TV Actors The Best Law & Order Actors  

Ranker TV
154 votes 22 voters 25 items

List Rules Only main and supporting cast members - no guest stars. Vote based on their performances on Law & Order.

The Law & Order cast consists of some of the most recognizable faces in America due to the show's success not only during its 20-year run but also for its popularity as everyone's favorite re-run binge. Many of the actors on Law & Order were even recognized for their contributions to one of the best serial legal dramas of all time by racking up a series of awards for their performances. You might be surprised to learn, however, that not all the Law & Order characters earned the actor or actress who played them a guaranteed nomination. In fact, many of the best actors playing detectives and laywers on Law & Order only managed to get nominated for a shared award for best ensemble performance. 

Here you'll get the chance to decide which actors on the original Law & Order gave the greatest performance. Alongside each actor or actress, you'll find the character they played on Law & Order as well as any awards or nominations they received for their work on the show. Be sure and vote for your favorites in order to help reveal the Internet's choice for the best Law & Order actors of all time. 

 

list ordered by
1
6 0
S. Epatha Merkerson is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Law & Order Actors
Lt. Anita Van Buren

Image Awards
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series (1997, 1998, 1999, 2001)
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series (2006- Win, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010- Win, 2011- Win)

Screen Actors Guild Awards
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004)

Sharon Epatha Merkerson, better known by her stage name S. Epatha Merkerson, is an American film, stage, and television actress. She has won a Golden Globe, an Emmy Award, a Screen Actors Guild ...more
2
13 3
Jerry Orbach is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Law & Order Actors
Lennie Briscoe

Primetime Emmy Awards
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series (2000)

Screen Actors Guild Awards
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series (2005- Win)

Jerome Bernard "Jerry" Orbach was an American actor and singer, described as "one of the last bona fide leading men of the Broadway musical and global celebrity on ...more
3
8 1
Jesse L. Martin is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Law & Order Actors
Ed Green

Image Awards
Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series (2000, 2001, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008)

Screen Actors Guild Awards
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (2000, 2001, 2002, 2004)

Jesse L. Martin is an American actor and singer. He originated the role of Tom Collins on Broadway in Rent and his role as NYPD Detective Ed Green on Law & Order from 1999 to 2008. Martin ...more
4
6 1
Benjamin Bratt is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Law & Order Actors
Rey Curtis

Primetime Emmy Awards
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series (1999)

ALMA Awards
Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series​​​​​​​ (1999- Win)

Screen Actors Guild Awards
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001)

Benjamin Bratt is an American actor. He is best known for his role as NYPD Detective Rey Curtis on the legal drama series Law & Order and his appearances in the movies Miss Congeniality, ...more
5
6 1
Chris Noth is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Law & Order Actors
Mike Logan

Screen Actors Guild Awards
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (1995, 1996)

Christopher David "Chris" Noth is an American actor. He is known for long-running television roles as Det. Mike Logan on the police procedural and legal drama television series. For ...more
6
9 4
Sam Waterston is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Law & Order Actors
E.A.D.A. Jack McCoy

Golden Globes
Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Drama (1995)

Primetime Emmy Awards
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series (1997, 1999, 2000)

Screen Actors Guild Awards
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series (1998, 1999- Win)

Samuel Atkinson "Sam" Waterston is an American actor, producer and director. Among other roles, he is noted for his Academy Award-nominated portrayal of Sydney Schanberg in The Killing ...more
7
6 2
Dennis Farina is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Law & Order Actors
Joe Fontana
Dennis Farina was an American actor of film and television and former Chicago police officer. He was a character actor. His most known film roles are those of Jimmy Serrano in the comedy ...more
8
6 2
Jeremy Sisto is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Law & Order Actors
Cyrus Lupo

 

 

Jeremy Merton Sisto is an American actor. Sisto has had recurring roles as Billy Chenowith on the HBO series Six Feet Under and Detective Cyrus Lupo on Law & Order on television, and he also ...more
9
4 0
Steven Hill is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Law & Order Actors
Adam Schiff

Primetime Emmy Awards
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series (1998, 1999)

Screen Actors Guild Awards
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001)

