Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Why Elizabeth Olivet From Law & Order Looks So Familiar

As one of today's longest-standing television series, modern viewers may take Dick Wolf's "Law & Order" series for granted. Recently, NBC's crime-legal drama saw a revival, led by Sam Waterson (who first joined the series in 1994) and Anthony Anderson (first joined in 2008), garnering somewhat mixed reviews. Still, "Law & Order" was once one of America's most beloved TV programs — thanks, in part, to its impressive cast. Those looking to relive the early days of New York City's finest cops and lawyers will encounter many interesting faces, including Dr. Elizabeth Olivet (Carolyn McCormick).

Dr. Olivet was a consulting psychologist for the NYPD, working closely with suspects, lawyers, and officers to provide a clearer picture of the case beyond physical evidence. Her character arc explores the danger of sexual assault. She has the rare distinction of starring in all four of the New York "Law & Order" series, a feat she shares with only four others. Though she doesn't appear as often as she did in the '80s, Olivet is a player in the "Law & Order" franchise — which may have fans curious as to where else they can find her work.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

Star Trek: The Next Generation

McCormick's career is prolific, so it's hard to summarize it all. However, it's safe to say that she made the crime genre her home. Fans of the '90s science-fiction series "Star Trek: The Next Generation" may recognize her from her brief but memorable time as the holographic entity Minuet.

First appearing in the season 1 episode "11001001," Minuet was a creation of Jonathan Frakes' William T. Riker. Initially, the role was supposed to be a mere audience to Riker's musical performance. But the commander found himself becoming more infatuated with her. Riker even dreams about her in the season 2 episode "Shades of Gray."

In"Future Imperfect," Riker is subject to a false reality wherein 16 years have passed and he is now captain of the Enterprise-D. In this fictional world, his wife is Minuet — called "Min Raker." By implementing Minuet as a part of this fiction, the architect of this reality ultimately ruined his deception. Riker was aware that — despite his connection to her — Minuet was an artificial, holographic being.

Spenser: For Hire

One of McCormick's most prominent roles is Assistant District Attorney (ADA) Rita Fiore on ABC's "Spenser: For Hire." The unique spelling of "Spenser" may ring a bell for Netflix subscribers who watched the 2020 film "Spenser Confidential."

The '80s-era show and the Netflix film are based on a series of crime novels written by the late mystery author Robert B. Parker. His book series ran throughout the '70s. The titular Spenser is a private investigator from Boston and is portrayed by Robert Urich in the television series. McCormick's Rita Fiore was Urich's love interest for the show's later episodes.

"Spenser: For Hire" ran for three seasons, and stands out as one of the more successful and definitive adaptations of the "Spenser" novels. One of the show's supporting characters, Avery Brook's Hawk, even gained a solo series titled "A Man Called Hawk" — though it was ultimately canceled after just one season. 


In 2018, McCormick had a supporting role in the independent biographical film "Mapplethorpe." The film starred "House of the Dragon" star Matt Smith as the controversial and influential photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. McCormick played Mapplethorpe's mother, Joan. The film also featured broadway stars, Brian Stokes Mitchell and Kerry Butler.

Mapplethorpe was known for his boundary-pushing work, rallying against censorship. He tested the limits of art as protected speech. His 1989 exhibition, "The Perfect Moment," was so infamously graphic in its depiction of BDSM and queer erotism that pretty much nothing can be described in detail here (see: The Guardian). "Mapplethorpe" received a decent reception at the Tribeca Film Festival, but was ultimately met with a lukewarm response from critics.

Now that "Law & Order" has returned, the door could be open for McCormick to reprise the role that made her a household name.