Soaps In Depth recently caught up with GUIDING LIGHT alum Michael O’Leary (Rick), who filled us in on the pair of primetime appearances he has lined up in early April! The actor is guest-starring on NBC’s highly anticipated LAW & ORDER: ORGANIZED CRIME premiere on Thur., April 1, and then will be seen on the CBS crime drama FBI: MOST WANTED just days later, on Tues., April 6!
“The third week in January, I filmed this new LAW & ORDER episode, and about a week later, I booked FBI: MOST WANTED,” O’Leary exclusively told Soaps In Depth. “On ORGANIZED CRIME, I play a priest, Father Hogan, and there’s a relatively good chance it’s going to be recurring. Which is exciting.”
The new LAW & ORDER spin-off has been generating a lot of buzz among the series’ fans, as ORGANIZED CRIME marks the return of Christopher Meloni as Elliot Stabler to the franchise, reuniting his character with Mariska Hargitay’s Olivia Benson in the LAW & ORDER: SVU crossover event. “It kind of felt like GUIDING LIGHT in the sense that everybody had been together for a long time,” O’Leary noted. “Mariska was very warm and welcoming. We met for the first time 30 years ago, working with acting coach Larry Moss. So we had a good talk about that.”
Besides their shared acting teacher, O’Leary and Hargitay also have another connection: Her husband, Peter Hermann, played GL’s Dr. Michael Burke during the Clone Reva storyline. “Yep!” the actor exclaimed. “So that was amazing to see her. We visited throughout the day, and she created a very fun atmosphere on the set. And Christopher was a total gentleman. It was just wonderful. It was a great experience.”
Shortly after playing a priest on LAW & ORDER: ORGANIZED CRIME’s set in Brooklyn, O’Leary headed over to the New York set of FBI: MOST WANTED, where he plays police officer Howard Kirkland. “I can’t give too much away,” he teased, “but there’s a through-line through the whole episode about my character. He’s a police officer moonlighting as a security guard at a savings and loan. I had a wonderful time working on that as well, with a lovely actress, Jill Larson — not the same Jill Larson [who played ALL MY CHILDREN’s Opal]. We connected immediately, and that was a week working on that show, which was great.”
And as it turns out, O’Leary was really on a roll because soon after that, he landed a modeling contract! “It’s for some arthritis medication,” quipped the actor, poking fun at his status of a gentleman of a certain age. “It will be a global print campaign.”
O’Leary has been working as a real estate agent in New Jersey since before GL ended in 2009, so the flexibility of that job easily allows him to take on acting projects — and modeling gigs! — when they come up. “There have been a lot of people leaving the New York Metro area during COVID, so real estate has been going very well. And I’m in the process of getting certified in intervention and family recovery. Which is really fascinating. So the good news is I’m always doing something!”
You can tune in to the premiere of LAW & ORDER: ORGANIZED CRIME at 10 p.m. EST on Thursday, April 1, on NBC. (The crossover event will actually begin an hour earlier during the episode of LAW & ORDER: SVU.) And then catch O’Leary on FBI: MOST WANTED on Tuesday, April 6, at 10 p.m. ET on CBS.