‘Law & Order’: Kelli Giddish Played a Very Different Character in Her Debut Episode

by Samantha Whidden

Prior to taking on the role of Amanda Rollins, Kelli Giddish actually played a very different character in her debut episode in the Law & Order universe.

Looper reports that during Law & Order: SVU’s season 8, Giddish, credited as Kara Bawson in the episode. She played a victim integral to Fin Tutuola’s (Ice-T) pursuit of a serial rapist. Giddish also appeared in  Law & Order: Criminal Intent as season 7’s Dana Stipe, a professional diver who was a suspect.

The media outlet reported that Giddish appeared as Rollins for nearly 250 episodes of the hit series. Recently, she announced that she would officially be leaving the franchise after 12 years. In a statement, Giddish stated, “I wanted to address the chatter I’ve seen online and let everyone know that this will, indeed, be my last season on Law & Order: SVU.” 

Giddish also shared that playing her character all these years has been one of the greatest joys and privileges of her life. “I’ve been so fortunate to be a part of the Law & Order family for the last 12 years. There is simply no other character on TV like Rollins. She’s grown and changed, and I have as well. I started on this show when I was in my late 20s. And I’m grateful I got to spend so many of my adult years with Rollins in my life.”

Giddish went on to thank Dick Wolf, Mariska Hargitay, and others for her time on the show. “ I’m so excited to take all the things I have learned in my time on SVU and put them toward everything that’s next to come.”

When Will Kelli Giddish Officially Leave ‘Law & Order: SVU’ 

As previously reported, Law & Order: SVU showrunner, David Graziano, recently announced Giddish’s final episode on the show. 

In an unrelated post on Instagram, the showrunner answered when Giddish will be making her final call as Rollins. He revealed it will be during the show’s latest season episode 9. This means, Rollins will not be making it halfway through the season, which usually consists of 20 to 24 episodes. 

Meanwhile, it was reported that Giddish is not the one who decided to leave the show. A source revealed that the call was made “from above” and fans assume it was Dick Wolf. Hargitay and Graziano have both said they went up to bat to save Giddish’s beloved character from getting the ax. 

David Matthews, who is a former writer of Law & Order: SVU, had some thoughts about the situation. “Can’t help but read all the speculation about a character I’m proud to have not only named, but intro’d on the series, and lemme just say whatever horrible things you hear about D Wolf are likely understatements.”