How old is Elliot Stabler on Law & Order?

LAW & ORDER: ORGANIZED CRIME -- "Friend Or Foe" Episode 222 -- Pictured: Christopher Meloni as Det. Elliot Stabler -- (Photo by:Will Hart/NBC)
LAW & ORDER: ORGANIZED CRIME -- "Friend Or Foe" Episode 222 -- Pictured: Christopher Meloni as Det. Elliot Stabler -- (Photo by:Will Hart/NBC) /

Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni) is a Law & Order staple. The character thrilled us during his decade plus on Law & Order: SVU, and his premature exit only made his return on Law & Order: Organized Crime more exciting. The show has recently been renewed for its fourth season.

Stabler’s veteran status is a point of discussion among fans, especially considering his seniority over his former partner, Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay). How long has he been on the job? How old is he?

Well, we have all the answers right here.

How old is Christopher Meloni?

Stabler, like so many TV characters, is a victim of shaky continuity. There have been conflicting accounts of how long he’s been a police officer, which can be chalked up to different writers and different story needs.

He said he joined the NYPD in 1986 or 1989, depending on which episode you watch, though it’s generally agreed upon that he became part of SVU in 1992 (7 years before the show premiered). Stabler and Benson become partners in 1998, and remain so until the former quits in 2011.

Fortunately, there hasn’t been much pushback on the exact date of Stabler’s birth. According to the show continuity, he was born October 20, 1966, which makes him 57 years old. This means the character was 33 in the first SVU episode.

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As with Olivia Benson, there was a decision made on the part of the writers to make Stabler a few years younger than the actor who plays him. Christopher Meloni was born on April 2, 1961, which makes him 62 years old. No specific reason has been found for why the writers did this, other than taking the retirement age of most police officers into account.

By making everyone a few years younger, the show is able to buy more time before it deals with the pesky issue of seeing their characters resign from field work. Based on Meloni’s spirited return in Law & Order: Organized Crime, however, it looks like Stabler isn’t going anywhere.

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