Mariska Hargitay's role as Detective Olivia Benson on Law and Order: Special Victims Unit (SVU) has brought her financial success. Reports from as far back as 2009 indicated that she was earning between $375,000 and $385,000 per episode. By 2014, her salary had increased to $450,000 per episode, making her one of the highest-paid entertainers on television. In 2018, it was estimated that she was receiving up to $500,000 per episode.
Apart from her acting income, Hargitay and her husband have invested in real estate, further adding to their financial assets. Her role on SVU has not only made her a millionaire but has also had a significant impact on her personal life.
Before achieving financial success, Hargitay faced challenges. She was born to famous parents, who eventually split, and her mother passed away when she was young. Despite pressure to fit into certain molds, she persevered in pursuing acting, drawing inspiration from her father, who won Mr. Universe in 1955.
Hargitay experienced low self-esteem and fear in her younger years but overcame these obstacles. Financial success eluded her until her 30s, as she struggled with unstable paychecks from short-lived dramas and guest roles. She even accumulated significant debt during this time.
At the age of 35, Hargitay landed the role of Olivia Benson on Law & Order: SVU. Taking a leap of faith, she moved to New York for the role, which turned out to be life-changing. The show has not only brought her financial stability but also had a profound impact on her personal life.
Playing the role of Benson exposed Hargitay to the harsh realities of sexual assault, leading her to develop a passion for advocating for survivors. She has used her platform to raise awareness and support organizations working in this field. Additionally, Hargitay met her husband, Peter Hermann, on the set of SVU. They have been happily married for over two decades and have children together.
Mariska Hargitay's journey from financial instability to becoming a millionaire through her role on SVU is a testament to her talent, perseverance, and the impact of being part of a long-running successful television series.