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Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

Main Characters (13)

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Recurring Characters (8)

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Listing all characters in the group Main Characters (13)

 
Detective Elliot Stabler [S01-S12], played by Christopher Meloni

Elliott Stabler is the partner of Detective Olivia Benson on the series Law and Order:Special Victim's Unit. Stabler is intelligent, crafty, and as dedicated to his job as humanly possible. He has a problem with caring too much at times and this led to the breakup of his marriage. Stabler also has a few issues with his temper. His violent outbursts have led him to be ordered to psychological treatment on several occasions. Stabler and Benson have a deep, caring, friendship, but have had a few problems that are job related. At times, Stabler has been too protective of Benson and this has led to friction between the two.
 
 
Sergeant Olivia Benson [Detective S01-S15E12; Sergeant S15E13-], played by Mariska Hargitay

Detective Olivia Benson is one of the two most prominent detectives featured on the series Law and Order:Special Victims Unit. Benson is thoughtful, caring, and compassionate. She is totally devoted to her work and will always go the extra mile to help the victims of her cases. Benson is intelligent to the max and uses her intuition also in solving crimes. Her resolve is to always get justice for the victim. Benson has an intense relationship with her partner, Elliot Stabler. Benson and Stabler have a deep friendship, but have had job related problems. Benson is especially in tune with rape cases, as she was a child born from rape, herself. She also handles cases involving children with great success.
 
 
Detective Nick Amaro [S13-], played by Danny Pino

Nick Amaro, a New Jersey-raised, top-notch interrogator, was recruited to the Special Victims Unit after the departure of Detective Elliot Stabler.
 
 
Detective Amanda Rollins [S13-], played by Kelli Giddish

Amanda Rollins, an ambitious former Atlanta cop, has a masters in forensic psychology.
 
 
Sergeant John Munch [Detective S01-S08; Sergeant S09-], played by Richard Belzer

Detective John Munch was a cynical detective in the Baltimore Police Department's Homicide unit, originally partnered with Det. Stanley Bolander. In 1999 Munch retired from the Baltimore Police Department, took his pension and moved to New York to become a senior detective in the New York Police Department's Special Victims Unit. Munch was first partnered with Brian Cassidy, followed by Monique Jeffries and Fin Tutuola.

In 2007 Munch passed the exam, having taken it on a bar bet, and earned his promotion to the rank of Sergeant and occasionally takes on supervisory functions within the department. He is temporarily promoted to commanding officer of the Special Victims Unit following Cragen's temporary reassignment but is depicted as happily relinquishing control back to Cragen, commenting, upon Cragen's return, "this job sucks".
 
 
Detective Odafin 'Fin' Tutuola [S02E02- ; recurring previously], played by Ice-T

Detective Odafin 'Fin' Tutuola is the partner of Detective John Munch on the series Law and Order:Special Victims Unit. Former DEA, Finn is the most street-wise of all the SVU detectives. Pragmatic and and at times, world-weary, Finn knows the streets of New York like the back of his hand. Finn doesn't let anyone get too close, but still is the one detective that can tolerate the constant sarcasm of Munch on a daily basis. Finn is the only other detective on the SVU squad to have children, besides Elliott Stabler. The relationship between Finn and his son is troubled. He and his son have problems because Finn didn't see him much after his divorce from the boy's mother as he was always gone on DEA business.
 
 
Detective Dominick "Sonny" Carisi, Jr. [S16E05-; recurring previously], played by Peter Scanavino

Detective Carisia is an expert at saying the wrong thing as far as the SVU is concerned. Even though he is a good detective, he has a sharp learning curve ahead of him if he plans on staying at the Special Victims Unit.
 
 
Assistant D.A. Alexandra Cabot [S02E02-S05E04; S11E05-S11E16; recurring otherwise], played by Stephanie March

The niece of Judge Bill Hermann, Alexandra Cabot grew up around the machinery of Law and Order and as an adult, vigorously pursued a career with the Manhattan District Attorney's Office. In 2000, she was first assigned to the Special Victims Unit to give then-Executive Assistant District Attorney Charlie Phillips an eye into the unit as they went under the Morris Commission. Phillips wanted Cabot to find any improprieties in the unit before the commission did, as the latter's findings might have jeopardized his hopes of replacing Nora Lewin as District Attorney. The SVU was later cleared of any wrongdoing, but Cabot stayed on as their ADA-liason.

Cabot's time with the SVU (2000-2003) was notable for a high success rate, but also for her habit of leaning on certain judges (including her uncle) for favors. One judge in particular, Lena Petrovsky, went so far as to call Cabot out on her behavior after she went to Petrovsky to nullify an immunity agreement with Missy Kurtz.

