What Dann Florek has been up to since leaving Law & Order: SVU

If “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” was a person, they could legally drink right now. The crime drama series has been airing since 1999, and with a show that’s been running for so long, you can’t expect all of the main characters to stay. To date, Mariska Hargitay, who plays Detective Olivia Benson, is the only original cast member remaining from Season 1.

Over the course of the series, a handful of actors have ventured into greener pastures. For example, BD Wong, who left psychiatrist and criminal profiler Dr. George Huang quit the show after 17 seasons to diversify his acting experience. He starred in Gotham from 2016 to 2019 and joined the cast of Mr. Robot” at. He also reprized his Jurassic World role in the reboot. Meanwhile, Michelle Hurd, who played Detective Monique Jeffries, only lasted two seasons, but she managed to build quite an illustrious TV career after appearing on various shows including Gossip Girl, 90210, and The Glades “.

But not all of the “SVU” characters left the show for another opportunity. Actors like Dann Florek left the show simply because they had to.

Then Florek’s acting career ended after he left Law & Order: SVU

After starring as top boss Captain Donald Cragen in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Dann Florek also seemingly retired from acting. In 2013, after starring in more than 300 episodes, Florek took his leave of the show, and not for controversial reasons. He was 62 at the time, which is almost the mandatory retirement age for the NYPD. In short, the writers were just being realistic.

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“In the real world, which we try very hard to simulate, NYPD has a mandatory retirement before your 63rd birthday. And we’ve been trying to figure out how to deal with that,” Leight told Zap2It (via E! News). “The reason NYPD does this is because 65-year-old guys can’t run after men. It’s a strict and quick rule.” Florek didn’t seem to take it personally as he posted a short but witty statement after his exit. “Friday was the last day 4 Cragen/Florek. It was a sweet farewell! he wrote in a tweet.

And just like his character, who has expressed an interest in relaxing and traveling the world, Florek has also retired from acting. After SVU, he appeared in only a few projects, including an episode of Under the Dome and a small role in the film Disillusioned.

Dann Florek made a small comeback in the Law & Order universe

According to Dann Florek himself, Law & Order is now part of his DNA, having been a part of the original series and its spinoff, Special Victims Unit, for decades. When asked to make a brief comeback in another spin-off, Organized Crime, it was a no-brainer for the actor.

Florek appeared on the April 7 episode to support Christopher Meloni’s character, Detective Elliot Stabler, who Captain Cragen had worked with in the past. “It brings back a lot of memories,” Florek told E! News. “The fact that there was a 500th episode and then that scene that Chris wrote a lot about and what it meant and what it meant to him and bringing in Cragen. And I clearly still have roots in SVU and now that the original is back? That’s where I started. It’s just good as I was there recently.”

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He also shared how much he enjoyed returning to the show, even for just a single episode. “[I]It was exciting…” Florek told Give Me My Remote. “It just felt right. It was a wonderful reunion. And I think we’ve done what we should have and then some.” And if you’re worried about dear old Cragen, Florek assured fans he’s fine. “Cragen is alone in a small house in Queens, New York,” he shared with E! “He’s always been the lonely guy. And I just feel like he went back there. He seemed comfortable just living his life in a small house.”