Dann Florek

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Dann Florek
Florek at Eastern Michigan University in 1969
BornEzekial Dann Florek
(1950-05-01) May 1, 1950 (age 64)
Flat Rock, Michigan, United States
Other namesDann Florek
Years active1983 – present
Spouse(s)Karen Florek (1983–present)
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Dann Florek
Florek at Eastern Michigan University in 1969
BornEzekial Dann Florek
(1950-05-01) May 1, 1950 (age 64)
Flat Rock, Michigan, United States
Other namesDann Florek
Years active1983 – present
Spouse(s)Karen Florek (1983–present)

Ezekial Dann Florek (born May 1, 1950), better known as Dann Florek, is an American actor and director. He is best known for his role as Donald Cragen on NBC's Law & Order and its spinoff Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.

Early life[edit]

Florek was born in Flat Rock, Michigan, the son of Darlene and Leonard Florek, Sr., a chiropractor.[1] He attended Eastern Michigan University, but never graduated. He moved to New York City to pursue an acting career in the theatre.


Florek worked his way into supporting roles in such diverse '80's films as Sweet Liberty, Moon Over Parador and Angel Heart. He also played Mr. Slate in the live-action film version of The Flintstones.

Florek played the husband of Susan Ruttan on 22 episodes of NBC's hit drama L.A. Law beginning in 1988. Florek also had a recurring role in the WB sitcom Smart Guy as the high school gym coach. He also appeared in several episodes of Roseanne.

Law & Order[edit]

Starting in 1990, Florek co-starred in the NBC police procedural and legal drama television series Law & Order as Capt. Don Cragen. [2] The first few years of Law & Order had mediocre ratings and finally after the close of the 1992-1993 season, NBC told creator/executive producer Dick Wolf that they would cancel the show unless he added a few women to the all-male cast. Wolf reluctantly complied and fired Florek as well as Richard Brooks (who played Paul Robinette), replacing them with S. Epatha Merkerson and Jill Hennessy, respectively. However, Florek was allowed to direct a few Law & Order episodes in 1994 and 1995.

Florek reprised the role of Cragen in the 1995 episode "Bad Faith" (which he also directed), and in the 1998 TV-movie Exiled, centered on former L&O star Chris Noth's character, Mike Logan. In 1999 he returned to the Cragen role, only this time on the Law & Order spin-off series Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, as the unit captain. Florek was written out of the series during its 15th season, and his final episode aired on January 15, 2014.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Florek and his wife, Karen, live in Venice, Los Angeles. Karen works as an artist. His brother, Dave, is also an actor. All three trained in the Daniel L. Quirk Jr. drama school at Eastern Michigan University.

Florek received an honorary Bachelor of Arts and an honorary Doctorate of Arts (on December 13, 2008, and December 14, 2008, respectively) from Eastern Michigan University, presented to him by President Susan Martin and the EMU Board of Regents. During the latter event, Florek was the head speaker at the school's winter 2008 commencement ceremony.


1983Eddie Macon's RunMan in bar
1986Sweet LibertyJesse
1987Angel HeartHerman Winesap
Five CornersPoliceman
1988SunsetMarty Goldberg
Moon Over ParadorToby
1989An Innocent ManProsecuting AttorneyUncredited
1991Flight of the IntruderLt. Cmdr. MadJack/Doc
1994The FlintstonesMr. Slate
Getting Even with DadWayne
1998Hard RainMr. Mehlor
2000Beautiful JoeHappy
2002Law & Order: The BeginningHimselfDirect-to-video
aka The Creation of 'Law & Order' with Dick Wolf
2003Focus RoomWilliam
SVU BeginningHimselfDirect-to-video
2004Law & Order: The First 3 YearsHimselfDirect-to-video
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Police Sketch: Dann FlorekHimselfDirect-to-video
2005Jerry Orbach TributeHimselfDirect-to-video
2006Copy ThatDann
2007TV Land ConfidentialHimself - intervieweeEpisode: "Locations"
aka TV Land Confidential: The Untold Stories
2010Santorini BlueTrent ParkerPost-production


1982The Country GirlLarryTV film
1985Hill Street BluesEpisode: "Intestinal Fortitude"
BrakerHayesTV film
1986The EqualizerLieutenantEpisode: "Breakpoint"
Alex: The Life of a ChildDr. Tom DolanTV film
1988-93L.A. LawDavid Meyer / Dave Meyer22 episodes
1987CBS Summer PlayhouseWinthropEpisode: "Doctors Wilde"
HunterJohn EdletonEpisode: "Night on Bald Mountain"
1988MatlockKen PritchardEpisode: "The Hucksters"
21 Jump StreetJim CrawfordEpisode: "Brother Hanson & the Miracle of Renner's Pond"
The Trial of Bernhard GoetzJudge CraneTV film
CBS Schoolbreak SpecialStan PallonEpisode: "Gambler"
1989The EdgeStrip-Joint OperatorTV film
Free SpiritBill / Mr. FlynnEpisode: "The Bosses Are Coming"
Major DadBuzzEpisode: "Rescue Mission"
1990GrandRobertEpisode: "The Healing"
RoseannePrincipal HillerEpisode: "Bird Is the Word"
1990–93, 1995,
2000, 2004
Law & OrderCaptain Donald Cragen69 episodes
1994HardballErnest 'Happy' TalbotUnknown episodes
WingsBobEpisode: "Insanity Claus"
1995EllenMr. WoodruffEpisode: "$5,000"
The John Larroquette ShowLennoxEpisode: "Love on the Line"
1996ChampsErnieEpisode: "It's Must Have Been Gridlock"
1997A Nightmare Come TrueDet. Ron ShayeTV film
aka A Dream of Murder
RoseanneDoctor/Dr. RudmenEpisode: "A Second Chance" (as Doctor)
Episode: "The Miracle" (as Dr. Rudmen)
Sabrina, the Teenage WitchBob GordonEpisode: "Cat Showdown"
Total SecurityMorris SilverEpisode: "Dental Men Prefer Blondes"
NYPD BlueGary HoganEpisode: "Sheedy Dealings"
1998The Pentagon WarsMaj. Gen. Bob BradenTV film
The PretenderDon LarsonEpisode: "Crash"
From the Earth to the MoonRobert SeamansHBO Miniseries
Episode: "Apollo One"
Episode: "Spider"
The PracticeFather Michael RyanEpisode: "Duty Bound"
Little Girl Fly AwayChief GelbartTV film
aka The Poet
The Secret Diary of Desmond PfeifferAbraham LincolnEpisode: "School DaZe"
Episode: "Kidnapped"
Episode: "A.O.L.: Abe on Line"
Episode: "Saving Mr. Lincoln"
Exiled: A Law & Order MovieCaptain Donald CragenTV film
1997-99Smart GuyCoach GerberEpisode: "Below the Rim"
Episode: "Most Hated Man on Campus"
Episode: "T.A. or Not T.A."
Episode: "Break Up Not to Make Up"
Episode: "Can't Buy Me Love"
Episode: "The Graduate?"
1999–2014Law & Order: Special Victims UnitCaptain Donald Cragen330 episodes


2010Santorini BlueAssociate ProducerPost-production


1993-95Law & OrderTelevision DirectorEpisode: "The Pursuit of Happiness"
Episode: "Big Bang"
Episode: "Bad Faith"


Eastern Michigan University 2008 Winter Commencement. Lead Speaker Dann Florek. December 14, 2008.

Eastern Michigan University 2008 Winter Commencement. Speaker: EMU President Susan Martin. December 14, 2008.

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