Bureau Chief Cabot is engaged, and has had a fling with Deputy District Attorney Jim Steele. Since her time as an ADA with SVU, Alex's ideals and the way she does her job have changed, becoming more of a "politician" - something that often angers her staff, particularly Jessica Rossi. It was for a while unknown why Cabot was able to leave the Witness Protection Program which she joined in 2003 after her life was threatened by a criminal she was prosecuting. However, it was revealed that the man who had threatened her life was extradited to his native Ireland, and that she had been active back in the Manhattan D.A.'s office for the past three years.

Cabot decided to participate in training to become an appeals court clerk in Albany. While this is happening, DA Jack McCoy asked Sonya Paxton to temporarily cover her case load.

Cabot was so affected by the testimony of a rape victim from the Congo that she decided to take a leave of absence to join an international task force prosecuting sex crimes in war-torn areas.
 
 
Assistant D.A. Casey Novak [S05E05-S09; recurring otherwise], played by Diane Neal

After taking over for Assistant District Attorney Alexandra Cabot, A.D.A. Casey Novak has made the job her own, determined to find justice for the victims of some of the worst cases in New York.
 
 
Assistant D.A. Rafael Barba [S15- ; recurring previously], played by Raúl Esparza

Former Brooklyn Assistant D.A. transferred to Manhattan. He has a big ego after convicting two johns for raping a prostitute. He was not involved with the scandal with Delia Wilson and as such is one of the few who can effectivly perform his duties.
 
 
Dr. George Huang [S04-S12; recurring otherwise], played by B.D. Wong

Dr. George Huang is a forensic psychiatrist whose expertise on the criminal mind is a valuable asset to SVU investigations.
 
 
Dr. Melinda Warner, M.E. [S07- S12; recurring otherwise], played by Tamara Tunie

M.E. Melinda Warner is a no nonsense character on Law and Order:Special Victims Unit. Dr. Warner sees the worst of man's inhumanity to man and yet, still manages to rise above it to always present an appearance of a true professional on the series. Dr. Warner, is kind, thoughtful, and compassionate in manner, but she will tolerate no fools. She expects the best from herself and all those that work around and with her. She is often called to testify and her composure on the stand is remarkable. Never rattled by a crusading defense attorney, Warner stays on topic and never wavers. Melinda Warner is the perfect example of how the character of a medical examiner should be written.
 
 
Captain Donald Cragen [S01-], played by Dann Florek

Captain Don Cragen was the commanding officer of the 27th Precinct from 1900 through 1993. Cragen served as a Green Beret in the Vietnam War before joining the New York Police Department, where he was a homicide detective partnered with Max Greevey. Cragen had been married to a flight attendant named Marge, who at some point is killed in a plane crash. Cragen is a recovering alcoholic. His drinking problem had become so severe in his early career that Greevey insisted he would no longer partner with him unless he joined Alcoholics Anonymous. After Greevey is murdered both Cragen and Greevey's partner Detective Mike Logan are grief stricken. Cragen also supervised Detective Lennie Briscoe and Sergeant Phil Cerreta before leaving the 27th to head the Anti-Corruption Task Force.

Cragen later becomes the Captain of the 16th Precinct that houses the Special Victims Unit squad and oversees all the detectives in their cases. He is known for his constant backing of his detectives, but usually expects enough evidence to arrest a suspect before he lets Detectives Stabler and Benson employ their tactics. Cragen still maintains a good friendship with Detective Logan and Detective Briscoe until his death.

In 2007 Cragen was briefly relieved of duty for failure to supervise due to the actions of several of his detectives, such as Benson aiding her fugitive half-brother and Elliot Stabler covering up his daughter's DUI. Cragen is forced to transfer to the office of Chief of Detectives and cede control of his precinct to the newly-promoted Sergeant John Munch. The transfer is short-lived, however, as Cragen's command is restored after Munch allows a suspect faking dissociative identity disorder to be released into her sister's care, only to kill her parents.

In 2012 he was framed for the murder of escort Carissa Gibson, but returned to duty after he was cleared of all charges. In early 2014 Captain Cragen retires.
 
Warning: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit guide may contain spoilers
Classification: Scripted
Genre: Action | Crime | Drama
Status: Returning Series
Network: NBC ( USA)
Airs: Wednesdays at 09:00 pm
Runtime: 60 Minutes
Premiere: September 20, 1999
Episode Order: 24
This guide is currently edited by:
wmulder (Challenge)