‘Law & Order: SVU’: Mariska Hargitay Once Suffered a Surprisingly Serious Injury on Set

by Suzanne Halliburton
Noam Galai/Getty Images

Mariska Hargitay used to do her own stunt work on Law & Order: SVU. But there’s a reason why she stopped more than 13 years ago.

Think back to 2009. If possible, Hargitay, 57, was in even better shape then playing Olivia

Benson than she is now. However, stuff that’s still relatively easy in your early 40s can get to be a pain.

Hargitay fell wrong while filming an episode of Law & Order: SVU. And 12 years ago this month, her rep confirmed to Access Hollywood that Hargitay “has been sidelined with a pneumothorax.” However, the rep said that Hargitay wouldn’t miss an episode the rest of the season. She did miss the Golden Globes days later.

A “pneumothorax” is a partially collapsed lung. If you watch medical dramas, you’ve probably heard the term.

Hargitay, who was then 45, needed surgery that January to repair the damage. But she returned back to the set days later. However, after several weeks, she still suffered discomfort from the injury. Doctors checked her back into the hospital for what was described as routine tests. She was back at work, March 23.

Law & Order: SVU Star Pronounced Herself Healed As She Wore Fabulous Teal Designer Gown

By May, she was back on the New York social scene. The Law & Order: SVU star attended a gala for the American Ballet Theater. Michelle Obama and Caroline Kennedy also were guests. Hargitay, wearing a teal Carolina Herrera gown, explained to People what happened on set.

“I’ve been doing my own stunts on the show for 10 years,” the Law & Order: SVU star told People. “I fell wrong, basically. I collapsed my lung doing a stunt.” Then she added “I’m back to my old self.”

(Photo by DAVID X PRUTTING/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

And we know that Hargitay’s old self is fabulous. Now, flash forward to the past year. Hargitay still contended with injuries, but they weren’t related to work she did on the set of Law & Order: SVU. She had a double whammy in late spring, summer of 2021.

Back in May, Hargitay fell and suffered fractures to her knee and ankle. That was back when Law & Order: SVU was on summer hiatus, so Hargitay could relax and heal. But wait. There’s more. During a Fourth of July screening for the movie Black Widow, Hargitay slipped on wet pavement. She broke her ankle, again. She also had to miss the after-party she was supposed to host at her own home.

We told you Hargitay was tough. When Law & Order: SVU began production for season 23, Hargitay’s injury was written into the storyline.

Law & Order: SVU returns with a new episode this Thursday. It’s called Tommy Baker’s Hardest Fight. Here’s the plot tease: “When a popular fighter doesn’t show up for the biggest bout of the year, Rollins and Velasco are drawn into a complicated web of secrets. McGrath confides in Benson.”