Betty Gilpin was accidentally left in a body bag on ‘Law & Order’ set

"I hear, like, footsteps on gravel getting farther and farther away"

Betty Gilpin has revealed that she was once accidentally left in a body bag early in her career while working on Law & Order.

The GLOW actress opened up about doing her first job in the long-running procedural franchise, recalling that one of a multitude of roles involved playing a dead body on Criminal Intent.

“This was my first job ever,” Gilpin admitted on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon. “I remember them zipping up the body bag, [co-star] Vincent D’Ononfrio had a grumbly scene over my body bag, and I just had to sort of be in there. And they called cut. They’re like, ‘That’s lunch guys – great day!’


“And I hear, like, footsteps on gravel getting farther and farther away, van doors closing. And then, like, 10 seconds goes by. I hear one far-away [production assistant] being like, ‘Oh my God,’ and footsteps coming towards me. Unzips, sunlight on my face, yeah.”

The actress admitted that she didn’t say anything as she “didn’t want to be high maintenance,” joking: “I wanted to work again.”

In the mid-to-late 2000s, Gilpin had three separate roles on the series – two on Criminal Intent and one on the main Law & Order show.

The actress is now perhaps best known for playing Debbie Eagan on Netflix‘s GLOW, which was cancelled by the streamer in 2020 after three seasons.

Gilpin subsequent wrote a moving eulogy for the show, saying in Vanity Fair that “it was the best job I’ll ever have”.


“Our business is a strange mix of attempting childhood dreams to a room full of asleep people and shirking dignity for awake tomato-throwers for rent. This was one of those extremely rare times where we got to do the dream for awake people. And it didn’t disappear in an audition room or unsent email. We did it on a show, recorded it all, I swear. Thirty episodes.”

She added: “Apparently numbers-wise, GLOW really only appealed to men in kimonos and women in cat hair, who, as far as I’m concerned, are the beating heart of the arts and the reason to keep waking up.”