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Christopher Meloni

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Christopher Meloni
Meloni in 2012
Christopher Peter Meloni

(1961-04-02) April 2, 1961 (age 63)
Other namesChris Meloni
EducationUniversity of Colorado Boulder
Neighborhood Playhouse
Years active1988–present
Known forChris Keller on Oz
Elliot Stabler on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Law & Order: Organized Crime
Doris Sherman Meloni
(m. 1995)

Christopher Peter Meloni (/məˈlni/; born April 2, 1961)[1][2] is an American actor. He is best known for playing NYPD Detective Elliot Stabler on the NBC legal drama Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999–2011, 2021–present) and its spin-off Law & Order: Organized Crime (2021–present), for which he was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award in 2006. He also played inmate Chris Keller on the HBO prison drama Oz (1998–2003) and starred in and executive produced the Syfy series Happy! (2017–2019).

Meloni's film credits include 12 Monkeys (1995), Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998), Runaway Bride (1999), Wet Hot American Summer (2001), Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle (2004), Green Lantern: First Flight (2009), 42 (2013) and Man of Steel (2013).

Early life and education[edit]

Meloni was born in Washington, D.C., the youngest of three children of Cecile (née Chagnon; 1926–2016),[3] a homemaker, and Charles Robert Meloni (1927–2012), an endocrinologist.[4][5][6] He has an older brother and sister. His maternal ancestry is French Canadian, and he is a descendant of Matthias Farnsworth and Edmund Rice.[7] His paternal ancestry is Italian; one great-grandfather was born in Sardinia and another was born in Velva.[8]

Meloni attended St. Stephen's School,[9] now St. Stephen's & St. Agnes School, in Alexandria, Virginia, where he played quarterback on the football team. After graduating from St. Stephens, he attended the University of Colorado-Boulder where he took acting classes for electives. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in history in 1983. Following completion of college, Meloni went to New York, where he continued his acting studies with Sanford Meisner at the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre as well as the Center for the Media Arts.

Meloni worked as a construction worker prior to getting his acting break. He has also worked as a bouncer, bartender, and personal trainer.[citation needed]


Meloni worked his way up the acting ladder with commercials,[10] short-lived TV series, and bit parts in a number of films. His first noticeable role was the hotheaded son of a Mafia don in the 1996 thriller Bound. He appeared as Robbie Sinclair's friend Spike in Dinosaurs in the early 1990s. He played criminal Jimmy Liery in eight episodes of NYPD Blue during 1996-1997 and the fiancé of Julia Roberts's character in the 1999 romantic comedy Runaway Bride.

From 1998 to 2003, Meloni portrayed the bisexual criminal Chris Keller on the HBO series Oz. Law & Order producer Dick Wolf signed Meloni to play Elliot Stabler on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit in 1999. Meloni appeared on both Oz and Law & Order: SVU simultaneously until Oz was cancelled in 2003. Meloni was nominated for the 2006 Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for his role as Elliot Stabler.[11] In May 2011, Meloni announced that he had been unable to agree on a contract and would not be returning for season 13 of SVU.[12] His character was written out as having put in his retirement papers. After nearly a decade, Meloni announced in March 2020 that he would be reprising his role of Stabler in the Law & Order franchise on a spin-off show titled Law & Order: Organized Crime. Meloni appeared in a crossover event during season 22 of SVU.[13]

Meloni in New York City, 2006

Meloni appeared as the character Gene in Wet Hot American Summer in 2001, the puppet-loving pediatrician Dr. Norris in a 2003 episode of Scrubs, and the character of "Freakshow" in the 2004 comedy Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle. He made a cameo in its sequel, Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay, as The Grand Wizard. In 2005, he appeared on Episode 107 of MTV2's adult puppet show Wonder Showzen in a series of parody public service announcements warning of the threat of cooties. He had an uncredited role as a gay hotel desk clerk in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.[citation needed]

In July 2009, Meloni portrayed DC Comics character Hal Jordan/Green Lantern in the DC Universe Animated Original Movie Green Lantern: First Flight. He briefly appeared in the first episode of the Comedy Central series Michael & Michael Have Issues, portraying himself for a fake film starring Michael Ian Black and Michael Showalter.[citation needed]

In 2012, Meloni joined the cast of True Blood during the series' fifth season as Roman, a "powerful, 500-year-old vampire who sits at the head of the table of the Vampire Authority."[14]

Meloni played Colonel Hardy, a supporting role, in the Superman reboot film Man of Steel, which was released in 2013.[15] That year, he played Brooklyn Dodgers manager Leo Durocher in the historical baseball feature 42. Meloni starred in the 2014 comedy They Came Together.[16] He stars as John Taylor in the video game Call of Duty: Black Ops III. In 2016, Meloni shot the heist film Marauders.[17]