Steven Hill is a retired American film and television actor. His two better-known roles are District Attorney Adam Schiff on the NBC TV drama series Law & Order, whom he portrayed for ten ...more
10
4 0
Ezekial Dann Florek is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Law & Order Actors
Donald Cragen
Ezekial Dann Florek, better known as Dann Florek, is an American actor and director. He is best known for his role as Donald Cragen on NBC's Law & Order and its spinoff Law & Order: ...more
11
4 0
Jill Hennessy is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Law & Order Actors
Claire Kincaid

Screen Actors Guild Awards
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (1995, 1996, 1997)

Jillian Noel "Jill" Hennessy is a Canadian actress and musician known for her television roles on Law & Order and Crossing Jordan and in films such as RoboCop 3 and Most Wanted.
12
6 3
Michael Moriarty is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Law & Order Actors
Benjamin Stone

Golden Globes
Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Drama (1994)

Primetime Emmy Awards
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series​​​​​​​ (1991, 1992, 1993, 1994)

Michael Moriarty is an American-Canadian stage and screen actor and a jazz musician. He played Benjamin Stone for the first four seasons in the TV series Law & Order.
13
5 2
Alana de la Garza is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Law & Order Actors
Connie Rubirosa

ALMA Awards
Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series (2009)
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Television Series (2008)

Imagen Foundation Awards
Best Actress - Television (2007, 2009, 2010)

Alana de la Garza is an American actress. She is best known for her role as ADA Connie Rubirosa on the NBC television series Law & Order. In 2014, she began starring as Det. Jo Martinez in ...more
14
4 1
Dianne Wiest is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Law & Order Actors
D.A. Nora Lewin

Screen Actors Guild Awards
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (2001, 2002)

Dianne Evelyn Wiest is an American actress on stage, television and film. She has won two Academy Awards, two Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe Award. Wiest has also been nominated for a BAFTA
15
3 0
Carolyn McCormick is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Law & Order Actors
Dr. Elizabeth Olivet

 

 

Carolyn Inez McCormick is an American actress best known for her role as Dr. Elizabeth Olivet in the Law & Order franchise.
16
5 3
Angie Harmon is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Law & Order Actors
Abbie Carmichael

Screen Actors Guild Awards
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (1999, 2000, 2001, 2002)

Angela Michelle "Angie" Harmon is an American television and film actress and fashion model. She became a well-known model before gaining international fame for her roles in Baywatch ...more
17
4 2
Elisabeth Röhm is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Law & Order Actors
Elisabeth Röhm Serena Southerlyn

Screen Actors Guild Awards
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (2002, 2004)

18
3 1
J.K. Simmons is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Law & Order Actors
Dr. Emil Skoda

 

 

Jonathan Kimble "J. K." Simmons is an American actor of film, television and stage. He is known for his roles as Dr. Emil Skoda on the NBC series Law & Order, neo-Nazi Vernon ...more
19
2 0
Carey Lowell is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Law & Order Actors
A.D.A. Jamie Ross, Judge Jamie Ross

OFTA Television Award
Best Actress in a Drama Series (1998)

Screen Actors Guild Awards
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (1997, 1998, 1999, 2000)

Carey Lowell is an American actress and former model.
20
3 2
Linus Roache is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Law & Order Actors
Michael Cutter
Linus Roache is an actor.
21
2 2
Leslie Hendrix is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Law & Order Actors
Dr. Elizabeth Rodgers
Leslie Hendrix is an American actress. She is best known for playing the role of medical examiner Elizabeth Rodgers on four Law & Order series. She also played Judge Hannah Lampert on the ...more
22
2 2
Anthony Anderson is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Law & Order Actors
Kevin Bernard

Image Awards
Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series​​​​​​​ (2009, 2010, 2011)

Anthony Anderson is an American actor and writer, and the star of ABC's Black-ish. He has also starred in his own sitcom, All About the Andersons, as well as the Fox sitcom The Bernie Mac Show ...more
23
2 2
Fred Dalton Thompson is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Law & Order Actors
Fred Dalton Thompson Arthur Branch

Screen Actors Guild
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (2004)

24
2 2
Richard Brooks is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Law & Order Actors
Paul Robinette

 

 

Richard L. Brooks is an American actor, singer, and director. He is best known for his roles as Paul Robinette on Law & Order and the bounty hunter Jubal Early in the final episode of the ...more
25
0 3
John Fiore is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Law & Order Actors
Detective Tony Profaci
John Fiore is an American actor from Somerville, Massachusetts. Fiore is probably best known for his recurring role as Detective Tony Profaci during the first eight seasons of the long-running ...more