Law & Order has been around for a long time, which means they've had some interesting actors coming on their show. Though you may remember some actors who appeared on the show, here are 20 celebrities you probably didn't know were on Law & Order. Dun dun.
Even though recently he was nominated twice for an Academy Award, the actor made an appearance on Law & Order: SVU. Eight years ago, you can see a young Adam Driver playing a man obsessed with a girl who had been raped. Of course, he played his role perfectly, as always. If anything, this was a glimpse into his future career as a successful actor.
Whoopi Goldberg is all about justice, and we love her for it. She appears in season 17, episode 4, which focuses on social service workers and the lack of support they're provided. In this case, Goldberg, who plays Janette Grayson, is questioned after a child dies in one of her reports. Though the finger is pointed at her, the episode exposes the overworked and unsupported social workers who are simply unable to supervise and approve an endless amount of reports.
Before she was starring in Guardian of the Galaxies, Zoe Saldana appeared on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. She played the daughter of Javier Vega, a heroin addict, and murderer who reformed his life. Through a turn of events, Vega's fiancee was murdered, and all eyes were on Gabrielle, played by Zoe Saldana. She keeps her innocence, claiming she was set up, but you'll have to watch to see what happened.
When it came to a flawless performance, Robin Williams didn't disappoint. Williams appeared in season 9, episode 17, playing Merritt Rook. His character was responsible for the death of his wife and child. You truly felt the pain of his character, but when Rook takes Oliva Benson (Mariska Hargitay) hostage, the situation becomes even more intense. Season 9 featured many well-known actors aside from Robin Williams, including Cynthia Nixon who even won an Emmy Award for her performance.
With a baby face like that, he can't be anything but innocent. Right? Wrong! Before Krasinski played Jim in The Office, he appeared on Law & Order as Jace Gleesing. His character was anything but nice, as it turned out he was a violent basketball player who killed a private investigator. Yeah, it sounds weird, but it makes sense when you watch it. When you see him play a violent and possibly murderous basketball player, it's hard to imagine him as the nice guy you see in The Office.
When Amanda Seyfriend appeared in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, she was already known for her mesmerizing role in Mean Girls. But her character was the complete opposite of the "dumb blonde," she played alongside Lindsay Lohan. Seyfried plays Tandi McCain, a teenager who was discovered beaten and duct-taped under a bench in a dorm. The episode is full of twists and turns, and in the end, you eventually understand why she took detectives on a ride before revealing the truth.
Everyone loves John Stamos, but can you imagine that hunky face as a killer? In Law & Order: SVU, Stamos plays Ken Turner, a reproductive abuser who uses ineffective condoms without his partner's knowledge. Turner fathered around fifty children in the show. But Turner didn't care, and Stamos managed to nail his character's lack of emotion. But the episode doesn't end well for him as he's stabbed with a knife that explodes his chest due to pressurized air. Yeah, none of us expected that.
Bradley Cooper sure has come along way from his appearance on Law & Order. In the show, he plays a psychotic lawyer who raises the eyebrows of detectives after a number of rapes occur. Cooper, whose character is named Jason Whitaker, appears in a couple of episodes as the story unravels. Whitaker is a slimy and creepy lawyer who will stop at nothing to keep his secret from becoming exposed.
Before Stephen Colbert was the face of The Stephen Colbert Show, he was just an actor trying to make his way through Hollywood. In 2004, he appeared on Law & Order: Criminal Intent, and plays James Bennett. His character was a counterfeiter who almost destroyed a Catholic charity. Though we're used to seeing Colbert cracking jokes, in this episode, you get to see him in a different light as he plays an average-looking guy whose relationship with his mother is a little too close.
Not all killers mean to kill. In the case of Brittany Snow's character, Jamie Hoskins, she accidentally killed someone while trying to commit suicide. This episode was particularly powerful as Snow's character was a bipolar teenager. The episode went into the topic of mental health and the struggles people have when dealing with an illness. Actor Norman Reedus also appears on this episode and used his personal experience with mental health to assist Brittany Snow.
