Isabel Gillies

Isabel Boyer Gillies (born February 9, 1970 in New York City) is an American author and actress. She played Kathy Stabler, Elliot Stabler's wife in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Her memoir Happens Every Day was a New York Times bestseller, and her most recent book is Cozy.

Isabel Gillies
Isabel Boyer Gillies

(1970-02-09) February 9, 1970 (age 51)
OccupationAuthor, actress
Years active1990–2011; 2021 (acting)
DeSales Harrison
(m. 1999; div. 2005)

Peter Lattman
(m. 2007)

Early life and educationEdit

Gillies was born and raised in New York City. She attended the Brearley School before graduating from the Nightingale-Bamford School.[citation needed] As a student, Gillies struggled with severe dyslexia. She graduated from New York University with a BFA in film. Gillies is the daughter of Archibald and Linda Gillies.[1]


Gillies landed her first movie role when Whit Stillman cast her as Cynthia McLean in his pioneering independent film, Metropolitan (1990).[2] Other film credits include Finley in Another Girl Another Planet (1992), Alison in I Shot Andy Warhol (1996), Moira Ingalls in On Line (2002),[3] Isabel in Happy Here and Now (2002), and Kathryn in New Orleans, Mon Amour (2008).

Prior to her role as Kathy Stabler on SVU, which she played from 1999 to 2011, Gillies appeared in "Bad Girl," an episode of the original Law & Order series, playing Monica Johnson, a young woman who murders an undercover police officer and then undergoes a religious conversion during her trial and is born again. In 2000, she played the role of Alison in the short-lived Fox series, The $treet. In 2021, she reprised her role as Kathy Stabler for one episode during season 22 of SVU; the cross-over episode that launched Law & Order: Organized Crime.[4] The handling of her character led Gillies to discuss how fandom had changed due to social media.[5]


In addition to writing for a number of outlets, including the Los Angeles Times,[6] The New York Times,[7] Gillies has four books to her credit.

Her 2009 memoir, Happens Every Day, is about her leaving New York City to follow her first husband to Oberlin College.[8] Happens Every Day was a New York Times bestseller. It was featured by Starbucks as a nationwide selection for its book program. NPR's Fresh Air selected it as a Top Ten Book of 2009.[9][10] Her follow-up memoir, A Year and Six Seconds, was published in 2011.[11][12]

In 2014, Gillies tried her hand with fiction with Starry Night. This young-adult novel was published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux in September 2014.[13][14]

In 2019, she returned to non-fiction with Cozy.[15] This was published by Harper Wave. The New York Times Book Review said of it, “For Gillies, coziness is a state of mind, the environments we create in our homes to feel at ease. Think of her as a companion to Marie Kondo, filling up all those spaces once they’ve been decluttered.”

Personal lifeEdit

She was married to DeSales Harrison, an English professor at Oberlin College, from 1999 to 2005.[16] Gillies married Peter Lattman, an editor at The New York Times, on October 13, 2007.[1] Gillies spends her summers in Islesboro, Maine.[17]



Year Title Role Notes
1990 Metropolitan Cynthia McLean
1992 Another Girl Another Planet Finley
1994 Nadja Waitress
1995 Comfortably Numb Ashely Van Dyne
1996 I Shot Andy Warhol Alison
1996 One Way Out Betsy
1997 Wishful Thinking Susan - Roommate
1998 Chocolate for Breakfast K.C.
2001 The Girl Under the Waves Isabel
2002 On Line Moira Ingalls
2002 Happy Here and Now Isabel
2008 New Orleans, Mon Amour Kathryn


Year Title Role Notes
1998 Law & Order Monica Johnson Episode: "Bad Girl"
1998 Sex and the City Elaine Episode: "Bay of Married Pigs"
1999–2021 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Kathy Stabler 32 episodes
2000 The Street Alison 3 episodes
2021 Law & Order: Organized Crime Kathy Stabler Episode: "The Stuff That Dreams Are Made of"


  1. ^ a b "Isabel Gillies, Peter Lattman". The New York Times. October 14, 2007. p. 18.
  2. ^ Canby, Vincent (23 March 1990). "Reviews/Film Festival; The Dance Is Over, but the Whirl Goes On". The New York Times. p. 18.
  3. ^ Holden, Stephen (27 June 2003). "FILM REVIEW; When Cybersex Addicts Try Real Life". The New York Times. p. 10.
  4. ^ "SVU's Isabel Gillies Broke Down in Tears Over Kathy Stabler Backlash". 2021-10-06. Retrieved 2021-12-28.
  5. ^ Tapp, Tom (2021-10-05). "'Law & Order: SVU' Actress Isabel Gillies On Fans' Reactions: "Something Has Seriously Changed"". Deadline. Retrieved 2021-12-28.
  6. ^ Gillies, Isabel; Twitter; options, Show more sharing; Facebook; Twitter; LinkedIn; Email; URLCopied!, Copy Link; Print (2019-04-26). "Reading Nook: Nourishing both the mind and the stomach". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2021-12-28. {{cite news}}: |last2= has generic name (help)
  7. ^ Gillies, Isabel (2011-11-09). "Opinion, Mom to N.B.A.: Play Ball!". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-12-28.
  8. ^ Isabel Gillies (2009). Happens every day: an all-too-true story. New York: Scribner. ISBN 978-1-4391-2662-2.
  9. ^ Maureen Corrigan (March 17, 2009). "'Happens Every Day': A Marriage's Abrupt Ending". NPR.
  10. ^ Deirdre Donahue (2009-04-13). "Isabel Gillies' memoir: An iced cup of revenge". USA TODAY.
  11. ^ Isabel Gillies (2011). A Year and Six Seconds: A Love Story. Voice. ISBN 978-1-4013-4162-6.
  12. ^ "A Year and Six Seconds: A Love Story". Kirkus Reviews. April 15, 2011.
  13. ^ "Rights Report: August 25". Publishers Weekly. Aug 25, 2011. Retrieved 23 August 2012.
  14. ^ Doll, Jen (2014-10-03). "Y.A. Crossover". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-12-28.
  15. ^ Dunham, Lena (2019-03-14). "Call Me Cozy". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-12-28.
  16. ^ "WEDDINGS; Isabel Gillies, DeSales Harrison". The New York Times. December 19, 1999. p. 12.
  17. ^ Alan Huffman: Islesboro, Maine Retrieved 2017-04-27.

External linksEdit