'Law & Order': All the Cast Members and Familiar Faces That Have Returned So Far

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With Law & Order back on the air, showrunner Rick Eid has promised that season 21 of the revival will feature many familiar faces in addition to returning stars Anthony Anderson and Sam Waterston, who are reprising their respective roles as Det. Kevin Bernard and DA Jack McCoy. “There’s so many great actors who have been involved in the show, and the opportunity for them to come back in some capacity is really exciting,” he teased. “So, I think we definitely want to find ways to bring back several of our alumni.”

Ahead of season 21’s premiere, the new cast members couldn’t contain their excitement. “There’s gonna be a lot of surprises and a lot of recurring guest stars that people have kind of grown to love in the last two decades,” said Jeffrey Donovan, who joins the series as Det. Frank Cosgrove. 

Meanwhile, Camryn Manheim, who made brief appearances in earlier seasons before joining full time as Lt. Kate Dixon, said, “I have been surprised and excited already several times. And I think the viewers will be, too.” Odelya Halevi, who plays ADA Samantha Maroun, echoed her co-star’s sentiment. “We have guest stars that I would only dream about working with,” she said, teasing that some of them are “mind-blowing.” 

Looking ahead,“I’m sure next season we’ll think about some of our alumni and how to bring them back and build an episode around someone,” showrunner Rick Eid said, revealing that he’s “heard from a few people who have indicated they’d love to come back.” 

He added, “It’s a great situation to be in. There are so many people that have been on the show and played great characters, whether they were series regulars, a judge or a defense lawyer.” 

That said, here’s a list of all the familiar faces and returning cast members that appeared on Law & Order season 21. 


Original Stars

Anthony Anderson as Det. Kevin Bernard 
Appearance: Series Regular, Season 21

Law & Order season 21
NBC

Bernard first appeared on Law & Order in season 18 as a junior detective, while longtime detective, Ed Green (Jesse L. Martin), is being investigated for a shooting. Even though Green is cleared, he leaves the precinct, making way for Bernard to replace him as Det. Cyrus Lupo’s (Jeremy Sisto) new partner. 

Det. Bernard went on to appear in every episode of the two remaining seasons of Law & Order’s original run, with season 20 giving viewers a deeper glimpse into his personal and family life. As of season 21, the senior detective is now partnered with Det. Frank Cosgrove (Donovan). 

Sam Waterston as DA Jack McCoy
Appearance: Series Regular, Season 21

Law & Order season 21
NBC

First introduced as an Executive Assistant District Attorney in season 5, McCoy has gone on to appear in every season of the long-running criminal procedural since. After season 17, McCoy was named the interim District Attorney, following the departure of Arthur Branch (the late Fred Thompson). 

Later, when he appeared in a crossover episode with SVU, he was referred to as District Attorney even though he later had to campaign for the position after a year and a half in the interim position. During that time, McCoy had a testy relationship with Governor Donald Shalvoy (Tom Everett Scott), who was involved with a prostitution ring. 

As of season 21, McCoy is still New York City’s DA and mentoring ADAs Samantha Maroun (Halevi) and Nolan Price (Hugh Dancy). 


Returning Cast Members 

Carey Lowell as ADA Jamie Ross
Appearance: Episode 1, “The Right Thing” 

Law & Order season 21
NBC

In the season 21 premiere, “there’s a very famous actor that you’ll notice right away,” Donovan teased. And that person turned out to be Lowell, who reprised her role as Jamie Ross, an ADA whose personal and professional life overlap when she gets drawn into a messy custody battle with her ex-husband over their daughter. The character first appeared in season 7 and lasted for only two seasons before briefly appearing on the short-lived spinoff Law & Order: Trial by Jury where she had been promoted to a trial judge. 

In her latest appearance on Law & Order, it’s revealed that Ross has rejoined the DA’s office and that she helped prosecute a popular singer named Henry King for rape. After he’s released and murdered by one of his victims, Ross is briefly considered a suspect before it’s discovered she may have potentially assisted in the crime. When forced to testify, she evokes the Fifth Amendment.  

Dylan Baker as Sanford Rems
Appearance: Episode 5, “Free Speech”

Law & Order Season 21
NBC

After making his first appearance on Law & Order as Sean Hyland in 1991, Baker scored a recurring role as defense attorney Sanford Rems. The private practice lawyer went on to defend the likes of Carrie Salter, Qatar Khaleel and Eric Lund between seasons 14 and 16. On season 21, Rems is brought in after a congressional candidate is murdered. Although they find the killer, the case is complicated by the fact that a talk show host is accused of saying something that incited the crime. 

