Dann Florek is an American actor and director best known for his role as Captain Donald Cragen in first Law & Order and later in the spin-off series Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
Florek worked his way up from the theatre into supporting roles in such diverse '80's films as Sweet Liberty, Moon Over Parador, and Angel Heart.
After a recurring role as the boring husband of Susan Ruttan on the television drama series L.A. Law, Florek co-starred in the crime drama Law & Order as Captain Donald Cragen.
In the mid to late nineties Florek starred as Coach Gerber on the children's show Smart Guy. He frequently asked for more to do, and got his wish once, in the first season finale "The Blue Wall".
The first few years of L&O 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 Assistant District Attorney Paul Robinette), replacing them with S. Epatha Merkerson and Jill Hennessy, respectively.
However, Florek was allowed to direct a few L&O episodes in 1994 and 1995.
Florek also had a guest starring role as a doctor on the sitcom Roseanne.
Florek was cast in the The Flinstones movie in 1994 as Mr. Slate, along with John Goodman as Fred Flintstone, Rick Moranis as Barney Rubble, Rosie O'Donnell as Betty Rubble, Halle Berry as Sharon Stone, and Elizabeth Taylor as Pearl Slaghoople.
Florek reprised the role of Cragen in a 1995 episode (which he also directed), and in the 1998 TV-movie Exiled, centered on former L&O star Chris Noth's character, Mike Logan.
Also in 1998, Florek played Abraham Lincoln in the controversial sitcom The Secret Diary of Desmond Pfeiffer.
In 1999 he returned to the Cragen role, only this time on Law & Order spin-off series Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, which he currently co-stars on.
Florek's wife, 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.