One of the best things about Law and Order is the terrific bevy of guest stars they’ve had. Thanks to multiple series spread over three decades, scores of actors have appeared on Law and Order before going on to greater fame.
Several of those actors have gone on to star in other series, which includes Blue Bloods. Given its own success as a CBS hit, it’s probably inevitable there’s some crossover between the casts of these two shows.
Amazingly, Tom Selleck has never appeared on a single Law and Order episode in his long career. Likewise, Bridget Moynahan and Mark Wahlberg haven’t graced any of the Law and Order shows.
However, several Blue Bloods actors have made not just one but multiple appearances in the Law and Order universe. The roles range from cops to victims to perpetrators. It’s fun to see them in roles so different than how we see them on Blue Bloods.
These are the ten best Blue Bloods actors who also appeared on Law and Order at least once to provide an intriguing link between the two hit cop shows.
One of the more notable faces when Blue Bloods began was Anthony Renzulli, Jaime’s training officer. Nicholas Turturro was already a veteran of cop shows with the hit NYPD Blue so fit the part well.
Interestingly, Turturro had a very early role in the mothership Law and Order episode Blood is Thicker as a minor witness in a murder case.
Turturro got a bigger part in Law and Order: Special Victims Unit as Detective Frank Bucci. The cop turned insurance investigator came to the team in the two-part Can’t Be Held Accountable/Must Be Held Accountable.
When a predator threatened his two daughters, Bucci tried to bring him to justice. After the man escaped the courts, Bucci held Rollins hostage to force the team to go after the man.
It was a gripping storyline a lot different from Turturro’s Blue Bloods role.
A recent notable face on Blue Bloods has been Maggie Gibson, the self-professed psychic helping in some cases. While Danny’s unsure of her gift, he has shown an attraction to her.
Callie Thorne is one of those actors who managed to get herself appearances on all three of the main Law and Order series.
On Law and Order’s Avatar, she was the unnamed attorney defending a girl accused of using her online likeness to facilitate a murder. In the Law and Order: Criminal Intent episode Silver Lining, she’s a crook’s wife and accomplice with the detectives trying to trick them into turning on each other.
Law and Order: Special Victims Unit fans know Thorne best as Nikki Staines. The cunning defense attorney has appeared in seven episodes over the years.
The most powerful was Blackout as Nikki herself was assaulted and felt guilty over defending people like that for years.
It was a solid ending to one of Law & Order’s more interesting side characters.
Frank Reagan isn’t often the romantic type, but he made an exception for Kelly Peterson, a feisty Attorney General. Their clashes led to some romance, with Kelly deciding she had to leave town as she couldn’t be professional with Frank.
An Emmy and Tony Award-winning star, Bebe Neuwirth appeared in the Law and Order: Special Victims Unit episode Or Just Look Like One as a modeling agent hiding her involvement in a client’s death.
Much bigger was Neuwirth as the star of the Law and Order: Trial By Jury spin-off. Her Tracey Kibre was a strident district attorney handling both rough criminals and their shady attorneys with skill.
While the show sadly didn’t last too long, it was more proof of Neuwirth’s great talents.
Usually, Frank Reagan gets along well with the mayors of New York City. But he has clashed a lot with Peter Chase as the new mayor isn’t a fan of Frank’s style.
Dylan Walsh was already well known to TV fans thanks to roles in series like Nip/Tuck. He also had a couple of dark Law and Order: Special Victims Unit appearances.
In the powerful episode Annihilated, he was a man whose affair with another woman led to a horrible tragedy that pushed Stabler to the limit.
Walsh later returned in the two-part episode Man Up/Man Down, as a father whose abuse of his son drove the latter to a horrible act.
As rough as Walsh may be on Blue Bloods, it’s nothing compared to his Law and Order roles.
While her Blue Bloods role may be small, Abigail Hawk is popular as Abigail Baker, the detective who aids Frank in his office work and public relations.
On Hawk’s resume is a couple of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit appearances. The first was an unnamed paramedic helping move a victim in Informed.
Much bigger was The Undiscovered Country with Hawk as a mother whose child goes missing. What looks like a straight-up kidnapping becomes a bigger deal involving a custody battle and a “right to die” argument.
It was notable as the case that finally drove Barba to quit the D.A.’s office. Hawk’s dark role here is much different than her bright Baker that Blue Bloods fans love.
