Mariska Hargitay

Mariska Hargitay - Updated Mar 2023

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Updated On February 6, 2023

Mariska Hargitay is a well-known American actress, director, and philanthropist. Mariska Hargitay is best known for playing detective, Olivia Benson in the crime drama series “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.” She is also known as the daughter of bodybuilder and actor Mickey Hargitay and actress Jayne Mansfield.

Early Life

Mariska Hargitay was born on the 23rd of January, 1964, in Santa Monica, California, the United States of America. According to her birth date, she is 59 years old and her birth name is Mariska Magdolna Hargitay.

In addition, she holds American nationality and practices Christianity religion. Moreover, she has a zodiac sign of Aquarius and belongs to mixed of Hungarian-German-English descent.

Mariska Hargitay

Caption: Mariska Hargitay’s childhood photo with her parents and siblings (Source: TODAY)

Her parents’ names are Mickey Hargitay (father) and Jayne Mansfield (mother). Professionally, her father was a bodybuilder and actor. While her mother was an actress, singer, nightclub entertainer, and Playboy Playmate.

Moreover, she has three brothers named Zoltan Hargitay, Tony Cimber, and Mickey Hargitay Jr., and two sisters named Jayne Marie Mansfield, and Tina Hargitay.

Mariska’s parents had divorced in 1963 but their divorce was later proclaimed invalid. In an automobile accident in 1967, her mother was killed along with her boyfriend, Sam Brody. Later, she along with her siblings where raised by her father and his third wife, Ellen Siano.


Talking about her academic career, she studied at Marymount High School, where she was active in theatre, and cheerleading and was a part of the student government. After completing high school in 1982, she decided to attend the UCLA theatre program.

However, she did not graduate from UCLA. She followed in her father’s footsteps and decided to pursue a career in modeling in 1982, and she was crowned Miss Beverly Hills USA. Later, she enrolled at Groundlings Theater and School in Los Angeles.

Professional Career

After winning the crowned of Miss Beverly Hills USA in 1982, Mariska Hargitay began receiving small roles. Due to that, she dropped out of college to pursue a career in acting. She got featured in Ronnie Milsap’s music video for “She Loves My Car.”

In 1985, she made her film debut in a small role in the horror movie “Ghoulies.” The next year, she made her television debut with the crime drama series, “Downtown.” She appeared as Marsha Wildmon in the 1988 episode of “Freddy’s Nightmare.” Similarly, she was cast in the American primetime soap opera “Falcon Crest” that same year.

She appeared in several television series, playing minor roles including “Baywatch,” “Wiseguy,” “Thirtysomething,” “Booker,” and “Gabriel’s Fire” from the year 1989 to 1991. In addition, she played the role of a police officer, Angela Garcia in the 1992 series “Tequila and Bonetti.” She was also cast in an episode of the hit American series, “Seinfeld.”

In the year 1995, she appeared in series like “Can’t Hurry Love” and “All American Girl.” That same year, she played a brief role in the Nicolas Cage film, “Leaving Las Vegas.”
She was cast in several television series and television films including, “The Single Guy,” “Prince Street,” “Cracker” and the television films “Night Sins” and “The Advocate’s Devil” from the year 1996 to 1997.
From 1997 to 1998, she played the recurring role of Cynthia Hooper on the popular, primetime series, “ER,” where she was seen in a total of 13 episodes. In 1999, she was cast in a comedy television anthology “Love, American style.”

Breakthrough role

Afterward, she made her small, minor, or guest roles until she landed her breakthrough role as Olivia Benson. She played the role of Olivia Benson  in the 1999 NBC crime drama series “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.”

Since season 15, she is one of the producers on the show. As well as, she has directed several episodes of “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. ” For her works on the series, she has earned several awards and nominations.

Mariska Hargitay

Caption: Mariska Hargitay as a detective, Olivia Benson in the crime drama series; Law & Order Special Victims Unit (Source: Showbiz Cheat Sheet)

During the same time, starting working on the drama series “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit”, and she was cast in one of her career flop films, “Lake Placid.” In the year 2001, she played the role of Darcy in the movie “Perfume ” a story about the fashion industry in New York. She appeared in the 2004 television film “Plain Truth” where she portrayed the role of Ellie Harrison.

In the 2006 Japanese anime epic fantasy film “Tales from Earthsea” she lent her voice to the character Tenar.  Currently, she is playing the recurring role of Olivia Benson in the drama series “Law & Order: Organized Crime.”


Mariska Hargitay

Caption: Mariska Hargitay wins the Emmy Award (Source: Pinterest)

As of now, this actress has won 10 awards and 28 nominations. Two “People’s Choice Awards”, four “Gracie Allen Awards”, one “Emmy Award”, and one Golden Globe Award are some of the awards she earned during her acting career.

Mariska Hargitay – Net Worth 2023

As of 2022, Hargitay’s net worth estimates at around $100 million. While she is one of the highest-paid actors in the “Law & Order” series.  According to a report, she makes $500,000 per episode from the series.

Relationship Status

On the 28th of August 2005, Mariska Hargitay married Peter Hermann. Her husband is also an actor. The pair are co-actor from Law & Order: SVU, where Hermann plays the recurring role of Defense Attorney Trevor Langan.

With the marriage, the couple has three kids whose names are Amaya Josephine, Andrew Nicolas Hargitay Hermann, and August Miklos Friedrich Hermann.

Mariska Hargitay

Caption: Mariska Hargitay with her family (Source: People)

Besides being an actress, she is known for her philanthropic activities. Moreover, the actress is the founder of the Joyful Heart Foundation. And the foundation’s main aim is to provide support to survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, and child abuse.

Body Measurements

Mariska Hargitay

Caption: Mariska Hargitay posing for a photo (Source: Country Living Magazine)

This actress stands 5 feet 7 inches (1.71 m) and 66 kg (145 lbs). She has dark brown hair with dark brown eyes color and her body measurement measures 37-25-36 inches. In addition, she wears a shoe size of 7US and a dress size of 4US.

Mariska Hargitay – Social Media

On her Instagram page ‘@therealmariskahargitay’ there are over 2.6 million followers. Likewise, there are over 665k followers on her Facebook page and she is not active on Twitter.