Mariska Hargitay Poster


Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (1)  | Trivia (50)  | Personal Quotes (6)  | Salary (6)

Overview (4)

Born in Santa Monica, California, USA
Birth NameMariska Magdolna Hargitay
Nicknames Bubbles
Height 5' 7¾" (1.72 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Mariska (Ma-rish-ka) Magdolna Hargitay was born on January 23, 1964, in Santa Monica, California. Her parents are Mickey Hargitay and Jayne Mansfield. She is the youngest of their three children. In June 1967, Mariska and her brothers Zoltan and Mickey Jr. were in the back seat of a car when it was involved in the fatal accident which killed her mother. The children escaped with minor injuries. Her father remarried a stewardess named Ellen, and they raised the three children and gave them a normal childhood. They also financially supported the children, since Jayne Mansfield's debt-ridden estate left no money for them.

Mariska majored in theater at UCLA. Her first motion picture feature was the cult favorite, Ghoulies (1984), where she gave a memorable performance as Donna. Unlike her mother Jayne, who had changed her name, her hair color, and did nude pictorials to become a star, Mariska took a very different approach on her journey to become a star. She rejected advice to change her name and appearance. And she refused to copy her mother's sexy image by turning down nude scenes in her next film Jocks (1986). She told casting directors that she was her own person when she held onto her dark locks and athletic figure, when they were expecting another blond, buxom Jayne Mansfield. Mariska continued with her acting classes and waited on tables, while she landed forgettable roles in short-lived television shows. She appeared a few times on the nighttime soap Falcon Crest (1981). She also appeared in the hit film Leaving Las Vegas (1995), credited as 'Hooker at the bar', and in the flop film Lake Placid (1999) as Myra Okubo. Her recurring role on the top-rated show ER (1994) in 1998 gave her career enough of a jolt to land her the starring role of Det. Olivia Benson in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999), the first spin off from the excellent franchise of Law & Order (1990). The hour-long show deals with sex crimes and the detectives who solve these cases. Mariska played Olivia as a tough, compassionate detective, who did action scenes and her own stunt work. She reaped the rewards from the hit TV show, after struggling and studying her craft for fifteen years. She became the highest paid actress on television, and she won Emmy and Golden Globe awards for her performance. The show also changed her personal life, since she met her husband actor Peter Hermann on the set and married him on August 28, 2004. That same year, she appeared in the television movie Plain Truth (2004), in which she played attorney Ellie Harrison. Mariska became an activist, when fans of her show who were abused, would write to her, and she founded a non-profit organization called "Joyful Heart Foundation" to help "survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, and child abuse."

Mariska gave birth to her son August in 2006. But that tremendous joy was soon followed by tremendous sadness when her beloved father Mickey died just two months later at the age of 80. Mariska and her husband Peter adopted two children, a girl named Amaya, and a boy named Andrew, within a span of few months in 2011.

Mariska speaks English, Hungarian, French, Spanish, and Italian, and her husband also speaks several languages, including his native language German. They divide their time between New York and Los Angeles.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Debby -- The Binary Vixen

Spouse (1)

Peter Hermann (28 August 2004 - present) (3 children)

Trivia (50)

