Christopher Meloni, 61, celebrates 'Zaddy' status after becoming 'Law & Order' sex symbol

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Christopher Meloni spent years portraying one of the most desirable detectives on television screens as NYPD hot-shot Elliot Stabler on “Law & Order: SVU.”

He admitted his new status as a “Zaddy” has been fun to navigate, especially one year into starring in his own spinoff, “Organized Crime.”

“It’s a second act to a certain degree,” he told People magazine of the rise of his sex symbol situation.

“It’s a gas. It’s fun. I don’t know, has anyone else been crowned Zaddy? Once it’s bestowed upon you, you have to just ride that horse as long as you can.” 

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Christopher Meloni is reveling in his status as a sex symbol, and stars on "Law & Order: Organized Crime"

Christopher Meloni is reveling in his status as a sex symbol, and stars on “Law & Order: Organized Crime”
(Cindy Ord/NBCUniversal)

A “zaddy” — which rhymes with the word “daddy” — can be defined as an attractive, older man who exudes confidence and charm in addition to good looks.

Meloni began working on “Law & Order” in 1999, but left the series in 2011 due to failed contract negotiations. 

He starred in a host of film and television roles before landing the spinoff, but also became known for his fair share of viral social media moments showing off his buff, muscular body.

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Earlier this summer, he went completely naked for a Peloton commercial to celebrate #NationalNudeDay.

Christopher Meloni (pictured in 2021) plays detective Elliot Stabler on "Law & Order: Organized Crime."

Christopher Meloni (pictured in 2021) plays detective Elliot Stabler on “Law & Order: Organized Crime.”
(Virginia Sherwood/NBC)

The first season of "Law & Order: SVU" starring Christopher Meloni as Detective Elliot Stabler and Mariska Hargitay as Detective Olivia Benson premiered in 1999.

The first season of “Law & Order: SVU” starring Christopher Meloni as Detective Elliot Stabler and Mariska Hargitay as Detective Olivia Benson premiered in 1999.
(Chris Haston/NBCU )

“My wife, she’s lovely, she gets it. Meaning she’s like, ‘Eh, whatever.’ My kids, on the other hand, invariably once a month, it’s ‘Really? Really?'” he said. “Their friends will send them a meme that’s come out or whatever.”

He added, “But I think secretly in their hearts, they get it. It’s cool, because we all have a good goof with it. My children’s friends bust my chops, but it’s all fun. It’s an honor.”

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Meloni has been married to wife Sherman Williams Meloni for 27 years, and the couple has daughter Sophia and son Dante.

Christopher Meloni and Mariska Hargitay have worked together for decades on "Law & Order."

Christopher Meloni and Mariska Hargitay have worked together for decades on “Law & Order.”
(Will Hart/NBC)

“Age is a wondrous thing. You hope that with time you get a little wiser, get a little more patient and really come from a place of more maturity, which I translate to clarity and love,” he said. 

“And by love, it’s not kumbaya, but a sense we’re all in this together, we’re all doing the best we can. It’s a more refined way to operate.”

He added, “Really just having an attitude of enjoying the ride. It’s great. Are you kidding me? I’m 61-years-old and a zaddy. The lucky streak continues.”

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