“Without naming names, you see this talk show host saying anything he wants and then he gets brought up in an investigation,” Donovan said of the episode, before getting excited about his off-screen reunion with Baker, who also appeared on Burn Notice as a former spy and handler of Donovan’s character Michael Westen. Although the two didn’t share any scenes together on screen, the actor said, “It was pretty great to see him come back.”


Crossovers

Mariska Hargitay
Appearance: Episode 10, “Black and Blue”

Law & Order
NBC / Getty Images

Since starring as Olivia Benson on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Hargitay has made numerous crossover appearances on the original series, with her first time being back-to-back episodes -- “Entitled” and “Fools for Love” -- in season 10. Her next appearance was in the 2005 episode, “Flaw,” before returning 15 years for the season 21 finale. 

Terry Serpico
Appearance: Episode 10, “Black and Blue”

Law & Order SVU
NBC

Prior to joining Law & Order: Special Victims Unit as Chief Tommy McGrath, Serpico first appeared on the original series as Jay in 2000’s “Dissonance” and Frank in 2002’s “Patriot.” Since then, he made a few one-off appearances on SVU before recurring as McGrath starting in season 22. He helped close out season 21 during a mini crossover that pulled in McGrath and Benson. 


Familiar Faces 

Marcel Simoneau
Appearance: Episode 1, “The Right Thing”

The Canadian-born New York theater actor has appeared on a total of three Law & Order episodes, 2002’s “True Crime” as Shane, 2003’s “Mother’s Day” as Danny Payton and the season 21 premiere as Ryan Bell. 

Mark Lotito 
Appearance: Episode 1, “The Right Thing”

After brief appearances in four episodes between 1993 and 1996, Lotito had a recurring role as Det. Mallory for three episodes in season 8 before returning as a bartender in the 2002 episode, “Open Season.” In season 21, he appears as Alan Conner. 

Brian Keane
Appearance: Episode 2, “Impossible Dream” 

Law & Order Season 21
NBC

After first appearing as McAlary in the 1999 episode, “Refuge: Part 2,” Keane had a two-episode recurring role as Dr. Murphy in seasons 10 and 11. In season 21, he appears as Brian Morrison, the father of a dead victim.

George Sheffey
Appearance: Episode 2, “Impossible Dream” 

The actor first appeared on the series as FBI agent Peter Blum in the 2002 episode, “Oxymoron,” and then again in 2010 as Tim Munn in “Crashers.” His latest appearance is as Jack Morley in season 21. 

Zabryna Guevara
Appearance: Episode 2, “Impossible Dream” 

The New York theater actress first appeared on the original series as Lucita in 1997 before returning as Salma in the 2003 episode, “B*tch.” In season 21, she plays defense attorney Amanda Stanley. 

Emily Zacharias
Appearance: Episode 3, “Filtered Life”

Before appearing in season 21, Zacharias played Emily in 2004’s “Nowhere Man” and Diane Nordahl in 2000’s “Milk.”

Howard Pinhasik
Appearance: Episode 3, “Filtered Life”

Aside from a brief appearance in season 21, Pinhasik  previously played Dr. Neil Zucker in the 2002 episode, “True Crime.”

Marsha Stephanie Blake
Appearance: Episode 3, “Filtered Life”

Law & Order season 21
NBC

The actress, most famous for her Emmy-nominated role as Linda McCray on When They See Us as well as her recurring roles on Orange Is the New Black and How to Get Away With Murder, appears in season 21 as defense attorney Ursula Knight. This follows her first time on the show as a clinic doctor in 2005’s “Locomotion.” 

Kevin Mambo
Appearance: Episode 4, “Fault Lines” 

Law & Order Season 21
NBC

The 49-year-old actor, who is a two-time winner of a Daytime Emmy for Younger Actor in a Drama Series for his performance on Guiding Light, returns to Law & Order in season 21 as Tom McDaniel. He previously appeared on the series in 2006’s “Thinking Makes It So” as Karl Farber and 2003’s “House Calls” as Sa. 

