January 23, 2011 by USA Post
Mariska Hargitay, Today Mariska Hargitay’s Birthday, she is now 47, Mariska Hargitay (born Mariska Magdolna Hargitay; January 23, 1964) is an American actress. She is the daughter of late actor and professional bodybuilder Mickey Hargitay and late actress Jayne Mansfield. After winning the Miss Beverly Hills 1982 beauty pageant, she went on to study theater at UCLA and started acting at age 20 with her film debut in the 1985 horror-comedy film Ghoulies. She made her first major television debut in the 1986 one-hour adventure drama series, downtown. She had small roles in television shows throughout the late 1980s and 90s.
In 1999 she was cast as Olivia Benson, a New York City detective who investigates sex crimes on the NBC television drama Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, a role that has earned her multiple award nominations and an Emmy and Golden Globe since the show’s debut. She met her future husband Peter Hermann, who played Defense Attorney Trevor Langan on SVU. They were married in 2004, the same year she established an organization – the Joyful Heart Foundation – that provides support to women who have been sexually abused.
Hargitay was born at St. John’s Hospital in Los Angeles, California, the daughter of actress and 1950s-era sex symbol Jayne Mansfield. Her father was the Hungarian-born former Mr. Universe Mickey Hargitay.  Her first and middle names is Hungarian and refer to Mary Magdalene (Mariska is a diminutive of Mary). Her family name means “of Hargita”. Hargitay was raised Roman Catholic.  She has two half-sisters, Jayne Marie Mansfield and Tina Hargitay; two brothers, Mikl? S and Zolt? N Hargitay; and a half-brother, Antonio Ottaviano (also known as Tony Cimber), a former director whose works include the female wrestling show Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling
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