The 15 Best Law & Order Characters Ranked

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  The 15 Best Law & Order Characters Ranked


Detective Briscoe is the heart and soul of classic “Law & Order.” His presence across almost 300 episodes demarcates the series’ golden age. His departure, and the death of Jerry Orbach in 2004, meant nothing would be the same again. Briscoe was beloved by crime fans and the real life NYPD for his acerbic sense of humor and tired-sounding but relentless drive. Briscoe was the epitome of the old-timer, a Vietnam vet who crawled his way up the ranks of the police force by simply doing the best job he could. No episode could get properly underway without a trademarked Lennie quip.



Lennie was never without flaws, adding to the depth of his role. Alcoholism was his specter, and his family ties were deeply tangled. He was estranged from his daughters, with one of them, Cathy, later murdered by her drug dealer. Emotional but controlled, acerbic but caring, Briscoe was the best cop “Law & Order” had. He mixed likability with professional distance, and the only shame of his career is that Orbach never got to bust out his Broadway lungs in song. We miss you, Lennie. Patrol well, wherever you are.





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