Thursday, March 26, 2009


I don't know how limited the talent pool is for actors in the NYC region as compared to LA, but it seems as though a lot of faces are seen over and over again in the various 'Law & Order' series. What always gets me is when these actors play similar characters, especially the judges, but are given different names. I'd think at least the actor could speak up and say, "Hey, you must have my nameplate still hanging around from the last time in the prop room. Why spend the money on a new one?" And what's it going to take for a slight name change in the script, anyway? Probably some wrangling with the WGA......
I dealt with one such case, two judges played by David Lippman: Morris Torledsky on 'Law & Order' and 'Law & Order: Trial By Jury', and Arthur Cohen on 'Law & Order: Special Victims Unit'. In his case, I said that Lippman was playing identical half-brothers who went into the same field of endeavor. (Not so far-fetched in a world where there are identical cousins a la 'The Patty Duke Show'!)

There's a web page dedicated to the many actors who have played more than one role on the original 'Law & Order' series,
"Repeat Offenders". I was looking through it today with the idea that maybe some of these repeat performers in different roles were "Actives" from a New York-based 'Dollhouse'. O'Bviously you couldn't make that claim for characters who were related to the victim or were defendants, and pretty much all of the defense attorneys. But there are a few options still available. I also noticed that a lot of actors appeared twice, with one of those roles being that of a jury foreperson. So I figure - why not just have both characters be the same person? Eventually everybody in NYC gets called upon to serve on a jury, and the fact that they may have been involved in a previous case (or in some cases, are later involved in a case after their jury service).

By combining these characters, we're at least cutting down on the population in Manhattan who resemble each other. And when none of their characters are identified by name, all the better! That way we can claim a character played by that same actor on some other show was the same person...... So, thanks to "Repeat Offenders", here's a sampling of such characters:

Carole Troll
9-194, "Hunters," Hospital Receptionist
11-231, "Turnstile Justice," Jury Foreperson

Kay Walbye
4-074, "American Dream," Jury Forewoman
11-241, "Teenage Wasteland," Neighbor

Yvonne Warden
10-217, "Mother's Milk," Mrs. Watkins
4-078, "Snatched," Jury Forewoman

Mary Ellen Ashley
11-242, "Phobia," Jury Foreperson
12-259, "Formerly Famous,"

Elaine Paul Eichel
3-046, "Conspiracy," jury foreman
8-172, "Faccia a Faccia," Manny Ebbs

Frank Guy
6-130, "Slave," Court Clerk
11-237, "Thin Ice," Jury Foreperson

C. C. Loveheart
5-107, "Cruel and Unusual," Receptionist
13-284, "Open Season," Jury Foreperson

William Pitts
4-069, "Discord," Jury foreman
8-158, "Thrill," Phone company worker

Mark Plastrik
1-010, "Prisoner of Love," Investigator
2-033. "His Hour Upon the Stage," Jury foreman

Buzz Roddy
8-179, "Damaged," Moskowitz
10-221, "Trade This," jury foreperson

So say we all!

Toby O'B

[The pics are from the first season L&O episode "Kiss The Girls And Make Them Die"]

No comments: