Mariska Hargitay, born on January 23, 1964, is an actress known for her role as Detective Olivia Benson in the television series "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit." She began her acting career with a performance in the film "Ghoulies" in 1984 after majoring in theatre. Prior to landing her iconic role on "Law & Order: SVU" in 1999, she had a recurring role in the TV series "ER."
Hargitay is admired for her dedication and hard work. She performed her own stunt work on the show and quickly became the highest-paid actress on television. Her exceptional portrayal of Olivia Benson earned her numerous accolades, including Emmy and Golden Globe awards.
In addition to her acting career, Hargitay starred in the film "Plain Truth" in 2004. She is also an activist and founded the non-profit organization "Joyful Heart Foundation" to support survivors of domestic violence, child abuse, and sexual assault.
Hargitay achieved a significant milestone when she directed the 400th episode of "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit." She also broke the record for playing the same character, Olivia Benson, consecutively over the most seasons.
Becoming a mother later in life was a profound experience for Hargitay. She married Peter Hermann in 2004 and welcomed their first child, a son named August, in 2006 via Caesarean section. Hargitay expressed how motherhood transformed her perspective, stating that every day became deeper, richer, and more soulful.
After having her biological child, Hargitay and her husband desired to expand their family through adoption. They faced challenges due to their age and difficulty conceiving another child. However, they remained determined to give their son siblings and pursue their dream of adopting.
Their first attempt at adoption was heartbreaking. They formed a connection with a pregnant young woman and eagerly anticipated welcoming her baby girl into their family. However, the birth mother ultimately changed her mind, causing immense pain for Hargitay and her husband. Despite the heartbreak, Hargitay found solace in believing that it was the right outcome for the birth mother.
Undeterred by their previous experience, the couple continued their adoption journey. They wished to adopt a girl to fulfill their son's desire for a sister. They connected with another expectant mother, an African-American woman who did not consider race as a factor in the adoption. Hargitay was present in the delivery room and even assisted in delivering the baby girl. They chose the name Amaya, which shared the same initials as their son, August, and held meaningful interpretations in various languages.
Mariska Hargitay's path to motherhood has been marked by challenges and heartache, but she remains resilient and grateful for the profound blessings she has received.