Dann Florek

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Dann Florek
Florek at Eastern Michigan University in 1969
Born Ezekial Dann Florek
(1950-05-01) May 1, 1950 (age 64)
Flat Rock, Michigan, United States
Other names Dann Florek
Years active 1983 – present
Spouse(s) Karen Florek (1983–present)

Ezekial Dann Florek (born May 1, 1950), better known as Dann Florek, is an American actor and director. He is best known for his role as Donald Cragen on NBC's Law & Order and its spinoff Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.

Early life[edit]

Florek was born in Flat Rock, Michigan, the son of Darlene and Leonard Florek, Sr., a chiropractor.[1] He attended Eastern Michigan University, but never graduated. He moved to New York City to pursue an acting career in the theatre.


Florek worked his way into supporting roles in such diverse '80's films as Sweet Liberty, Moon Over Parador and Angel Heart. He also played Mr. Slate in the live-action film version of The Flintstones.

Florek played the husband of Susan Ruttan on 22 episodes of NBC's hit drama L.A. Law beginning in 1988. Florek also had a recurring role in the WB sitcom Smart Guy as the high school gym coach. He also appeared in several episodes of Roseanne.

Law & Order[edit]

Starting in 1990, Florek co-starred in the NBC police procedural and legal drama television series Law & Order as Capt. Don Cragen. [2] The first few years of Law & Order had mediocre ratings and finally after the close of the 1992-1993 season, NBC told creator/executive producer Dick Wolf that they would cancel the show unless he added a few women to the all-male cast. Wolf reluctantly complied and fired Florek as well as Richard Brooks (who played Paul Robinette), replacing them with S. Epatha Merkerson and Jill Hennessy, respectively. However, Florek was allowed to direct a few Law & Order episodes in 1994 and 1995.

Florek reprised the role of Cragen in the 1995 episode "Bad Faith" (which he also directed), and in the 1998 TV-movie Exiled, centered on former L&O star Chris Noth's character, Mike Logan. In 1999 he returned to the Cragen role, only this time on the Law & Order spin-off series Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, as the unit captain. Florek was written out of the series during its 15th season, and his final episode aired on January 15, 2014.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Florek and his wife, Karen, live in Venice, Los Angeles. Karen works as an artist. His brother, Dave, is also an actor. All three trained in the Daniel L. Quirk Jr. drama school at Eastern Michigan University.

Florek received an honorary Bachelor of Arts and an honorary Doctorate of Arts (on December 13, 2008, and December 14, 2008, respectively) from Eastern Michigan University, presented to him by President Susan Martin and the EMU Board of Regents. During the latter event, Florek was the head speaker at the school's winter 2008 commencement ceremony.


Year Film Role Notes
1983 Eddie Macon's Run Man in bar
1986 Sweet Liberty Jesse
1987 Angel Heart Herman Winesap
Five Corners Policeman
1988 Sunset Marty Goldberg
Moon Over Parador Toby
1989 An Innocent Man Prosecuting Attorney Uncredited
1991 Flight of the Intruder Lt. Cmdr. Mad Jack/Doc
1994 The Flintstones Mr. Slate
Getting Even with Dad Wayne
1998 Hard Rain Mr. Mehlor
2000 Beautiful Joe Happy
2002 Law & Order: The Beginning Himself Direct-to-video
aka The Creation of 'Law & Order' with Dick Wolf
2003 Focus Room William
SVU Beginning Himself Direct-to-video
2004 Law & Order: The First 3 Years Himself Direct-to-video
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Police Sketch: Dann Florek Himself Direct-to-video
2005 Jerry Orbach Tribute Himself Direct-to-video
2006 Copy That Dann
2007 TV Land Confidential Himself - interviewee Episode: "Locations"
aka TV Land Confidential: The Untold Stories
2010 Santorini Blue Trent Parker Post-production


Year Film Role Notes
1982 The Country Girl Larry TV film
1985 Hill Street Blues Episode: "Intestinal Fortitude"
Braker Hayes TV film
1986 The Equalizer Lieutenant Episode: "Breakpoint"
Alex: The Life of a Child Dr. Tom Dolan TV film
1988-93 L.A. Law David Meyer / Dave Meyer 22 episodes
1987 CBS Summer Playhouse Winthrop Episode: "Doctors Wilde"
Hunter John Edleton Episode: "Night on Bald Mountain"
1988 Matlock Ken Pritchard Episode: "The Hucksters"
21 Jump Street Jim Crawford Episode: "Brother Hanson & the Miracle of Renner's Pond"
The Trial of Bernhard Goetz Judge Crane TV film
CBS Schoolbreak Special Stan Pallon Episode: "Gambler"
1989 The Edge Strip-Joint Operator TV film
Free Spirit Bill / Mr. Flynn Episode: "The Bosses Are Coming"
Major Dad Buzz Episode: "Rescue Mission"
1990 Grand Robert Episode: "The Healing"
Roseanne Principal Hiller Episode: "Bird Is the Word"
1990–93, 1995,
2000, 2004
Law & Order Captain Donald Cragen 69 episodes
1994 Hardball Ernest 'Happy' Talbot Unknown episodes
Wings Bob Episode: "Insanity Claus"
1995 Ellen Mr. Woodruff Episode: "$5,000"
The John Larroquette Show Lennox Episode: "Love on the Line"
1996 Champs Ernie Episode: "It's Must Have Been Gridlock"
1997 A Nightmare Come True Det. Ron Shaye TV film
aka A Dream of Murder
Roseanne Doctor/Dr. Rudmen Episode: "A Second Chance" (as Doctor)
Episode: "The Miracle" (as Dr. Rudmen)
Sabrina, the Teenage Witch Bob Gordon Episode: "Cat Showdown"
Total Security Morris Silver Episode: "Dental Men Prefer Blondes"
NYPD Blue Gary Hogan Episode: "Sheedy Dealings"
1998 The Pentagon Wars Maj. Gen. Bob Braden TV film
The Pretender Don Larson Episode: "Crash"
From the Earth to the Moon Robert Seamans HBO Miniseries
Episode: "Apollo One"
Episode: "Spider"
The Practice Father Michael Ryan Episode: "Duty Bound"
Little Girl Fly Away Chief Gelbart TV film
aka The Poet
The Secret Diary of Desmond Pfeiffer Abraham Lincoln Episode: "School DaZe"
Episode: "Kidnapped"
Episode: "A.O.L.: Abe on Line"
Episode: "Saving Mr. Lincoln"
Exiled: A Law & Order Movie Captain Donald Cragen TV film
1997-99 Smart Guy Coach Gerber Episode: "Below the Rim"
Episode: "Most Hated Man on Campus"
Episode: "T.A. or Not T.A."
Episode: "Break Up Not to Make Up"
Episode: "Can't Buy Me Love"
Episode: "The Graduate?"
1999–2014 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Captain Donald Cragen 330 episodes


Year Film Role Notes
2010 Santorini Blue Associate Producer Post-production


Year Film Role Notes
1993-95 Law & Order Television Director Episode: "The Pursuit of Happiness"
Episode: "Big Bang"
Episode: "Bad Faith"


Eastern Michigan University 2008 Winter Commencement. Lead Speaker Dann Florek. December 14, 2008.

Eastern Michigan University 2008 Winter Commencement. Speaker: EMU President Susan Martin. December 14, 2008.

External links[edit]