Law & Order

Dann Florek Tears Up Talking About Mariska Hargitay: “A Beautiful Passing of the Baton”

Dann Florek may have exited Law & Order: Special Victims Unit 10 years ago, but the series still holds a huge place in his heart.


When speaking to People at SVU‘s 25th anniversary celebration in January 2024, he got emotional about Mariska Hargitay now leading the show. Florek played SVU captain Donald Cragen for 15 years until his character retired in 2014.

Hargitay’s Benson became Captain six years later, with Florek eventually making a cameo in Season 23 for SVU‘s 500th episode. In the touching scene, Cragen was able to congratulate Benson.

“It’s a beautiful passing of the baton,” Florek said. “I got to do one little scene, I think I shot it on Zoom, and I was able to say to her — I’m gonna cry — ‘You have no idea how proud it makes me to say, Captain.””

The 73-year-old also holds a special place in his heart for his other former co-star, Ice T (Det. Fin Tutuola).

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Split of Dan Florek and Mariska Hargitay

“Some people have been telling me I’m like the OG of the show, but that’s the OG right there,” he told People about the rapper. “But having been there from the very beginning? When I started SVU, a lot of people said is there room for two Law & Orders? Well, we made it past that. Then I said, I hope we can make five [years]. Then I made 15 [years] and here we are for 25. It’s crazy but good. Crazy because it should be.”

In a February appearance on comedian Marc Summers’ podcast, Florek told a hilarious story about making up a rap for Ice’s birthday when he first joined the series in 2000. The aforementioned rhyme?:



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