Of part-Hungarian ancestry through her father, actress Mariska Magdolna Hargitay was born on the 23rd January 1964, in Santa Monica, California USA. Mariska has been involved in the entertainment industry since 1983, but is probably best recognized as Olivia Benson from the long-running television series “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” from 1999 to the present, which has won her a number of personal and collective awards, including Golden Globe and Emmy. Hargitay is involved not only in the acting, but directs and produces the television series.
So how rich is Mariska Hargitay, as of early 2017? Authoritative sources have estimated that the net worth of Mariska reaches almost $50 million, unsurprising as she is reputed to earn $400,000 per episode of “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit”, which continues on air, and makes her one of the highest paid actors.
Mariska Hargitay Net Worth $50 Million
Mariska Hargitay was born to two celebrities – her father Mickey became an actor after winning the 1955 Mr. Universe title, and her mother, Jayne Mansfield, was the actress, singer, and Hollywood sex symbol of the 1950s. Prior to launching her career as an actress, Mariska appeared several pageants, being crowned as Miss Beverly Hills, and participating in the Miss California USA competition. Afterwards, she decided to throw herself seriously into acting, and attended the UCLA School of Theater Film and Television. Initially Mariska appeared in several music videos, then in 1985 she debuted on the big screen with a role in the film “Ghoulies”.
Subsequently, Hargitay was part of the main cast of the crime drama series “Downtown” in 1986, then appeared in a great number of television series of varying quality over the period 1987 to 1999, including “Falcon Crest”, “Tequila and Bonetti”, “Hotel Room”, “Gambler V: Playing for Keeps”. “All-American Girl”, “The Single Guy” , and “ER” from 1997 to ‘98), as well as feature films including “Jocks”, “The Perfect Weapon” and “Leaving Las Vegas” .
All these added consistently to her overall net worth, however, without doubt the most successful and fruitful role she has landed is that of Detective Olivia Benson in the series “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit”, which has aired 358 episodes from 1999 to date, and is still one of the most popular crime dramas shown on TV. The series has added significant amounts to Hargitay’s bank account, as consequently Mariska has appeared in many series’ spin-offs, for example, “Law & Order: Trial by Jury”. Moreover, since 2014 she has become a director and producer of the series, an extra input to her net worth.
Always active, Mariska continues to land roles in other well-known series too, including in “Plain Truth” and “My Life on the D-List”, as well as films including “Perfume”. “Tales from Earthsea” and “The Love Guru” though none of the characters created have been as successful or lucrative as the detective Olivia Benson.
In her personal life, Mariska Hargitay has been married to the actor and writer Peter Hermann since 2004, and they are the parents of three children, two of them adopted. Mariska is also a polyglot, fluent in five languages including Italian, Spanish, French and Hungarian. Additionally, she organizes many charity events, and is a direct generous donator to various funds too.
She received a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame next to her mother's star.
Mariska trained with Joanne Baron in the two-year Meisner program.
Aunt of Jianni Cimber (Tony's daughter), Brandon and Mickey Hargitay III.
She and Peter Hermann divide their time between New York and Los Angeles.
Received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, right next to her mother Jayne Mansfield's star.
She was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6328 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on November 8, 2013.
When Jayne Mansfield was three years old, her father, who was thirty-four years old, died of a heart attack, leaving her with a shattering void in her life. In a eerie coincidence, when Mariska was three years old, her mother, who was thirty-four years old, died in a car crash. Mariska would later say that "losing my mother at such an early age is the scar of my soul".
In 1992, she was engaged to a studio executive, Lance Young, but later broke off the engagement.
She can only remember two events from her life with her mother Jayne Mansfield, who died when Mariska was only three years old. One is when her mother served her breakfast, and the other is when she rubbed her head while they were in bed together.
(September 14, 2006) Her father Mickey Hargitay died after a lengthy illness at age 80.
One of People magazine's 100 Most Beautiful People in the World (2006).
Gave birth, via C-section to her first child, a son, August Miklós Friedrich Hermann (10 lb., 9oz.), on June 28, 2006 at 3:21PM.
First woman ever from the Law and Order franchise to receive award nominations and wins.
(August 28, 2004) Married Peter Hermann at California's Unitarian Historical Chapel.
Former sister-in-law of Dana Hargitay, ex-wife of her brother Miklos.
Founder and president of a non-profit organization to aid the victims of rape - The Joyful Heart Foundation.
She learned to swim at the age of two and later swam for her high school.
One of People magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People in the World (2005).
On one occasion, she came upon a pregnant woman who collapsed while in New York City. When no one else came to the woman's aid, she lapsed into her character on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999) while aiding the victim.
Her father was Hungarian, while her American-born mother was of 7/8ths English and 1/8th German ancestry. Mariska's maternal grandparents were Vera J. Palmer and Herbert W. Palmer (Jayne Mansfield's parents).
Became good friends with Maria Bello when she had a recurring role on ER (1994) in 1997-1998.
Won the Miss Beverly Hills 1982 pagent.
Has a zig-zag scar down the side of her head from the 1967 crash that killed her mother, Jayne Mansfield. She was only three years old when she was involved in the crash and has no memory of the event.
Majored in theatre at the University of California, Los Angeles.
In June 1967, she and her two brothers were asleep in the back seat of a car when it smashed into the back of a trailer truck instantly killing her mother (Jayne Mansfield), the driver and Mansfield's boyfriend, attorney Sam Brody. Miraculously, the three children escaped with minor injuries.
Speaks English, French, Hungarian, Italian and Spanish.
[on dealing with sexual offences] Society continues to misplace blame and shame on survivors - both women and men - on college campuses and everywhere else. That has to end. We must confront the myths and excuses that help perpetuate sexual assault. We must speak out about these issues boldly and often, because criminals thrive when we are silent, when we are reluctant to engage, when we insist that these issues are too murky to sort out.
[Her tearful acceptance speech when she received the Muse Award from the New York Women in Film in 2012] My mother was the actress Jayne Mansfield, and she died when I was just three years old. And so on this day when I find myself in this room full of powerful forces, personified as women, I miss her very much, and I wish she was here.
[on her mother Jayne Mansfield] I think that she was a woman who was way before her time, because I don't know how somebody can have five children and yet still be a sex symbol! She was just amazing.
[on the disturbing aspects of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999)] When I read the script sometimes, it's like "Christ! Enough!". I can't sleep at night sometimes. There's the occasional script that just hammers you, that you can't shower off.
[Part of her 2005 Golden Globe acceptance speech] Fifty years ago, my mother stood on this stage accepting this award. She was fortunate enough to have my dad with her. Fifty years later, I'm fortunate enough to have my dad with me. I love you, Dad.
Everything has combined to make my life in New York an amazing experience. I told my manager a few years ago that I wanted to move here and try acting in the theater. Then this show came up. Now I'm in this show that means something to me and a lot of other people.