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Seth Gilliam Played Four Different Law & Order Characters Before Ever Joining The Walking Dead

When Seth Gilliam first appeared in Season 5, Episode 2 ("Strangers") of "The Walking Dead," there was little about Gabriel Stokes that suggested he'd make it to the end of the show. The priest seemed weak and cowardly when Rick Grimes' (Andrew Lincoln) group came across him, up on a rock and trying to kick away the walkers grabbing at his legs. Viewers' opinion of his character only worsened when he revealed that he locked himself in the church when his parishioners started turning and refused to let in any of the people screaming for help.

While his character eventually toughened up and Stokes became an asset to the group, Gilliam had a tough time with all the hate fans directed at him. "The size of this show is what was somewhat off-putting — the amount of the response," he told The Independent. "But I realized very early on as an actor that you can't act wanting to be loved — you have to be true to the character and the story."

Gilliam has played some memorable characters, with his roles as Sergeant Ellis Carver in "The Wire" and Officer Clayton Hughes in "Oz" also getting considerable fan attention. But like other actors before him, you know you've made it when you've appeared in "Law & Order" (via IMDb).

Gilliam appeared on Law & Order between 1992 and 2010

Seth Gilliam's first "Law & Order" appearance was in 1992, in one of his first onscreen roles. In Season 3, Episode 10 ("Consultation"), he plays a character named Babatunde Amoda, the victim's husband. His pregnant wife, Kelani, was a drug mule, and when a heroin packet she ingested burst, both she and her unborn child died. In 2005 he played A.D.A. Terence Wright in four episodes of the short-lived "Law & Order: Trial by Jury." He worked alongside the show's stars, Bebe Neuwirth and Amy Carlson, interviewing victims and witnesses.

In Seasons 7 through 8 of "Law & Order: Criminal Intent," he guest-stars in four episodes as Detective Daniels from the city's club enforcement task force. He provides some missing pieces in the puzzling mystery of Megan Wheeler's (Julianne Nicholson) father's disappearance.

In 2010 Gilliam returned to "Law & Order" 28 years after his initial appearance. In Season 20, Episode 21 ("Immortal"), he plays the attorney to Michael Reed (Doug E. Doug), who is charged with the murder of his cousin. The detectives discovered that Michael Reed's great grandfather's cells were taken without consent and became the basis for Hema Labs, a billion-dollar company that used the cells to help cure cancer. As Reed's attorney, Gilliam is fired up and tries to make the jury see the injustices against the family for the past 50 years.

Four years later, Gilliam began his eight-year journey on "The Walking Dead," and with the show coming to an end, it's always possible Gilliam could show up on "Law & Order" again, maybe as a fifth character.