“Law & Order” set the template for the wave of hit procedural crime dramas that followed. Making its debut in 1990, the show enjoyed an extraordinary 20-season run while spawning several spinoffs — one of which, “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” has run for even longer than the original.
As a think piece about the franchise in Rolling Stone pointed out, series creator Dick Wolf recognized that the real money in a show like “Law & Order” came not from weekly ratings but syndicated reruns. Since there was no guarantee that episodes in syndication would run in the same order they did when originally broadcast, Wolf decided to keep the focus solely on the crime of the week, revealing next to nothing about the personal lives of the characters — thus omitting the potential syndication problem of serialized storylines that wouldn’t make sense when seen out of order.
While the characters on “Law & Order” may have kept their personal lives close to the vest, that hasn’t necessarily been the case with the actors who played them. To find out more, read on to discover the answer to the question, the cast of “Law & Order:” Who are their significant others in real life?
Paul Sorvino met third wife Dee Dee Benkie on a TV talk show
Known for his such films as Martin Scorsese’s “Goodfellas,” Paul Sorvino was brought onto “Law & Order” as a replacement for George Dzundza, who quit after just one season. Sorvino, however, didn’t stick around for much longer; his character, Sgt. Phil Cerretta, first appeared in the second season, and was last seen in the third.
Sorvino had been divorced twice when he made a 2014 appearance on Fox News’ “Your World with Neil Cavuto.” That, reported the Los Angeles Times, was where he met future wife Dee Dee Benkie, a former aide to President George W. Bush who was also a guest on the show. “She took the chair after me … I went nuts as soon as I saw her,” Sorvino recalled. “She’s wearing this beautiful blue dress and she had an aura around her. … I said, ‘Oh my God, that — this is gonna be for me.'”
The couple married a year later in December 2015. “We eloped standing in front of the fountain at Lincoln Center, where I have sung at the Met and I have sung at the New York Opera,” Sorvino revealed.
Sam Waterston from 'Law & Order' wed second wife Lynn Louisa Woodruff in 1976
Sam Waterston was one of the longest-serving cast members to appear on “Law & Order,” playing prosecutor Jack McCoy for 16 seasons. That number of years, however, doesn’t even come close to matching the longevity of his marriage to Lynn Woodruff, whom he wed in 1976. Waterston — who was then divorced from first wife Barbara Rutledge Johns — met the top fashion model in the summer of 1972, when he was starring in a Shakespeare in the Park production of “Much Ado About Nothing” in New York City. “This play has been a big deal in our lives,” Waterston told the Baltimore Sun, revealing that Woodruff “came to that show a lot.”
Waterston and Woodruff are parents to four grown children, and have resided in Connecticut for decades. “By now it is really where our roots are mostly deeply set,” Waterston shared in a 2019 interview with the Associated Press. “We bought the house in 1978, and it and the surroundings have grown on us. It is the place we have fixed up, built a teahouse, planted trees and have tinkered around for 41 years. We put on the gloves and had a big hand in making it our home.”
Alana de la Garza wed writer Michael Roberts in 2008
Alana de la Garza portrayed assistant district attorney Connie Rubirosa in the final four seasons of “Law & Order,” as noted by Us Weekly. Since 2008, de la Garza has been married to Michael Roberts, a television writer and producer whose credits include the 2014 film Similo. “I love that guy,” she gushed in a 2008 interview with the Orlando Sentinel. “We were friends for seven years.”
Roberts and de la Garza are also parents of two children, son Kieran (born in 2017) and daughter Liv Elana, whom they welcomed in 2020. “Not to sound like a total mush, but even at 3 a.m., with breast milk all over my shirt, I just stare at her in awe and thank God that I have two healthy beautiful babies,” the actress told People of her new arrival.
However, that isn’t to say that welcoming a newborn while parenting a toddler wasn’t without its challenges. Luckily, the couple could count on the help of de la Garza’s mother. “My husband got up in the morning with Kieran and took over bedtime and bath,” she continued. “My mom was the only reason we were not naked, starving and had trash piled to our front door.”
After some high-profile romances, Benjamin Bratt settled down with actress Talisa Soto
For four seasons, Benjamin Bratt played Det. Reynaldo Curtis on “Law & Order,” bidding farewell to the show in 1999. As Ranker pointed out, Bratt was a prolific dater in his younger years, and was involved in high-profile relationships with actresses Jennifer Esposito and Julia Roberts, and coupled with the latter from 1998 until 2001.
