HomeEntertainment‘Law & Order: SVU’ Actor Mariska Hargitay is Named After a Legendary Biblical Figure

‘Law & Order: SVU’ Actor Mariska Hargitay is Named After a Legendary Biblical Figure

by Joe Rutland
(Photo by Jose Perez/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)

When her famous parents were coming up with a name for “Law & Order: SVU” star Mariska Hargitay, they turned to a book for support.

No, not a book of baby names. Outsiders may consider this book quite important to their lives, though. Hargitay’s parents were actress Jayne Mansfield and actor-bodybuilder Mickey Hargitay. Because of their Roman Catholic faith, they looked into the Bible for a child’s name.

Mickey Hargitay, who was born and raised in Hungary, and Mansfield chose Mariska Magdolna as their child’s first and middle names. According to an article in Pop Sugar, those names translated into English are Mary Magdeline. She was one of many followers of Jesus of Nazareth, the article pointed out.

‘Law & Order: SVU’ Star’s Name Reflected One Of Bible’s Most Revered Women

So, Mariska carries a connection to one of the Bible’s most revered women with her by name. She’s been a part of “Law & Order: SVU” for 22 seasons and will come back for Season 23 this fall.

Hargitay’s parents divorced in 1963 in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, just over the U.S.-Mexico border. It wasn’t recognized immediately in the United States but was on Aug. 26, 1964.

Mickey, who won the “Mr. Universe” title in 1955, would remarry in 1967 to Ellen Siano and remain with her until his death in 2006. Mansfield was killed in an automobile accident in June 1967.

Mickey Hargitay made his last appearance as an actor on “Law & Order: SVU” in an episode called “Control” in 2003. He did appear in a scene with his daughter, who portrays Sergeant Olivia Benson on the NBC crime drama.

Hargitay’s Father Offered His Daughter Some Cogent Advice For Career

Much like some Outsiders, that thought of giving up or quitting when something gets too tough does crop up at times. The same thing happened to “Law & Order: SVU” star Mariska Hargitay many times, but she recalled some advice from her father Mickey.

Hargitay talked about the advice during a 2019 interview with Parade Magazine.

“I could have quit a million times, but my dad drilled into me that our family doesn’t quit,” Hargitay said. “So if you don’t get it, it means you’re not ready and you have to get up and try again. There’s really something to be said for perseverance and not throwing in the towel.

“My dad gave me so much advice and shored me up so young,” Hargitay said. “He achieved so many unattainable goals and did it by beating to his own drum. He used to say that to me. Like, ‘What does it matter what people think?’ He was so clear in what it took to succeed.”

Mariska Hargitay stuck it out through tough times in her career.