Mariska Hargitay is most widely known for her portrayal of Detective Olivia Benson on the long-running series, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. She has earned multiple accolades for this character, with both an Emmy and a Golden Globe. With a current paycheck of $400,000 per episode on Law & Order, Hargitay has a current estimated net worth of about $30 million.
While Hargitay has a wide variety of cases involving special crimes, she spends her personal time helping with charities that support survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, and child abuse. The primary charity she focuses her energy on is the Joyful Heart Foundation. She had received so many letters of support, encouragement, and gratitude from fans of the show that identified with the cases they had, which convicted Hargitay about the growing problem of abuse in society today. To date, she has helped the charity raise over $20 million, and has helped about 5,000 survivors, as of 2011.
Most of Hargitay’s roles have been on television, but she has had multiple film appearances as well. She has been in Ghoulies, Welcome to 18, Jocks, Mr. Universe, Hard Time Romance, The Perfect Weapon, Strawberry Road, Bank Robber, Leaving Las Vegas, Lake Placid, Perfume, and Tales from Earthsea. Her fame is so palpable that Mike Myers recruited her to star as herself in the film, The Love Guru. She has won eight awards for her television performances, solidifying her years ago as a force to be reckoned with.
Hargitay is more than just a beautiful woman and skilled actress; she is fluent in English, Hungarian, French, Spanish, and Italian. She has been married to her husband, Peter Hermann, since 2004. The couple has one biological child and two adopted children. She was able to attend the birth of her adopted daughter, but adopted their son when he was a few months old.