The “Law and Order” franchise boasted some of the longest running programs in television history. Crime fighting detectives unravel clues and comfort victims of sexual abuse in”Law and Order SVU.” Members of the Special Victims Unit clean up the streets of New York City one rapist at a time. The procedural crime drama is only a part of the draw for viewers. The characters the actors bring to life have developed a loyal fan base for the award winning television series.
Get to Know the Cast – Christopher Meloni
Christopher Meloni portrays Detective Elliott Stabler, a former Marine with striking good looks and a zero tolerance policy for dirt bags. Six-foot tall and brawny, Meloni has no problems assuming a tough guy stance with suspects during interrogation. Before joining the “Law and Order” cast, Meloni flashed his sparkling blue eyes from the other side of jail cell bars. On the award winning HBO series “OZ” Meloni portrayed Chris Keller, a killer housed in a maximum security prison. The convict deftly used hissex appeal to garner favor with members of both sexes. Due to his role as a bisexual in”OZ” and support of human rights causes, he gained the loyal support of the gay community.
The Early Years
Meloni is an accomplished athlete and played quarterback at St. Stephen’s School in Washington D.C. The actor graduated from the University of Colorado with a degree in history in 1983. His original major was acting, which he pursued after college at the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York City. While picking up bit parts in television shows and commercials, Meloni paid the bills by working construction jobs and serving as a bouncer and personal trainer. The actor’s early credits include “A Dangerous Affair,””Twelve Monkeys,” “The Fanelli Boys,” “Clean Slate” and “Bound.”
Film and Stage
When not taping for “Law and Order SVU” Meloni takes to both the stage and the big screen. Theater credits include “The Rainmaker,” “A View for the Bridge,” and “Die Mommie Die!” a comedy spoof which benefited the Actors’ Fund of America.
Meloni flexed his comedic muscles in “:Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle,” “Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay,” “Runaway Bride” and “Dirty Movie.” Meloni also played a small role in the hit movie, “Nights in Rodanthe.”
Meloni married production designer, Sherman Williams in 1995. The couple has two children. Sophia Eva Pietra was born in 2001 in Los Angeles. Dante Amadeo was born in New York City in 2004. Both children were born by a surrogate mother. The couple was married on a beach in Malibu during a ceremony which boasted a medieval theme.
The actor exhibited his athletic skills during an All-Star NBA basketball game in 2006.
He once sang a duet with Ernie on “Sesame Street.”
Meloni often pops a piece of nicotine gum in his mouth to defray his smoking urges.
The Marine Corps tattoo often visible on his arm during the show is not real. Meloni does however has a butterfly tattoo on his right upper thigh and a crucifix on his left arm.
Meloni earned the ‘Best Actor’ award in 2006 for his role in “A View from the Bridge.”
The slight scar on Meloni’s chin is the result of a youth football game.
The close friendship between Meloni and co-star Mariska Hargitay continues off-screen as well. The actress who plays detective Olivia Benson, was chosen to be the godmother to Meloni’s daughter Sophia.
He has two siblings; Micheal and Michele.
If you run into Meloni at a casino, keep your money in your wallet. The actor is known as quite the card shark.
Meloni gains his Italian heritage from his father Robert, and endocrinologist. His mother Cecile is of French-Canadian descent.
In 2006, Meloni was included in “People” magazine’s list of ‘Sexiest Men Alive.’
The actor is slightly deaf in his right ear.
He is a practicing Catholic and would like one day to play the role of Jesus on stage or in film.
Meloni earned funds for the Feed the Children charity when he came in second place on “Celebrity Poker Showdown,” hosted by the Bravo network.