Early cast members of "Law and Order" include S. Epatha Merkerson, Carolyn McCormick, Sam Waterston and Jerry Orbach. Dann Florek also starred in the show's early run, and he states that the show remains a big part of his life.
McCormick says that she differentiates between time periods on the show by looking at her varying hair styles. She says that she had two children while on the show. McCormick says that she remembered the group making jokes while filming with corpses. She adds that it was often hard for a guest actor or actress to film an emotional scene while the recurring cast made jokes about a corpse. McCormick also says that before the advent of modern television viewing, the group enjoyed relative anonymity. It is not until Netflix and cable television that the group found true fame, she says.
Florek says that he cannot remember the shows based on the crimes in each show because the shows are often similar in their fact patterns. Florek adds that filming 20 episodes a year often became difficult because the show deals with serious subject matter. The cast also remembers shooting early episodes at a pier that was so desolate that guests and those auditioning for roles hesitated to make the trip.
Merkerson adds that the makeup crew skilfully made victim suffering look real. Merkerson says that real police officers often have an impressive sense of humor that she enjoyed during the show. She believes that her character, one of the first African-American television characters in a powerful position, was an important character for the development of women and African-American issues in the United States during the time period. Merkerson expresses pride that a number of police officers thank her for her role in the early cast.