Dorothy Rudd (Piper Laurie) was the main villainess of "Care", episode 3.09 of Law & Order: SVU (airdate November 23, 2001). She was the mother of Jane Rudd and the foster mother of Glenn Rudd. Jane was also a foster mother at her mother's insistence and, by the time of the episode's events, was in the care of sisters Tanya, Whitley, and Cassie Adams. Jane moved back in with her mother after the adoption agency noticed how ill-equipped she was to be a foster parent, as the agency believed Dorothy to be the ideal foster parent. But unbeknownst to them, Dorothy was abusive to the children in her and Jane's care.
Cassie was often the prime target of Dorothy for her defiance, with one documented incident being her forcing Cassie to drink water until she wet herself (as punishment for wetting her bed) before having Jane tie Cassie to her bed while she beat her. When Cassie stood up to Dorothy and told her that her abuse wouldn't keep her quiet, the evil Dorothy used her cane to beat Cassie for the entire day. The assault ultimately killed Cassie, and Glenn (who retreated into a sci-fi fantasy video game as a coping mechanism) tried to save his foster sister by taking her to the neighboring construction site and cutting a lock of her hair with a handmade sword, mirroring the video game's hero. When the SVU detectives investigated and began believing that Glenn was Cassie's killer, Dorothy went along with their assumption, using Glenn's video game and previous abuse as rationale.
Dorothy's true nature started to come forward after Tashandra Adams (the birth mother of the Adams siblings) attempted to take her daughters with her out of state. When she was interrogated by the detectives, she revealed that Tanya told her about Dorothy's abuse. With that statement inadmissible due to the circumstances, the squad went to the recently institutionalized Glenn, who referred to Dorothy as a "gorgon", the Medusa-like villainess of his game, as she entered the room. Under interrogation, though, Dorothy claimed that she never hit Cassie outside of spankings and that Jane tied Cassie up by herself. But when questioned, Jane officially revealed her mother's cruel behavior to their foster kids as well as her fatal assault on Cassie. Dorothy was put on trial and, when Glenn took the stand, the evil woman intentionally knocked her cane to the floor as a way of intimidating Glenn. When Dorothy feigned innocence, Glenn broke down on the stand and revealed Dorothy's villainous acts, who in turn shouted to Glenn how she took him in when "no one else wanted him". Dorothy later died of a heart attack while in prison.
- Piper Laurie is perhaps most famous for playing the evil Margaret White from the 1976 film adaptation of Carrie.