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What Did Law & Order's Steven Hill Do During His 10-Year Hiatus From Acting?

"Law & Order" is one of television's most iconic crime series to ever air. It has even created a few spin-offs like "Law & Order: SVU," which is now on its 24th season and continues to be the longest-running crime drama (via The Hollywood Reporter). The original is still airing, although it 'officially' ended in 2010 (via Deadline); it got a reboot of sorts in 2022. However, the cast might look different this time for many fans who have been watching the show since Season 1 in 1990. These new faces in Seasons 21 and 22 include Jeffrey Donovan, Mehcad Brooks, Hugh Dancy, and Odelya Halevi. Nevertheless, both recent seasons have featured "Law & Order" legends, and some have been on the show for decades. 

Some longtime viewers might remember Camryn Manheim appearing as three different characters during the early days of "Law & Order" before her current role as Kate Dixon (via NBC). Although, almost every fan of the show will be thrilled to have Jack McCoy (Sam Waterston) back on the series as the current District Attorney. Waterston has appeared in over 380 episodes of "Law & Order" and priorly served as an ADA to DA Adam Schiff for years.

Schiff was played by the talented Steven Hill, although many fans might not know he took a decade off from acting. 

Steven Hill went into real estate and writing during his ten year break from acting

After ending his storied time in 2000 as Adam Schiff on "Law & Order," Steven Hill retired from acting. In 2016, he passed away, leaving behind an impressive resume. Throughout his career, Hill made various film and television appearances and even appeared on stage for some time. However, his Jewish faith and observance of Shabbat caused conflict with theater performances on Friday and Saturday evenings (via The Jerusalem Post).

Hill then moved away from theater and back to TV in the late 1960s, being part of the "Mission Impossible" series before Tom Cruise's film franchise (via IMDb). Again, his faith caused conflict, and Hill left acting entirely. He then pivoted to a career in real estate and writing for about ten years before appearing in one episode of "The Andros Targets" on CBS. Hill returned to the industry in 1977 and appeared in multiple features throughout the 1980s and early 1990s, including "The Firm" alongside none other than Cruise in 1993, three years after his first appearance as Adam Schiff on "Law & Order."

Dick Wolf has explained that Hill will go down as one of the greatest actors of his generation (via Deadline). "Steven was not only one of the truly great actors of his generation, but he was also one of the most intelligent people I have ever met," he said.