Mariska Hargitay

Mariska Hargitay, born on January 23, 1964, is a famous actress, philanthropist, and movie director. Over the course of her career, she has appeared in a number of television shows. She made her film debut in 1985 with the horror movie “Ghoulies.” The actress rose to prominence for her performance in the 1986 drama series “Downtown” and the 1999 show “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.” A proud recipient of the Golden Globe and Emmy, Hargitay is also the founder of the Joyful Heart Foundation.

Fast Facts

Full Name:

Mariska Magdolna Hargitay

Birth date:

January 23, 1964



Zodiac Sign:



5' 7.7"

Relationship Status:


Net Worth:

$100 million

Mariska's Social Media:


Mariska Hargitay was born in Santa Monica, California, U.S., to parents Jayne Mansfield and Mickey Hargitay. The actress has two older brothers, Zoltan and Miklos. Her parents parted ways in 1964. Her mother later married Matt Climber, but the relationship ended after two years.

In June 1967, young Hargitay was traveling with her mom and brothers when an unfortunate incident occurred. Their car had an accident, which killed her mother, while her brothers suffered minor bruises. Asleep in the back seat, the three-year-old Hargitay was left with a scar on her head. After her mother’s death, she was brought up by her father and his wife, Ellen Siano. She later said that the loss of her mother left a void in her life that would never be filled. Her father passed away in 2006 owing to multiple myeloma.

When she was a teenager, Hargitay wanted to become Miss Universe. She was crowned Miss Beverly Hills in the 1980s. She also competed in the Miss California pageant. In 1984, she appeared in a music video for the track ‘She Loves My Car’ by Ronnie Milsap. In 1985, she began a career in acting with a small role in “Ghoulies.” She then appeared in a number of television shows, such as “Freddy’s Nightmare – A Nightmare on Elm Street,” “True Crime: New York City,” “All-American Girl,” “In the Heat of the Night,” and “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.”

Career timeline

She Appears on T.V.

Hargitay appears in the T.V. show “Freddy’s Nightmare - A Nightmare on Elm Street.”

She Plays a Detective

Hargitay plays the role of Detective Olivia Benson in the popular T.V. show “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.”

The Hollywood Walk of Fame

Hargitay is honored with the 2,511th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, next to her mother’s.

An Actor Turned Producer

The actress tries her hands at production, making a documentary titled “I Am Evidence.”

Why We Love Mariska Hargitay

  1. Her philanthropy

    In 2004, Mariska Hargitay established the Joyful Heart Foundation in a bid to extend support to survivors of domestic violence, child abuse, and sexual assault. Over the years, the organization has raised millions of dollars and helped thousands of individuals.

  2. Her versatility

    Hargitay is a woman of many talents. Alongside being an actor, she is also a director and a producer. She has also appeared in several music videos and a video game.

  3. Her impressive accomplishments

    Over the course of her career, the actress has hit several milestones. As mentioned earlier, she has her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Hargitay is also a recipient of many awards, such as the Gracie Allen Award, Golden Globe Award, Emmy Awards, and the People’s Choice Awards.

5 Surprising Facts

  1. Her family’s legacy

    Mariska Hargitay’s mother was an acclaimed actress and her father was an actor, bodybuilder, and former Mr. Universe!

  2. Her improv teacher

    Kathy Griffin taught her improv.

  3. Her on- and off-screen personalities

    The actress believes that she is similar to her character in “Law & Order” to the point that she does not know where she ends and Olivia begins.

  4. Her relationship with Taylor Swift

    Hargitay is close with Swift, who named one of her cats after Hargitay’s character Olivia Benson.

  5. She is multilingual

    The actress can speak Italian, French, Hungarian, Spanish, and English!

Mariska Hargitay FAQs

How old was Mariska Hargitay when she lost her mother?

Hargitay was three years old when her mother died.

When did Mariska Hargitay have a baby?

Hargitay’s first baby and only biological child was born on June 28, 2006.

Does Mariska Hargitay have any other children?

Yes, she has three kids, Amaya, August, and Andrew.

Mariska Hargitay’s birthday dates

2025January 23Thursday
2026January 23Friday
2027January 23Saturday
2028January 23Sunday
2029January 23Tuesday

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