Mariska Hargitay's Transformation From Childhood To Law And Order SVU


Mariska Hargitay was born to parents that were no strangers to fame, but tragedy struck in 1967, when her mom, actress Jayne Mansfield, died in a car accident. That didn’t stop her from pursuing an acting career though, and she made her acting debut in the 1985 film “Ghoulies.”

The following year, Hargitay made her television debut on the CBS crime procedural “Downtown,” where she starred alongside Robert Englund and Blair Underwood. Even though the show was canceled after one season, Hargitay continued to make guest appearances in shows like "Freddy's Nightmares – A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Series" and “Falcon Crest.”

In 1991, she landed the lead role of Anita in the romantic comedy "Hard Time Romance,” which was director John Lee Hancock’s debut. The movie got her more exposure, and in the following two years, she starred in the CBS dramedy “Tequila and Bonetti” and the film “Bank Robber.”

Hargitay landed a role on the CBS sitcom "Can't Hurry Love," where she played Didi Edelstein, but the show was quickly canceled. She followed this with a stint on "ER" as Cynthia Hooper, a desk clerk who forges a connection with Dr. Mark Greene.

In September 1999, Hargitay began playing her signature role of Detective Olivia Benson. To date, she has appeared in almost 500 episodes of “Law & Order: SVU,” and she has been nominated for two Golden Globes, winning one in 2005.

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