Why did George Dzundza leave Law & Order after the show’s first season?
The actor portrayed Sergeant Max Greevey during Season 1. He was the officer that mentored Detective Logan (Chris Noth). While the show is set in New York City, the first season was going to be primarily filmed in Los Angeles. However, the production decided to permanently move to California for the rest of the series.
According to reports, creator Dick Wolf pushed for the series to be filmed in The Big Apple instead of using sound stages. He actually ended up fighting with Universal about this and with negotiations, he got his way.
For part of the first season, Dzundza had to commute from his home in Los Angeles to NYC. It was exhausting on him and his wife was pregnant at the time. Because it was moved to New York permanently and he did not want to move his growing family, he decided to leave the series. So the writers decided to kill off his character.
His last episode was the Season 1 finale called “The Blue Wall”. However, the character of Greevey ended up dying in the Season 2 premiere episode entitled “Confession”. Fans are probably thinking, but I saw him in that episode. The show had to use a stunt double to film his murder along with adding shadows and selective angles.
‘Law & Order’ Ending
The Season 2 premiere begins with Greevey (his stunt double) getting something out of his car. Meanwhile, Logan is on the phone with his wife Marie (Karen Shallo). He asked to speak to him. Marie then screeches when she witnesses her husband being shot to death by a random man.
The show went in a new direction because of his exit. Logan was angry and devastated at his partner’s death. The team discovered who his killer was, Daniel Magadan Jr. (Vyto Ruginis). Logan ended up threatening him with a gun to his head. Magadan ended up confessing to him. In normal circumstances, this would have been thrown out in court because of coercion. However, the legal team discovered a loophole.
Greevey’s past partner Cragen (Dann Florek) ended up honoring his fallen friend. He decided to complete the open cases that Greevey had started. One of those cases ended up taking twelve years to solve. It ended up being solved on Law & Order: SVU in the episode entitled “Stolen.” The case was of a murdered woman whose child was kidnapped. Cragen ended up solving the murder and was able to discover the identity of the child. He ended up becoming at peace by solving the crime.