To devotees of "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (NBC, 1999- ), Diane Neal will forever be known as Assistant District Attorney Casey Novak, a role that she played for more than 100 episodes of the long-running procedural drama. Raised in Colorado, Neal pursued figure skating and modeling in her youth, but eventually tried her hand at acting. One of her earliest screen parts was as a suspect on a 2001 episode of "Law & Order: SVU," and she joined the cast as Novak two years later. Featured regularly on the show, Neal departed in 2008 and returned as Novak in 2011, pleasing many ardent fans of the series. Only occasionally appearing outside of "SVU," Neal has primarily worked on television, and played to her crime-drama strengths by taking on the role of a Coast Guard special agent in 2010 as a recurring character on "NCIS" (CBS, 2003- ).