Christopher Meloni

With rugged looks and an imposing presence, Christopher Meloni frequently found himself cast in tough guy roles, but when given the chance the actor displayed surprising range, particularly in comedy. Meloni broke in via television and eventually began landing bit parts in feature films like "Clean Slate" (1994), "Junior" (1994) and "12 Monkeys" (1995). Meloni all but cemented his stature as a Mafia-type thug with his vicious performance in the sexually-charged thriller "Bound" (1996), which was followed by similarly brutish parts in series such as "NYPD Blue" (ABC, 1993-2005) and the miniseries "The Last Don" (CBS, 1997). By the end of the decade, however, Meloni took on two equally intense roles as characters who could not have been more diametrically opposed to each other. On "Oz" (HBO, 1997-2003), Meloni gave a chilling performance as serial killer Chris Keller, and shortly thereafter he joined the cast of "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (NBC, 1999- ) as Detective Elliot Stabler, a cop who tirelessly pursued perpetrators of the most heinous sexual crimes. As much as he would be known for his dramatically intense performances in films like Frank Miller's "Sin City: A Dame to Kill For" (2014), Meloni would prove himself capable of delivering huge belly laughs with gut-busting cameos in films such as "Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle" (2004) and David Wain's romantic comedy parody "They Came Together" (2014). Though he left "SVU" after 12 seasons in 2011, Meloni always found himself in the enviable position of being able to work in both drama and comedy with equal facility.