Mariska Hargitay Biography News Profile Hot Relationships Pictures Wallpaper Online Video.

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 for playing 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), which lasted a scant two episodes before being pulled off the air.

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.

Mariska Hargitay was born on Jan. 23, 1964, in Los Angeles, CA. She was the youngest daughter of 1950s platinum blonde starlet Jayne Mansfield and Mr. Universe, Mickey Hargitay, who were divorced before their daughter's first birthday. When Hargitay was three and a half years old, she and brothers Miklos and Zoltan were in the car with their mother and her boyfriend when their car hit a truck, killing the adults instantly. The children were relatively unhurt, as they had been sleeping on the backseat; though little Mariska did end up with a scar on her head. Following their mother's death - a rumored decapitation from the force of the crash, which later proved all Hollywood myth - the children were raised by their father and his wife, who also had two children of their own. Hargitay grew into a smart, accomplished teen, learning to speak Hungarian, French and Italian, and always active in student government, sports, and theater. She had also undeniably inherited her mother's good looks, and was crowned Miss Beverly Hills in 1982.

Following her graduation from Marymount High, Hargitay enrolled in the UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television and began landing screen roles within her first year of drama studies. By the time she had earned her degree in 1987 she had appeared in the films "Star 80" (1983), "Ghoulies" (1985), and the 80's teen comedies "Welcome to 18" (1986) and "Jocks" (1987). She found her first series work as a teen parolee desperate to be accepted in the CBS series "Downtown" (1986). Two years later, Hargitay had a recurring run on "Falcon Crest" (CBS, 1981-1990) as the wily Carly Fixx, and continued guesting on other TV shows, often playing characters with an air of toughness. She acted alongside her father in the Hungarian-made "Mr. Universe" (1988), and co-starred in the martial arts vengeance saga "Perfect Weapon" (1991), but a leading screen career did not seem to be in the cards.

Following a turn as a hooker in "Leaving Las Vegas" (1995) Hargitay landed her first regular TV role, as Nancy McKeon's sexy next door neighbor on the short-lived sitcom "Can't Hurry Love" (1995). Her 1997 recurring role as the flighty single mother who falls for Anthony Edwards' Dr Mark Greene on "ER" (NBC, 1994- ) however, rejuvenated her career; enough that when the relationship ended, she landed a supporting role in a new police drama "Prince Street." The show was pulled after only a few episodes, but after so many forays into different character types in film and TV, the role seemed to finally be a good fit.

Following appearances in the taut thriller "Lake Placid" (1999), and a starring role in the Lifetime pic "Plain Truth" (2004), Hargitay finally found a career-making role as Detective Olivia Benson, a policewoman specializing in sex crimes on the NBC drama "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit." Her popular, empowering, character portrayal earned the actress her first Golden Globe Award in 2005 and her first Emmy win in 2006. Upon winning the latter, Hargitay made a point of thanking her famous father for everything he had done for her. The tearful speech was one of the highlights of the ceremony. Just 17 days later, on Sept. 14, 2006, her father died from multiple myeloma in Los Angeles, CA.

Hargitay took her position in the spotlight very much to heart, and began to do a great deal of charity work on behalf of women's support organizations. She became a certified rape crisis counselor and founded the Joyful Heart Foundation, a non-profit organization which aids victims of sexual abuse with various types of health and wellness programs. She also worked with the Mount Sinai Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention program, the Safe Horizons Advocacy Project, Santa Monica Rape Crisis Treatment Center, and Girl Scouts of the USA. In between her work on-set and do-good charities offscreen, Hargitay found time to marry fellow "SVU" star, Peter Hermann, who played attorney Trevor Langan on the show. They had one son together, August Miklos Friedrich Hermann, on June 28, 2006.

Hargitay made news of a different kind when in late December 2008, she suffered a partially collapsed lung after taking a fall during a "Law & Order" stunt. She underwent surgery in January 2009 and returned to work shortly after. On March 3, 2009, Hargitay was hospitalized again after suffering chest pains related to the injury. It was disclosed at that time that she would need more surgery. She returned to work a few months later after a full recovery. On a more positive note, that summer she secured her sixth overall Emmy Award nomination in the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series category for her exemplary work on "SVU," repeating the feat the following year as well.

    * Also Credited As:
      Marie Hargitay, Mariska M. Hargitay
    * Born:
      January 23, 1964 in Los Angeles, California, USA
    * Job Titles:
      Actor

Family

    * Brother: Miklós Hargitay Jr.. Born Dec. 21, 1958
    * Brother: Zoltán Anthony Hargitay.
    * Father: Mickey Hargitay. Married to Mansfield from 1958-64; died Sep. 14, 2006
    * Half-Brother: Octabiano Cimber. Born in 1965
    * Half-Sister: Jayne Marie Mansfield. Born c. 1950; daughter of Jayne Mansfield and Paul Mansfield
    * Half-Sister: Tina Hargitay. Born c. 1949; daughter of Mickey Hargitay and Mary Birge
    * Mother: Jayne Mansfield. 1950s-era sex symbol; was Playboy s February 1955, Playmate of the Month; died in an automobile crash (in which Mariska was in the back seat) in 1967
    * Parent: Mickey Hargitay.
    * Son: August Miklos Friedrich Herman. Born June 28, 2006; father is Peter Hermann
    * Step-Mother: Ellen Siano. Mickey Hargitay s third wife; helped raise Mariska after her mother died

Significant Others

    * Companion: Lance Young. Linked romantically in early 1990s
    * Husband: Peter Hermann. married August 28, 2004 in Santa Barbara

Education

    * University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles , California, Theater

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 in Tequila and Bonetti (CBS)
    * 1995 Played Nancy McKeon s sexy neighbor on the CBS sitcom Can t Hurry Love
    * 1995 Cast as a hooker in Mike Figgis Leaving Las Vegas
    * 1997 Appeared in the pilot for the ABC series Cracker ; replaced when the series was picked up
    * 1997 Signed deal to develop a sitcom with DreamWorks
    * 1997 Was regular on the short-lived NBC drama Prince Street
    * 1999 Co-starred in the NBC drama spin-off Law & Order: Special Victims Unit ; received Emmy (2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010), SAG (2003, 2005, 2006, 2009) and Golden Globe (2008) nominations for Best Actress in a Drama Series
    * Joined ER in the recurring role of Cynthia, a love interest for Dr. Mark Green (Anthony Edwards)
    * Nominated for the 2010 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in Drama Series

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