A Secret Behind Stabler and Benson Origins Even SVU Superfans Don’t Know

A Secret Behind Stabler and Benson Origins Even SVU Superfans Don’t Know
Image credit: NBC, Legion-Media

Only Dick Wolf could pull that off.


  • Law & Order: Special Victims Unit is the longest-running Law & Order series.
  • Following detectives Olivia Benson and Elliot Stabler, the show has attracted many viewers in the past, some of whom are still sending Bensler two decades later.
  • As it turns out, Olivia Benson and Elliot Stabler weren't named at random. The show's EP, Dick Wolf, named the characters after his own children.

It's hard to imagine Law & Order: Special Victims Unit without Mariska Hargitay 's Olivia Benson and Christopher Meloni's Elliot Stabler. Whether they work together or not, the early seasons of the show built a strong foundation not only for their working partnership, but also for a complicated interpersonal dynamic.

Of course, viewers were initially drawn to SVU because of the big franchise name and the scandalous element of sex crimes. But the majority stayed for Bensler, whether they were together or separated by circumstance. What many casual viewers don't know is the secret behind the origin of these iconic characters.

Olivia Benson and Elliot Stabler Names Origin

Although nepotism is a burning issue for many celebrities in the industry right now, there is nothing wrong with honoring your loved ones through the projects you create. Dick Wolf, being the TV industry titan that he is, had enough creative freedom on Law & Order: SVU to pay tribute to his own children.

A Secret Behind Stabler and Benson Origins Even SVU Superfans Don’t Know - image 1

Olivia and Elliot were named after Wolf's own children. And while these characters have been through a variety of traumatic events, there is something very charming about having such strong and noble characters named after you. Also, of the 5 children Wolf has sired, only 2 have been honored in this way.

What makes this fact even more fun is that Elliot Stabler grew up working side by side with his father. Now running the digital arm of Wolf Entertainment, Elliot Wolf helps the production company stay relevant in a modern world. From podcasts to merchandise, his involvement is vital to every current show, including Special Victims Unit.

Speaking with Variety in 2022, Elliot Wolf shared how the company is positioning itself now and where it's headed in the near future:

“We’re taking the approach of looking at ourselves as a brand rather than a collection of producers working across the shows. <...> We want Wolf Entertainment to be the institutional favorite for storytelling around crime, around first responders,” he said.

So far, everything seems to be going according to plan. If you want to see what Olivia Benson and Elliot Stabler are up to today, be sure to tune in to the new Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Law & Order: Organized Crime episodes every Thursday on NBC.

Source: Variety