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Mariska Hargitay is known for her role as Olivia Benson on the hit NBC series Law & Order: SVU. Season 22 is just days away, and it’s an exciting prospect for fans. However, Hargitay wasn’t always a successful actor. She had a number of “odd jobs” in the past, and it might surprise some fans to know the kinds of jobs she took on.

Mariska Hargitay reveals the ‘odd jobs’ she’s had in the past

Mariska Hargitay
Mariska Hargitay | Barbara Nitke/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

On the official YouTube channel for Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Hargitay answered fan questions on video. She was asked about “odd jobs,” and her answers did not disappoint. It turns out that the successful actor had a number of “odd jobs” at one point in her life, and they’re extremely relatable. She worked at a book store, and a number of restaurants as well.

“Did I have any odd jobs?” Hargitay questions in the video that was posted back in 2013. “They were all odd jobs. I worked so many places. I worked at Book Soup for a long time, which is a book store in my hometown. I worked at many a restaurant. I worked at a restaurant called Bon Appetit in Westwood. I worked at the Chart House,” where she was a hostess.

Hargitay also worked with elderly people where she “made some really cool relationships.” “I worked for some elderly people,” Hargitay continues. “I would go over their house and make sure that they were OK in the night, and give them their medication, which was really fulfilling and made some really cool relationships, sort of unexpected.”

Based on Hargitay’s next response, it’s clear she worked at a number of restaurants in her time. On further contemplation, Hargitay adds: “You know, waitress, waitress, waitress. Hostess, hostess, hostess. Wrapped presents for a while.” She recalls working at a book store and being a “cashier” as well.

Hargitay’s big break came in the form of ‘Law & Order: SVU’

Mariska Hargitay
Mariska Hargitay | Virginia Sherwood/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

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Hargitay made appearances on a number of shows and movies, according to IMDb. She was in the movie Ghoulies in 1984 where she played Donna. She was also in the series Downtown as Jesse Smith from 1986 to 1987. She played Carly Fixx in Falcon Crest in 1988. She even made an appearance on Baywatch in 1989.

In the 90s, she had a series of roles, including playing Officer Angela Garcia in Tequila and Bonetti in 1992. She made an appearance on Seinfeld in 1993, and played Cynthia Hooper in the hit series ER from 1997 to 1998. She was also in the 1999 movie Lake Placid. From 1997 to 2000, she played Detective Nina Echeverria on Prince Street.

But Hargitay’s big break came in the form of her starring role on Law & Order: SVU in 1999, where she’s stayed to this day. The series is about to premiere its 22nd season, to the delight of fans. Hargitay has come a long way, and it’s safe to say fans are glad she did.

Season 22 of Law & Order: SVU will premiere on Thursday, November 12, at 9 p.m. E.S.T.