In 2001, Bratt was cast in the film “Pinero,” in which he starred opposite actress Talisa Soto – whose career began as a Bond girl in the 1989 007 flick “License to Kill.” Sparks flew on and off the set, and Bratt’s dating days were done. “It started as a friendship, and little by little, they found they had something in common,” Soto’s pal, Nicky Corello, told People. In April 2002, Bratt and Soto were married.
That December, the newlyweds welcomed daughter Sophia. A few years later, their daughter was joined by a little brother, Mateo, born in October 2005. In an interview with People just ahead of their eighth wedding anniversary, Bratt still had stars in his eyes for Soto. “We’re going on our eighth year of our marriage,” he gushed, “and it feels like six months because we’re so aligned.”
Elisabeth Röhm has been married and divorced, and called off a subsequent engagement
Fans of “Law & Order” will recall Elisabeth Röhm for playing assistant district attorney Serena Southerlyn, joining the show in 2001 and announcing in 2004 she’d be exiting the following year. In 2007, Röhm announced her engagement to entrepreneur Ron Anthony Wooster, whom she met in 2005, shortly after leaving “Law & Order.” “Our relationship was preordained because we were set up by a really, really good friend of both of ours who knows us really well,” she told People. “About three months in, I think both of us knew. It was love at first sight.” Röhm and Wooster had a daughter together, but never got married and eventually split up.
In 2019, Röhm once again announced she was engaged, with Us Weekly revealing she said yes when beau Judge Jonathan T. Colby popped the question. Sadly, she never made it to the altar this time either; more than a year after reporting on the engagement, Us Weekly then reported the two had called it off. “Jonathan and Elisabeth are on good terms and remaining friends, but they were living different lives and have different priorities at this time. Sadly, they’ve decided not to get married,” a source told the magazine.
Dan Florek from 'Law & Order' and wife Karen share a passion for animal rescue
Dan Florek became a “Law & Order” fan favorite for his portrayal of NYPD Capt. Dan Cragen, a character he then reprised in the spinoff, “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.” While Cragen’s personal life remained under wraps, Florek has been far more open about his. That includes his marriage to artist Karen Florek, his wife since 1993, according to Us Weekly.
The Floreks — both Michigan natives — have candidly discussed their ongoing work with animal rescue. “Karen and I volunteer in Los Angeles for various animal shelters, working telethons and recording public service announcements, plus we foster dogs from time to time,” Florek revealed in an interview with Michigan Humane.
Not only does the couple share their time as volunteers, they actually have several rescue dogs as pets — one of which, Florek revealed, he chased through traffic when he saw the stray animal attempt to board a bus. According to Florek, he tries to live his life guided by the philosophy, “I try to be the person my dog already thinks I am.”
Law & Order star Chris Noth wed longtime girlfriend Tara Wilson in 2012
Chris Noth was one of the OG stars of “Law & Order,” with his character — Det. Mike Logan — first introduced to viewers in the series’ pilot. Noth eventually left the show after its fifth season, with his manager telling the Associated Press at the time he felt it was “time to move on.” As Noth’s fans well know, after exiting “Law & Order” he became even more famous for portraying Carrie Bradshaw’s (Sarah Jessica Parker) love interest Mr. Big on the HBO hit “Sex and the City” and its subsequent big-screen spinoffs.
In 2009, Noth announced that he and longtime girlfriend Tara Wilson had gotten engaged. The two met, reported People, at Noth’s New York City bar The Cutting Room, where she was employed. At the time of their engagement, the couple’s son, Orion, was just about to celebrate his second birthday.
Noth and Wilson finally tied the knot in 2012. As People reported, their nuptials took place in April of that year on the Hawaiian island of Maui. In early 2020, reported The Hollywood Reporter, they welcomed their second child, son Keats.
Angie Harmon and soap star Greg Vaughan got engaged on Christmas Day
Angie Harmon is remembered by “Law & Order” fans for portraying assistant district attorney Abbie Carmichael, a role she later brought to “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” before exiting the show. Harmon would eventually go on to even further fame when she starred alongside Sasha Alexander in the hit detective drama “Rizzoli and Isles.”
In 2000, Harmon was appearing on “The Tonight Show” – alongside fellow guest Elton John, no less — when host Jay Leno invited her boyfriend, NFL cornerback Jason Sehorn, onto the stage. Sehorn immediately got down on one knee and surprised Harmon by popping the question on national television. As the Tampa Bay Times recalled, the couple subsequently got married and had three children before splitting up in 2014 after 13 years of marriage.
