Photo Credit: NBC
Lieutenant Anita Van Buren has left the building. After 16 (!) seasons with the ubiquitous Law & Order, Emmy and Golden Globe-winning actress S. Epatha Merkerson is walking away from the show, saying, "It's time to move on."
In an interview with EW.com, Merkerson, 57, revealed that this year marked the end of her contract with the hit NBC series, and she's "doing other things and this will be a great way to leave what has been an extraordinary gig."
The tough-as-nails Van Buren is currently battling cancer on the show, but the actress doesn't know if the writers will give her character an untimely demise for her last episode. "However they decide to take her out it’ll be worthy of the character. Either way it’ll be great for me because I get to act it," she said.
Merkerson, who is currently directing a "documentary about African-American benevolent societies" seems like she's leaving Law & Order with nothing but fond memories.
"It was a dream gig," she said, musing about her impending departure, "I’m sure it will be emotional, but right now I’m just really happy for having had the opportunity."
Will you be sad to see S. Epatha Merkerson leave Law & Order? Chime in below!