Who is Richard Pace in SVU? Who Plays Him?

The police procedural format of the ‘Law & Order’ franchise allows these shows to have actors — both established and rookie — to portray various roles. As a show, ‘Law & Order: Special Victims Unit’ revolves around the detectives associated with the SVU OF the NYPD New York City Police Department’s 16th precinct in Manhattan. Led by Captain Olivia Benson, the detectives investigate sexually oriented crimes, child sexual abuse, and domestic violence. Richard Pace is a defense attorney who has appeared in three episodes across that many seasons. Here is everything you need to know about him. SPOILERS AHEAD.

Who Is Richard Pace?

As a defense attorney, Richard represents Harold Coyle (Christopher McDonald) in season 18, Nick Pearce (Alexander Koch) in season 23, and Pence Humphreys (Bradley Whitford) in season 24. In season 18 episode 16, titled ‘The Newsroom,’ we are introduced to Pace as he defends Coyle, a reporter and serial rapist, in court. Coyle is a veteran of the news business and holds considerable influence. Over the years, he has raped multiple women and recorded the incidents. Coyle then uses those videos to threaten the women and force them to keep silent.

The SVU begins investigating him after one of his victims confides what happened to her to Olivia. Pace ultimately convinces Coyle to take the plea deal offered by the prosecution. In season 23 episode 20, titled ‘Did You Believe In Miracles?,’ Pace defends pedophile and statutory rapist Nick Pearce and convinces him to take the plea deal. His most recent client in ‘SVU,’ Pence Humphreys, has dementia and believes he raped and killed his wife.

J.C. MacKenzie Plays Richard Pace

Canadian character actor J.C. MacKenzie portrays Richard Pace in ‘SVU.’  Originally From Peterborough, Ontario, MacKenzie attended Concordia University and the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA). He made his small screen debut in a 1985 episode of ‘Seeing Things.’ Six years later, he debuted on the big screen in the 1991 film ‘Dutch.’ His first major role was Arnold Spivak in ‘Murder One,’ in which he appears in 41 episodes between 1995 and 1997. He then played Reagan “Normal” Ronald in 42 episodes of ‘Dark Angel.’

MacKenzie has portrayed various small but important roles in several Martin Scorsese films, including ‘The Departed,’ ‘The Wolf of Wall Street,’ and ‘The Irishman.’ In an interview with Daily Actor, MacKenzie reflected on his experience of working with one of the greatest filmmakers of all time. “First of all, when I’m working, I look up every director I work with to see if they’re into improvisation,” he said. “Because I love to improvise. And usually there’s something on them if they’ve done any work at all, even if they haven’t, there’s usually something on them in terms of improv. And then I go in there and if they love the improvisation, I go in there and go nuts. And I never ask them ahead of time, I just go ahead and do it.”

The ’Gaslit’ actor continued, “But that’s what Scorsese’s totally into. You can see it in his films. That’s why his sets are so loose and the acting it’s kind of free. And then he does his own thing with the camera. So he’s got it all covered. So he expects you to come in and add to the stuff.”

Read More: Is Law & Order: Special Victims Unit a True Story?