Mariska Hargitay Calls Her Late Mom an ‘Incredible Pioneer’ in a Revealing New Interview

Emmy and Golden Globe winner Mariska Hargitay looks up to her mother, actress Jayne Mansfield, saying she was a trailblazer and a woman “truly ahead of her time”.

Hargitay was only 3-years-old when her mother, Jayne Mansfield, died in a car accident.

Growing up with her Hungarian father, Mickey Hargitay, who was a bodybuilder and actor, it took some extra effort through the years to get to know what kind of a woman her mother was. She says,

“So much of that has been separating out this iconic person, the person that I heard about, the funny person and the family person. What I am left with is what an incredible pioneer she was, how fearless she was and what a badass she was.”

Hargitay is famous for her role as Lieutenant Olivia Benson in the TV drama series “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.” She shares that it isn’t a coincidence that she ended up becoming an actress, saying,

“I grew up in Los Angeles, and I had access, I grew up in the business, but she grew up in Texas, she had no access, and she just went for it.  It’s not an accident that she was an actress and I am an actress. She has had so much influence on me, in ways that, in my unconscious mind, I am not even fully aware of.”

Mariska was raised in a family of five kids, and today she is married to actor Peter Hermann with whom she has three children.  

She had a traumatic birth experience resulting in an emergency C-section during the birth of her eldest son, August Miklos in June of 2006.  She and her husband decided to adopt a baby girl in April 2011 and named her Amaya Josephine. Later that year they adopted a baby boy whom they called Andrew Nicolas, completing their happy family.

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Hargitay and her husband were present for the birth of Amaya. She says of her adoption experience,

“I felt honored to be part of the process. It was a profound blessing to have been part of the making of a union; that God had picked me. I don't even want to say that I helped, but for some reason, I was there, and I was part of a decision that was so beautiful and sacred.”

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