Mariska Hargitay, an American actress and humanitarian, and philanthropist. Best known for her portrayal of Olivia Benson in the long-running television series “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” Hargitay has a career spanning over three decades.
Hargitay’s breakthrough role came in 1999 when she was cast as Detective Olivia Benson in “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.” Her portrayal of the empathetic and resilient detective investigating heinous sexual crimes struck a chord with viewers and quickly catapulted her to stardom. In 2006, she won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for her outstanding work on “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.”
In addition to her remarkable contributions to the television industry, Hargitay has shared the screen with acclaimed actors such as Robin Williams in the film “Happy Feet Two,” where she lent her voice to the character of Miss Viola. Hargitay also worked alongside Hollywood veteran Hilary Swank in the drama film “Freedom Writers” and starring opposite Chris Meloni, her long-time co-star, in “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.”
Beyond her acting, Mariska founded the Joyful Heart Foundation which supports people who have been sexually abused. She has worked closely with actress and animal rights activist Ellen DeGeneres, appearing on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” to discuss their shared love for animals and the importance of their protection. Hargitay has also collaborated with actor Ian Somerhalder, known for his work on “The Vampire Diaries,” to support the Ian Somerhalder Foundation, an organization focused on environmental protection and animal rights. Additionally, Hargitay has worked with renowned primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall, a prominent figure in the field of animal conservation. Together, they have championed various initiatives aimed at preserving wildlife and raising awareness about the importance of biodiversity.