See The Original ‘Law & Order: SVU’ Cast: Then and Now

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit has been on TV since 1999. It’s had many amazing seasons that made us question crime in America and made us kind of terrified to ever go jogging alone. Over the years, it’s introduced to many new faces (and some repeat guest stars), but there are some characters that we’ve loved more than others. We can’t help but hold a special place in our hearts for the original SVU crew, even if most of them have left us.

1
Mariska Hargitay - Sgt. Olivia Benson
Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Law & Order SVU
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Since season 1, Benson has logged A LOT of hours in SVU. Mariska Hargitay is the only cast member that has been there since episode 1 and stuck through it all. And now Benson isn't just a detective, she's the Sergeant! Over the years, Mariska hasn't done much besides SVU (not like she needs to). She's portrayed Benson on several other television programs, like Law & Order, Law & Order: Trial By Jury, Chicago Fire, and most recently Chicago P.D. Pop star Taylor Swift managed to snag Mariska (who she named her cat Olivia after) to be in her 2015 video for "Bad Blood".
2
Ice-T - Det. Fin Tutuola
Ice-T, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Law & Order: SVU
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When Fin was first on the SVU scene, he might not have seemed like a serious character that would stick around, but we're glad that he did. Because he's said some of the funniest things on the show. Like Benson, Tutuola is still on the squad, but Ice-T has kept pretty busy on the side. He's appeared on TV, in shows like 30 Rock and Chicago P.D. He's also done film, narrating The Other Guys, appearing in Once Upon a Time in Brooklyn, and is currently filming King Dog. Back in 2011, he announced he was working on more music, but as of 2015 nothing new has been released yet. In 2001, Ice married model Nicole "Coco Marie" Austin and they've been together ever since, having the reality show Ice Loves Coco on E! from 2011-2013.
3
Christopher Meloni - Det. Elliot Stabler
Christopher Meloni, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Law & Order: SVU
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Due to a conflict in contract negotiations, Christopher Meloni made the decision to leave SVU. To say we've never been more heartbroken by a departure would be a big understatement. Right after his split from SVU, he became a vampire on True Blood. He also tested the film waters, having roles in 42 and Man of Steel. He was also on the short-lived FOX show Surviving Jack. Dedicated fans can see him reprise his role of Gene in Wet Hot American Summer in the TV version made for Netflix being released this summer. SVU fans should still hold out hope, Meloni has said he's willing to come back to the show eventually. Fingers crossed!
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4
Dann Florek - Captain Donald Cragen
Dann Florek, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Law & Order: SVU
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As you may or may not know, Captain Cragen was also on Law & Order, and not as just a guest, he was on that show from 1990-2004. Since his character actually left the SVU crew, Dann hasn't been up to too much. In 2014, he was on the TV movie Captain Blackout. He did come back to SVU for a moment though, for the episode "Perverted Justice" in 2015, where he returns to try and help solve the case where a woman who accused her father of raping her when she was six retracted her claims.
5
Richard Belzer - Det. John Munch
Richard Belzer, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Law and Order: SVU
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Since 1993, Richard Belzer managed to play Detective John Munch on an impressive number of shows (Homicide: Life of the Street, Law & Order, The Beat, Law & Order: Trial by Jury, Arrested Development, 30 Rock, and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit). Since Munch retired, Belzer hasn't been up to much. He did return to SVU briefly to help Det. Amaro after he was arrested at the end of season 15. Belzer is also currently working on his own web and TV series, yet no official infomration has been supplied yet.
6
BD Wong - Dr. George Huang
BD Wong, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Law & Order: SVU
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Huang left the force after season 12, but like most SVU members couldn't stay away for long and returned as a guest in seasons 13-15.  Wong was in the HBO film The Normal Heart in 2014 and in an episode of Madam Secretary and NCIS: New Orleans in 2015. He's also been doing some film work, appearing in Will Smith's film Focus and we can see him in Jurrasic World with Chris Pratt in June.
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7
Tamara Tunie - M.E. Melinda Warner
Tamara Tunie, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Law & Order: SVU
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Aside from being known as SVU's best medical examiner, Tamara Tunie is also known for her role as attorney Jessica Griffin on As The World Turns. She was also in the film Captain Blackout with SVU-alums Dann Florek and Diane Neal. More recently, she was on the TV series The Red Road as Marie.
8
Stephanie March - A.D.A. Alexandra Cabot
Stephanie March, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Law & Order: SVU
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A.D.A. Cabot left us after SVU's season 5 but then returned for seasons 10-13. Since then, Stephanie March hasn't been up to very much. She's had guest roles on the shows: Made in Jersey, Real Actors Read Yelp, and Happy Endings. She was also in the 2014 film Innocence. Since 2005 she's been married to celebrity chef Bobby Flay, but in April 2015 it was announced that the couple were getting a divorce amid rumors that Flay had cheated.

RELATED: 18 Signs You Watch Way Too Much Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

Who is your favorite character on SVU? Our #1 is Sergeant Benson! Share your responses in the comment section below!

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