Steven Zirnkilton

Steve Zirnkilton (born Stephen Morgan Zirnkilton; August 18, 1958) is an American voice-over actor and former politician from Maine. Zirnkilton is best known for providing the opening narration of all U.S. series in the Law & Order franchise.[6][7]

Steven Zirnkilton
Member of the Maine House of Representatives from the 124th District
In office
December 2, 1992 – December 7, 1994
Preceded byJohn H. Carroll[1]
Succeeded byRobert E. Stanwood[2]
In office
December 5, 1984 – December 7, 1988
Preceded byDistrict established
Succeeded byJohn H. Carroll[3]
Member of the Maine House of Representatives from the 43rd District
In office
December 1, 1982 – December 5, 1988
Preceded byMeredith E. Bordeaux[4]
Succeeded byJohn H. Carroll[5]
Personal details
Stephen Morgan Zirnkilton

(1958-08-18) August 18, 1958 (age 62)
York, Pennsylvania, U.S.
CitizenshipUnited States
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Stephanie Zirnkilton
Known forNarrator of Law & Order franchise

Early lifeEdit

Zirnkilton grew up in York, Pennsylvania and spent summers in Maine. He graduated from New England College and began working for radio station WDEA in Ellsworth, Maine upon graduation.[8] He later settled in Seal Harbor, Maine.[9] Zirnkilton received a Legislative Sentiment for his work, from Maine State Representative Chris Greeley.



Zirnkilton, a Maine Republican, served for eight years (four terms) in the Maine House of Representatives from 1982 to 1988 and again from 1992 to 1994.[10] He represented part of Hancock County, Maine, including his residence in the village of Seal Harbor in the town Mount Desert. During his final term in the House of Representatives, Zirnkilton served in leadership as Assistant Minority Leader. In 1994, when then Congresswoman Olympia Snowe decided not to seek re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives for Maine's 2nd congressional district, Zirnkilton sought to replace her. Zirnkilton lost the primary to fellow State Representative Richard A. Bennett, who eventually lost the general election to State Senator John Baldacci.[11]

Zirnkilton also provides voice overs for political ads, notably during Susan Collins's re-election campaign in 2014.


Zirnkilton is known for providing the opening narration of all US shows in the Law & Order franchise.[6] He was hired by series creator Dick Wolf.[vague] Zirnkilton has also provided voices for Family Guy and The Rugrats Movie. He was a narrator for Faith Rewarded: The Historic Season of the 2004 Boston Red Sox.[12][13] Zirnkilton narrated Ruby Ridge: Anatomy of a Tragedy on Investigation Discovery.[14][15] He also provided the voice-over for a Sky One advertisement for the channel's Law & Order airings. Zirnkilton was the narrator for TLC's Code Blue: New Orleans and the syndicated series Arrest & Trial. He has been the announcer for the Kennedy Center Honors, and for the past seventeen years he has been the onstage announcer for the Top Cops Awards in Washington, D.C..[citation needed]



Year Title Role Notes
1998 The Rugrats Movie Reporter Animated adventurecomedy film directed by Igor Kovalyov & Norton Virgien and written by David N. Weiss & J. David Stem.[16]
2004 Law & Order: The First 3 Years Opening Narrator Documentary film
Faith Rewarded: The Historic Season of the 2004 Boston Red Sox Narrator Documentary film written by Jeff Scott.[12]
2008 The Stag Hunt Narrator Short thriller film directed and written by Alfred Thomas Catalfo.
2013 Summer Colony Narrator Documentary–historical film directed and written by Jeremy Lunt.
2015 Toy Soldier Voice Animated short drama film directed and written by Christopher Choyce.
2016 Too Cold to Swim Motel Clerk Drama film directed by D.W. Young.


Year Title Role Notes
1990–2010 Law & Order Narrator Contract role
1997 Duckman: Private Dick/Family Man Opening narrator Episode: "Das Sub" (S 4:Ep 26)
1999–present Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Opening Announcer Contract role
2000–01 Arrest & Trial Narrator TV Series documentary / nontraditional court show
2000–02 Code Blue: New Orleans Narrator TV Series documentary
2001–11 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Opening announcer Contract role
2002–04 Crime & Punishment Narrator TV Series documentary / nontraditional court show
2003 Dragnet Narrator Episode: "The Silver Slayer" (S 1:Ep 1–Pilot)
2004 The Tonight Show with Jay Leno Voice Over Episode: "Episode #12.209" (S 12:Ep 209)
2005 Family Guy Himself Episode: "Fast Times at Buddy Cianci Jr. High" (S 4:Ep 2)
2005–06 Law & Order: Trial by Jury Opening announcer Contract role
2010–11 Law & Order: Los Angeles Narrator Contract role


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  6. ^ a b "'Law & Order' reunion salutes 20th season". Today. Associated Press. September 23, 2009. Retrieved July 28, 2013.
  7. ^ "Ask the Editors". TV Guide. April 19, 2010. p. 6.
  8. ^ Morton, Spencer (February 2, 2009). "Steve Zirnkilton: The man behind the voice". The Maine Campus. University of Maine. Archived from the original on 8 August 2014. Retrieved 1 August 2014.
  9. ^ "Biography". Steve Zirnkilton Voiceovers. Retrieved December 11, 2007.
  10. ^ Hale, John (June 11, 1987). "Seal lovers attempt to harpoon whale bill". Bangor Daily News. Bangor, ME: Bangor Publishing Company. p. 1. Retrieved July 28, 2013.
  11. ^ Quinn, Francis X. (June 7, 2002). "Crowded 2nd District contests reminiscent of battles in 1994 Regional strength led the way to victory in contested primary races". Bangor Daily News. Retrieved 1 August 2014.
  12. ^ a b O'Neill, Bill (March 28, 2005). "Rave of the Week: "Idiots on film"". Cape Cod Times. Hyannis, MA: Dow Jones Local Media Group. Retrieved July 28, 2013.
  13. ^ "Faith Rewarded: The Historic Season of the 2004 Boston Red Sox". New England Sports Network. Fenway Sports Group and Delaware North. ASIN B005Y1C3TQ. Retrieved November 10, 2016.
  14. ^ Sparked Media. "Ruby Ridge: Anatomy of a Tragedy". Vimeo. Retrieved 18 May 2015.
  15. ^ Heffernan, Virginia. "Weaver's Last Stand". Slate. Retrieved 18 May 2015.
  16. ^ "The Rugrats Movie". Turner Classic Movies. Atlanta: Turner Broadcasting System (Time Warner). Retrieved November 10, 2016.

External linksEdit