Are you also a fan of SVU? Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (often abbreviated to SVU) is an American crime drama television series. Since it was first released on NBC in 2010, fans saw 19 incredible seasons and enjoyed every single one of them. But do you ever wonder where else can we see the characters from this series? Before they landed on the popular show, cast regulars already had quite some busy days. Some have been in pretty fin and strange movies, from soaps to the big screens. Here are 23 times you’ve seen the actors before, compiled by Ranker.
1. Ice-T – Johnny Mnemonic
His SVU role was Fin Tutuola. Do you remember him playing Ice in this ’80s movie?
2. Mariska Hargitay – Leaving Las Vegas
Her SVU role was Olivia Benson, but before the show she played a hooker in this 1995’s movie. The daughter of the Hollywood legend Jayne Mansfield had an interesting start.
3. Richard Belzer – Night Shift
SVU Role: John Munch
Belzer began his career as both an actor as well as a standup comedian in the late ’70s. We saw him in the first season of Saturday Night Live. He also did standup at every major hot venue, and made a pop-up appearance on The X-Files as Det. John Munch who thwarts The Lone Gunmen. Check out his role in the 1982’s Night Shift!
4. Christopher Meloni – Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle
SVU Role: Elliot Stabler
You may be used to his deadly serious characters in Oz, NYPD Blue, or Homicide, but take for instance his amazing appearances in Dirty Movie as the Producer and Director, the appliance-humping Gene in Wet Hot American Summer, or the leader of the Vampire Authority Roman Zimojic in True Blood. A real talent!
5. Tamara Tunie – As the World Turns
SVU Role: Dr. Melinda Warner
Before SVU fans knew her as Dr. Warner, Tunie had a lovely time being Jessica Griffin in As the World Turns.
6. Kelli Giddish – All My Children
SVU Role: Amanda Rollins
Giddish used to play the role of Di Henry in the soap All My Children.
7. Diane Neal – National Lampoon’s Dirty Movie
SVU Role: Diane Neal
Since her role as Casey Novak on SVU, she has moved on to other series as well. These include Suit, NCIS, NCIS: New Orleans, and Blue Bloods. But did you know that she also had a role in National Lampoon’s Dirty Movie?
8. Stephanie March – Head of State
March played Alex Cabot for two years on SVU. Before that, she used to play Nikki in the Chris Rock film Head of State.
9. Danny Pino – The Shield
SVU Role: Nick Amaro
Fans may recognize him from Cold Case as well, as this role was a standout or his career. Check him out in The Shield as Armadillo Quintero.
10. Raúl Esparza – Pushing Daisies
SVU Role: Rafael Barba
Esparza was playing Dr. Chillton on Hannibal while also playing Rafel Barba on SVU. Check him out as Alfredo Aldarisio on the criminally underrated Pushing Daisies.
11. Mike Doyle – Afterschool Special Magical Make-Over
SVU Role: Forensics Tech Ryan O’Halloran
Doyle has had quite a few film and TV projects. He was in Rabbit Hole and Green Lantern. Also, he appeared with B.D. Wong back in 1994 on the ABC Afterschool Special Magical Make-Over.
12. Joel de la Fuente – Space: Above and Beyond
SVU Role: TARU Tech Ruben Morales
De la Fuente has done well since he was Morales. He appeared in shows like Hemlock Grove and The Man in the High Castle. Before SVU, he played a character called Seamus Wong on All My Children. His role as Lt. Paul Wang in Space: Above and Beyond in the ‘90s is also memorable.
13. Joanna Merlin – The Ten Commandments
SVU Role: Judge Lena Petrovsky
She made her acting debut in Cecil B. DeMille’s The Ten Commandments in 1956. Unbelievable!
14. Caren Browning – Law & Order
SVU Role: CSU Captain Judith Siper
Before she was Judith Siper, Browning was in a single 2000 episode of Law & Order, as Anne Kearsey.
15. Isabel Gillies – Metropolitan
SVU Role: Kathy Stabler
Interestingly, her very first role was in then1990 film Metropolitan, as Cynthia McLean.
16. Peter Hermann – Guiding Light
SVU Role: Trevor Langan
Hermann is famous for appearing in A Gifted Man, and Blue Bloods, but Guiding Light fans will always remember him as Dr. Michael Burke.
17. Dean Winters – Sex and the City
SVU Role: Brian Cassidy
Remember him as John McFadden in a memorable episode of Sex and the City, called “The F*ck Buddy?”
18. Michelle Hurd – Charmed
SVU Role: Monique Jeffries
She played Rachel Gray on 90210 for two years during the revamp. Also, she played Laurel on Gossip Girl, Courtney Brown on ER, Jacklyn Dussault on Devious Maids, Colleen Manus on The Glades, and Renee Grover on Hawaii Five-O. However, one of her best roles was as Katya on Charmed.
19. Judith Light – One Life to Live
SVU Role: Judge Elizabeth Donnelly
Light got her start on the soaps, playing Karen Wolek on One Life to Live.
20. Robert John Burke – Tombstone
SVU Role: Ed Tucker
Burke has been simply everywhere, appearing on Generation Kill, Sex and the City, Oz, Rescue Me, Gossip Girl, Army Wives, Person of Interest as well as in 2Guns and Limitless. But an early role in Tombstone is a whole different side of him.
21. Michaela McManus – One Tree Hill
SVU Role: Kim Greylek
Just before she started acting in SVU, McManus was a regular on One Tree Hill.
22. Ned Eisenberg – Miami Vice
SVU Role: Roger Kressler
Before joining the SVU cast in 1999, Eisenberg was part of the Law & Order cast from 1997 to 2009 as James Granick. Just before that, he was also a Miami Vice guy back in the ‘80s.
23. Adam Beach – Smoke Signals
SVU Role: Chester Lake
He was seen in Windtalkers, Flags of Our Fathers, and Big Love, but had his start as Victor Joseph in Smoke Signals.
Here are more facts about an actress from SVU.