You know Dann Florek best as the stoic Lt. Donald Cragen on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, but what you might not know about the actor is that he’s an ambassador and advocate for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) because of his sister April who was abducted by her father in 1982 when she was only seven-years-old. She was found alive nine years later, but her father has never been found and Florek wants to see him in jail one day to get justice served. Dann Florek Opens Up About Playing Donald Cragen on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

About Dann Florek

Starting his acting career in theater, Dann Florek is best known for portraying Captain Don Cragen in the long-running TV show Law & Order: SVU. It was announced that he would be leaving the show after 17 years of playing the iconic character. In this interview, he opens up about why he left and shares his thoughts on who will take over for him. He also talks about the time before he became an actor, when he served as a police officer.

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About His Role As Donald Cragen

Dann Florek played the character of Captain Don Cragen for over a decade on NBC’s Law & Order: SVU. He was originally cast as the captain of the NYPD homicide squad, a position he held until his retirement. The actor, who is also known for his role as Major Charles Emerson Winchester III in M*A*S*H, left the show in 2003 but returned to play Cragen again in 2006. I had said that I wouldn’t do this again, Florek said. But they had some ideas about where they wanted him to go.

How Did He Get The Part?

Florek was approached by Dick Wolf to play a captain in the then-pilot episode of Law & Order. He played this role until the end of Season 12 when he was replaced by Dennis Farina. Florek played Captain Donald Cragen for 16 years in Law & Order: SVU until his contract expired in 2009.

On Cragen’s Emotional Breakdown in Season 8

After two decades of playing Detective Donald Cragen, Dann Florek was offered a chance to leave the show. He agreed, but couldn’t stop thinking about his character’s emotional breakdown in the Season 8 finale and called to ask for a meeting with executive producer Warren Leight. I said, ‘You know what? I’m not okay with this,’ and he said, ‘What are you talking about?’ And I said, ‘This is not what we agreed to,’ says Florek.

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Dann Florek Opens Up About Playing Donald Cragen on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

On the Sexual Misconduct Scandals at NBC

In the wake of the sexual misconduct scandals at NBC and his departure from SVU, Dann Florek opens up about playing Donald Cragen on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.

I loved playing Captain Cragen and I will miss him, said Dann Florek, but I understand why it was time to leave.

Would he consider returning to the show?

I would love to go back to SVU. I’ve been away for a year-and-a-half now and I miss it, said Dann Florek, who played Captain Donald Cragen in the long-running series. I miss the cast, I miss the crew and I miss my character. The show has done some pretty remarkable things over its run of 18 years that have changed the way we think about sexual assault, domestic violence and children being abused.

So you never know where they might come up with me.

Why does Cragen leave law and order?

Although Dann Florek is not an original cast member of Law and Order SVU, playing the character of Donald Cragen for 18 seasons has been a life changing experience. It was also a difficult decision to leave the show. I still have no regrets about it, he said in an interview with TVLine. It’s just that I’m starting to miss my family. He added, I’m not so sure I would leave if I had kids.

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Dann Florek Opens Up About Playing Donald Cragen on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

Who replaces Cragen?

Cragen was a detective and the commanding officer of the NYPD’s fictional Special Victims Unit, which investigates sex crimes. The character was one of the original cast members when the show premiered in 1999, and Dann Florek played him for 12 seasons until he left in 2011. In his absence, Cragen is replaced by Capt. Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay).

Frequently asked questions

What episode did Cragen leave SVU?

At the end of season 14, Dann Florek’s character, Captain Donald Cragen, retired from the NYPD. He was replaced by Lt. Anita Van Buren (played by S. Epatha Merkerson). The episode that aired on May 22nd, 2004 is titled One.

Does Captain Cragen get convicted?

If you’re a fan of the SVU, you’ve likely been wondering what’s up with Captain Cragen. After all, he’s the head of the team and his replacement is still unclear. So far we know that Dann Florek left due to scheduling conflicts and no one has replaced him yet. Dann Florek himself can’t say for sure when or if he will be back but here are some quotes from an interview he recently did with TVLine where he discusses his character and the show in general.

Is Cragen coming back to law and order?

Fans of Dann Florek and his role as Captain Donald Cragen on the show Law & Order: SVU are wondering if he will be coming back to the show anytime soon. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, he stated that he’s currently not in contact with anyone from the cast but that they could find a way to bring him back.

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