Mariska Hargitay is a brilliant film and television actress. She was born as Mariska Magdolna Hargitay on January 23, 1964 at St. John’s Hospital in California. Her mother is Jayne Mansfield and his Hungarian father was Mickey Hargitay. She was brought up Roman Catholic. Her parents had a divorce in May 1963, however, it was later found out that their Mexican divorce was not valid so they reconciled but later on, they got separated again. Her mother remarries Director Matt Cimber but in June 29, 1967, her mother was killed through an automobile accident, together with her boyfriend and driver. Mariska was only three and a half years old at that time and she was sleeping at the back of the car along with her brothers when the accident happens. That is where she got her scar on her head. After the incident, she was raised by her father and his wife.
She studied at Marymount High School and she was an active cheerleader. She participates in school’s government for the students, sports and theatre. Acting is her passion so she studied at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) after finishing high school in 1982, the same year that she was crowned as Miss Beverly Hills, USA. In her first year in college, she had her agent and did few roles to her credit. She went to UCLA School of Theatre, Film and Television and left just before she finished her degree. Later, she initiated her career in acting. Mariska joined the improvisational troupe, The Groundlings in L.A., California under the actress and comedian, Kathy Griffin.
After she was crowned as Miss Beverly Hills, USA in year 1982, she joined another pageant, Miss California USA and got the 4th runner-up place. In 1984, she was seen in the music video for the song, She Loves My Car by Ronnie Milsap. Later, she bagged a small role in the horror-comedy series, Ghoulies. Initially, the actress stated that she never really thought of doing television shows until she was offered to do the show, Downtown. In year 1988, she appeared in the primetime television soap, Falcon Crest and essay her recurring role as Carly Fixx. In 1992, she acted as Officer Angela Garcia in the comedy drama series, Tequila and Bonetti and later appeared in the 4th season of the television sitcom, Seinfeld. Two years after, Mariska portrayed the role of Didi Edelstein in the American sitcom, Can’t Hurry Love. In 1997, she bagged the role of Nina Echeverria, a detective on television series, Prince Street. She also returned to ER’s fourth season as Cynthia Hooper. She appeared on a variety of television shows like Baywatch, Wiseguy, Thirtysomething, The Single Guy, Gabriel’s Fire, Freddy’s Nightmares, Ellen and a lot more.
In 1995, the actress has done a small role in the romantic drama film, Leaving Las Vegas and replaced Garielle Fitzpatrick who played as Dulcea in the superhero film, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie, but her scene was removed from the movie.
In 2007, Mariska and her son appeared in an advertisement, Got Milk? She played the main lead character in the police procedural drama series, Law & Order: Special Victims Units in 1999. On the last month of her pregnancy in 2006, she took a leave from the series and replaced her. In 2009, her contract expires and she was reportedly earning $375,000 to $385,000 each episode. After two months, her contract has been renewed and in 2012, she earned an estimated $400,000 to $500,000 each episode.
Mariska is fluent in English, Frenchm Spanish, Italian and Hungarian languages. She got married to Peter Hermann in 2004 at
in California. In 2006, she gave birth to her son, August Miklos Friedrich Hermann and later, they adopted Amaya Josephine. In 2011, they adopted another baby boy named, Andrew Nicolas Hargitay Hermann. Mariska is the founder of the Joyful Heart Foundation, an organization who aims to support people who survived sexual assault, child abuse and domestic violence.