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‘Law & Order’ Cuts Chris Noth

March 23, 1995 GMT

NEW YORK (AP) _ Chris Noth, one of two original cast members on NBC’s ``Law & Order,″ will leave the show at the end of this season, the series’ executive producer said Wednesday.

``This is one of the toughest decisions you’ve got to make as a producer,″ said Dick Wolf. ``I want to emphasize that Chris has done a spectacular job this year. He’s never been better.″

Noth, who plays Detective Mike Logan, began as a rookie in the series pilot filmed seven years ago, and now plays a veteran with a senior partner, Detective Lennie Briscoe (Jerry Orbach).

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Wolf said Noth would be due for a ``huge″ raise if his contract were renegotiated, and ``that would be impossible to grant, given the age of the show.″

Dolores Robinson, head of Noth’s managment company in Los Angeles, said Noth is ready for a film career. ``He’s really sorry that they couldn’t get it together, but he’s had five great years and his feeling is that it’s time to move on,″ she said.

Noth and Steven Hill, who plays District Attorney Adam Schiff are the sole remaining members of the original ``Law & Order″ cast, which included Michael Moriarty, George Dzundza and Dann Florek.

``Law & Order,″ in its fifth season, is having its best ratings ever, up 11 percent over last year, according to NBC, which has renewed the series through the 1996-97 season.