth to her son, Ludo, in 2015.

Kelli Giddish. Heidi Gutman/ Getty

Giddish is still playing Detective Amanda Rollins on "SVU." In the show"s 20th season, Giddish"s 2nd pregnancy was additionally written right into the show. She provided birth to Charlie in 2018.

Additionally, she and her character crossed end onto "Chicago P.D." and "Chicago Fire" in 2014.

Raúl Esparza made his an initial appearance in 2012 as Assistant ar Attorney Rafael Barba in the mirrors 14th season.

Raúl Esparza. Jim Spellman/ Getty

Known for being a stage actor, Raúl Esparza joined the actors of "SVU" in that is 14th season, playing the very first male assistant district attorney. His character, Rafael Barba, is often been portrayed as ruthless and no-nonsense, yet he i do not care a confidante of Olivia Benson"s in later seasons.

In 2018, Esparza decided to leaving "SVU" in the show's 19th season, saying it was time to relocate on to various other projects.

Raúl Esparza. Walter McBride/ Getty

"I"ve done 6 seasons, i felt favor it to be time come go. I had actually explored a many what I believed Barba to be about," Esparza told Entertainment Weekly about his decision come leave. "I simply felt it to be time to relocate on."

Since then, that has appeared in Hulu"s "The Path" and has voiced Ralph Stilton in Netflix"s "BoJack Horseman."

Peter Scanavino. NBC/ Getty

Peter Scanavino joined "SVU" in 2013, as Detective Dominick Carisi, Jr., that was expected to it is in a short-term replacement for Detective Nick Amaro. Yet it was later on announced that he had actually permanently joined the team, making Scanavino a series regular.

In a 2014 interview, Scanavino explained his character as "brusque."

"I might come top top a tiny strong, yet I"m constantly trying to acquire to the truth," he stated in the interview. "So perhaps my layout isn"t fairly in line through SVU, however I do acquire their respect and I to be going because that the very same thing we"re all going for, so i think i do obtain some respect."

Peter Scanavino. NBC/ Getty

When "SVU" wrapped its 21st season, Scanavino passedhis 120th episode.

Philip Winchester had a quick stint as a series regular, showing Assistant district Attorney Peter Stone.

Philip Winchester. Mike Pont/ Getty

Philip Winchester first brought his character, Peter Stone, to life in "Chicago P.D" and also then in "Chicago Justice," complied with by "Chicago Med." Winchester then brought stone to "SVU" in 2018 as a series regular, playing the assistant district attorney.

Ahead of the 21st season premiere, it was announced the Winchester would certainly not be return to the series.

Philip Winchester. NBC/ Getty

"Also to say thanks to everyone because that two good seasons. I have learned much and enjoyed being part of an upstream unit," Winchester tweeted in might 2019. "Here"s come you all and also a historical run!"

He has not made any type of appearances since then.

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Jamie Gray Hyder together Katriona Azar Tamin. NBC / Getty

Jamie Gray Hyder was presented to the "SVU" audiences in season 21 together Katriona Azar Tamin. She very first played one undercover cop but was then transferred to the SVU and made a detective. Hyder is now a series regular.