- FULL NAME: Christopher Peter Meloni
- BIRTHDATE: 02 April 1961
- BIRTHPLACE: Washington, District of Columbia; United States of America
- BIRTH SIGN: Aires – The Ram
- CULTURAL BACKGROUND: Paternal – Sardinian (Italy); Maternal – French-Canadian
- HEIGHT: 6’1″
- HAIR: Dark Brown
- EYES: Blue
- FATHER: Dr. Robert Charles Meloni, an endocrinologist
- MOTHER: Cecile, a homemaker
- SIBLINGS: Sister: Michele Meloni (b: 1955)
Brother: Robert Meloni, Jr. (b: 1957)
- SPOUSE(S): Doris Sherman Williams (Born: 21 January 1960) (Married: 01 July 1995 – to present), a production designer, visual effects artist, special effects artist.
- CHILDREN: Daughter: Sophia Eva Pietra Meloni (Born: 23 March 2000); Son: Dante Amadeo Meloni (Born: 02January 2004)
- EDUCATION: St. Stephens School (now St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes School) Catholic School, Colorado Springs, Colorado
University of Colorado @ Boulder (graduated with a degree in history)
The Neigborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre, New York , New York
- FORMER JOBS: Bouncer, construction worker, personal trainer.
- FAVOURITE AUTHORS: N/A
- FAVOURITE SINGERS: N/A
- FAVOURITE THINGS: N/A
- Is an accomplished card shark.
- Studied acting at the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre in New York City.
- Left college during his junior year to try to find acting work in L.A., but after six weeks, he returned to Colorado.
- In 2007, was inducted into his high school’s athletic Hall of Fame as a member of the undefeated 1978 football team, for which he was quarterback.
- Had a recurring part on the NBC daytime drama Search for Tomorrow
- Moved to NYC to study acting at the Neighborhood Playhouse
- Raised in Washington, DC
- 1981 – Dropped out of college during his junior year to move to Los Angeles; returned to Colorado after six weeks
- 1988 – Early TV credit, a small role in an episode of The Equalizer (CBS)
- 1989 – Was a regular on the HBO series, 1st & Ten as an ex-con turned quarterback
- 1990 – Had featured role in the NBC TV-movie When Will I Be Loved
- 1990 – Played Frankie, one of the title brothers in the NBC sitcom The Fanelli Boys
- 1991 – Co-starred in the CBS miniseries In a Child s Name
- 1991 – Voiced the recurring character of Spike on the ABC animated series Dinosaurs
- 1993 – Cast in the TV-movie Without a Kiss Goodbye (CBS), as the husband of a woman wrongly convicted of poisoning their infant son
- 1994 – Appeared in the Dana Carvey vehicle Clean Slate
- 1994 – Had a supporting role in Junior, starring a pregnant Arnold Schwartzenegger
- 1995 – Appeared in Terry Gilliam s thought-provoking time travel tale 12 Monkeys
- 1995 – Starred in the one-act play Who Made Robert De Niro King of America
- 1996 – Featured as the hotheaded son of a Mafia Don in the crime thriller Bound
- 1996 – Had a recurring role on Steven Bochco s NYPD Blue (ABC) as Jimmy Leary, the love interest of Kim Delaney
- 1997 – Cast in a recurring role on Steven Bochco s Brooklyn South (CBS)
- 1997 – Played Daryl Hannah s ex-husband in Mario Puzo s The Last Don (CBS)
- 1998 – Along with Oz co-star Rita Moreno, acted in the film Carlo s Wake
- 1998 – Cast as inmate Chris Keller on the HBO prison drama Oz
- 1998 – Played a bounty hunter in a two-part episode of Homicide: Life on the Street (NBC)
- 1998 – Re-teamed with Terry Gilliam for a small role in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
- 1999 – Cast as Detective Elliot Stabler on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (NBC); earned an Emmy (2006) nomination for Best Actor; left the show after 12 seasons
- 1999-2003 – Played the parts of Det. Elliot Stabler on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Chris Keller on OZ simultaneously
- 1999 – Played the sports-obsessed Coach Bob, opposite Julia Roberts in Runaway Bride
- 2002 – Portrayed Mark Fuhrman in TV-movie Murder in Greenwich (USA), which is based on the unsolved murder of Martha Moxley\
- 2008 – Co-starred with Diane Lane and Richard Gere in Nights in Rodanthe
- 2012 – Played the part of Roman Zimojic, the leader of the Vampire Authority in True Blood
TV star Christopher Meloni is widely popular while playing the Emmy-nominated role of the protective and committed Detective Elliot Stabler (1999-present) on the NBC cop drama “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” (SVU) and portraying the sociopath bisexual serial killer Christopher “Chris” Keller (1998-2003) on HBO’s prison drama “Oz.” On the big screen, he could be seen in Junior (1994), Twelve Monkeys (1995), Bound (1996) and Runaway Bride (1999). He will soon appear in the upcoming drama-thriller Carriers, opposite Chris Pine and Piper Perabo.
