The "Law & Order: SVU" team is losing another member — Capt. Cragen is retiring!
Dann Florek revealed on Twitter that he filmed his last scene for the "L&O" series. In October, showrunner Warren Leight told TV Guide that the tough cop boss would retire sometime this season.
Friday was the last day 4 Cragen/Florek. It was a sweet send off! But he'll live on in syndication land 4 evah!— Dann Florek (@dannflorek) December 9, 2013
Florek's departure comes on the heels of the exit of another longtime cast member, Richard Belzer, whose iconic Detective Munch hung up his badge to become an investigator at the district attorney's office.
Like Munch, Cragen has been a key figure in the world of "Law & Order" since the beginning. He was the original captain on the flagship series when it debuted in 1990, and he's appeared in more than 400 episodes of the franchise.
While Cragen will be missed, Leight said he had to retire to stay true to how the NYPD works in real life. The police force has a mandatory retirement age of 63.
"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," Leight said in October.
Watch Dann Florek as Capt. Cragen in this scene from "Law & Order: SVU":
Unlike Munch, though, Cragen won't be taking another job in the city. Leight described him as a "gone fishing" retirement kind of guy, but added that he might show up in social situations. "He's very close to Olivia [Benson]," Leight noted. "He's close in a mentoring capacity to Rollins."
The role of Cragen has turned Florek into an actor recognized in households across the country. While it is Florek's most famous gig, he's also popped up in various movies and TV shows. You might also remember him as Mr. Slate in the live-action "Flintstones" movie, Susan Ruttan's husband on "L.A. Law," and the gym coach on "Smart Guy."
[Photos: Actors Who Are Leaving Hit TV Shows]
In honor of Captain Cragen, here are some of his memorable moments from "Law & Order":
* In 1991, on "L&O," Cragen wears a wire to implicate his mentor, O'Farrell, in accepting bribes and tampering with evidence.
* In1998's "Exiled: A Law & Order Movie," Cragen teams up with Mike Logan (Chris Noth) to discover the identity of a cop on the mafia's payroll.
* In 2001's "Stolen," Cragen finds a kidnapped boy from a 12-year-old case he worked with his late partner, Greevey.
* In 2004's "Criminal," Cragen wrongfully accuses a professor of murder, then has to talk the man down when he threatens to kill the actual murderer.
* In 2011's "Russian Brides," Cragen goes undercover to apprehend the killer of mail-order brides.
* In 2012's "Rhodium Nights," the season ends on a huge cliffhanger when Cragen wakes up with a bloody hand and a dead escort in his bed. In the Season 14 premiere, he's arrested and sent to Rikers Island, but Benson and the rest of the "SVU" work to clear his name.
"Law & Order: SVU" airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on NBC.