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Sarah Paulson earned her very first on-screen credit thanks to one 1994 episode of Law and Order. She played a 14-year-old girl named Maggie Conner, who is being investigated for the murder of her mother.
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After appearing in a short film in 2000, Ginnifer Goodwin joined Law & Order for one 2001 episode. Then a relatively unknown actress, Goodwin played a young woman named Erica.
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Years before she made it to jail as Orange Is the New Black's Sophia Burset, Laverne Cox picked up an early role as Minnie on Law & Order.
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Sarah Hyland was just 13 when she appeared on Law & Order. The young actress played Kristine McLean in a 2004 episode.
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Before he was starring in Luther and earning critical acclaim for his big-screen work, Idris Elba was filling his résumé with smaller roles, such as an appearance in a 2001 episode of Law & Order.
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Philip Seymour Hoffman
Philip Seymour Hoffman landed his first credited gig with a 1991 episode of Law & Order. The late star played Steven Hanauer, a man facing trial in a rape case.
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Before Scandal, Django Unchained, or even Ray, there was Law & Order. Early in her career, Kerry Washington appeared in one 2001 episode of the crime show, playing Allie Lawrence.
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Joining the list of newbies who debuted on Law & Order, Leighton Meester picked up her first on-screen credit thanks to a 1999 episode. She played a young woman named Alyssa Turner.
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After making brief appearances in TV movies and episodes of Swift Justice and Dead Man's Walk, Jennifer Garner joined Law & Order for one 1996 installment. She played Jaime, a graduate student.
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Julianna Margulies nabbed the second on-screen credit of her career thanks to Law & Order. After appearing in Out for Justice, she popped up in a 1993 episode of the show as Ruth Mendoza, a Navy lieutenant.
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After debuting in a short film, Claire Danes hit the small screen for the first time in 1992, appearing in an episode of Law & Order as Tracy Brandt.
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Early in his career, Josh Radnor joined Law & Order for one 2002 episode. The future star played a man named Robert Kitson.
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Before the boys of Dream Street dropped their first album, Jesse McCartney landed his second acting credit for an episode of Law & Order. The actor and singer appeared on the show in 2000, playing Danny Driscoll.
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Kate Walsh hit the small screen for one of the first times in 1997, playing Kirstin Blair, a Navy lieutenant under investigation, in Law & Order.
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Years before she made it to the White House as The West Wing's C.J. Cregg, Allison Janney was on Law & Order for two episodes. She played Nora in a 1992 installment and Ann Madsen in 1994.
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Zoe Saldana continued the tradition of debuting on Law & Order, playing a woman named Belinca in 1999. She is pictured here with Orange Is the New Black star Selenis Leyva.
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Years before Primal Fear, The Truman Show, or Love Actually, Laura Linney appeared on Law & Order. The actress was featured in one 1994 episode as Martha Bowen.
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Chris Messina earned his first on-screen credit in 1995 thanks to Law & Order. He played Tommy Bell in his debut role, and would return to the show in 1996 and 2003 as Kevin Turner and Don Cushman, respectively.
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Emmy Rossum's first credited acting gig was in a 1997 episode of Law & Order. The young actress played Alison Martin, a girl in a bad situation with her family.
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Amanda Peet picked up an early role in one 1995 episode of Law & Order. She played Leslie Harlan, a woman in the midst of a mysterious case.
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Sebastian Stan landed his very first on-screen role in 2003. He played Justin Capshaw on Law & Order, a young man who was kidnapped as a boy.
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Courtney B. Vance
Courtney B. Vance found his way to the courtroom as Johnnie Cochran on The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, but more than 20 years earlier, he landed early roles on Law & Order. He had an uncredited part in a 1990 episode and returned in 1995 as Benjamin "Bud" Greer.
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Ellen Pompeo's first credited small-screen role was in a 1996 episode of Law & Order, playing Jenna Weber. She returned in 2000 as Laura Kendrick.
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Peter Facinelli nabbed his second on-screen gig in 1995, playing Shane Sutter in one episode of Law & Order.
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Vera Farmiga added a third title to her résumé in 1998 thanks to Law & Order. She played Lindsay Carson, a woman caught up in a murder trial.
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More than a decade before she became Grey's Anatomy's Dr. Miranda Bailey, Chandra Wilson was Serena Price for one 1992 episode of Law & Order.
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Ty Burrell became an Emmy nominee in 2010 thanks to Modern Family, but 10 years earlier, he made his small-screen debut on Law & Order. He appeared in a 2000 episode as Paul Donatelli and returned to the show in 2003 as Herman Capshaw.
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Edie Falco earned an early credit on Law & Order, appearing on the crime show in 1993 as Sally Bell. She reprised the role for additional turns in 1994, 1997, and 1998.
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Early in her career, Felicity Huffman appeared on Law & Order. The actress joined the show for one episode in 1992, playing Diane Perkins, and returned in 1997 as Hillary Colson.
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Isaiah Washington landed one of his very first projects as Derek Hardy on Law & Order, appearing on the show in 1991.