Sam Waterston Leaves Law & Order After 30 Years as Scandal Alum Joins Cast

Sam Waterston announced that he is leaving Law & Order after 30 years, with his last episode airing on Feb. 22. Meanwhile, Scandal star Tony Goldwyn will be joining the cast.

By Sabba Rahbar Feb 03, 2024 1:35 AMTags
Watch: Mariska Hargitay & Sam Waterson Talk "Law & Order" Reboot Differences

After 30 years, Sam Waterston is leaving the iconic "dun-dun" behind.

Waterston announced on Feb. 2 that he would be stepping down from his role as District Attorney Jack McCoy on Law & Order after more than 400 episodes, with his final episode airing on Feb. 22.

"The time has come for me to move on and take Jack McCoy with me," the 83-year-old said in a statement to E! News. "There's sadness in leaving, but I'm just too curious about what's next. An actor doesn't want to let himself get too comfortable."

He also thanked the fans and show creator Dick Wolf for their support during the NBC series' "continuing and amazing long run," adding, "I feel very blessed. I hope to see you all on the flip side. Thank you."

Waterston first joined the cast in 1994 and was with the series until its original run came to an end in 2010. He returned for the show's revival in 2022.

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Stars Who Got Their Start on Law & Order

Over the course of his decades-long run with the series, he was nominated for three Emmy Awards, one Golden Globe and 11 SAG Awards. He won the SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series in 1999.

Peter Kramer/NBC via Getty Images

However, the Law & Order cast—Hugh Dancy, Camryn Manheim, Odelya Halevi, Mehcad Brooks and Reid Scott.—won't be alone for long. Amid Waterston's departure, Tony Goldwyn will be joining the show in a yet-unnamed district attorney role, helping to continue telling stories of the criminal justice system.

Though Goldwyn is most known as President Fitzgerald Grant on Scandal from 2012 to 2018, he holds credits in 1990's Ghost, 1999's Tarzan and the 2023 Oscar-nominated film Oppenheimer.

Jason Mendez/Getty Images for BAFTA

With the 23rd season of Law & Order underway, keep reading to find out when your other favorite shows are returning this year.

(E! and NBC are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)

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