Law and Order was the longest running crime drama on American television. It premiered in 1990 and ran for 20 years. The mixture of gritty police and legal drama proved a hit with audiences worldwide. The show also sparked a number of successful spin-off shows. Famous for its revolving cast of characters, this article takes a look at the Law and Order actors throughout the twenty seasons.
Revolving cast of characters
The first season’s Law and Order cast were Dann Florek as Captain Donald Cragen, George Dzundza as Detective Sergeant Max Greevey, Chris Noth as Mike Logan, Michael Moriarty as Executive Assistant District Attorney Ben Stone, Richard Brooks as Assistant District Attorney Paul Robinette, and Steven Hill as District Attorney Adam Schiff. Dzunda was replaced by Paul Sorvino for the second season as Detective Sergeant Phil Cerreta. He left after 29 episodes and was replaced by Jerry Orbach as Detective Lennie Briscoe. In season four, Florek and Brookes made way for S. Epatha Merkerson as Lieutenant Anita Van Buren and Jill Hennessy as ADA Claire Kincaid. Moriarty was replaced by Sam Waterston as Executive ADA Jack McCoy in season five. Noth was replaced by Benjamin Bratt in season six as Detective Rey Curtis. Hennessy left at the end of that season. The new ADA was Jamie Ross, played by Carey Lowell. She stayed with the show for two seasons. Angie Harmon was cast as her replacement.
The changes continue
Bratt was replaced by Jesse L. Martin as Detective Ed Green in season ten. Steven Hill left at the end of that season. Dianne Wiest became Interim DA Nora Lewin for two seasons. She was replaced by Fred Thompson as DA Arthur Branch. Elisabeth Rohm became the new ADA Serena Southerlyn at the start of season 12. After 12 years, Orbach left the show, and Green’s new partner was Dennis Farina’s Detective Joe Fontana. The fifteenth season also saw the departure of Röhm. Annie Parisse took over as ADA Alexandra Borgia. Martin was temporarily replaced by Michael Imperioli in season 15 as Detective Nick Falco. At the end of the sixteenth season, Borgia was killed off, and Farina announced that he was leaving. Alana de la Garza was brought in as ADA Connie Rubirosa. Martin's Green was promoted to senior detective and his new partner was Detective Nina Cassady, played by Milena Govich. She was replaced after one season by Jeremy Sisto as Detective Cyrus Lupo. Waterston's McCoy was promoted to Interim DA in season 18. Linus Roache joined the cast as Executive ADA Michael Cutter. At the same time, Martin announced that he was leaving, and he was replaced by Anthony Anderson as Detective Kevin Bernard