Never Forget Robin Williams As Chilling Law & Order Vigilante

By Douglas Helm | Updated

robin williams

There have been countless guest stars on the long-running NBC series Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, but they brought in a real ringer for the show’s big 200th episode. Robin Williams himself appears in a gripping and creepy role as an audio engineer named Merritt Rook, who decides to challenge authority after a tragic event in his past.

While Williams made his name with comedic roles, fans will know he can easily shift into a dramatic gear and produce fantastic results every time. Check out his role on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.

Robin Williams’ appearance as Rook in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit is inspired by real-life events like the 2004 Mount Washington strip search phone call scam and the Milgram experiment.

Williams’ character starts causing problems for the Special Victims Unit when he begins to coerce people to commit crimes over the phone, impersonating a fake detective named Detective Milgram.

Robin Williams plays a man who coerces people to commit crimes.

While detectives Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni) are able to catch him, he is able to get himself out of trouble by taking a stand in the courtroom.

Rook then gets a following of his own, allowing him to create more psychological (and physical) trouble for both Benson and Stabler. It’s not often that Robin Williams gets to play a villainous or creepy character, with his fantastic performance in One Hour Photo being a notable exception. So this episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit is definitely worth the watch.

The Robin Williams Law & Order: Special Victims Unit episode is from Season 9 and is titled “Authority”.

Of course, if you don’t want to watch the highlight clip from his performance and want to see the full thing, the episode is in Season 9, and it’s titled Authority.

By the time Robin Williams appeared in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, he was already a massive star and Oscar-winning actor. Usually, you see big actors in guest Law & Order roles before they make it big, but it’s cool to see when it’s the other way around.

Apparently, Williams was a fan of the show, and his friend Richard Belzer, who plays Detective John Munch, got him cast after he let the producers know that Williams was interested.

The Robin Williams Law & Order: Special Victims Unit episode was directed by David Platt and co-written by Neal Baer and Amanda Green. When it aired, it got as much attention as you’d expect, drawing in over 12 million viewers to see Williams play the villain. While overall reaction to the episode was mixed due to the plot, Williams’ performance is an obvious bright spot and makes it well worth the watch.

Robin Williams was a fan of the show, and his friend Richard Belzer helped get him cast

Robin Williams even got some awards attention for his intense portrayal of Rook in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. He won the Favorite Scene Stealing Guest Star award at the People’s Choice Awards, and he was also nominated for the Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series award at the Emmys.

Williams gave us countless great performances throughout his lifetime, usually ones that gave us a fuzzy feeling, but it’s always a treat to see him do the rare role where he could play a truly chilling character.