‘Law & Order’ Celebrates Olivia Benson’s Birthday With Special Tribute

by Allison Hambrick

Law & Order: SVU paid tribute to the woman, the myth, the legend Mariska Hargitay on her character’s birthday.

“There’s always a good excuse to celebrate Benson, but look no further for the best one: her birthday! Drop a 🎉 to wish the Captain a very happy birthday,” the series’ Instagram wrote. The caption accompanied a throwback photo of Mariska Hargitay from one of the earlier seasons of the show.

Hargitay has played Olivia Benson for 23 seasons. She is a fan favorite, and her character has progressed from detective to captain of the SVU. Benson also holds the record for being the longest-running primetime television character in American history. Interestingly, this record was previously held by SVU’s John Munch.

Additionally, Hargitay won both an Emmy and a Golden Globe for her turn as Benson. Not to mention, she’s won a number of People’s Choice Awards. While some actors may not appreciate typecasting, Hargitay is proud of the work she does on SVU. So much so that she created the Joyful Heart Foundation which helps survivors of sexual assault.

Law & Order Fans Love One Detective’s Family

While Olivia Benson is the face of SVU, some fans are tired of her personal drama. More specifically, some found her character’s son, Noah, annoying. Alternatively, one of the fans over on the SVU subreddit pointed out another long-running character whose family life they enjoy.

“I’ve seen some people here disliking the way that the show handles the squad’s family members, such as Noah Benson or Kathleen Stabler,” they wrote. “I’m inclined to agree, but I actually think there’s one character whose family life is fun to watch: Fin.”

Odafin Tutuola, played by Ice-T, is a fan favorite himself and the second longest-running character on the series. He is father to Ken Randall, and at the start of his tenure on the show, they are estranged. He later discovers that Ken is gay.

“While he and his son had a rocky start, it was sweet to see him patch things up with Ken and work on his own biases,” the Redditor said. “His family storylines always involve some kind of growth for his character. And of course, shout-out to Munch for helping Ken and [his boyfriend] Alejandro prep to meet Fin. Not to mention, Ken is a solid support character. I appreciate that he also pursued a field where he helps people, too.”

The replies were mostly in agreement, with one user adding: “I love Fin, and I would prefer we replace 90% of Noah scenes with Fin and Jaden scenes.”

Others agreed, calling Fin’s softer side “incredibly fun to watch.”

“It’s not like how the other detectives often have to deal with saving their families or bailing them out of trouble. Being a proud grandfather also suits Fin. It’s hard to say why… Maybe because he’s outwardly tough,” the original post concluded.