The 6′ ½” tall, brown-haired and athletically built actor has two children with his production designer wife, Doris Sherman Williams.
Childhood and Family:
On April 2, 1961, Christopher Peter Meloni was born in Washington, District of Columbia. He is of Italian ancestry on his father’s side and French-Canadian (Quebecois) ancestry on his mother’s (Cecile Meloni) side. He attended St. Stephen’s School (now St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes School) and the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he graduated with a degree in history in 1983. He also first studied acting there before joining with The Neigborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre, New York, New York.
Meloni married Doris Sherman Williams, a production designer, on July 1, 1995. They have two adopted children (via a surrogate mother): daughter Sophia Eva Pietra (born March 23, 2001) and son Dante Amadeo (born January 2, 2004). Meloni and his family divide their time between New York and Los Angeles.
Graduating from the university, Christopher Meloni took a construction job in his hometown until a high school acquaintance inspired him to move to New York to study acting. The aspiring actor then went to the Big Apple and studied with Sanford Meisner at the well-known Neighborhood Playhouse. Meanwhile, he made a living as a bouncer, bartender and personal trainer.
In 1988, he made his early TV credit with a bit part on CBS original crime action series “The Equalizer.” He followed it up with a regular role as Vito Del Greco/Johnny Gunn (1989-1990), an ex-con turned quarterback, on HBO’s football comedy “1st & Ten,” and another regular role on NBC’s brief-lived sitcom “The Fanelli Boys” (1990-1991) as one of the title brothers, the likeably dim Frankie Fanelli. During that time, he could be seen in the NBC movie When Will I Be Loved (1990) and costarred as the supportive husband of a woman (played by Valerie Bertinelli) fighting for custody of her deceased sister’s baby in the CBS true-story miniseries based on the book by Peter Maas, “In A Child’s Name” (1991). He also voiced the recurring character of Spike (1991-1992) on the ABC animated sitcom “Dinosaurs.”
More TV works rolled in. Meloni starred as writer Doug Kirkfield on CBS short-running sitcom “The Boys” (1993) and portrayed the lead role on CBS true-story-based movie Without a Kiss Goodbye, as the husband of a woman (played by Lisa Hartman Black) wrongly accused of poisoning their baby. He also began appearing in films, starting with a bit part as a bodyguard in Dana Carvey vehicle, a mystery comedy directed by Mick Jackson, Clean Slate (1994; also starring Valeria Golino), and then a supporting role in Ivan Reitman’s male-pregnancy movie, Junior (also in 1994; starring a pregnant Arnold Schwartzenegger). The next year, Meloni appeared in Terry Gilliam’s thought-provoking time travel tale inspired by the French short film La Jetée, Twelve Monkeys, starring Bruce Willis, Madeleine Stowe and Brad Pitt.
