Law and Order: SVU is the longest-running primetime drama on television. Over its 21 seasons, the show has featured an incredible amount of guest stars. Basically, everyone who’s anyone has been on SVU at some point in their career.
Some of these guest stars appeared on the show more than once… as different characters! Most of the time, the actors appeared once as one character and once as another character. But a few went on to play recurring characters on the show.
Here are four actors who played one character on Law and Order: SVU, then went on to have a recurring role.
Law and Order: SVU fans know Diane Neal as Assistant District Attorney Casey Novak. Her character worked with Detectives Benson, Stabler. Munch, and Tutuola for several years to prosecute the offenders they arrested.
But a couple of years before Diane Neal became ADA Casey Novak, she appeared in the episode “Ridicule.” In the episode, she also played a lawyer, but not one of the good ones. Her character is accused of raping a male stripper with a group of friends while at a party.
— K.A. Hudak (@CrateDigger3) August 9, 2014
Gloria Reuben first appeared on Law and Order: SVU in 2002. In the episode “Dolls,” Reuben played the mother of a child who had disappeared. Her character was a recovering drug addict whose daughter disappeared while she was in rehab.
Years later, Reuben appeared on the show again, this time in a recurring role. She played Assistant U.S. Attorney Christine Danielson. This new character appears in three episodes. Danielson helps the Detectives catch a pedophilic polygamist (‘Snitch’), take down a human trafficking ring (‘Merchandise’), and discredit a dirty cop (‘Dirty’).
Hello #SVU!!!! Do you think your fans don't remember Gloria Reuben played a victim in YOUR OWN show a few yrs ago? Now she's a lawyer?!?!?
— Teri (@teriwithbraids) October 7, 2010
But four years before she was Detective Rollins, Kelli Giddish played a rape victim in the episode “Outsider.” In this episode, she plays a college student who goes to the same college as Detective Tutuola’s son. Her character is the victim of a serial rapist/murderer who is stalking the campus.
— Chris Harnick (@chrisharnick) January 10, 2020
Peter Scanavino joined the Law and Order: SVU team as Dominick Carisi Jr., better known as Sonny, in 2014 during Season 16. He’s still one of the core members of the SVU team to this day.
In 2013, just a year before Scanavino became a regular cast member, he appeared in the episode “Monster’s Legacy.” He played the character Johnny Dubcek, a murderer on death row whose history of childhood sexual abuse was missed by his defense attorney during his trial.
Does anyone else remember that weird casting glitch in Law & Order: SVU when Peter Scanavino played Johnny Dubcek (a perp) and then two seasons later he was cast as Dominick Carisi (a DETECTIVE???), or is that just me pic.twitter.com/gONSbNRa2g
— Ms. Thompson (@_shuggaaa) December 28, 2019