NEW CANAAN, Conn. -- Happy Birthday To New Canaan’s Christopher Meloni!
Christopher Peter Meloni, who has owned a home in New Canaan, turns 53 on Wednesday. The actor was born April 2, 1961, in Washington, D.C.
Meloni worked as a construction worker prior to getting his acting break. He has also worked as a bouncer, bartender, and personal trainer.
He 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 and also appeared as Robbie Sinclair's friend Spike in Dinosaurs and Julia Roberts' fiance in Runaway Bride.
He is best known for his television role as NYPD Detective Elliot Stabler on the NBC police drama "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit."
He is also well-known for his part as oddball camp cafeteria chef Gene in the 2000 cult comedy "Wet Hot American Summer."
From 1998 to 2003, Meloni portrayed the bisexual criminal Chris Keller on the HBO series "Oz."
In June 2012, he returned to HBO, as the vampire Roman on "True Blood." He appeared as US Air Force Colonel Nathan Hardy in Man of Steel.
In 2006, he was nominated for an Emmy Award, in the category of Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series, for his role as Elliot Stabler.
He has appeared in many public service announcements in support of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues. In 2006, he was given the Human Rights Campaign's Equality Award, for his work on behalf of LGBT issues.
In 2007, he was inducted into his high school's athletic Hall of Fame as a member of the undefeated 1978 football team.