Lee R. Sellars
Appearance: Episode 5, “Free Speech” 

Sellars’ most recent appearance as Greg Matz follows a recurring role as Judge Kirk Landsberg in three episodes during seasons 17 and 18 as well as previous one-off appearances as Dr. John Faruzzi in 2004’s “Hands Free,” Otto Boyd in 2000’s “Untitled” and Nathan Faber in 1998’s “Disappeared.” 

Neal Ben Ari
Appearance: Episode 5, “Free Speech” and Episode 8, “Severance”

In episode 5 of season 21, Ari returns to play Judge Fields, marking his fourth appearance as playing David Colby in 1999’s “Harm,” Ed Bosco in 1994’s “Breeder” and Mr. Gordon in 1990’s “The Reaper’s Helper.” 

Currie Graham
Appearance: Episode 6, “Wicked Game” 

Law & Order Season 21
NBC

After appearing as Mitchell Burkitt in the 1992 episode, “Star Struck,” the actor known for Reacher and The Rookie returns as Kyle Swanson in season 21.

Jack Noseworthy
Appearance: Episode 6, “Wicked Game” 

Noseworthy plays Senator Jack Nathan in the season 21 episode that hits close to home for Dixon. His appearance comes nearly 15  years after playing Agent Brian Griggs in 2006’s “Fear America.”

Michael Beach
Appearance: Episode 6, “Wicked Game” and Episode 10, “Black and Blue”

Law & Order Season 21
NBC

The New York actor returns as attorney Brian Harris in season 21 after first appearing as Mr. Elliot in the 1995 episode, “Purple Heart.”

Mick O'Rourke
Appearance: Episode 6, “Wicked Game” 

The stunt actor has appeared in 12 episodes between 1992 and 2006, with his role as a homeless man in season 21 marking his 13th appearance in various roles on the series. 

Sonnie Brown
Appearance: Episode 6, “Wicked Game” 

After four appearances as an assistant medical examiner, first named Cho and later named Shen, Brown is back as Judge Patricia Lewis in season 21. 

Geraldine Leer
Appearance: Episode 7, “Legacy”

Law & Order Season 21
NBC

After playing Michelle DeVoe in the 1999 episode, “Harm,” the Manifest actress returned in season 21 to play attorney Karen Whitbeck.  

Maury Ginsberg
Appearance: Episode 7, “Legacy”

Ginsberg makes his third appearance on the franchise as attorney Scott Quinn after 2008’s “Submission” and 2005’s “Life Line.” 

Francie Swift
Appearance: Episode 8, “Severance”

Law & Order Season 21
NBC

After three appearances between 1995 and 2009, Swift is back on the franchise as Diana Marcus in season 21. 

Angel Desai
Appearance: Episode 8, “Severance”

Prior to playing Judge Roberta Hines on season 21, Desai had two early appearances on the series in 2001 and 2003 before recurring as Assistant M.E. Dr. Judy Waxman from 2003 to 2005. 
 
Ellen Lancaster 
Appearance: Episode 8, “Severance”

Lancaster plays Dr. Eva Wright on season 21 after three prior appearances as Rana in 2000’s “Vaya Con Dios,” Lois in 1997’s “Burned” and Alice in 1994’s “Big Bang.”

Michael McKenzie
Appearance: Episode 9, “The Great Pretender”

McKenzie follows past appearances as Thomas in 2000’s “Untitled” and Justin in 2002’s “Equal Rights” as Walter Whitlock in season 21. 

Graham Rowat
Appearance: Episode 9, “The Great Pretender”

Rowat returns to Law & Order after first appearing as Mike Fleming in 2008’s “Misbegotten.” In season 21, he plays Eric Howe.

Matthew Floyd Miller
Appearance: Episode 10, “Black and Blue”

The actor follows his role as Karl in 2009’s “Exchange” as Counselor Dave Bell on the season 21 finale.


Unexpected Connections

Milica Govich
Appearance: Episode 3, “Filtered Life”

Law & Order Season 21
NBC / Getty Images

Govich, who plays Judge LeAnn Dreben in season 21, is the aunt of Milena Govich, who played Junior Detective Nina Cassady during season 17 and returned as the director of episode 3. According to the Wolf Entertainment, it was a “Law & Order family affair” and that the episode’s guest star inspired her niece “to start her acting career.”


Law & Order airs at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Thursdays, the same night as Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Law & Order: Organized Crime, on NBC. 

 

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