A role some fans wish had gone longer on Blue Bloods was Holt McCallany as D.A. Robert McCoy. The character met Erin at a speed dating event, and they hit it off before she found out he was her new boss.
McCallany had cut his teeth on no less than five roles in the Law and Order universe. In the main Law and Order, he was a possible stalker of a tennis star in Doubles and a cop suspected of killing his partner in Shield.
On Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, McCallany had a meaty role as a man used in a complex murder plot in Manipulated. He later played a military contractor pulled into a murder case in Oficial Story.
McCallany also played a detective in a couple of Law and Order: Criminal Intent episodes. Whether cop, perp, or something in between, the actor was always compelling.
Law and Order loves to cast guest stars in multiple roles. Yet, even by their standards, Robert Clohessy has to hold some sort of record.
Across the mothership show, Special Victims Unit, and Criminal Intent, Clohessy played nine different characters in the Law and Order universe. He even appeared in the short-lived Conviction spin-off.
His first role was in the Law and Order episode Damaged where he was simply credited as “painter.” In various episodes, Clohessy could be either a suspect or sometimes a cop.
His biggest role was in the Law and Order: Special Victims Unit episode Savant as a father suspected of beating his disabled daughter, although thankfully innocent.
Blue Bloods fans know him as Sidney Gormley, who goes from Danny’s boss to part of Frank’s inner circle. Yet all that Law and Order experience is great for Clohessy’s resume.
A Broadway veteran, Len Cariou showed up in scores of television series before landing the role of the gruff but loveable Henry on Blue Bloods.
So it makes sense Cariou had multiple Law and Order appearances, all on the original series. In Conduct Unbecoming, he was a military officer interfering in the case against a Navy officer accused of murder (which also involved a then-unknown Julianna Marguiles).
In the classic episode Aftershock, Cariou was a law professor who Claire (Jill Hennessy) seeks advice from. The conversation reveals he’s also her stepfather.
Finally, in Excalibur, Cariou has a brief appearance as the owner of a jewelry business after the murder of his son-in-law leads to a major scandal.
The appearances showed the nice range of Cariou from warm-hearted to commanding that serves him as Henry.
When Blue Bloods began, Danny’s original partner was the feisty Jackie Curatola, played by Jennifer Esposito.
Jackie left after the third season when Esposito had some personal issues forcing her to leave the series. Before that, Esposito had a few Law and Order appearances.
On the main Law and Order series episode Good Girl, Esposito was one of the college girls questioned about a student’s murder. A decade later, she showed up in “In Vino Veritas” as an attorney defending an actor (Chevy Chase) on a nasty crime.
On Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, Esposito popped up in the first season episode Remorse as a reporter speaking about her attack on air.
Bigger was Esposito showing up on the last season as Finn’s first partner, who he was now engaged to. While the wedding was called off, it showed how well Esposito worked in the Law and Order world.
Blue Bloods fans are still sad over the loss of Danny’s wife, Linda. It was pushed by Amy Carlson surprisingly leaving the series.
Before that, Carlson had a few notable Law and Order roles. In the Law and Order: Special Victims Unit episode Asunder, she ironically played a cop’s wife. Sadly, her husband here was abusive, sending the squad on a tough case.
In the mothership Law and Order episode The Dead Wive’s Club, Carlson is the prime suspect when her ex-husband’s new wife is killed in a ferry crash.
Carlson’s biggest role was as a co-lead in Law and Order: Trial By Jury as ADA Kelly Gaffney. She was believable handling cases in court and fighting for justice.
Blue Bloods fans know Will Estes for his role as tough cop Jamie. But he was on the other side of the law in the Law and Order: Special Victims Unit Season 7 episode Class.
The detectives were investigating the murder of a young coed who had a load of cash in her room. She had been writing term papers for other students, which appeared to be the motive for murder. In reality, it was tied into a gambling ring involving a popular football player.
Estes was the victim’s friend who appeared innocent at first only to reveal a few secrets in his closet. In the end, Stabler took pity on the kid to find a way out of this.
It was one of the various roles Estes was able to work before landing his more familiar gig with Blue Bloods.
Law and Order, Law and Order: Special Victims Unit and Law and Order: Criminal Intent all streaming on Peacock. Blue Blood Seasons 1-11 streaming on Paramount+.