Christopher Peter Meloni (born April 2, 1961) is an American actor. He is best known for his television roles as NYPD Detective Elliot Stabler on the NBC police drama Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and as inmate Chris Keller on the HBO prison drama Oz. In June 2012, he returned to HBO, as the vampire Roman on True Blood.
"Stabler and I are alike in that we're focused on our job and couldn't see doing anything else with our lives," says Meloni about his character. "He's a rock solid guy, with a great capacity for compassion, the ironic, and the absurd. He can relish the small triumphs when they come and doesn't allow the horrors of his job to infect him." Meloni is familiar with difficult work, spending a few years in construction before beginning his acting career.
As for Meloni, it's unclear what he'll do next; he's had a number of movie roles, including in “Brief Interviews with Hideous Men” and “Nights in Rodanthe,” and recently starred and directed the National Lampoon film, “Dirty Movie.”
After 272 episodes of solving especially vexing murders, Detective Elliot Stabler and NBC couldn&39;t crack the Case of the 13th Season Contract. And so after years of primetime glory, crime fighting and an Emmy nomination.
TV Line reported on Tuesday night that Meloni has left the NBC hit “Law & Order: SVU,” exiting after contract negotiations fell through between the star and network.
In 1988, he made his early TV credit with a bit part on CBS original crime action series "The Equalizer." He followed it up with a regular role as Vito Del Greco/Johnny Gunn (1989-1990), an ex-con turned quarterback, on HBO’s football comedy "1st & Ten,” and another regular role on NBC’s brief-lived sitcom "The Fanelli Boys" (1990-1991) as one of the title brothers, the likeably dim Frankie Fanelli.
Graduating from the university, Christopher Meloni took a construction job in his hometown until a high school acquaintance inspired him to move to New York to study acting. The aspiring actor then went to the Big Apple and studied with Sanford Meisner at the well-known Neighborhood Playhouse. Meanwhile, he made a living as a bouncer, bartender and personal trainer.
An avid traveler, Meloni has explored from Turkey to Bali and is searching for points in-between to visit. He also enjoys weightlifting, playing basketball, football, and chess and is a martial arts enthusiast. Meloni resides in New York with his wife and daughter.
Meloni is well known to television audiences for his portrayal of the duplicitous inmate Chris Keller on HBO’s hard-hitting critically praised series "Oz." Additionally, he has appeared in a series of memorable guest-starring roles on some of network television’s most acclaimed series such as "Homicide: Life on the Street" as well as "NYPD Blue," in which Meloni played Jimmy Liery, the volatile undercover target of Emmy Award-winner Kim Delaney’s Detective Russell.
Christopher Meloni was nominated for his first Emmy Award during his eighth season as Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series.
Meloni is married to production designer Doris Sherman Williams, with whom he has two children, Sophia and Dante.
Washington, D.C. native Christopher Meloni has reached near-iconic status as Law & Order: SVU’s Detective Stabler. After getting his start in 1989 on the TV series 1st & Ten, Meloni was featured in five episodes of NYPD Blue in 1996. He landed the Law & Order gig in 1999 and has played SVU’s hard-nosed cop ever since, earning an Emmy nomination in 2006. Simultaneously, he has also starred as a bisexual serial killer in HBO’s Oz.