Zaddy Warbucks! Christopher Meloni's Net Worth In 2024

Christopher Meloni

Christopher Meloni's net worth in 2024 is more than enough to keep him comfortable for life if he retired today—but fortunately for the rest of us, he's happy to keep working.

"I mean, I’m an employed actor. I’m in my 60s, and I’ve been working and working and working for 25 years," he previously told Parade. (It's actually 35 years, but he joked he can't do math!)

His return to the role of Elliot Stabler in 2021 on Law & Order: Organized Crime after leaving Law & Order: SVU a decade earlier was a breath of fresh air for Meloni, both professionally and creatively.

"I'd never returned to work where everyone was so glad to be back," he told Parade of getting back to work on the show's fourth season. "Everyone's grateful and everyone comes with a good attitude, but this time it was, 'Thank God, thank God.' It takes a little pain for you to understand and appreciate what you have."

What he has includes a ton of cash from playing the temperamental cop for nearly two decades. We'd be appreciative too!

Related: Christopher Meloni Reveals How He Really Feels About #Bensler

How did Christopher Meloni become famous?

Born in Washington, D.C., on April 2, 1961, Meloni was raised in Alexandria, Virginia. He was a bit of a jock at his private parochial high school, serving as the quarterback of his football team.

Though he majored and got his bachelor's degree in history, Meloni caught the acting bug in college when he took theatre electives at the University of Colorado-Boulder. After graduating "without a plan," Meloni moved to New York City in 1984 at the suggestion of a pal. There, he studied with the legendary acting coach Sanford Meisner and worked as a bartender and personal trainer and in construction while trying to break into TV and film.

Christopher Meloni as Spike in "Dinosaurs"<p>ABC/Disney</p>
Christopher Meloni as Spike in "Dinosaurs"


Meloni's first roles included a starring role in the 1990 sitcom The Fanelli Boys; Spike, a pal of Robbie Sinclair, in the beloved sitcom Dinosaurs in 1991; Doug Kirkfield in The Boys (not to be confused with the Prime Video series).

Christopher Meloni as Chris Keller in "Oz"<p>HBO</p>
Christopher Meloni as Chris Keller in "Oz"


He cut his teeth as an onscreen cop as Jimmy Liery, a recurring role in NYPD Blue and got a taste of the other side as incarcerated murderer Chris Keller in Oz and when he guest-starred as a bounty hunter in two episodes of Homicide: Life on the Street.

Related: Get to Know Christopher Meloni's Wife Sherman Williams

Obviously, his biggest break came in 1999 when he first starred as Elliot Stabler in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, though Meloni revealed to Parade that he wasn't necessarily worried about getting the part at all.

"When I got the call, I had just landed in Hawaii. I had been waiting for over a month, and I had auditioned once for [creator] Dick Wolf and the second time for Dick Wolf and the showrunner," he said. "Then radio silence. Sure enough, I was tired of waiting around. So my wife and I went to Hawaii, and I got a call to come to New York for a screen test. What I remember is that I was unnaturally confident and comfortable."

Christopher Meloni as Elliot Stabler in "Law & Order: SVU"<p>Will Hart/NBC</p>
Christopher Meloni as Elliot Stabler in "Law & Order: SVU"

Will Hart/NBC

He added, "I had a job with Oz. So I’m like, 'I don’t need this job.' But I hadn’t signed a contract with Oz, so it freed me up. That was a rare feeling. I’m usually not a great auditioner so I just went in with that confidence."

Meloni played Stabler until 2011 and returned to a decade later in Law & Order: Organized Crime.

While known best as the hotheaded cop in the procedural drama, he also has some serious comedy bona fides, starring in Wet Hot American Summer in 2001 (and its sequel series) and as multiple characters in the sketch show Mad TV and sitcom Happy!!, as well as multiple cameos in animated comedies including American Dad, Family Guy and as Jesus Christ in Rick and Morty.

And let's be real: Meloni's acting talent made him famous, but part of why he's stayed famous, is, well, them cakes.

Related: Mariska Hargitay's Net Worth From SVU and More

What is Christopher Meloni's net worth in 2024?

Christopher Meloni's net worth in 2024 is a cool $30 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.

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How much does Christopher Meloni make per episode?

At present, Meloni reportedly makes $500,000 per episode for Law & Order: Organized Crime. His salary on Law & Order: SVU peaked at $395,000 per episode. This doesn't include residuals or re-runs, which have likely made him a mint as well.

Related: 50 Best Law & Order: SVU Episodes, Ranked

How much does Christopher Meloni make per episode on Organized Crime?

Christopher Meloni as Elliot Stabler in "Law & Order: Organized Crime"<p>NBC</p>
Christopher Meloni as Elliot Stabler in "Law & Order: Organized Crime"


According to Radar Online, Meloni makes about $500,000 per episode of Law & Order: Organized Crime, putting him on par with his former SVU (and frequent crossover) co-star Mariska Hargitay.

Related: All the Stabler Family Secrets Revealed on Law & Order: Organized Crime

How much does Christopher Meloni make per episode on SVU?

At his peak on Law & Order: SVU, Meloni made $395,000 per episode ($10 million per season), according to PEOPLE. When his salary was cut to $300,000 per episode ($8 million per season) in 2011—a 24% to 25% cut, depending on which measure you use—he bounced from the series. This doesn't include residuals or what he makes on re-runs.

Related: Exactly How Rich Dick Wolf Got From Your Law & Order Obsession

Who is the highest paid actor on Law and Order?

That would be Hargitay: As a producer and the longest-running star in the franchise since Law & Order: SVU debuted in 1999, she's made serious bank. She reportedly makes $500,000 per episode of the series as of 2022, not including what she makes for residuals and re-runs.

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