Mariska Hargitay

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9.5
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  • Mariska Hargitay is a wonderful actress who has worked her way up from low-budgeted horror films to starring in a high-rated series on NBC.

    10
    Mariska Hargitay, making $400,000 an episode for her work on Law and Order Special Victims Unit, is one of the top female earners on television. She is a highly respected actress not just for her series, but also because of the charity she runs known as 'The Joyful Heart Foundation', that helps rape victims. Mariska truly cares for these people and her foundation has helped thousands of rape victims. Her mother is famed blond bombshell Jayne Mansfield (killed in a 1967 car crash, Mariska was in the backseat asleep) and her father is one time Mr. Universe, Mickey Hargitay (died of multiple myeloma Sept. 14th, 2006). As an actress her first film was 'The Ghoulies' when she was 21. She went from there to other teen flicks made-for-tv movies, and guest-starring on various television shows throughtout the '80s and '90s. Law and Order Special Victims Unit was not the first series she starred in. TV series' 'Tequila and Bonetti' and 'Prince Street' were both failed television shows that Mariska Hargitay starred in. She didn't hit it big until Law and Order Special Victims Unit came along and that's when Mariska really got a chance to spread her acting wings. In real life, Mariska is seen somewhat as a comedian. She's even quoted saying, "I'm more like Lucille Ball...". Her character on SVU (Olivia Benson) is almost quite the opposite. Olivia is the product of rape and takes her job very seriously as a detective in the Special Victims Unit. Hargitay's role on this series is serious and she makes us believe it every step of the way. She is able to portray a bad-ass detective fighting crime and bringing down rapists and pedophiles with her brilliant acting skills. She has made her own name for herself and isn't just 'Jayne Mansfield's daughter' anymore.