Mariska Hargitay

Mariska Hargitay as Olivia Benson in 'Law & Order: Special Victims Unit' in 2019

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

Mariska Hargitay is an American actor best known for her role as Olivia Benson in the drama Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. On the long-running TV show, Hargitay stars as a detective investigating sex crimes for the New York Police Department’s 16th Precinct in Manhattan.

The actor has appeared in every season of the NBC police procedural/legal drama since it debuted in 1999. She also won an Emmy Award in 2006 for her portrayal of Benson.

Aside from landing the role of a lifetime, she has appeared in numerous other TV series and movies. Her acting debut came in the 1984 cult classic Ghoulies. Subsequent roles include Carly Fixx on the popular primetime soap opera Falcon Crest in 1988; Cynthia Hooper in the 1990s George Clooney-led medical drama, ER; and Didi Edelstein in the mid-’90s sitcom Can’t Hurry Love. She also played law enforcement officers in the 1991 police procedural FBI: The Untold Stories and the short-lived 1992 drama Tequila and Bonetti.


  • Full name: Mariska Magdolna Hargitay
  • Born: January 23, 1964
  • Hometown: Santa Monica, California
  • Height: 5’8″
  • Net worth: $100 million
  • Spouse: Peter Hermann (m. 2004)
  • Children: Amaya Josephine Hermann, Andrew Nicolas Hargitay Hermann, August Miklos Friedrich Hermann
  • Top TV shows: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
  • Top movies: Tales From Earthsea, Lake Placid, Leaving Las Vegas, Ghoulies
  • Fun fact: She is the daughter of the 1950s actor/sex symbol Jayne Mansfield and bodybuilder/actor Mickey Hargitay

Featured Articles:

‘Law & Order: SVU’: Mariska Hargitay Felt Olivia Benson in Her Soul Before Landing Role


‘Law & Order: SVU’: Mariska Hargitay Listens to This ‘Hamilton Mixtape’ Song When Preparing for Emotional Scenes


See a Young Mariska Hargitay in a Can’t-Miss Throwback Photo From 10th Grade in 1979


Inside Mariska Hargitay and Peter Hermann’s Tragic Adoption Story Before They Adopted Their 2 Kids


Follow Mariska Hargitay on Instagram and Twitter.

Read more about Mariska Hargitay’s career, personal life, and latest projects: