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Sam Waterston leaving 'Law & Order;' Tony Goldwyn named show's new DA

Sam Waterston is leaving "Law & Order" after 400 episodes. File Photo by Christine Chew/UPI
Sam Waterston is leaving "Law & Order" after 400 episodes. File Photo by Christine Chew/UPI

Feb. 3 (UPI) -- SAG Award-winning actor Sam Waterston is leaving Law & Order after more than 400 episodes, NBC confirmed.

Waterston, 83, has played District Attorney Jack McCoy since 1994 and his last episode will air Feb. 22.

Scandal and Ghost alum Tony Goldwyn, 63, will be the new district attorney on the show, which co-stars Hugh Dancy, Camryn Manheim, Odelya Halevi, Mehcad Brooks and Reid Scott.

"It's a pleasure to talk directly like this to the backbone of Law & Order's absolutely amazing audience. The time has come for me to move on and take Jack McCoy with me. There's sadness in leaving, but I'm just too curious about what's next," Waterston said in a statement Friday.

"An actor doesn't want to let himself get too comfortable. I'm more grateful to you than I can say. L&O's continuing and amazing long run, along with its astounding come-back, is all thanks to you and to Richard Wolf, but for whose vision, patience, perseverance, and unique combination of creative and business talents, none of this would have happened. I feel very blessed. I hope to see you all on the flip side."

Tony Goldwyn arrives on the red carpet at MGM's "A Good Person" New York screening at Metrograph on March 20. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
Tony Goldwyn arrives on the red carpet at MGM's "A Good Person" New York screening at Metrograph on March 20. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI