Marvel Actors Who Appeared on Law & Order
There probably isn’t anyone, other than creator Dick Wolf, who thought when Law & Order first premiered in 1990, that it would turn into the television franchise it is known for today. But the fun thing with a series that has longevity (and spin-offs) such as Law & Order is that we can look back and see that it, in fact, has an amazing overlap with another popular franchise – the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Not only were future MCU actors Vincent D’Onofrio and Benjamin Bratt well-known on Law & Order, but Jeff Goldblum and Terrance Howard were also popular on a Law & Order spin-off. In fact, there are another 25 actors who found roles in the MCU that also showed up in one version of Law & Order or another. Let’s see who they are, in no particular order.
The Winter Soldier was just a young pup when he nabbed his first big acting job on season 13, episode 22 of Law & Order. Here, his character does a bit of MCU foreshadowing as he is a cold and calculating killer who continues his father’s crimes.
Another Marvel star known as Jessica Jones whose early career included an episode of Law & Order, Ritter’s role on season 14, episode 20 was quick, appearing as the assistant to the episode’s victim.
Before appearing in Marvel’s Iron Man 3, young Ty Simpkins had his second acting gig on Law & Order: Criminal Intent. It came during season 4’s episode 16, where he played the son of a victim.
Most of us know Winston Duke as M’Baku from Marvel’s Black Panther, but before that, Duke appeared on episode 16 of the spin-off, SVU’s 15th season. It was Duke’s very first acting role.
Marvel fan favorite Clark Gregg (Agent Phil Coulson) was barely three years into his acting career when he grabbed a role on Law & Order. It was in the hit series’ first season, episode 12, playing the boyfriend of a young lady lost in a bombing.
Prolific actor and baddie in Iron Man 2 Sam Rockwell twice found time on Law & Order. The first time was in episode 20 of season 2 and the second time was in season 3, episode 21. Both times he played a different character.
Before Mustafa Shakir portrayed Bushmaster in Marvel’s Luke Cage, he twice took on the law in Law & Order. The first was in season 12, episode 9 and the second came in season 15, episode 5.
Colm Feore was already well into his acting career when he took on episode 15 in season 12 of Law & Order: SVU. Like the many bad guys he played before and after his SVU performance (including King Laufey in Thor), where he played a creepy billionaire who finally gets brought down for assault.
Known for being one of the busiest actors on the face of the planet, it shouldn’t be a surprise that Samuel L. Jackson found time on Law & Order. He played Defense Attorney Louis Taggert in episode 14 of season 1, but because it was on television, he was unable to cut loose with his patented F-bombs.
Before John Slattery became Tony Stark’s father, Howard, in Marvel’s Iron Man 2, he had already been on Law & Order twice. The first time was in season 8, with the second coming two seasons later in season 10.
Falcon and the Emily VanCamp had a great role in SVU, playing a drug addict who is so far into it that she can’t remember if she committed the crime of attacking her parents. Season 8, episode 14 left viewers guessing right up until the very end.
When it comes to Marvel, Henry Simmons made his mark on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. When it comes to Law & Order, Simmons found it on S.V.U. as Shakir Williams during season 16.
Like Henry Simmons, Ming-Na Wen made her Marvel mark on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and again, like Simmons, found her on S.V.U. Her appearance on the series came well before his, as she was seen in season 6, episode 2.
If there is one thing Neal McDonough does well it is playing the bad guy (unlike his character in the first Captain America movie). So, in the final season of the Criminal Intent spin-off, he did just that. In this one, McDonough’s bad guy was Monsignor McTeal, a man who has a lot to confess to.
Michael Rooker is another actor who plays the bad guy quite well, as evidenced by his portrayal of Yondu in Marvel’s Guardian of the Galaxy films. In season 18, episode 9 of Law & Order, he delivers a fine, layered performance as the sympathetic bad guy who wanted to do harm to the doctor who ran the execution of his brother.
Believe it or not, we don’t have to wait for Blade for Mahershala Ali’s introduction to the MCU as he has already made an appearance as Cornell “Cottonmouth” Stokes on the Luke Cage series. As Mark Foster in S.V.U., you will see Ali play a character that is scary and brilliant, displaying a level of evil we didn’t know Ali could portray.
Tough guy Frank Grillo made two appearances on S.V.U., the first time as the bad guy, the second time as the victim. Both times he displayed the same level of commitment that has made him one of the fun ones to watch.
Season 12, episode 9 of Law & Order was special for a couple of reasons. First, as mentioned earlier, it starred Mustafa Shakir, and secondly, it also starred Idris Elba. Also, like Shakir, Elba’s role wasn’t overly big, but it was enough to let Hollywood know they had a star in the making.
Zoe Saldana is one of a handful of Marvel actors who found time on different Law & Order entities. She appeared in the original (in one forgettable scene), then also found time on S.V.U. where she got to show her acting chops as the daughter of an ex-convict.
Danai Gurira got her Hollywood start on Criminal Intent but it took five years for her to return to the franchise. It was then that she found more time on Law & Order, all of which came almost a decade before she would play Okoye in Marvel’s Black Panther.
Right before Bradley Cooper turned in his scene-stealing role as Sack Lodge in Wedding Crashers, he was finding time within the Law & Order franchise. He first had a one-episode stint on S.V.U. then followed that up with a role in Trial by Jury in a two-part crossover.
There are only two Marvel actors who have hit the trifecta when it comes to Law & Order and William Sadler is one of them. Sadler has appeared in Law & Order, Criminal Intent, and Trial by Jury.
You can also count Luke Cage’s Mike Colter as the only other Marvel actor who has pulled off the Law & Order trifecta. Colter’s acting credits include S.V.U., Trial by Jury, and Criminal Intent.