Jan. 23rd, 1964
Santa Monica, California, USA
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 (born 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), 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' (August 28, 2004). They divide their time between New York and Los Angeles.
- Godmother of her _"Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (1999)_ (qv) co-star, 'Christopher Meloni' (qv)'s daughter Sophia.
- 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.
- Has a partially collapsed lung, but condition is improving [January 13, 2009].
- Following the family's acting lineage, Mariska has a cousin, actor 'Eddie Hargitay' (qv).
- In June 1967 she and her two brothers were asleep in the back seat of a car when it smashed into the back of a trailer truck instantly killing her mother ('Jayne Mansfield' (qv)), the driver and Mansfield's boyfriend, attorney Sam Brody. Miraculously, the three children escaped with minor injuries.
- Founder and President of a non-profit organization to aid the victims of rape - The Joyful Heart Foundation.
- Married 'Peter Hermann (I)' (qv) on August 28, 2004 at California's Unitarian Historical Chapel.