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Sam Waterston Steps Down as Longtime ‘Law & Order’ District Attorney

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Sam Waterston Steps Down As Longtime 'law & Order' District Attorney

Sam Waterston, renowned for his portrayal of the spiky, no-nonsense district attorney Jack McCoy on the long-running hit television series ‘Law & Order,’ is stepping down from his esteemed role after more than 400 episodes. NBC announced that Waterston’s final episode as McCoy will air on February 22. The veteran actor has earned a SAG Award and received nominations for Emmy and Golden Globe for his exceptional performance.

Citing personal curiosity and a desire to explore new opportunities, Waterston expressed his appreciation for the devotion of ‘Law & Order’ fans in a statement, saying, ‘The time has come for me to move on and take Jack McCoy with me. An actor doesn’t want to let himself get too comfortable. I’m more grateful to you than I can say.’

Replacing Waterston in the role of the district attorney will be Tony Goldwyn, known for his roles in ‘Scandal’ and the film ‘Ghost’.

‘Law & Order’ is a groundbreaking procedural series that revolves around the New York City justice system. McCoy is a brilliant, hard-charging advocate for justice, frequently driven by moral outrage and an unwavering commitment to pursuing the truth.

Sam Waterston, with his signature bushy brows, began his acting career in New York as a stage actor and notably performed in numerous Shakespearean plays, tackling the iconic roles of Lear, Hamlet, Prospero, and others. He gained wider recognition for his roles in ‘The Great Gatsby,’ where he starred alongside Robert Redford, and in a television adaptation of Tennessee Williams‘ ‘The Glass Menagerie,’ in which he acted alongside Katharine Hepburn, earning his first Emmy nomination.

Waterston, who joined ‘Law & Order’ in its fourth season in 1994, has been an integral part of the show’s success. He continued as a main cast member until the series concluded in 2010 and reprised his role when the show was rebooted in 2022. In addition to the original series, Waterston has also appeared as McCoy in ‘Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,’ ‘Law & Order: Trial by Jury,’ and ‘Exited: A Law & Order Movie.’

Rachel Adams

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