Law And Order Actors You May Not Know Passed Away


Jerry Orbach

Detective Lennie Briscoe brought Jerry Orbach back to national attention after a long acting career. Orbach was diagnosed with prostate cancer two years into his stint on the show, but he didn’t retire until season 14, dying a few months later in 2004.

Steven Hill

Steven Hill played the steely but philosophical District Attorney Adam Schiff from the debut episode until season 10. Hill retired from both the series and acting in 2000, dying in 2016 at the age of 94.

Fred Dalton Thompson

A former lawyer and senator, Fred Thompson would play the role of District Attorney Arthur Branch for five seasons before departing in 2007 to oversee his presidential bid. Thompson died after a recurrence of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma at the age of 73 in 2015.

Dennis Farina

Like his character, Detective Joe Fontana, Farina was a former member of the Chicago Police Department, which gave him the necessary credibility to replace Lennie Briscoe. Farina died from a pulmonary embolism at the age of 69 in 2013.

Lynn Cohen

Best known to television audiences as Magda on “Sex and the City,” Cohen also enjoyed a recurring role on "Law and Order" as Judge Elizabeth Mizener. Cohen continued working until her death in 2020 at age 86.

Doris Belack

Prosecutors trembled upon discovering that Judge Margaret Barry was presiding over their case, and the tough judge was just one of many memorable roles Doris Belack played in film and TV. Belack died of natural causes in 2011 at the age of 85.

James Rebhorn

In his seven guest appearances, character actor James Rebhorn appeared on both sides of the witness stand, but he was best known for playing Defense Attorney Charles Garnett. Diagnosed with melanoma in 1992, Rebhorn died at age 65 in 2014.

Mark Blum

Film, TV, and stage actor Mark Blum appeared as three different characters on four episodes, including Assistant District Attorney Frank Lazar. Blum died of complications from the coronavirus at age 69 on March 25, 2020.

George Grizzard

A veteran of the Broadway stage and an Emmy-nominated TV star, George Grizzard brought his versatility to five guest appearances as sly defense attorney Arthur Gold. He continued working until 2006, dying the following year at age 79 from complications of lung cancer.

Ron McLarty

Character actor, playwright, and author Ron McLarty made five appearances on the show, four of which were as Manhattan Judge William Wright. McLarty retired from acting after being diagnosed with dementia in 2014, dying in February 2020.

Ron Silver

Ron Silver played his share of real-life legal eagles, including Alan Dershowitz and Robert Shapiro, and he played tenacious defense attorney Bernie Adler in two episodes of "Law And Order." Silver died from esophageal cancer in 2009.

Philip Bosco

Like many working New York actors, Philip Bosco logged numerous appearances in the franchise, including six on "Special Victims Unit" as Judge Joseph Terhune. Bosco died of complications from dementia in 2018 at age 88.

Larry Sherman

Larry Sherman played Judge Colin Fraser on 13 episodes of the show, and he also worked as a TV writer, journalist, and publicist throughout his life. Sherman died in 2020 from natural causes at age 94.

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