Law and Order

Reynaldo "Rey" Curtis was an NYPD homicide detective until his early retirement in 1999.

Personal life

Curtis is of Peruvian (from his mother's side), English, Native American and German descent. His sister died in a car accident when she was 10 years old. His father often said that there was nothing worse for a parent than outliving his own child. (L&O: "Baby, It's You")

Rey is also a conservative devout Catholic.

Curtis married his wife Deborah Curtis in 1989 and together, they had three daughters: Olivia (born in 1990), Serena (born in 1992) and Isabel (born in 1994).

He is politically conservative, disapproving of in-vitro fertilization, media violence and especially affirmative action. Prior to working as a homicide detective, he worked in OCCB, and would frequently re-enlist the services of his former OCCB collegues during his homicide cases that involved organized crime members.

Curtis is a supporter of former New York Governor George Pataki, but he once said that he likes Bob Dole, because he "guarantees four more years of Clinton." (L&O: "Aftershock")


Curtis and Briscoe

Curtis was transferred to the 27th Precinct in 1995 as the replacement for Det. Mike Logan, who was sent to Staten Island as punishment for assaulting a corrupt politician. Curtis served under Lt. Anita Van Buren and was assigned to Logan's former partner at the Two-Seven, Det. Lennie Briscoe. Curtis later revealed that the reason why he requested a transfer was because his previous female boss was too attracted to him. (L&O: "Deceit")

Despite being less hot-headed than Logan was, Curtis still was rebuked by his superiors on at least four occasions during his first year at the Two-Seven:

  • Briscoe called him out for causing a problem with a motorcycle gang member by pulling his gun out on him. (L&O: "Rebels")
  • Curtis lost his temper with a cop killer suspect in the interrogation room and had to be removed. (L&O: "Savages")
  • Van Buren reprimanded Curtis for allowing a father to physically discipline his son in the interrogation room. (L&O: "Slave")
  • Van Buren ordered Curtis to take the day off after a rough conduct at the headquarters. (L&O: "Aftershock")

The last incident was the result of being distraught after witnessing the execution of a murdering rapist that he helped arrest. His values would be tested that same day, when Curtis cheated on his wife with a female graduate student. Rey initially kept his one-time affair a secret from his wife, but his guilt eventually compelled him to tell her and she promptly kicked him out of the house. (L&O: "Menace")

Curtis, Briscoe and Van Buren

Afterwards, they were separated for a few months. By this time, Curtis became more at ease with his conservative views on the job. Briscoe (who had been through two failed marriages) felt bad for him and they became closer friends. During his separation, Curtis almost had another affair with a female Hollywood executive while he and Briscoe were solving a case in Los Angeles. However, Rey ultimately remained faithful to his wife this time, and was welcomed back home by Deborah soon after. (L&O: "D-Girl"; "Turnaround"; "Showtime")

A few months later, however, Deborah was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (L&O: "Thrill"). By 1999, her condition had gotten worse and Rey took early retirement in order to help care for her. (L&O: "Refuge") He was replaced at the Two-Seven by Det. Ed Green. Curtis and his family moved to California sometime afterward, where Ray found another decent at-home job.

In 2009, Deborah finally succumbed to her MS, and Rey and his daughters returned to New York to bury her on Long Island, where her family was from. Van Buren, who was suffering from cancer at the time, briefly attended her funeral, where she and Curtis took a few minutes to catch up. Rey expressed news of Van Buren's illness as "rotten luck all around", and he told of how Deborah died at home in his arms, and how he had spoken to Briscoe a few days before his death, claiming how even then he was still making jokes and wisecracks. (L&O: "Fed")


  • Curtis was the first detective character featured in the Law & Order universe to carry a cell phone. He was also the first to wield a semi-automatic pistol instead of a revolver. Curtis' duty weapon is a Glock 19.


Icon L&O.jpg Law & Order - Main Characters

Senior Detectives: Max GreeveyPhil CerretaLennie BriscoeJoe FontanaEd GreenCyrus LupoKevin Bernard

Junior Detectives: Mike LoganRey CurtisEd GreenNick FalcoNina CassadyCyrus LupoKevin BernardFrank Cosgrove

Commanding Officers: Captain Donald Cragen • Lieutenant Anita Van Buren • Lieutenant Kate Dixon


Executive Assistant District Attorneys: Benjamin StoneJack McCoyMichael CutterNolan Price

Assistant District Attorneys: Paul RobinetteClaire KincaidJamie RossAbbie CarmichaelSerena SoutherlynAlexandra BorgiaConnie RubirosaSamantha Maroun

District Attorneys: Adam SchiffNora LewinArthur BranchJack McCoy


Elizabeth OlivetAlfred Wentworth