He spent a decade-plus protecting the men and women of New York City from a plethora of evildoers, but exactly how much do you really remember about Detective Elliot Stabler – the man who spent years serving as Law & Order: SVU’s de facto leading man?
Law & Order: SVU — The Early Days
Elliot was born on October 20, 1966, in Bayside, Queens, to Joseph and Bernadette Stabler, a police officer and homemaker respectively. He was one of six siblings. His father, who physically and emotionally abused Elliot, lost his job and his pension when he refused to testify against his fellow officers and he subsequently died of cancer. His mother suffered from untreated bipolar disordered.
Rank and File
Elliot enlisted in the Marine Corps. when he was 18. He served for two years and saw action during Operation Desert Storm. He joined the NYPD in 1986 and was promoted to detective during the 1989 Christmas season. He joined the Special Victims Unit in 1992, where he remained until his retirement 19 years later. By 2007, he had a 97% case-closure rate. His badge number was 6313.
Elliot Stabler: Family Man
As far as we know, Elliot has been married to Kathy Stabler for over 35 years. The two were wed in 1984 when they were both 17 years old; Kathy was pregnant with their first child, Maureen, at the time. Subsequently, the couple welcomed Kathleen (born 1988), twins Elizabeth and Richard (born November 21, 1993), and Elliot Jr. (born November 17, 2007).
Coworkers In The Line of Duty
Though Stabler spent the majority of his tenure at SVU partnered with Olivia Benson – with whom he shared a pact to provide a kidney should either of them need a transplant – he did occasionally work with other officers.
He was briefly paired with Lucius Blaine, from the Queens SVU, and later he spent some time working opposite Dani Beck (Connie Nielsen, later of Wonder Woman fame) when Olivia took an undercover assignment. Years prior to his joining SVU, when he was a mere trainee, Elliot learned under the auspice of Jo Marlowe (Sharon Stone) who briefly joined the unit in her new capacity as an assistant district attorney.
Paying The Price
During his time at the 16th Precinct (from which the SVU team members operated), Elliot suffered numerous injuries including a deep flesh wound resulting from a search of a suspect’s garage, fractured ribs, and a gunshot wound to the arm.
He was also sexually assaulted by a female suspect, thrown from a window, and taken hostage by two separate criminals. During the two decades he spent as an officer, Elliot used deadly force a total of six times.
The sixth shooting coupled with his refusal to both submit to psychological counseling and a review of his conduct led Elliot to turn in his badge. But he is set to return after a personal tragedy sends him back. The new show will debut in 2021 and is called Law & Order: Organized Crime. But he will first return to the mothership — SVU.
Law & Order: SVU is tentatively scheduled to return to NBC’s Thursday night lineup on November 12, 2020. Check your local listings for airtimes.