Meloni starred in the one-act play “Who Made Robert De Niro King of America” in 1995. He then picked a regular role on the short-lived Fox sitcom “Misery Loves Company” and was featured in the ABC thriller movie, A Dangerous Affair. He also nabbed a recurring role on ABC long-running police drama “NYPD Blue,” as Jimmy Leary (1996-1997), an underworld figure who romanced undercover cop Kim Delaney.
During his “NYPD Blue” stint, Meloni was featured as the hotheaded son of a Mafia Don in Wachowski brothers’ neo-noir lesbian thriller Bound (1996; starring Gina Gershon and Jennifer Tilly) and was cast as a recurring character on the short-lived CBS police series “Brooklyn South” (1997-1998). He also played Daryl Hannah’s ex-husband on CBS movie based on the novel by Mario Puzo, The Last Don, and portrayed an investigator with the Los Angeles County Coroner’s office on ABC short-lived drama “Leaving L.A.”
Meloni enjoyed his first moment of stardom in 1998 when he was cast to play a recurring role as bisexual, violent sociopath Christopher “Chris” Keller in the HBO’s powerful and critically lauded prison drama series “Oz.” He stayed in the Tom Fontana’s one-hour dramatic TV series until 2003, along with other cast members including Rita Moreno, Ernie Hudson and Betty Buckley. Meanwhile, he teamed up with Moreno in Mike Valerio’s comedy film about the life, death, and wake of an Italian-American patriarch and his family, Carlo’s Wake (1999; adapted from Rosie Taravella’s play), guest starred as a bounty hunter in a two-part episode of NBC’s highly acclaimed police procedural series “Homicide: Life on the Street” and starred as a small-town cop in the ABC sci-fi adventure movie Target Earth. He also reteamed with Terry Gilliam for a small role as a hotel clerk in his drama comedy based on Hunter S. Thompson’s 1971 novel with the same name, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (starring Johnny Depp and Benicio Del Toro) and starred as a struggling stand-up comedian in the independent feature written and directed by Bill Kalmenson, The Souler Opposite.
In 1999, Meloni snagged his most notable role to date, as Detective Elliot Stabler, a sex-crimes cop and a family man, on the NBC long-running successful crime drama “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” (SVU). Meloni continued to star in the award-winning show which has been renewed for an 8th season. He was also nominated for his first Emmy Award in 2006, in the category of Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series. While busy shooting for “SVU,” Meloni gave a strong comedic performance as the high school sports coach Bob Kelly, the latest fiance of Julia Roberts’ Runaway Bride (1999; also starring Richard Gere) and had a dramatic role as a lovesick telemarketing prison inmate on PBS feature Shift (1999).
After acting in the 2001 Williamstown Theatre Festival, Meloni played a crazy ‘Nam vet chef in David Wain’s summer camp hijinks set in 1981, Wet Hot American Summer. He then portrayed former LAPD detective Mark Fuhrman in the USA movie version of the book “Murder in Greenwich,” about the unsolved murder of 15-year-old Martha Moxley. In August-September 2005, he played hardworking, Italian-American longshoreman Eddie Carbone in Arthur Millers’ play “A View from the Bridge” in The Gate Theatre, Dublin. He will soon complete filming his upcoming movie, the Pastor Brothers’ thriller drama Carriers, alongside Chris Pine and Piper Perabo.
In 2011 Meloni made the decision to leave his long-term role as Elliot Stabler in SVU and quickly was snapped up for the role of an ancient vampire in the HBO series ‘True Blood’. He also starred alongside Russell Crowe, Kevin Costner and Henry Cavil in a reboot of the ‘Superman’ franchise called ‘Man of Steel’. Meloni also won the role of manager Leo Durocher in the Jackie Robinson biopic ’42’ with Harrison Ford and Chadwick Boseman. He also quickly accepted the role in Joel Surnow’s semi-autobiographical film ‘Small Time’ with Bridget Moynahan.