Then And Now

How The 'Law & Order: SVU' Has Aged Since The First Season  

Ranker TV
7.2k votes 689 voters 25.1k views 27 items

List Rules Vote up the characters who have changed the most from the first season of SVU.

From prosecuting dangerous offenders to investigating serious crimes, viewers have been on the edge of their seats while watching the characters of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit for 20 seasons. From the first season's start in 1999 to the 20th season's premiere in 2018, the cast aged right along with the officers, lawyers, and judges of the specialized unit.

How old is the cast of SVU? Christopher Meloni was 38 when he first played Elliot Stabler in Season 1 of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. He remained a main cast member through the series's 15th season and returned as a guest in Season 16 when he was 53 years old. Diane Neal played Assistant District Attorney Casey Novak on SVU Seasons 5 through 9 when she was 27 to 32 and later appeared in Seasons 12 and 13.

From the ages of 35 to 55, Mariska Hargitay has appeared in every single season of Law & Order: SVU for the past 20 years. Stephanie March was 26 when she first showed up in Season 2, and Ice-T has portrayed Odafin Tutola from the ages of 42 to 60.

Which SVU cast members do you think aged the most? Take a look at this SVU cast members then-and-now list and vote for the actors who have changed the most.

back to page 1
Mariska Hargitay is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list How The 'Law & Order: SVU' Has Aged Since The First Season
Photo: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit/NBC

Mariska Hargitay has appeared in every single season of Law & Order: SVU for the past 20 years. From the ages of 35 to 55 she portrayed Olivia Benson as she rose up the ranks of the SVU from a junior detective to a lieutenant.

Hargitay has also appeared elsewhere in the Dick Wolf shared universe, with roles on other Law & Order shows, Chicago P.D., and Chicago Fire.

Age: 55

Birthplace: Santa Monica, California, United States of America

More Mariska Hargitay

#79 of 505 on The Best TV Actors of All Time #19 of 40 on People You Can't Believe Got Onstage for the 1989 Tour #7 of 33 on Here's What The Living Descendants Of Classic Hollywood's Most Famous Stars Look Like Today featuring Things You Didn't Know About Mariska Hargitay

Was this a big change?
see more on Mariska Hargitay
Ezekial Dann Florek is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list How The 'Law & Order: SVU' Has Aged Since The First Season
Photo: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit/NBC

Dann Florek was 49 when he first played New York City Police Captain Donald Cragen on Season 1 of SVU in 1999. He left the show in 2014, but returned as a special guest the following year in 2015.

Age: 68

Birthplace: Flat Rock, Michigan, USA

Was this a big change?
see more on Ezekial Dann Florek
Peter Hermann is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list How The 'Law & Order: SVU' Has Aged Since The First Season
Photo: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit/NBC

Then 35-year-old actor Peter Hermann first appeared as defense attorney Trevor Langan in SVU Season 3. He has defended clients in several seasons, most recently in Season 19.

Fun Fact: Hermann has been married to SVU star Mariska Hargitay since 2004.

Age: 48

Birthplace: New York City, USA, New York

More Peter Hermann

#269 of 432 on Famous Tall Men Over 6'2 #16 of 23 on 23 Times You've Seen the Actors from SVU Before

Was this a big change?
see more on Peter Hermann
Peter Scanavino is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list How The 'Law & Order: SVU' Has Aged Since The First Season
Photo: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit/NBC

Then 34-year-old actor Peter Scanavino joined the cast of Law & Order: SVU in the 16th season and has played Detective Dominick Carisi, Jr. in every season since.

Age: 38

Birthplace: USA, Denver, Colorado

Was this a big change?
see more on Peter Scanavino