Dann Florek to Depart LAW & ORDER: SVU

After 15 seasons, Capt. Cragen is leaving the force.

Dann Florek, who has been with NBC's long-running crime procedural since it premiered in 1999, has confirmed he'll be leaving the series at the end of this season.

Florek confirmed the news today on Twitter, posting: "Friday was the last day 4 Cragen/Florek. It was a sweet send off! But he'll live on in syndication land 4 evah!"

Showrunner Warren Leight told TV Guide in October that Florek would likely be leaving 'SVU' soon, saying: "Cragen knows at some point in the season or by the end of the season he will have hit mandatory retirement so he'll have to figure out when that moment is. We're playing that anxiety that the Captain is leaving at some point."

LAW & ORDER: SVU airs every Wednesday at 9/8c on NBC.

Florek stars as the pragmatic Captain Donald Cragen on NBC's critically-acclaimed "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit." Before his 15 seasons on "SVU," Florek originated the role during the first three seasons of "Law & Order."

Raised in Flat Rock, Michigan, Florek entered Eastern Michigan University as a math and physics major but left with a newfound interest in drama. "I really thought I was going to be a math/physics person, but I was in choir, and they offered me a scholarship in drama," says Florek. "I thought, hey, maybe it'll be more fun than synthetic projective geometry."

Florek went on to join the prestigious Acting Company at the Juilliard School in New York City. His professional theater work includes "A Midsummer Night's Dream," "Love's Labour's Lost," "Strange Snow," and "Death of a Salesman." Later, he headed west to San Diego, where he participated in many La Jolla Playhouse and Old Globe Theatre productions, most notably as The Duke in "Big River," and as Teach in The Old Globe's award-winning production of "American Buffalo."

Florek gained attention for his portrayal of direct-marketing whiz Dave Meyer on the Emmy Award-winning "L.A. Law." His additional television credits include guest-starring roles on NBC's "Wings" and "The Pretender," as well as "The Practice," "NYPD Blue," "Roseanne," "Ellen," "Sabrina the Teenage Witch," and "Smart Guy." Florek also appeared in the telefilms "The Pentagon Wars" and the Emmy Award-winning "From the Earth to the Moon."

Florek has appeared in such feature films as Paul Mazursky's "Moon Over Parador," Blake Edward's "Sunset," Alan Parker's "Angel Heart," Alan Alda's "Sweet Liberty," "The Flintstones," "Hard Rain," "Beautiful Joe" and "Santorini Blue." Florek also appeared in his first music video with the rock band Eve to Adam for their song "Run Your Mouth," from the album Banquet for a Starving Dog.

Photo by: Art Streiber/NBC

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