Mariska Magdolna Hargitay (b. January 23, 1964), US actress

Hargitay is an actress best known (thus far) for her role as NYPD Detective Olivia Benson on Law & Order : Special Victims Unit.

Hargitay is the youngest child of actress Jayne Mansfield and former Mr. Universe Mickey Hargitay. They divorced before their daughter’s first birthday. She, along with her two older brothers, was in the back seat of the car when her mother was killed (and, according to a false urban legend, decapitated) in a grisly 1967 accident. She bears a scar on the side of her head but says she retains no memory of the event. Hargitay grew up with her father and stepmother Ellen Siano, a flight attendant.

The early screen success that her mother had eluded Hargitay and comparisons to the famed blonde bombshell (Hargitay is not blonde) frustrated her. Most of her career has consisted of B-movie roles, guest roles on popular TV shows, and starring roles on failed shows.

Her breakthrough role was a 14 episode run on ER as Cynthia Hooper, a single mom and clerical worker who dated Dr. Mark Greene.

Filmography from Contemporary Theatre, Film and Television, Volume 31. Gale Group, 2000.

Television Appearances


* Jesse Smith, Downtown, CBS, 1986
* Carly Fixx, Falcon Crest, CBS, 1988
* Officer Angela Garcia, Tequila and Bonetti, CBS, 1992
* Jane, All-American Girl, ABC, 1994
* Didi Edelstein, Can't Hurry Love, CBS, 1995
* Detective Nina Echeverria, Prince Street, NBC, 1997
* Cynthia Hooper, ER, NBC, 1997-98
* Detective Olivia Benson, Law & Order : Special Victims Unit, NBC, 1999-


* Etta Place, The Gambler V: Playing for Keeps, CBS, 1994
* Paige Price, Night Sins, CBS, 1997


* Lisa Karsh, Finish Line, TNT, 1989
* Melanie, Blindside (also known as Blind Side), HBO, 1993
* Rendi, The Advocate's Devil, ABC, 1997


* Host, The Fiesta Bowl Parade, 1995
* Wendy, "Love and the Blind Date," Love, American Style, ABC, 1999


* Penny Hadfield, Cracker (also known as Cracker: Mind over Murder and Fitz), ABC, 1997


* thirtysomething, ABC, 1987
* Audine, "And Then You Die," In the Heat of the Night, NBC, 1988
* Marsha, "Freddy's Tricks and Treats," Freddy's Nightmares (also known as Freddy's Nightmares: A Nightmare on Elm Street, the Series), syndicated, 1988
* Lisa Peters, "Second Wave," Baywatch, syndicated, 1989
* "Romp," Wiseguy, CBS, 1989
* Courtney Dunn, "fathers and lovers," thirtysomething, 1990
* Michelle Larkin, "Black Diamond Run," Booker, 1990
* Melissa Shannon, "The Pilot," Seinfeld, NBC, 1993
* Diane, "Getting Rid of Robert," Hotel Room (also known as David Lynch's Hotel Room), HBO, 1993
* Dara, "The Mugging," Ellen, ABC, 1995
* Jane, "The Young Americans," All-American Girl, 1995
* Policewoman Kate Conklin, "Pilot Redux aka Mounted Cop," The Single Guy, NBC, 1996
* Policewoman Kate Conklin, "Kept Man," The Single Guy, NBC, 1996
* Policewoman Kate Conklin, "The Virgin," The Single Guy, NBC, 1996
* Detective Olivia Benson, "Entitled (2)," Law & Order, NBC, 2000
* Detective Olivia Benson, "Fools for Love," Law & Order, NBC, 2000

Film Appearances

* Donna, Ghoulies, Empire, 1985
* Nicole, Jocks (also known as Road Trip), Crown, 1986
* Joey, Welcome to 18 (also known as Summer Release), American Distribution, 1986
* Mr. Universe, Hungarofilm, 1987
* Strawberry Road, Toho Co., 1991
* Jennifer, The Perfect Weapon, Paramount, 1991
* Marisa Benoit, Bank Robber, IRS Releasing, 1993
* Anita, Hard Time Romance, 1993
* Hooker at bar, Leaving Las Vegas, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/United Artists, 1995
* Myra Okubo, Lake Placid, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1999

Contemporary Theatre, Film and Television, Volume 31. Gale Group, 2000.
TV Guide, August 17-23, 2002.

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