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Sam Waterston and Ted Danson attend the Hollywood Walk of Fame Star ceremony honoring Waterston.
"At my age, this honor sort of rates as a lifetime achievement award and couldn't have come at a better moment," said Waterston. "A) I'm alive; B) I'm working; and C) the show that got me here is up for renewal."
"I'm hoping that your honoring me will help the powers that be make the right decision so that next year 'Law & Order' can capture the record and fulfill Dick's (Wolf) goal of having the longest-running drama ever," he said.
"Law & Order" and the classic western "Gunsmoke" share the record with 20 seasons each of prime-time television.
Waterston, 69, joined "Law & Order" as Jack McCoy in 1994.
"It's made all sorts of things possible," he said at the ceremony. "It's directly due to 'Law & Order' that a theater put on 'Long Day's Journey Into Night' for me and my son James to do. Priceless. It's directly due to 'Law & Order' that we sold out the run. Fabulous."
"'Law & Order' kept me near home, near family and out of professional trouble. I hate to sit around. I tremble to think what trash a workaholic like me would have accepted to do if 'Law & Order' hadn't kept me busy," he said.
Waterston's star was the first star dedicated in 2010, according to the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.