Entertainment

The Best Law & Order Actors  

Ranker TV
317 votes 44 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. 

 

Jerry Orbach is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Law & Order Actors
Photo: Metaweb (FB)/Public domain

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 Orbach (October 20, 1935 – December 28, 2004) was an American actor and singer, described at the time of his death as "one of the last bona fide leading men of the Broadway musical and global celebrity on television" and a "versatile stage and film actor".Orbach's professional career began on the New York stage, both on and off-Broadway, where he created roles such as El Gallo in the original off-Broadway run of The Fantasticks (1960) and became the first performer to sing that show's standard "Try To Remember"; Billy Flynn in the original Chicago (1975–1977), and Julian Marsh in the original 42nd Street (1980–1985). Nominated for multiple Tony Awards, Orbach won for his ...more on Wikipedia

Characters: Lennie Briscoe

Age: Died at 69 (1935-2004)

Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States of America

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Sam Waterston is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Law & Order Actors
Photo: Metaweb (FB)/GNU Free Documentation License

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 Waterston (born November 15, 1940) is an American actor, producer, and director. Among other roles, he is noted for his portrayal of Sydney Schanberg in The Killing Fields (1984), for which he received an Academy Award nomination, and his starring role as Jack McCoy on the NBC television series Law & Order (1994–2010), which brought him Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Awards. He has been nominated for multiple Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild, BAFTA, and Emmy awards, having starred in over eighty film and television productions during his fifty-year career. He has also starred in numerous stage productions. AllMovie historian Hal Erickson characterized Waterston as ...more on Wikipedia

Characters: E.A.D.A. Jack McCoy

Age: 78

Birthplace: Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States of America

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Chris Noth is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Law & Order Actors
Photo: Metaweb (FB)/CC-BY-SA

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

Christopher David "Chris" Noth ( NOHTH; born November 13, 1954) is an American actor. He is known for his television roles as NYPD Detective Mike Logan on Law & Order (1990–95), Big on Sex and the City (1998–2004), and Peter Florrick on The Good Wife (2009–16). He reprised his role of Mike Logan on Law & Order: Criminal Intent (2005–08), and reprised his role of Mr Big in the films, Sex and the City (2008) and Sex and the City 2 (2010). He was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor on Television for Sex and the City in 1999 and for The Good Wife in 2010. He studied acting at The Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre in New York City. ...more on Wikipedia

Characters: Mike Logan

Age: 64

Birthplace: Madison, Wisconsin, United States of America

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Jesse L. Martin is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Law & Order Actors
Photo: Metaweb (FB)/Public domain

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 Lamont Martin (né Watkins; January 18, 1969) is an American actor and singer. He is best known for originating the role of Tom Collins on Broadway in the musical Rent and his television roles as NYPD Detective Ed Green on Law & Order and Detective Joe West on The Flash. ...more on Wikipedia

Characters: Ed Green

Age: 50

Birthplace: Rocky Mount, Virginia, United States of America

Were they great on Law & Order?
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