Meloni starred in and executive produced the Syfy series Happy!, based on the comic book series created by writer Grant Morrison and artist Darick Robertson, which premiered in 2017.[18] The series was canceled on June 4, 2019.[19]

In 2018, Meloni guest starred in two episodes of the FX drama series Pose, opposite Dominique Jackson.[20] He appeared on the third season of The Handmaid's Tale as Commander Winslow in 2019.[21]


In 2004 and 2006, respectively, Meloni competed in the fourth and the eighth series of Bravo's Celebrity Poker Showdown; in the eighth series, he finished in second place, behind Robin Tunney, and ahead of Macy Gray, Joy Behar, and Andy Dick. He played for Feed the Children.

He appeared on Celebrity Jeopardy! on November 10, 2006, defeating fellow Law & Order stars Sam Waterston and Kathryn Erbe. Meloni split his $50,000 charity prize between the Big Apple Circus Clown Care Program and the Montefiore Advocacy Center. He also appeared on the program's Million Dollar Celebrity Invitational that aired on December 17, 2009. Although defeated by Joshua Malina and Harry Shearer, he won a $25,000 charity prize in the name of Smile Train.[citation needed]

Public image[edit]

Meloni has appeared in many public service announcements in support of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender issues.[22] In 1999, Meloni jokingly kissed Lee Tergesen (who played Tobias Beecher, Meloni's on-screen boyfriend on Oz) at an awards dinner for GLAAD. In 2006, Meloni was given the Human Rights Campaign's Equality Award, along with actor Jake Gyllenhaal and director Ang Lee, for his work on behalf of LGBT issues.[22][23] In addition, in 2011, Meloni appeared in the Human Rights Campaign's "New Yorkers for Marriage Equality" video.[24]

Meloni was included in the 2006 edition of People magazine's Sexiest Men Alive.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

Meloni married Doris Sherman Meloni (née Williams), a production designer, on July 1, 1995. They have two children through surrogacy, a daughter born in March 2001[25] and a son born in January 2004.[26] Mariska Hargitay, who co-starred with Meloni on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and remains close friends with him, is the godmother to his daughter.[27]

Meloni and Williams welcomed their first child, a daughter, Sophia Eva Pietra Meloni on March 23, 2001. Meloni and Williams welcomed their second child, a son, Dante Amadeo Meloni on January 2, 2004.[28]

Meloni has three tattoos: a Cubist-inspired representation of the crucifixion of Christ on his upper left arm, a butterfly on his left upper thigh, and a Chinese astrological chart of his family on his right lower leg.[29] In 2007, Meloni was inducted into his high school's athletic Hall of Fame as a member of the undefeated 1978 football team, for which he was quarterback.[30]

In 2014, Meloni bought the house used in the television show The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet.[31][32]

In 2021, on an episode of PBS' Finding Your Roots, it was revealed that Meloni is a distant relative of Nancy Pelosi.[citation needed]



Year Title Role Notes
1994 Clean Slate Bodyguard
Junior Mr. Lanzarotta
1995 12 Monkeys Lt. Halperin
1996 Bound Johnnie Marzzone
1998 Brown's Requiem Sgt. Cavanah Uncredited
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas Sven, Clerk at Flamingo Hotel
The Souler Opposite Barry Singer
1999 Carlo's Wake Bennetto Torello
Runaway Bride Bob Kelly
2001 Wet Hot American Summer Gene Jenkinson
2002 That Brief Moment Ken Short film
2004 Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle Freakshow
2008 Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay Grand Wizard Credited as "Reverend Clyde Stanky"
Nights in Rodanthe Jack Willis
2009 Brief Interviews with Hideous Men R / Subject #3
Carriers Frank
2010 Green Lantern: First Flight Hal Jordan / Green Lantern Voice role
2011 National Lampoon's Dirty Movie Producer Charlie LaRue
2013 Awful Nice Jon Charbineau
Man of Steel Colonel Nathan Hardy
42 Leo Durocher
2014 Beef Lou
White Bird in a Blizzard Brock Connors
Small Time Al Klein
They Came Together Roland
Sin City: A Dame to Kill For Mort
2015 The Diary of a Teenage Girl Pascal MacCorkill
2016 I Am Wrath Dennis
Marauders Agent Jonathan Montgomery
Almost Friends Howard
2017 Snatched Roger Simmons
2024 IF Cosmo (voice)


