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Ned Eisenberg, the busy Bronx-born character action who portrayed defense attorney Roger Kressler on NBC’s Law & Order: Special Victims Unit for more than a decade, has died. He was 65.
Eisenberg died Sunday at his home in New York, his rep Jeremy Leiner of Nicolosi & Co. announced.
Said his wife, Patricia, in a statement: “As Ned would say, he was attacked by two very rare assassins — cholangiocarcinoma and ocular melanoma. Over the course of two years, he bravely fought the cancers in private while continuing to work in show business to ensure that his medical coverage paid for himself and his family.”
For Clint Eastwood, Eisenberg played Sally Mendoza, the first manager of Hilary Swank’s Maggie Fitzgerald, in Million Dollar Baby (2004), winner of the Oscar for best picture, and the photographer Joe Rosenthal in Flags of Our Fathers (2006).
He made his big-screen debut in The Exterminator (1980) and also appeared in The Burning (1981), Moving Violations (1985), Roger Spottiswoode’s Air America (1990), Walter Hill’s Last Man Standing (1996), Mike Nichols’ Primary Colors (1998), Steven Zaillian’s A Civil Action (1998), Oliver Stone’s World Trade Center (2006), Limitless (2011), Won’t Back Down (2012), Experimenter (2015) and Asher (2018).
He played Kressler on 24 episodes of Law & Order: SVU from 1999-2019.
He also starred on the 1990-91 NBC comedy The Fanelli Boys alongside Christopher Meloni and Joe Pantoliano and more recently worked on HBO’s Mare of Easttown (as Det. Hauser) and Amazon’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (as the manager Lou Rabinowitz).
Born in the Bronx on Jan. 13, 1957, Eisenberg attended the High School of Performing Arts.
He began his professional theater career in Neil Simon’s Brighton Beach Memoirs and made it to Broadway in 2000 as Truffaldino in Julie Taymor’s The Green Bird, as Uncle Morty in 2006’s Awake and Sing! and as Roxy Gottlieb in Bartlett Sher’s Golden Boy.
He went on to appear in the 2014 Broadway musical Rocky and in the 2017 revival of Six Degrees of Separation.
He also worked on the stages of the Theatre for a New Audience, New York City Center, Williamstown Theatre Festival, The Vineyard, Second Stage and Ensemble Studio Theatre and in 1987 co-founded the New York-based Naked Angels Theatre Company with Sarah Jessica Parker, Matthew Broderick, Lili Taylor and Fisher Stevens.
His TV résumé also included guest-starring spots on The Plot Against America, The Blacklist, Elementary, Bull, White Collar, The Good Wife, Madam Secretary, 30 Rock, The Big C and New Amsterdam and recurring stints on The Night Of, Little Voice, Person of Interest, The Black Donnellys and Law & Order.
In addition to his wife, survivors include his son, Lino.
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