Mariska Hargitay is an American actress best known for her role as Detective Olivia Benson on the television series Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
Hargitay is also known for her recurring role on ER as Dr. Greene's (Anthony Edwards) girlfriend Cynthia Hooper in the 1997-98 season of the top-rated show.
She also gained notice as a cast regular in the sitcom Can't Hurry Love with Nancy McKeon and Louis Mandylor.
Additional television credits include guest roles on NBC's Seinfeld, Ellen and thirtysomething, and starring roles on Falcon Crest and Prince Street.
Hargitay was also seen in the telefilms The Advocate's Devil and Night Sins, as well as the Lifetime movie Plain Truth.
Her film credits include the thriller Lake Placid written by David E. Kelley and starring Bridget Fonda, the critically-acclaimed Leaving Las Vegas, David Lynch's Hotel Room, Bob Fosse's Star 80, abd Michael Rymer's Perfume.
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Hargitay is the youngest daughter of screen legend Jayne Mansfield and Mickey Hargitay. She divides her time between New York and Los Angeles. The UCLA graduate speaks Hungarian, French and Italian.
Hargitay is married to actor Peter Hermann, who starred in the Universal/Working Title's United 93, and who has a recurring role on SVU as attorney Trevor Langan.