Connie White, Marysville, Wash.
He just decided that 12 years was long enough on one show, and so he moved on to other things, such as playing a vampire politician on the HBO series True Blood. “It’s a great life. You get up in the morning, pop in your fangs and you get to stake someone,” says Meloni, 51. After hanging up the L&O shield, Meloni’s only worry — “The idea of waking up and saying, ‘Gee, what am I going to do with myself today?’” — proved short-lived: In addition to True Blood, he has a part in the upcoming Superman movie Man of Steel and earned his pilot’s license. It’s scary “only for the first nine months,” the actor says about flying a single-propeller plane. “It’s not tiddlywinks.”