Harmon subsequently entered a relationship with “Days of Our Lives” star Greg Vaughan. On Christmas Day 2019, Harmon took to Instagram to announce their engagement, chronicled in a series of photos she shared in which Vaughan is seen getting down on one knee and proposing.
Jeremy Sisto married second wife Addie Lane in 2009 after an ill-fated wedding at 18
Jeremy Sisto was brought onto “Law & Order” for its 2007 season, and spent the new few years portraying Det. Cyrus Lupo. As hardcore “Law & Order” fans may recall, Sisto had actually appeared on the show before that, but as completely different character, Clint Glover.
Long before he started investigating crime on “Law & Order,” Sisto was dating a young actress with a bright future: Reese Witherspoon. “She was my first actress girlfriend,” he revealed in a Reddit AMA, explaining that he and the “Legally Blonde” star “had a long distance relationship for a long time,” before he eventually “moved on and met my ex-wife Marisa [Ryan],” whom he divorced in 2002.
In 2009, Sisto married Addie Lane, reported People, tying the knot in a New York City courthouse, alongside their four-month-old daughter Charlie-Ballerina and the baby’s nanny. As CinemaBlend reported, Sisto and Lane welcomed a son in 2012, giving their second child the unorthodox monicker of Bastian Kick Sisto.
Michael Imperioli from 'Law & Order' has been married to wife Victoria since 1995
Best known for his role as Tony Soprano’s doomed nephew Christopher Moltisanti on “The Sopranos,” Michael Imperioli subsequently joined “Law & Order,” reported the Los Angeles Times in 2004. Imperioli’s stint on the show as Det. Nick Falco, however, was never meant to be permanent; he was there on a temporary basis, filling in for star Jesse L. Martin while he reprised his role in the Broadway musical “Rent” for the 2005 film version.
According to the Daily Mail, since 1995 the actor has been married to Russian-born wife Victoria, with Us Weekly reporting that the couple shares three children: Vadim, David and Isabella. Imperioli’s wife was a set designer for film and television, reported Architectural Digest, before founding her own design firm with a partner, SVE New York. Meanwhile, the Architectural Digest feature on the couple showcased their home in NYC’s Tribeca district, a former factory that they converted into a townhouse — which she of course designed. “This renovation took so long in part because I work intuitively and physically, not rationally, building up layers of feeling and listening to the architecture,” she said, explaining her design process.
Jill Hennessy's wedding to Paolo Mastropietro was officiated by Rudy Giuliani
Canadian actress Jill Hennessy spent three seasons on “Law & Order” as assistant district attorney Claire Kincaid before exiting the show in 1996. Hennessey and husband Paulo Mastropietro share son Marco, noted her bio on Canada’s Walk of Fame (she’s an inductee), and split their time between their homes in New York and Los Angeles. According to Mastropietro’s IMDb bio, he and Hennesseey have been married since 2001, with Hello! pointing out that their wedding was officiated by then-NYC mayor Rudy Giuliani.
In an interview with Mansion Global, Hennessy’s husband is described as an “actor-turned-real estate entrepreneur … who also manages her music career.” The focus of the interview is their apartment in Greenwich Village, which overlooks Washington Square and contains a grand piano and Hennessy’s collection of 12 guitars. Her “babies,” as she described them, can be found “scattered throughout various rooms in her home.”
Linus Roache from 'Law & Order' married Rosalind Bennett in 2004
British actor Linus Roache joined “Law & Order” in 2008 as E.A.D.A. Michael Cutter, who was eventually promoted to bureau chief when the character crossed over in a few episodes of “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.” While Cutter’s personal life wasn’t on display for viewers, in real life the actor is married to actress Rosalind Bennett. Interestingly enough, Bennett’s first screen credit was on long-running British soap opera “Coronation Street,” a show that has a deep association with her husband. That’s because Roache’s father, William Roache, has played the character of Ken Barlow on the show since its debut in 1960.
In fact, when Roache and Bennett were married, a headline in the Manchester Evening News referred to the future “Law & Order” star not by his actual name but as “‘Street star’s son” in reporting the nuptials. According to the newspaper, the couple met while rehearsing a play in London. They eschewed a fancy church wedding, and were instead married at the Malvern Registration Office in Worcestershire. At the time, Bennett’s mother, Rhona Bennett-Pointon, told the News, “I am a bit old-fashioned and to be honest I am delighted they have finally married.”
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