A Law & Order Star Has Sadly Passed Away

By Michileen Martin | 4 weeks ago

law & order

Bruce MacVittie, a prolific stage actor and frequent star on Law & Order and its spin-offs, has died. Today Deadline reports that MacVittie died at the hospital last week. No cause of death has been made public. MacVittie was 65 years old.

bruce macvittie
Bruce MacVittie in Million Dollar Baby (2004)

Bruce MacVittie’s name might not be the most recognizable, but there’s a good chance you know his face. Over the course of 30 years, between 1991 and 2021, MacVittie appeared on Law & Order, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit a total 15 times, each time as a different character. He also enjoyed a recurring role in season 4 of The Sopranos and daytime TV fans may remember him as Marcus Tull on As the World Turns.

Like so many screen actors, Bruce MacVittie got his start on stage and judging by his portfolio, that’s where his heart remained. He made his Broadway debut historically, playing opposite none other than Al Pacino in 1983 for David Mamet’s play American Buffalo, though the situation was less than ideal. MacVittie wasn’t the actor originally cast, but stepped in to replace James Hayden (Once Upon a Time in America) who had just died of a drug overdose. To keep in perspective the enormity of what landed on MascVittie’s shoulder, consider that by 1983 Al Pacino had already starred in the first two entires of The Godfather trilogy, Serpico, And Justice For All, and Dog Day Afternoon; and MacVittie was suddenly thrust on a stage with him.

As news of his passing spread, the actor’s colleagues posted tributes to social media, paining the picture of a kind and generous man who most enjoyed working with. Law & Order producer Warren Leight was one of the first to offer memories. You can see his tweet below.

Bruce MacVittie was one of the creatives who helped found the Off Broadway theater company Naked Angels in 1986, named after the 1976 John Tytell book Naked Angels about the Beat generation. Along with MacVittie, the company included names like Gina Gershon, Marisa Tomei, and Nancy Travis. Another co-founder was Rob Morrow of Northern Exposure and Numb3rs fame. Morrow posted his own tribute to MacVittie, with a photo from when the pair were helping prepare the Naked Angels’ space. In the caption, Morrow says he was determined to get at least one naked pic of someone in the space and MacVittie volunteered. You can see the tweet below.

Bruce MacVittie made his first screen appearances in 1981, when he showed up in an episode of the sitcom Barney Miller and on the big screen in the drama The Chosen. Throughout his career he landed mostly one-off and recurring roles in television series like Miami Vice, Homicide: Life on the Street, Sex and the City, Oz, and Bull. His movie credits included Born on the Fourth of July, Hannibal, Million Dollar Baby, The Doors, and The January Man. He is survived by his wife Carol Ochs and his daughter Sophia Oliva Ochs MacVittie.