30 Little Known Facts About Mariska Hargitay You Might Have Missed Before

Mariska Hargitay
(Photo : EllasPortofolio)

Mariska Hargitay, famous for her fierce character on “Law and Order: SVU,” has been in the limelight for nearly 4 decades now. Especially with her character of Olivia Benson, she has left an ever-lasting impact in the hearts of millions of audiences. She is known for her dedication to every role she takes, as she trained as a rape crisis counselor, before taking up the role as Benson. Still, the path to success was not an easy one, as she was being constantly compared with her late mother, to the extent that she should die her hair in a different colour, just like her mother. Here are some really interesting things about the actress that will blow your mind:

    NO MORE and Mariska Hargitay 20619"NO MORE and Mariska Hargitay 20619" by tedeytan is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

  1.  Hargitay is the founder and president of a non-profit organization – The Joyful Heart Foundation, which provides support to survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, and child abuse.
  2.  She was one of the six finalists for the lead character of NBC police procedural series “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.” She auditioned with Christopher Meloni, in the final round.
  3.  After she and Meloni left, there was dead silence moment among the officials from NBC and Studios. Wolf broke the silence saying “there’s no doubt whom to choose – Hargitay and Meloni.”
  4.  She suffered a partially collapsed lung after taking a fall during a stunt on the set of SVU in late December 2008, and underwent surgery in January 2009.
  5.  She was hospitalized in March 2009, after suffering from chest pains related to the injury. Due to this, she missed one episode on SV’s tenth season.
  6.  Mariska Magdolna Hargitay was born on January 23, 1964 to Mickey Hargitay and Jayne Mansfield, at Providence Saint John's Health Center, in Santa Monica, California.
  7.  Her father was the Hungarian-born former Mr. Universe, while her mother was actress and 1950s-era sex symbol, one of the early Playboy Playmates.
  8.  She has two older brothers – Miklós and Zoltán. She also has three half siblings – Jayne Marie Mansfield and Antonio "Tony" Cimber, from her mother’s other marriages, and Tina Hargitay from her father’s other marriage.
  9.  Her parents were officially divorced in May 1963, but their Mexican divorce was found to be invalid by a judge. It was also after their divorce that her mother found out about pregnancy.
  10.  Mansfield and Hargitay reconciled a few months before Hargitay’s birth, but in August 1964, Mansfield successfully petitioned the court to rule the Mexican divorce legal.
  11. Mariska Hargitay"Mariska Hargitay" by atomtetsuwan2002 is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

  12.  Mariska’s mother was in an automobile accident, which instantly killed her, on a stretch of U.S. Route 90 between New Orleans and Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, on June 29, 1967.
  13.  Mariska was three-and-a-half years old, asleep in the back of the vehicle, during the incident. She was left with a zig-zag scar on one side of her head, while her brothers Miklós and Zoltán, escaped with minor injuries.
  14.  Following the death of her mother, she and her siblings were raised by their father and his third wife Ellen Siano. She always claims in interviews that “the loss of her mother has left a hole in her life, and that she can never get over it.”
  15.  Her father died in the year 2006, from multiple myeloma in Los Angeles, California, at the age of 80.
  16.  She studied at the Catholic secondary school, Marymount High School, where she was active in cheerleading, student government, athletics, and the theater program.
  17.  After graduating from high school in the year 1982, she enrolled at UCLA, as enjoys acting. She attended UCLA School of Theater Film and Television where she was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma.
  18.  Hargitay was crowned Miss Beverly Hills USA in 1982. Around this time, while she was just a freshman in college, she already had an agent, and also had several small roles to her credit.
  19.  She also attended Groundlings Theatre and School in Los Angeles, however, with so many offers lining up, she quit her studies before completing her degree.
  20.  In the year 1983, she competed in the Miss California USA pageant, and placed fourth runner-up to Julie Hayek, who was later crowned to be Miss USA.
  21.  She appeared in Ronnie Milsap's music video for "She Loves My Car" in the year 1984. This was the first country music video to have appeared on MTV.
  22. law and order"law and order" by alacoolb is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

  23.  She had never thought of taking up any television roles, until, she was offered a role in the one-hour adventure drama series “Downtown.” At that time, life auditioning for a Hollywood role, was also too difficult for her, as she was constantly being compared to her mother.
  24.  She appeared in the two-part fourth season finale episode of Seinfeld, where they had her read for the role of Elaine Benes in "The Pilot".
  25.  Hargitay briefly replaced Gabrielle Fitzpatrick as Dulcea in “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie.” However, her scenes did not make to the final cut, as Fitzpatrick recovered from her surgery and returned to film.
  26.  She met actor Peter Hermann on the set of “Law & Order: SVU,” in which he plays the recurring role of Defense Attorney Trevor Langan.
  27.  The couple got married on August 28, 2004 in Santa Barbara, California. She gave birth to their son – August Miklos Friedrich Hermann, on June 28, 2006, by an emergency caesarean section.
  28.  Hargitay and Hermann adopted a baby girl – Amaya Josephine and attended her birth in April 2011. They also adopted a baby boy – Andrew Nicolas Hargitay Hermann in October 2011.
  29.  On September 27, 2011, Hargitay donated $100,000 to her alma mater, the UCLA School of Theater Film and Television for scholarship.
  30.  She was featured in the NBC's “The More You Know” Season 17 public service announcements in 2006, and again in the spring of 2009.
  31.  She produced a documentary “I Am Evidence,” which followed the statistics of thousands of untested rape kits. She called this lack of testing "the clearest and most shocking demonstration of how we regard these crimes in our country."
  32.  Hargitay was awarded with the 2,511th star of the Hollywood Walk of Fame on November 8, 2013. Her star was placed next to the star of her mother, which is located at 6328 Hollywood Boulevard.
  33.  Mariska Hargitay Net Worth: $100 Million

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