The Best Celebrity Cameos on “Law & Order: SVU,” Ranked
In the criminal justice system...
Bold statement but we’re going with it: Law and Order: Special Victims Unit is one of the greatest television programs of our time. (Not sorry.) And as any casual viewer knows, SVU is at its best when it packs an episode (all of which can be streamed on Hulu and Netflix) with some celebrity casting. Here, a ranking of our 21 favorites. DUN DUN.
1. Carol Burnett
Comedy, drama, an alleged murder. Is there anything this woman can’t do?
2. Judith Light
More a recurring character than a guest star, but the Who’s the Boss? star is just so damn good as no-nonsense judge Elizabeth Donnelly.
3. Cynthia Nixon
Top-notch episode. (Seriously, she won an Emmy for it.)
4. Natasha Lyonne
A pre-OITNB Lyonne plays a very convincing psych ward patient.
5. Viola Davis
Solid training for getting away with murder.
Finn’s son’s half-brother (stay with us) was not one of the good guys, but Luda played it oh so well.
7. Marcia Gay Harden
Such a badass.
8. Martin Short
Such a creep.
9. Hilary Duff
Playing a Casey Anthony-type, this is some of Duff’s best work since a little program called Lizzie McGuire.
10. Terrence Howard
Playing a character decidedly un-Lucius-like in his general abiding by the law, Howard's character got his own spin-off in the form of the short-lived Law & Order: LA.
11. Mischa Barton
Those purple tights though.
12. Dean Cain
Listen to this and try to watch this episode with a straight face ever again.
13. Jerry Lewis
Wherein he breaks your heart into a billion little pieces.
14. Ellen Burstyn
15. John Stamos
Not Uncle Jesse!
16. Elizabeth Banks
Playing a porn star, natch.
17. Hayden Panettiere
18. Angela Lansbury
Let’s be honest, she’ll always be Mrs. Potts to us.
19. Jesse McCartney
20. Eric McCormack
We miss Will & Grace.
Fulfilling a lifelong dream, the Roots’ frontman played a corpse in the morgue for all of 40 seconds. So while it wasn’t quite a guest-star spot, it’s awesome nonetheless.