‘Law & Order’: Why Steven Hill Left the Series After Season 10

by Emily Morgan

Throughout the 20-year reign of “Law and Order,” fans saw plenty of characters come and go, but we still wonder why Steven Hill left his role as District Attorney Adam Schiff. Earlier this year, NBC brought back the criminal procedural series after it initially ended in 2010. The network announced that the TV show would be making an epic comeback in 2021, with season 21 coming to a close. 

With its resurrection, we saw new cast members hit the scene. The show has now had a newfound resurgence since it first debuted in September of 1990. However, Hill was one of the first stars who turned the drama into a hit.

Hill, who played District Attorney Adam Schiff, was one of the original cast members who remained on the show for over a decade. However, he decided to bid farewell to the show at the end of Season 10. Instead, he wanted to take time to focus his coordination efforts on commemorations of the Holocaust Project.

Before leaving the show, interim district attorney Nora Lewin, played by Dianne Wiest, took over for his character. However, it was a bittersweet goodbye for the whole cast. 

‘Law & Order’ producer calls former actor ‘one of the most intelligent people’

After leaving the show, “Law and Order” producer Dick Wolf explained to outlets how Steven Hill, who was 78-years-old at the time, left the show to retire. According to reports, Dick Wolf said Hill was “tired” of making the drive from the suburbs into New York City. 

When Steven Hill finally left the show, he made a departure from the entertainment industry altogether. His role in “Law and Order” would be his last ever acting role. Hill passed away in 2016 at 94. 

At the time of his death, his daughter Sarah Gobioff announced the sad news via the New York Times. She revealed her dad was in New York City when he passed away. According to a statement from Wolf, Hill was “one of the most intelligent people” he had ever met. “He is also the only actor I’ve known who consistently tried to cut his own lines,” said the producer at the time. “He will be missed, but fortunately, he can be seen ubiquitously on “Law & Order” reruns.”

Before he booked a role in the legal series, Steven Hill was already well known in the entertainment industry. He starred in the TV version of Mission: Impossible. He played Dan Briggs on the CBS show in 1966. Hill also held roles in Modern Romances, Storm Fear, Judgment at Nuremberg, Teachers, The Boost, and White Palace.

Steven Hill made his acting debut in 1949 in a series called “Actor’s Studio,” in which he had a recurring role for multiple episodes.