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'Law & Order: SVU' celebrity cameos worth revisiting

Is there anyone who hasn't guest-starred on "Law and Order: Special Victims Unit"?

"SVU," one of the longest-running prime-time dramas, is known for its never-ending list of celebrity appearances, from a young Sarah Hyland in 2001 (and 2009) to 2016's Sophia Bush pop-up.

The New York City-set crime series kicks off its milestone 20th season Thursday, meaning this gathering of memorable cameos is only the beginning. Take a look back at some of the many celebrity roles worth revisiting.

Brooke Shields

Sheila Porter, aka Brooke Shields, was arrested for
Photo Credit: NBC / Peter Kramer

Sheila Porter, aka Brooke Shields, was arrested for kidnapping her own grandchild in a twisted turn of events that left Benson (Mariska Hargitay) frantically searching for her missing child. She first appeared in season 19.

Michael Rapaport

Michael Rapaport appeared in the season 17 episode
Photo Credit: NBC

Michael Rapaport appeared in the season 17 episode "Sheltered Outcasts" as Richie Caskey. The episode saw Det. Dominick Carisi, Jr. (Peter Scanavino) take on an undercover persona in a city homeless shelter to crack down on a string of local sexual assault cases.

Abigail Savage

Before landing a recurring gig on
Photo Credit: NBC / Michael Parmelee

Before landing a recurring gig on "Orange is the New Black," New York actress Abigail Savage appeared in guest roles on "SVU" two times in 2003 as Dot, in 2009 as Cat, and in 2016 as Nina Kelly.

Sophia Bush

In a 2016 crossover episode of
Photo Credit: NBC

In a 2016 crossover episode of "SVU" titled "Nationwide Manhunt," Sophia Bush appeared as her "Chicago P.D." character Det. Erin Lindsay.

Robert Vaughn

A famous author, played by Robert Vaughn, got
Photo Credit: NBC / Michael Parmelee

A famous author, played by Robert Vaughn, got involved in a criminal case when his sixth wife, Charmaine (Marcia Cross), was faced with allegations of abuse in the season 16 episode "December Solstice."

Alec Baldwin

In 2014, Alec Baldwin got an inside look
Photo Credit: NBC / Michael Parmelee

In 2014, Alec Baldwin got an inside look into the workings of the city's Special Victims Unit when he appeared in the season 15 episode "Criminal Stories" as New York Ledger columnist Jimmy MacArthur.

Miranda Lambert

Country star Miranda Lambert tried her hand in
Photo Credit: NBC

Country star Miranda Lambert tried her hand in the acting scene with a guest spot on "SVU" in 2012. She played Lacey Ford, a sexual abuse victim, in season 13's "Father's Shadow."

John Stamos

Photo Credit: NBC / Virginia Sherwood

"Full House" star John Stamos played Ken Turner -- known as a "serial con artist" to "SVU" fans -- in 2011's "Bang." Turner is an abusive attorney accused of impregnating dozens of women.

Sharon Stone

Sharon Stone's
Photo Credit: NBC / Virginia Sherwood

Sharon Stone's "SVU" character, Assistant District Attorney Jo Marlowe, popped up periodically in the 11th season before she was diagnosed with cancer.

Hilary Duff

Hilary Duff took on a dark role in
Photo Credit: NBC / Will Hart

Hilary Duff took on a dark role in the 2009 episode "Selfish," appearing as a young mother accused in the death of her child. Did she do it? Refer back to season 10, episode 19.

Robin Williams

Robin Williams guest-starred with Chris Meloni and Mariska
Photo Credit: NBC / Virginia Sherwood

Robin Williams guest-starred with Chris Meloni and Mariska Hargitay in the 200th episode of "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit." For his 2008 appearance in the episode titled "Authority," Williams was nominated for an outstanding guest actor in a drama series Emmy.

Melissa Joan Hart

Photo Credit: NBC / Craig Blankenhorn

"Sabrina the Teenage Witch" actress Melissa Joan Hart's "SVU" appearance in 2007 was a talker. Hart played teacher Sarah Trent accused of having sex with one of her students.

Bronson Pinchot

Photo Credit: NBC / Virginia Sherwood

"Step by Step" actor Bronson Pinchot starred in one "SVU" episode in 2007 as Dr. Henry Carlisle, a doctor who hindered an investigation involving a woman accused of harming her own daughter.

Cynthia Nixon

Photo Credit: NBC / Virginia Sherwood

"Sex and the City" actress and Gov. Mario M. Cuomo's challenger in September's Democratic primary, Cynthia Nixon, appeared in "SVU" season 9 as Janis Donovan. Her character claimed insanity in her involvement in the deaths of her parents.

Ludacris

Darius Parker (played by Ludacris) found out that
Photo Credit: NBC / Will Hart

Darius Parker (played by Ludacris) found out that he was conceived after his mom, who used to be married to Det. Fin Tutola (played by Ice-T) was raped by her father. Long story short, the family drama was too much for Ludacris' character to handle and he ended up raping and killing a woman and her son. The rapper played the part in one episode in 2006 and another in 2007.

Marcia Gay Harden

FBI Agent Dana Lewis, played by Marcia Gay
Photo Credit: NBC / Michael Parmelee

FBI Agent Dana Lewis, played by Marcia Gay Harden, only appeared in two episodes of "SVU" -- once in season 7 and again in season 8. Still, she left a lasting impression. She was nominated for an outstanding guest actress in a drama Emmy award in 2007.

Jerry Lewis

Jerry Lewis starred as Andrew Munch, DA investigator
Photo Credit: NBC / Virginia Sherwood

Jerry Lewis starred as Andrew Munch, DA investigator John Munch's uncle. Struggling from mental illness, his character was found living as a homeless man in Central Park in the 2006 episode "Uncle."

Marlo Thomas

Marlo Thomas' role as Judge Mary Clark kept
Photo Credit: NBC / Will Hart

Marlo Thomas' role as Judge Mary Clark kept her around for four episodes in 2004 after a suspect confessed to murdering his brother.

Serena Williams

Serena Williams didn't have to dig too deep
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Clive Brunskill

Serena Williams didn't have to dig too deep to figure out how to play her "SVU" character. She guest-starred as athlete Chloe Spiers in one 2004 episode.

Viola Davis

Before she was Annalise Keating (pictured), she owned
Photo Credit: Mitchell Haaseth

Before she was Annalise Keating (pictured), she owned the "SVU" courtrooms. Viola Davis played New York City-based lawyer Donna Emmett whose cases were brought to the district attorney's office more often than not in her seven episodes.

Sarah Hyland

Sarah Hyland had a minor role as Lily
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Sarah Hyland had a minor role as Lily Ramsey (a young family member of someone who claims abuse against her father) in 2001, and came back with a vengeance in 2009. Hyland's second role, as 14-year-old Jennifer Banks who murdered her roommate, got her sent to juvie for seven years -- meaning Banks would now be released.

Hayden Panettiere

Hayden Panettiere was only 12 years old when
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Hayden Panettiere was only 12 years old when she first guest-starred on "SUV" as Ashley Austin Black, a suspected victim of abuse, in 2001. So, it was sort of acceptable for the show to bring her back as an entirely different character in 2005 when she grew out of her tight curly locks. She returned as the much less innocent Angela Agnelli, a student who murdered her teacher because of a sex tape.

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