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Mariska Hargitay

Mariska Hargitay

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: January 23, 1964 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Los Angeles, California, USA Profession: actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Though she was born into show business as the daughter of 1950s bombshell Jayne Mansfield and famed bodybuilder Mickey Hargitay, actress Mariska Hargitay paid her dues on television and in feature films before becoming famous as Detective Olivia Benson on "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (NBC, 1999- ). Prior to her success, Hargitay went through a long string of forgettable movies like "The Perfect Weapon" (1991), and failed shows like "Tequila and Bonetti" (CBS, 1992) and "Can't Hurry Love" (CBS, 1995). She eventually began taking on detective roles in procedural dramas, including on the short-lived "Prince Street" (NBC, 1997). But after going through extensive auditions with executive producer Dick Wolf, Hargitay was cast as the tough but empathetic Det. Benson, who investigates sex crimes with her equally emotionally invested partner (Christopher Meloni). Hailed by numerous critics, her performance was a constant awards-getter, while also giving rise to her philanthropic efforts outside of the show to provide support for survivors of sexual assault through her Joyful Heart Foundation. Though her career was almost exclusively focused on "SVU" during that time, Hargitay was no doubt one of the...

Though she was born into show business as the daughter of 1950s bombshell Jayne Mansfield and famed bodybuilder Mickey Hargitay, actress Mariska Hargitay paid her dues on television and in feature films before becoming famous as Detective Olivia Benson on "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (NBC, 1999- ). Prior to her success, Hargitay went through a long string of forgettable movies like "The Perfect Weapon" (1991), and failed shows like "Tequila and Bonetti" (CBS, 1992) and "Can't Hurry Love" (CBS, 1995). She eventually began taking on detective roles in procedural dramas, including on the short-lived "Prince Street" (NBC, 1997). But after going through extensive auditions with executive producer Dick Wolf, Hargitay was cast as the tough but empathetic Det. Benson, who investigates sex crimes with her equally emotionally invested partner (Christopher Meloni). Hailed by numerous critics, her performance was a constant awards-getter, while also giving rise to her philanthropic efforts outside of the show to provide support for survivors of sexual assault through her Joyful Heart Foundation. Though her career was almost exclusively focused on "SVU" during that time, Hargitay was no doubt one of the most productive actresses on the small screen.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
2.
 Plain Truth (2004)
3.
 Lake Placid (1999) Myra Okubo
4.
 Advocate's Devil, The (1997) Rendi
5.
 Leaving Las Vegas (1995) Hooker At Bar
6.
 Bank Robber (1993) Marisa Benoit
7.
 Blind Side (1993) Melanie
8.
 Strawberry Road (1991)
9.
 Perfect Weapon, The (1991) Jennifer
10.
 Finish Line (1989) Lisa Karsh
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1982:
Named Miss Beverly Hills
1983:
Made screen debut in small role in "Star 80"
1986:
Had first shot at being series regular on "Downtown" (CBS)
1988:
Played recurring role on the CBS primetime soap "Falcon Crest"
1992:
Co-starred on "Tequila and Bonetti" (CBS)
1995:
Cast as a hooker in Mike Figgis' "Leaving Las Vegas"
1995:
Played Nancy McKeon's sexy neighbor on the CBS sitcom "Can't Hurry Love"
1997:
Was regular on the short-lived NBC drama "Prince Street"
1997:
Appeared in the pilot for the ABC series "Cracker"; replaced when the series was picked up
1997:
Landed a recurring role as Cynthia Hooper during the fourth season of NBC's "ER"
1997:
Signed deal to develop a sitcom with DreamWorks
1999:
Co-starred with Christopher Meloni on the NBC crime drama spin-off "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit"
1999:
Acted in the thriller "Lake Placid"
2005:
Guest starred as her "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" character on the short-lived NBC spin-off "Law & Order: Trial by Jury"
2008:
Made a cameo in the comedy feature "The Love Guru"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

University of California, Los Angeles: Los Angeles , California -

Notes

Her first name is pronounced Ma-RISH-ka

"Being sexy is just one part of being a woman and an actress. But if the part call for sexy ... " --Mariska Hargitay in USA Today, December 15, 1995.

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Lance Young. Executive. Linked romantically in early 1990s.
husband:
Peter Hermann. Actor. Reportedly engaged as of April 2004; married August 28, 2004 in Santa Barbara.

Family close complete family listing

mother:
Jayne Mansfield. Actor. Died in automobile crash (in which Mariska was in the back seat) in 1967.
father:
Mickey Hargitay. Body builder, actor. Was married to Mansfield from 1958-64.
half-sister:
Jayne Marie Mansfield. Born c. 1950.
brother:
Mickey Hargitay Jr. Born on December 21, 1958.
brother:
Zoltan A Hargitay. Born on August 1, 1960.
half-brother:
Octabiano Cimber. Born in 1965.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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