This season, the Law & Order: Special Victims Unit writers included a shout-out to the fictional NYPD Nine-Nine precinct in Brooklyn. The throwaway line delivered by Kelli Giddish's Detective Rollins was more than just a little Easter egg, it confirmed that Brooklyn Nine-Nine and the Law & Order universes are connected. However, they were connected before, thanks to actors appearing on both shows.
It is almost impossible for any actor working today to avoid having at least one Law & Order episode on their resume. That includes the actors who deliver hilarious performances on Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Their past appearances on Law & Order prove they can easily switch from drama to comedy when they have to.
The Nine-Nine shoutout came in "The Darkest Journey Home."
In one scene, Rollins told her colleagues, "The Nine-Nine just called in. They picked up the owner of the boat, Anthony Marino. He lives in Brooklyn. They're bringing him in now."
Photo credit: NBC
Dean Winters is the most visible actor to have appeared on both SVU and Brooklyn Nine-Nine, having played two very different police detectives on the shows. Winters was a member of the original SVU cast as Detective Brian Cassidy, who has returned to SVU several times, including last season's "Facing Demons."
On Nine-Nine, he stars as Detective Pembroke, best known by Peralta as "The Vulture" because he swoops in to take over cases already solved.
Andre Braugher stars on Brooklyn Nine-Nine as Captain Ray Holt, a role that has earned him multiple Emmy nominations.
However, he has already had two different roles in the Law & Order sphere. His breakout role was Detective Frank Pembleton on Homicide: Life on the Streets, which is part of the Law & Order world thanks to the appearance of Richard Belzer's Munch.
Braugher has also played defense attorney Bayard Ellis in six SVU episodes, most recently in 2015.
Joe Lo Truglio first gained fame as a member of the cast of The State, which later led to a role in the cult comedy Wet Hot American Summer. In 2000, he actually appeared as "Policeman #2" in a 2000 episode of Law & Order called "Turnstile Justice." Perhaps Detective Charles Boyle has been in the NYPD much longer than we thought.
Lou Diamond Phillips has managed to guest star in almost everything. In 2006, he appeared in the Law & Order: SVU episode "Fault." In 2017, he played Jeff Romero in the two-part Brooklyn Nine-Nine episode "The Big House." Fans also saw him in Blue Bloods and NCIS: New Orleans recently.
The West Wing star Bradley Whitford plays Jake Peralta's dad, pilot Roger Peralta, on Nine-Nine. He has also had two different roles in the Law & Order universe. In 2011, he played an attorney in an episode of the short-lived Law & Order: LA. He stopped by SVU for the 2014 episode "Reasonable Doubt."
Prolific character actor Fred Melamed appeared on two different Law & Order shows in 2010, playing two different characters! He was a judge in the Law & Order episode "Steel-Eyed Death" and played Dan Goldberg in the SVU episode "Merchandise." On Nine-Nine, he played D.C. Parlov in "Skyfire Cycle" and "Return to Skyfire."
The great Stacy Keach did an episode of Law & Order: SVU back in 2014, appearing as Orin Bauer in "American Disgrace." In 2013, he played Jim Brogan in the Nine-Nine episode "Old School." Keach now stars in CBS' Man With A Plan, co-starring Matt LeBlanc.