How ‘SVU’ Star Mariska Hargitay Describes Her Stepmom, Ellen Hargitay

How ‘SVU’ Star Mariska Hargitay Describes Her Stepmom, Ellen Hargitay

 

Mariska Hargitay is best known for her iconic portrayal of Olivia Benson on Law & Order: SVU. Since the show’s debut in 1999, Hargitay has been a central figure, helping to propel the series to immense popularity over the past two decades. However, beyond her professional accomplishments, she is also recognized for her famous lineage as the daughter of Hollywood legend Jayne Mansfield.

Mariska Hargitay was born on June 23, 1966, to Jayne Mansfield and Mickey Hargitay. During that time, Mansfield was a major Hollywood star, celebrated as a 1950s sex symbol comparable to Marilyn Monroe. She starred in notable films such as The Girl Can’t Help It, Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?, Promises! Promises!, and The Wayward Bus.

Tragically, Mansfield’s life was cut short in a 1967 car accident. Mariska and her siblings were also in the car but miraculously survived. After Mansfield’s death, Mickey Hargitay remarried Ellen Siano in 1967. Ellen Siano became a pivotal maternal figure in Mariska’s life.

Mariska Hargitay has often spoken fondly of her stepmother, crediting her with being a nurturing and influential presence. In an interview with Good Housekeeping, Hargitay described Ellen Siano as a mother in every sense of the word. She expressed immense gratitude for how Ellen embraced her father’s children and raised them as her own.

Despite the challenges of losing her mother at a young age and growing up in the shadow of a Hollywood icon, Mariska Hargitay has always appreciated Ellen’s love and support. She often speaks of her stepmother’s bravery and boldness, qualities that seem to have profoundly impacted her.

Though Mariska Hargitay portrays a fearless detective on SVU, she credits Ellen Hargitay as the true embodiment of courage in their family. She once described Ellen as loving and fearless, the kind of person who would grab a frying pan to confront danger while others hid.

It’s possible that when Mariska channels Olivia Benson’s tenacity and spunk, she draws inspiration from her stepmother, imagining how Ellen would handle similar situations. Just as Olivia Benson often faces peril in her pursuit of justice, Ellen’s fearless approach to life has undoubtedly left an indelible mark on Mariska.

 

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