10 Latino Stars You Never Knew Were on ‘Law & Order’

Law & Order: SVU returns tonight to NBC with Cuban actor Danny Pino. We're loving the Cuban actor's nuanced portrayal of detective Nick Amaro so much, that we started thinking about other Latinos who have starred in the Law & Order franchise. These are their stories!

1. Law & Order: Sara Ramirez

Sara Ramirez, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (2002)

In the season 4 episode, “Chameleon,” Ramirez played a feisty, no-nonsense prostitute named Lisa Perez who reluctantly agrees to help Stabler (Christopher Meloni) and Olivia (Mariska Hargitay) as they investigate the death of another prostitute.


2. Law & Order: Zoe Saldana

Zoe Saldana, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (2004)

Before she was Uhura in Star Trek and Neytiri in Avatar, Zoe Saldana played Gabrielle Vega, the daughter of a criminology professor accused of raping and murdering a college student in the episode “Criminal” on season 5 of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.


3. Law & Order: Alfred Molina

Alfred Molina, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit  (2005)

Although his character, Deputy Ricardo Morales, goes from prosecutor to cop on the revamped Law & Order: Los Angeles, Alfred Molina once played the bad guy—a rapist named Gabriel Duvall on the Law & Order: Special Victims Unit episode, “Night.”


4. Law & Order: Gina Torres

Gina Torres, Law & Order (1995)

This Firefly alum guest-starred on the season 5 episode, “Purple Heart,” which told the story of a man who killed a cabbie and the connection between the victim’s wife, the killer and the murder weapon.


5. Law & Order: John Ortiz

John Ortiz, Law & Order (1992)

Long before he was the bad guy in movies like Narc (2002) and American Gangster (2007), John Ortiz played an innocent teenage boy named Roberto Martinez who has a heart attack and dies because of a faulty pacemaker—prompting charges to be filed against the manufacturer of the pacemaker—on the season 3 episode “The Corporate Veil,” of the original Law & Order.


6. Law & Order: Guillermo Diaz

Guillermo Diaz, Law & Order (1994)

Best known for his role as Scarface in Half Baked (1998), Guillermo Diaz guest-starred on the 4th season of Law & Order as Juan Domingo, a local gun dealer interrogated about the death of a 14-year-old kid who was shot dead while out with two friends.


7. Law & Order: Lauren Velez

Lauren Velez, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999)

In the season 10 episode, “Marathon,” Lauren Velez (Dexter) guest starred as a woman named Ms. Torres who becomes involved with a murder suspect.


8. Law & Order: Bobby Cannavale

Bobby Cannavale, Law & Order  (2007)

Emmy winner Bobby Cannavale (Will & Grace), guest starred on the season 17 episode “Murder Book,” as J.P. Lange, a former professional baseball player acquitted of his wife’s murder.


9. Law & Order: Sonia Braga

Sonia Braga, Law  & Order (2003)

On the season 13 episode, “Genius,” a promising young writer confesses to the murder and robbery of a cabbie and demands that he receive the death penalty. The episode features Sonia Braga.


10. Law & Order: Luis Guzman

Luis Guzman, Law & Order (1991)

Luis Guzman guest starred as Cesar Pescador, a Honduran line-cook accused of burning down a social club that killed 53 people, in the season 2 episode titled, “Heaven.”


11. Law & Order: Related Links