Early lifeMeloni was born April 2, 1961 the youngest of three children in Washington, D.C., the son of Carol, a homemaker, and Robert Meloni, an endocrinologist. His maternal ancestry is French Canadian and his paternal ancestry is Sardinian. Meloni is a typical and widely diffused Sardinian surname. He attended St. Stephen's School (now St. Stephen's & St. Agnes School) and the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he first studied acting, graduating with a degree in history in 1983. After graduation, Meloni went to New York where he continued his studies with Sanford Meisner at the famed Neighborhood Playhouse.
Acting careerMeloni worked as a construction worker prior to getting his acting break. He has also worked as a bouncer, bartender, and personal trainer. Meloni worked his way up the acting ladder with commercials, short-lived TV series, and bit parts in a number of films. His first noticeable role was as the hotheaded son of a Mafia Don in the 1996 thriller Bound. He also appeared as Robbie Sinclair's friend Spike in Dinosaurs and Julia Roberts' fiance in Runaway Bride.
From 1998-2003, Meloni portrayed the bisexual criminal Chris Keller on the HBO series Oz; the role with its numerous full frontal nude scenes won him a great deal of media attention, particularly within the gay community in which he became considered a sex symbol. Meloni has publicly stated when asked that he "embraces being a gay icon" and that he finds it "flattering." In 1999, he even jokingly kissed his onscreen partner Lee Tergesen (who played Tobias Beecher, Meloni's on-screen boyfriend on Oz) at an awards dinner for GLAAD.
Law & Order: Special Victims UnitLaw & Order producer Dick Wolf, impressed by Meloni's acting abilities, signed him up for Law & Order: Special Victims Unit in 1999, where he has remained ever since. From 1999 to 2003, he appeared on both shows simultaneously.
Meloni wears a fake tattoo of the United States Marine Corps emblem (the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor) on his arm for the role (as seen in Season 8, Episode 8, "Underbelly").
On July 6, 2006, Meloni was nominated for his first Emmy Award, in the category of Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series, for his role as Elliot Stabler.
Christopher has announced that the 12th season of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit will be his last and he would be departing the cast.
Other workHe returned to his comedic roots when he portrayed the character "Gene" in Wet Hot American Summer in 2001, and the character of "Freakshow" (albeit in heavy make-up) in the 2004 comedy Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle. He would make another cameo in its sequel, Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay, as "The Grand Wizard".
In July 2009, Meloni portrayed renowned DC Comics character Hal Jordan/Green Lantern in the DC Universe Animated Original Movie Green Lantern: First Flight. He briefly appeared in the first episode of the Comedy Central series Michael & Michael Have Issues portraying himself for a fake movie starring Michael Ian Black and Michael Showalter.
Public appearancesMeloni competed in the eighth series of Bravo's Celebrity Poker Showdown, finishing in second place, behind Robin Tunney, and ahead of Macy Gray, Joy Behar, and Andy Dick. He played for Feed the Children. He also appeared on Celebrity Jeopardy! on November 10, 2006, defeating fellow Law & Order stars Sam Waterston and Kathryn Erbe. Meloni split his $50,000 charity prize between the Big Apple Circus Clown Care Program and the Montefiore Advocacy Center.
Meloni was included in the 2006 edition of People magazine's Sexiest Men Alive.
Personal lifeMeloni is married to production designer Doris Meloni (née Williams) and they have two children, daughter Sophia Eva Meloni (b. March 23, 2000), and son Dante Meloni (b. January 2, 2004).
He has a real tattoo of a cubist representation of the crucifixion of Christ tattooed on his upper left arm. He also has two other tattoos, a butterfly on his left upper thigh and a Chinese astrological chart of his family on his right lower leg. The edge of it can be seen in the L&O: SVU episode "Wildlife" when Elliot is sleeping on the couch.
|1995||12 Monkeys||Lt. Halperin|
|1997||The Small Hours||FL|
|1998||Apt Pupil||Unnamed Homeless Man||Uncredited Role|
|1998||Brown's Requiem||Sgt. Cavanah||Uncredited Role|
|1998||Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas||Sven, Clerk at Flamingo Hotel|
|1998||The Souler Opposite||Barry Singer|
|1999||Carlo's Wake||Bennetto Torello|
|1999||Runaway Bride||Bob Kelly|
|2001||Wet Hot American Summer||Gene|
|2002||That Brief Moment||Ken||Short film|
|2004||Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle||Freakshow|
|2008||Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay||Grand Wizard||credited as "Reverend Clyde Stanky"|
|2008||Nights in Rodanthe||Jack Willis|
|2009||Brief Interviews with Hideous Men||R / Subject #3|
|2010||Green Lantern: First Flight||Hal Jordan/Green Lantern||Voice|
|2011||National Lampoon's Dirty Movie||Producer Charlie LaRue||Direct to video|
|2012||The Lords of Salem||Whitey|
|1st & Ten||Vito Del Greco/Johnny Gunn||11 episodes|
|1990||When Will I Be Loved?||Ron Weston||TV film on NBC|
|The Fanelli Boys||Frankie Fanelli||17 episodes|
|1991||In a Child's Name||Jerry Cimarelli||TV film on CBS|
|1992||Something to Live for: The Alison Gertz Story||David||ABC television film|
|1993||Without a Kiss Goodbye||Ray Samuels||also known as Falsely Accused |
CBS television film
|1993||The Boys||Doug Kirkfield|
|1993||Golden Gate||Douglas 'BW' Carlino||Unsold pilot|
|1995||A Dangerous Affair||Tommy Moretti||ABC television film|
|1995||Hope and Gloria||Billy||Episode: "Love with an Improper Stranger"|
|1995||Misery Loves Company||Mitch||8 episodes|
|NYPD Blue||Jimmy Liery||5 episodes|
|1997||The Last Don||Boz Skannet||Miniseries|
|1997||Leaving L.A.||Reed Sims||6 episodes|
|1997||Every 9 Seconds||Richard Sutherland||NBC television film|
|1997||Brooklyn South||Joe||Episode: "Wild Irish Woes" |
Episode: "McMurder One"
Episode: "Dublin or Nothin'
|1998||Target Earth||Det. Samuel 'Sam' Adams||ABC television film|
|1998||Homicide: Life on the Street||Bounty Hunter Dennis Knoll||Episode: "Wanted Dead or Alive 1" |
Episode: "Wanted Dead or Alive 2"
|Oz||Chris Keller||38 episodes|
|Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Det. Elliot Stabler||Lead character|
|2000||Law & Order||Det. Elliot Stabler||Episode: "Entitled" |
Episode: "Fools For Love"
|2002||Murder in Greenwich||Mark Fuhrman||Television film|
|2003||Scrubs||Dr. Dave Norris||Episode: "My White Whale"|
|2005||Wonder Showzen||Cooties Spokesman||Episode: "Health"|
|2005||Law & Order: Trial by Jury||Det. Elliot Stabler||Episode: "Day"|
|2008||Gym Teacher: The Movie||Dave Stewie||Nickelodeon television film|
|2009||Michael & Michael Have Issues||Episode: "Greg the Intern"|
Awards and nominationsEmmy Awards
- 2006: Nominated, "Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series" - Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
- 2004: Nominated, "Performance in a TV Drama Series Episode" - Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
- 2008: Nominated, "Performance in a TV Drama Series Episode" - Law & Order: Special Victims Unit