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Famous American actress Mariska Hargitay is best known for playing the sex crimes investigator Olivia Benson in the NBC popular series “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.” She has been nominated for a number of prestigious prizes and has also won a number of them for her portrayal of the character, who has amassed a cult following. Hargitay’s success in movies began at a young age when she made her playing debut in the movie “Ghoulies.” Acting was in her blood. She first debuted in a recurring part on the popular television program “ER” after giving a standout performance in this movie, and then she was cast as “Olivia Benson.” Being a tough, competitive actress, Hargitay insisted on working hard for any roles she decided to take on and stressed the need of performing her own stunts for movies. Contrary to her mother, who had become a “sex-symbol” and a former “Playboy Playmate” in the United States, Hargitay chose to take a slightly different path to fame. She was determined not to follow in her mother’s footsteps and was sure that the acting lessons she attended would help her earn outstanding roles in her career, which is exactly what happened. Aside from acting, she is the creator of the “Joyful Heart Foundation,” which offers assistance and support to children and women who have experienced sexual assault.

Early Childhood & Life

Jayne Mansfield, a famous actress, gave birth to Mariska Magdolna Hargitay, who is the daughter of Mickey Hargitay, a former Mr. Universe and Hungarian ancestry. She also has three other half-siblings and two older brothers.

Her parents divorced in 1963, but it was later determined that the divorce was unlawful. Four years later, Jayne Mansfield, the mother of Hargitay, and Sam Brody, her boyfriend, died in a car crash.
Hargitay and her siblings were brought up by their father and his third wife, Ellen Siano, after their mother passed away.

She participated in cheerleading, theater, and the student government while attending Marymount High School, where she also studied. She opted to enroll in the UCLA theatre department after high school in 1982 because she had a lifelong passion for performing.

She made the decision to pursue modeling in 1982 and won the title of Miss Beverly Hills USA. She already had a personal agent who secured her a number of modest roles by the time she enrolled at the UCLA School of Theatre, Film, and Television.

To start her acting career, she dropped out of college before earning her degree. She made an appearance in Ronnie Milsap’s 1984 music video for “She Loves My Car.” She had an appearance in the comedy-horror film “Ghoulies” a year later.

Career of Mariska Hargitay

She received a role in the well-known crime drama television series “Downtown” in 1986, and two years later made a brief appearance in an episode of “In the Heat of the Night.”

In 1988, she appeared in an episode of “Freddy’s Nightmare,” in which she portrayed Marsha Wildmon. She was given a role in the American primetime soap opera “Falcon Crest” that same year. She had an appearance in “Finish Line” the following year.

She played brief appearances in several television shows from 1989 to 1991, including “Baywatch,” “Wiseguy,”

“Thirtysomething,” “Booker,” and “Gabriel’s Fire.”
She appeared in the 1992 television series “Tequila and Bonetti” as a police officer “Angela Garcia.” She also made an episode of the popular American television show “Seinfeld.”

The actress had a very busy year in 1995 because she starred in “Can’t Hurry Love” and played “Jane” in an episode of “All American Girl.” In the same year, she also played a small part in the Nicolas Cage movie “Leaving Las Vegas.”
She appeared in several TV shows and TV movies in 1996 and 1997, including “The Single Guy,” “Prince Street,”

“Cracker,” and the TV movies “Night Sins” and “The Advocate’s Devil.”
She appeared in a total of 13 episodes of the well-known primetime series “ER” as “Cynthia Hooper” between 1997 and 1998. She appeared in the comedy television anthology “Love, American Style” the following year.

When Hargitay was chosen to play one of the main characters on the NBC criminal drama series “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” in 1999, it was one of her major professional breakthroughs. She also had an appearance in “Lake Placid,” one of her career’s failures, the same year.

She portrayed “Darcy” in the 2001 film “Perfume,” which was about New York’s fashion industry.

She appeared in the 2004 television movie “Plain Truth,” playing the part of “Ellie Harrison.” The next year, she appeared in an episode of “Law & Order: Trial by Jury,” another spin-off of “Law & Order.”

She appeared in the films “Tales from Earthsea” from 2006 to 2008 and made a brief cameo in “The Love Guru.” She appeared in ‘Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List’ two years later as herself.

She appeared as herself in a “Barefoot Contessa” episode once more in 2011. She is now starring in the television show “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” as Detective Olivia Benson.

Bigger Works of Mariska Hargitay

In “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” she was cast as “Detective Olivia Benson” in 1999. Given the lead character role and the fact that she investigated “sexually based offenses” alongside other detectives, this is usually regarded as her major contribution to the field. The program was one of the most watched crime dramas and was “loosely” based on actual events. It attracted millions of people.

Recognition & Achievements

For “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” she received a Gracie Allen Award in 2004 for “Individual Achievement for Best Female Lead- Drama Series.”

For her work in “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” she received a Golden Globe Award in 2005 for “Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series- Drama.”

She received the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series Emmy Award in 2006 for her performance as “Detective Olivia Benson.”

For her work on “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” she received a Prism Award for “Performance in a Drama Series Episode” in 2007.

She received a Muse Award in 2012 for “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” in the category of “New York Women in Film & Television.”

She received the 2511th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2013.
Her performance as “Outstanding Female Actor in a Leading Role in a Drama” earned her the Grace Allen award in 2014.

Personal Legacy & Life

On August 28, 2004, she wed the actor Peter Hermann, with whom she had two adoptive children in addition to a biological kid.

She fell while performing a stunt on set in 2008, partially collapsing her lung. She had the same procedure, and soon after, she started working again.

She established the “Joyful Heart Foundation,” which helps victims of child abuse and women who have been sexually abused. Additionally, she serves on the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation’s honorary board.
She gave the UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television over $100,000 for scholarships. Additionally, she gave $35,800 to the “Obama Victory Fund.”

Mariska Hargitay Net Worth

Mariska Hargitay, an American actress, has a $100 million fortune. She gained the majority of her fame through her appearances on “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.” Since 1999, she has played detective Olivia Benson on the show.


This American actress is fluent in French, English, Hungarian, Spanish, and Italian. She is most known for playing “Detective Olivia Benson.”