Jan. 23rd, 1964
Santa Monica, California, USA
5' 7 1/2"
Mariska Hargitay's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles2008 - The Love Guru
1999 - Lake Placid
1995 - Leaving Las Vegas
1991 - The Perfect Weapon
1985 - Ghoulies
Guest TV Roles
Detective Olivia Benson
Kate Conklin the Mounted Cop
Detective Penny Hatfield
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.
Mariska majored in theater at UCLA but dropped out before graduating. Her first motion picture feature was the cult favorite, Ghoulies (1985), where she gave a memorable performance as Donna. She also appeared in Leaving Las Vegas (1995), credited as 'Hooker at the bar', and in Lake Placid (1999) as Myra Okubo. Her latest movie, Plain Truth (2004) (TV), in which she plays attorney Ellie Harrison will air in the fall of 2004.
In 1999 she was cast in the role of Det. Olivia Benson in "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (1999), the first spinoff from the excellent franchise of "Law & Order" (1990) (which also has two other spinoffs, "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" (2001) and "Law & Order: Trial by Jury" (2005)). This show deals with sex crimes and the detectives who solve these cases.
Mariska speaks English, Hungarian, French and Italian. She married actor Peter Hermann (I) on August 28, 2004. They divide their time between New York and Los Angeles.
- One of People magazine's "100 most beautiful" (2008).
- Spoke in 2007 for Girl Scouts of Greater New York Scholars Program about her career and how she became who she is.
- Majored in theatre at UCLA, but quit shortly before graduating.
- First woman ever from the Law and Order franchise to receive award nominations and wins.
- Replaced 'Gabrielle Fitzpatrick' (qv) in _Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie (1995)_ (qv) as Dulcea, but her scenes were re-shot with 'Gabrielle Fitzpatrick' (qv) returning as Dulcea.
- 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)_ (qv) while aiding the victim.
- (14th September 2006) Her father 'Mickey Hargitay' (qv) died after a lengthy illness at the age of 80.
- Founder and President of a non-profit organization to aid the victims of rape - The Joyful Heart Foundation.