Daughter of Jayne Mansfield and Mickey Hargitay; younger sister of Zoltan Hargitay and Mickey Hargitay Jr., half-sister of Jayne Marie Mansfield (Jayne's daughter from her first marriage), Tony Cimber (from her mother's third marriage), and of Tina Hargitay (from her father's first marriage with Mary Birge, born 1949).
Replaced Gabrielle Fitzpatrick in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie (1995) as Dulcea, but her scenes were reshot with Gabrielle Fitzpatrick returning as Dulcea. In 2009, she said she was lucky enough to have a father who told her not to quit acting after that experience.
Speaks English, French, Hungarian, Italian and Spanish.
In June 1967, she and her two brothers were asleep in the back seat of a car when it smashed into the back of a trailer truck instantly killing her mother (Jayne Mansfield), the driver and Mansfield's boyfriend, attorney Sam Brody. Miraculously, the three children escaped with minor injuries.
Majored in theatre at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Has a zig-zag scar down the side of her head from the 1967 crash that killed her mother, Jayne Mansfield. She was only three years old when she was involved in the crash and has no memory of the event.
Won the Miss Beverly Hills 1982 pageant.
Became good friends with Maria Bello when she had a recurring role on ER (1994) in 1997-1998.
Her father was Hungarian, while her American-born mother was of seven eighths British Isles (English and Cornish), and one eighth German, ancestry. Mariska's maternal grandparents were Vera J. Palmer and Herbert W. Palmer.
On one occasion, she came upon a pregnant woman who collapsed while in New York City. When no one else came to the woman's aid, she lapsed into her character on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999) while aiding the victim.
One of People magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People in the World (2005).
She learned to swim at the age of two and later swam for her high school.
Founder and president of a non-profit organization to aid the victims of rape - The Joyful Heart Foundation.
Former sister-in-law of Dana Hargitay, ex-wife of her brother Miklos.
(August 28, 2004) Married Peter Hermann at California's Unitarian Historical Chapel.
First woman ever from the Law and Order franchise to receive award nominations and wins.
Gave birth, via C-section to her first child, a son, August Miklós Friedrich Hermann (10 lb., 9oz.), on June 28, 2006 at 3:21PM.
One of People magazine's 100 Most Beautiful People in the World (2006).
(September 14, 2006) Her father Mickey Hargitay died after a lengthy illness at age 80.
Following the family's acting lineage, Mariska has a cousin, actor Eddie Hargitay. Her father Mickey Hargitay is Eddie's godfather.
Spoke in 2007 for Girl Scouts of Greater New York Scholars Program about her career and how she became who she is.
One of People magazine's 100 Most Beautiful People in the World (2008).
Godmother of her Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999) co-star, Christopher Meloni's daughter Sophia.
(January 13, 2009) Suffered a partially collapsed lung, following a bad fall during a stunt.
Her publicist is Gary Mantoosh.
Good friends with actress Hilary Swank. Hilary stays with Mariska when on location in New York.
Stepdaughter of Ellen Hargitay, a stewardess.
(April 7, 2011) Mariska and Peter Hermann adopted a baby girl and named her Amaya Josephine Hermann.
She has played the same character (Detective Olivia Benson) on six different series: Law & Order (1990), Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999), Law & Order: Trial by Jury (2005), Chicago Fire (2012), Chicago P.D. (2014) and Law & Order: Organized Crime (2021).
Was considered for the role of Annie Porter in Speed (1994), which went to Sandra Bullock.
On October 19, 2011, she and her husband Peter Hermann adopted a baby boy and named him Andrew Nicolas Hargitay Hermann.
Has a photograph of her mother, Jayne Mansfield, on her desk on the set of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999).
Very close friends with Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999) co-star Christopher Meloni.
She can only remember two events from her life with her mother Jayne Mansfield, who died when Mariska was only three years old. One is when her mother served her breakfast, and the other is when she rubbed her head while they were in bed together.
In 1992, she was engaged to a studio executive, Lance Young, but later broke off the engagement.
When Jayne Mansfield was three years old, her father, who was thirty-four years old, died of a heart attack, leaving her with a shattering void in her life. In a eerie coincidence, when Mariska was three years old, her mother, who was thirty-four years old, died in a car crash. Mariska would later say that "losing my mother at such an early age is the scar of my soul".
She was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6328 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on November 8, 2013.
Received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, right next to her mother Jayne Mansfield's star.
She and Peter Hermann divide their time between New York and Los Angeles.
Aunt of Jianni Cimber (Tony's daughter), Brandon and Mickey Hargitay III.
Mariska trained with Joanne Baron in the two-year Meisner program.
She received a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame next to her mother's star.
She is a trained rape crisis counselor.
She auditioned for the role of Jadzia Dax on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993). Terry Farrell was eventually cast.
Directed Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999)'s 400th episode.
Is good friends with singer Taylor Swift, who named her pet cat Olivia Benson, in tribute to Mariska's character on SVU. Likewise, Hargitay also appeared in the music video for Swift's song, "Bad Blood", as "Justice".
She remembers very little about the car accident that killed her mother, Jayne Mansfield, her mother's boyfriend, and the car driver. She feels that she and her brother, Mickey Hargitay Jr., would have been killed if her mother hadn't made a last-minute decision to pull over and put little Mickey in the back seat of the car.
With the premiere of SVU's 21st season in 2019, she broke the record for most seasons playing the same character (Olivia Benson) consecutively, after James Arness and Kelsey Grammer.
She remains the only original cast member of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999) to still be with the series. Christopher Meloni left the show after season twelve while Dann Florek and Richard Belzer both departed mid-way through season fifteen.

Personal Quotes (6)

Everything has combined to make my life in New York an amazing experience. I told my manager a few years ago that I wanted to move here and try acting in the theater. Then this show came up. Now I'm in this show that means something to me and a lot of other people.
[Part of her 2005 Golden Globe acceptance speech] Fifty years ago, my mother stood on this stage accepting this award. She was fortunate enough to have my dad with her. Fifty years later, I'm fortunate enough to have my dad with me. I love you, Dad.
[on the disturbing aspects of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999)] When I read the script sometimes, it's like "Christ! Enough!". I can't sleep at night sometimes. There's the occasional script that just hammers you, that you can't shower off.
[on her mother Jayne Mansfield] I think that she was a woman who was way before her time, because I don't know how somebody can have five children and yet still be a sex symbol! She was just amazing.
[Her tearful acceptance speech when she received the Muse Award from the New York Women in Film in 2012] My mother was the actress Jayne Mansfield, and she died when I was just three years old. And so on this day when I find myself in this room full of powerful forces, personified as women, I miss her very much, and I wish she was here.
[on dealing with sexual offences] Society continues to misplace blame and shame on survivors - both women and men - on college campuses and everywhere else. That has to end. We must confront the myths and excuses that help perpetuate sexual assault. We must speak out about these issues boldly and often, because criminals thrive when we are silent, when we are reluctant to engage, when we insist that these issues are too murky to sort out.

Salary (6)

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999) $350,000 /episode (2007-08)
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999) $400,000 /episode (2009-10)
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999) $395,000 /episode (2010-11)
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999) $395,000 per episode (2011-2012)
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999) $385,000 per episode (2012-2013)
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999) $400,000 per episode (2013-2014)

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