There is much for Mariska Hargitay to celebrate, including her family, boffo career, and the very special milestone that she is about to pass.
Happy Birthday, Mariska Hargitay!
And that’s because she was born on January 23, 1964, in Santa Monica, California, which means that this much-beloved performer is turning 57 years old today! Despite her impressive pedigree – she is, after all, the daughter of Mr. Universe Mickey Hargitay and silver screen siren Jayne Mansfield – Hargitay took tentative steps in cultivating her acting career.
She appeared in Ronnie Milsap’s music video for She Loves My Car (which became the first country music video to appear on MTV), and gained her first professional role via a bit part in Bob Fosse’s Star 80 (1983). Next, Hargitay took a small role in the B-grade creature feature Ghoulies (1985), then she landed a recurring role in the short-lived CBS series Downtown (1986).
Hargitay played characters in two big-screen comedies: Welcome to 18 (1986), and Jocks (1987). Despite the lure of higher pay, she chose not to perform a nude scene in the latter film, especially as she felt producers were attempting to trade on her status as Mansfield’s daughter.
In 1988, Hargitay starred alongside her father in a biopic about his own career, Mr. Universe, and landed a recurring role on the CBS serial Falcon Crest (ex-Carly Fixx).
Over the next few years, Hargitay continued to find employment in a variety of film and TV projects. Among the many in the former category are Bank Robber (1993), Leaving Las Vegas (1995), Lake Placid (1999), and the latter includes Baywatch (1989), Wiseguy (1990), Thirtysomething (1990), ER (1997-1998) as well as several short-lived series including police procedurals Tequila and Bonetti (1992), and the Nancy McKeon-starring sitcom Can’t Hurry Love (1995-1996).
In 1999, Hargitay was hired to portray NYPD Detective Olivia Benson in the Law & Order spinoff, Law & Order: SVU. She is the sole remaining original cast member, and her continued presence has netted the actress both critical and commercial success as well as a slew of acting accolades including Primetime Emmy and Golden Globe awards.
Hargitay is the founder and former president of the Joyful Heart Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to providing support to survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, and child abuse. She also speaks five languages: English, French, Hungarian, Spanish, and Italian.
Hargitay has been married to Peter Hermann, an actor whom she met on the SVU set during his tenure as recurring character, Trevor Langan, since August 28, 2004. The couple welcomed a son, August Miklos Friedrich on June 28, 2006, then subsequently adopted a baby girl, Amaya Josephine, and a baby boy, Andrew Nicolas Hargitay.
Entertainment Hub would like to wish Mariska Hargitay a very happy birthday, and you can too by clicking on the Twitter link below. Law & Order airs Thursday nights on NBC. Check your local listings for airtimes.