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Santa Monica, California, USA
Claim to Fame
Olivia Benson on Law and Order: SVU
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Profile Bio Text
Mariska Magdolna Hargitay (born January 23, 1964) is an American actress, best known for her role as Det. Olivia Benson on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Hargitay is a winner of a Golden Globe Award and an Emmy Award.
Hargitay was born at St. John`s Hospital in Santa Monica, California, the daughter of Jayne Mansfield, an actress and 1950s-era sex symbol, and Hungarian-born former Mr. Universe Mickey Hargitay. Her first and middle names are Hungarian and refer to Mary Magdalene (Mariska is a diminutive of Maria). Her family name means "of Hargita". Hargitay has two half-sisters, Jayne Marie Mansfield and Tina Hargitay; two brothers, Miklós and Zoltán Hargitay; and a half-brother, Antonio Ottaviano (a.k.a. Tony Cimber), a former director whose works include the female wrestling show Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling.
Hargitay`s parents had divorced in May 1963, but a judge later found their Mexican divorce invalid. They had reconciled a few months before Mariska`s birth in January 1964 but soon separated again; and in August 1964, the Mexican divorce was ruled legal. A few weeks later, Mansfield married the director Matt Cimber, who had directed her in a 1964 production of the William Inge play Bus Stop.
On June 29, 1967, Jayne Mansfield was killed in an automobile accident on a stretch of U.S. Highway 90 between New Orleans and Slidell, Louisiana. Her boyfriend, Sam Brody, and the driver were also killed. Asleep in the back of the vehicle, Mariska, then three-and-a-half years old, was left with a zig-zag scar on one side of her head. Her brothers Miklós and Zoltán were also in the car, but escaped with minor injuries. After the death of their mother, the three siblings were raised by their father and his third wife, Ellen Siano.
Hargitay was active in the theater program of her secondary school Marymount High School; and she attended UCLA School of Theater Film and Television (where she was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma)but left six months before graduating as she began her career.
In 1982, Hargitay was crowned Miss Beverly Hills USA, and was fourth runner up at the Miss California USA Pageant in Oxnard. She made her screen debut with a small role in Star 80. Within a few years she had landed recurring roles in the television series Downtown and Falcon Crest, in which she played the character Carly Fixx. She portrayed police officer Angela Garcia in the 1992 series Tequila & Bonetti, and appeared in an episode of the fourth season of Seinfeld. Two years later, Hargitay portrayed Didi Edelstein, the sexy next-door neighbor, in the 1995 sitcom Can`t Hurry Love, which starred Nancy McKeon. In 1997, Hargitay played detective Nina Echeverria on the drama series Prince Street, and had a recurring role as Cynthia Hooper during the fourth season of ER.
Hargitay has appeared on numerous other television programs, including: Freddy`s Nightmares, Ellen, All American Girl, Baywatch, Cracker, Gabriel`s Fire, In the Heat of the Night, JoJo`s Circus, The Single Guy, Wiseguy, and thirtysomething. Her voice is featured on the 2005 video game True Crime: New York City. Hargitay also had a minor role ("Hooker in Bar") in the 1995 film Leaving Las Vegas, and briefly replaced Gabrielle Fitzpatrick in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie, although the footage was deemed unusable.
Since 1999, Hargitay has portrayed Det. Olivia Benson, the female lead in the drama series Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. "As a woman, it’s gratifying to play such a multilayered part," she stated on her official website. "Olivia is not only a competent, street-smart cop, she’s also an empathetic woman who can respond emotionally to victims of terrible crimes without compromising her professionalism." As a result of her casting, Hargitay has been named as the "highest paid TV actress" working today in the Guinness Book of World Records 2008 Edition.
Hargitay speaks Hungarian, French, Spanish and Italian as well as English. On August 28, 2004, in Santa Barbara, California, she married Peter Hermann, an actor and writer who has often appeared on SVU as Defense Attorney Trevor Langan. On June 28, 2006, Hargitay gave birth to August Miklos Friedrich Hermann, by caesarean section. During the last months of her pregnancy, she took maternity leave from SVU, and was temporarily replaced by Connie Nielsen. She appeared with her baby, August, in a Got Milk? ad in January 2007.
Upon winning her Emmy on August 27, 2006, Hargitay made a point of thanking her father for everything he had done for her in her life. Just 17 days later, on September 14, 2006, her father died from multiple myeloma in Los Angeles, California, aged 80.
In late December 2008, she suffered a partially collapsed lung after a sledding accident in the Hamptons.
On March 3, 2009, Hargitay was hospitalized after suffering chest pains. It was disclosed that she would prob
Couple Profile Source
University of California at Los Angeles (dropped out)
Full Name at Birth
Mariska Magdolna Hargitay
Page Display = 2 (Legacy)
Paulo Coelho (Author)
Marymount High School, Los Angeles, California
Mickey Hargitay (actor/bodybuilder)
Jayne Mansfield (actress/model)
Zoltan Hargitay, Mickey Hargitay Jr., Antonio Ottaviano (half-brother)
Jayne Marie Mansfield (half-sister) (actress/model), Tina Hargitay (half-sister)
Mariska Hargitay ( mə-RISH-kə HAR-gi-tay; born Mariska Magdolna Hargitay; January 23, 1964) is an American actress, best known for her role as New York City sex crimes Detective Olivia Benson on the NBC television drama Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, a role that has earned her multiple awards and nominations, including an Emmy and Golden Globe.
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