Rooney Mara appeared on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, she wasn't very pleased about it. In an interview with Allure, she called the episode she was featured in "stupid" and said, "Me and my boyfriend — although I [didn't] look old enough to have a boyfriend — went and beat up these fat people, and at the end of the show you find out that I used to be obese and I hate fat people. It's ridiculous. Who would ever do that? Who would beat someone up because they're fat?" Well…meow.
If you know actress and comedian Carol Burnett, you know she's one funny woman. Although, Burnett decided to appear on Law & Order: SVU, playing a killer. Her role as Birdie Sulloway shows her dark side, and we have to admit, we love it. Sulloway is taken into custody after pushing her husband out a window. Her character is extremely manipulative and clever, keeping detectives on their toes. It turned out, Sulloway had experience with killing people because it wasn't her first time.
Elizabeth Banks made her debut on the big screen in Wet Hot American Summer, but she was also featured on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit around the same time. Banks play Jaina Jansen, who's husband was found shot outside of a gay club. Detective Benson and Stabler soon realize that the couple was making adult movies to pay for their daughter's cystic fibrosis treatments. But there's a twist after producer Cal Oman is found murdered.
Sarah Paulson looks so innocent, so seeing her play killer Anne Gillette was a little hard at first. Paulson appeared in the 12th episode of season 12. Though the episode starts off as a murder-suicide, it unravels, revealing Gillette to be the killer of her parents. Gillette even went as far as to hire hitmen to kill Benson and another detective, thinking no one would point the finger at her. But, karma has a way of coming back to people, and Gillette's true character was exposed. The scary part out of all of this was Paulson played a very convincing killer.
Julia Roberts was always a big name, but that doesn't mean she was too good to appear on Law & Order. Roberts plays a fundraiser Katrina Ludlow, who claimed to know who the killer was in this specific case. But she won't give the case to just any detective. She'll only hand the information over to detective Rey Curtis (Benjamin Bratt) in a very unusual way. Fun fact: at the time, Roberts and Bratt were dating off-screen.
Samuel L. Jackson
If you look back, you can find Samuel L. Jackson almost everywhere on TV. In Law & Order, Jackson plays Louis Taggert, a lawyer who's involved in the case of three boys gang-raping a television news reporter. This episode also features Philip Seymour Hoffman as well. Though he wasn't famous at the time, you get to see Jackson taking the spotlight.
How could a guy that looks like Martin Short be guilty of anything? Well, in episode 18 of season 6, Short plays Sebastian Ballentine, a psychic who claims he knew the events of a specific crime. However, it turned out Ballentine was teasing the detectives, revealing his real name, Henry Palaver, a man who had been kidnapping and raping virgins. Needless to say, the episode is creepy, and that's all thanks to Short's magnificent acting.
Jessica Chastain has made quite the jump from a nobody to Hollywood actress, starring in some of the biggest movies like Interstellar and Zero Dark Thirty. But there was a time when she appeared on Law & Order: Trial by Jury. She was a regular on the show as she played an Assistant District Attorney. But, sadly, the series lasted only 13 episodes before it was canceled.
You may have loved him as a vampire on The Vampire Diaries, but have you seen him on Law & Order: SVU? Somerhalder plays Charlie Barker, one out of three members of the Baker family who's being questioned after a string of murders. In the Baker family, something is completely off, but not what you expected. It turned out Charlie had been raping his brother, and threatening to kill his father is anyone found out. All those years of playing a vampire paid off as Somerhalder's role as a sadist was outstanding.
Philip Seymour Hoffman
Way before Seymour won himself an Oscar; he appeared on Law & Order as Chris O'Donnell. In this episode, O'Donnell is one out of three men who are accused of gang-raping a television news reporter. But, since there was a lack of evidence, the charges were dropped, and the boys were let go. The rest of the episode goes on the search for more evidence to charge O'Donnell and the other boys.