Year Title Role Notes
1989–1990 1st & Ten Vito Del Greco / Johnny Gunn 11 episodes
1990 When Will I Be Loved? Ron Weston TV film
1990–1991 The Fanelli Boys Frankie Fanelli 17 episodes
1991 In a Child's Name Jerry Cimarelli TV film
1991–1994 Dinosaurs Spike Voice; recurring role
1992 Something to Live for: The Alison Gertz Story David TV film
1993 Without a Kiss Goodbye Ray Samuels TV film (aka Falsely Accused)
The Boys Doug Kirkfield 6 episodes
Golden Gate Douglas "BW" Carlino Unsold pilot
1995 A Dangerous Affair Tommy Moretti TV film
Hope and Gloria Billy Episode: "Love with an Improper Stranger"
Misery Loves Company Mitch 8 episodes
1996–1997 NYPD Blue Jimmy Liery 5 episodes
1997 The Last Don Boz Skannet Miniseries
Leaving L.A. Reed Sims 6 episodes
Every 9 Seconds Richard Sutherland TV film
Brooklyn South Joe 3 episodes
1998 Target Earth Detective Samuel "Sam" Adams TV film
Homicide: Life on the Street Bounty Hunter Dennis Knoll 2 episodes
1998–2003 Oz Chris Keller Main role
1999 Shift Louis TV film
1999–2011, 2021–present Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Detective Elliot Stabler Main role (seasons 1–12); Recurring role (season 22–)
2000, 2022 Law & Order Episodes: "Entitled", “Fools for Love" & “Gimme Shelter – Part 3”
2002 Murder in Greenwich Mark Fuhrman TV film
2003 Scrubs Dr. Dave Norris Episode: "My White Whale"
2004 Sesame Street Himself Episode: 4065
2005 Wonder Showzen Cooties Spokesman Episode: "Health"
Law & Order: Trial by Jury Detective Elliot Stabler Episode: "Day"
2008 Gym Teacher: The Movie Dave Stewie TV film
2009 Michael & Michael Have Issues Himself Episode: "Greg the Intern"
2011 The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Tony Bologna Cameo
Ice Loves Coco Himself
2012 True Blood Roman Zimojic 5 episodes
2013 Comedy Bang! Bang! Dr. Phillip Banhauser Episode: "Aziz Ansari Wears a Charcoal Blazer"
2014 Veep Ray Whelans 2 episodes
Surviving Jack Jack Dunlevy 8 episodes (including one unaired episode in the US)
2015 The Jack and Triumph Show Agent Ryker Episode: "Siri"
Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp Gene Jenkinson / Jonas Jurgenson Main role; 6 episodes
Drunk History Othniel Marsh Episode: "New Jersey"
2016–2017 Underground August Pullman Main role; 15 episodes
Directed episode: "Auld Acquaintance"
2017 Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later Gene Jenkinson 4 episodes
At Home with Amy Sedaris Ranger Russell Episode: "Nature"
2017–2019 Happy! Nick Sax Main role; 18 episodes
2018 Pose Dick Ford Episodes: "The Fever", "Pink Slip"
2019, 2022 American Dad! Gangsters Voice, episodes: "Twinanigans", "The Book of Fischer"
2019 The Handmaid's Tale Commander Winslow 4 episodes
2019–present Harley Quinn[33] Commissioner James Gordon, Two-Face Goon 2, Bouncer Voice; 16 episodes
2020 Family Guy George Townshend Voice; episode: "Short Cuts"
Maxxx Don Wild Recurring role; 6 episodes
Rick and Morty Jesus Christ, Unnamed Rick disguise Voice, episode: "Never Ricking Morty" and "Full Meta Jackrick"
The Twilight Zone Robert Episode: "A Human Face"
Helpsters Detective Dudley Episode: "Camper Cortez/Artist Andrew & Detective Dudley"
2021–present[34] Law & Order: Organized Crime Detective Elliot Stabler Lead role; also executive producer
2021 Bless the Harts Detective Voccola[35] Voice; 1 episode
2023 Captain Fall Agent Steel Voice; 10 episodes
Celebrity Jeopardy! Himself Contestant

Video games[edit]

Year Title Voice role
2015 Call of Duty: Black Ops III Commander John Taylor

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result
1999 OFTA Television Awards Best Guest Actor in a Cable Series Oz Won
2004 Prism Awards Best Performance in a TV Drama Series Episode Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Nominated
2006 OFTA Television Awards Best Actor in a Drama Series
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
2008 Prism Awards Best Performance in a TV Drama Series Episode
2014 Gold Derby Awards Best Comedy Guest Actor Veep
2019 Best Drama Guest Actor Pose
International Online Cinema Awards[36] Best Guest Actor in a Drama Series
2021 Hollywood Critics Association Television Awards[37] Best Actor in a Broadcast Network or Cable Series, Drama Law & Order: Organized Crime
2022 ACCEC Awards[38] Favorite Television Actor Won


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