Law & Order: SVU has been on the air for more than two decades and has had its fair share of notable guest stars. One, in particular, did such a stellar job her performance earned her an Emmy.
It’s likely hard to guess who it was due to the sheer number of incredible talent SVU has hosted. Nonetheless, it was Sex and the City star Cynthia Nixon. She won the Emmy in 2008 for Outstanding Guest Actress in A Drama Series for her role as the incredibly sly and manipulative Janis Donovan, Looper reports.
Janis debuted in SVU’s season 9 opening episode, “Alternate.” The episode opens with a psychiatrist named Dr. Anna Young (whom Nixon plays) entering the precinct saying she’s afraid of one of her clients. Janis Donovan (also played by Nixon). Specifically, she’s afraid Donovan is going to hurt her child. Confused yet? It gets even better.
Benson and Stabler go on a wild goose chase trying to track down the woman and child just to be told she is suffering from dissociative identity disorder. Nixon’s character is, in fact, five different characters. The three she primarily depicts are a child, a woman obsessed with spiders, and a teenager fixated on Stabler. In the end, it turns out it was a facade she and her sister cooked up to get away with killing their parents.
Cynthia Nixon not only plays several characters in one but in a way that constantly has you guessing whether her affliction is real. She shows fantastic range and upon seeing the episode, it’s fairly obvious why she won the Emmy.
‘Law & Order: SVU’ Star Mariska Hargitay Talked About Robin Williams being her Favorite Guest Star on the Show
As stated, Law & Order: SVU is no stranger to guest stars. However, one stood out in Mariska Hargitay’s mind and remains her favorite to this day: Robin Williams.
Sitting down with TVInsider back in 2018, the two parties talked at length about Hargitay’s tenure on the show. After the outlet asked who her favorite guest star was, she had several answers but Robin Williams remained at the top. “Robin Williams,” she replied. “It was being in the presence of true greatness. He had this huge heart: The set photographer captured Robin playing with my son, August [almost 2 at the time], with a smile from ear to ear.”
The episode in question is titled “Authority” and as the name suggests, revolves around the subject of authority. Williams impersonates law enforcement personnel and tells people to perform criminal acts. It turns out his character, Merritt Rook, has problems with those in positions of power after an incident with his pregnant wife led to her death.
Williams knocks it out of the park and keeps you on your toes the whole episode. If you’re a fan of the show and haven’t seen it, I highly recommend you fix that mistake.