‘Law & Order: SVU’: Mariska Hargitay’s Beautiful Reason for Waiting to Get Married Until She Was 40

by Anna Dunn

Law & Order: SVU’s Mariska Hargitay didn’t want to get married until she was 40, and her reasoning was quite profound. The 57-year-old actress, who’s played detective Olivia Benson on the hit series since 1999, is married to Peter Hermann and has been since 2004.

It goes without saying that Hargitay is wildly successful. The actress holds the record for the longest someone has gone playing a character on a television series. She’s also made major waves in her activism and is all around very accomplished. For her, that was something that was critical before getting married.

“Everyone was getting married in their 20s or 30s, but in my mind, I knew I had to figure out what I was doing in my life,” she told Parade in 2019. “I didn’t want anyone to shape me, and I knew that I had my own path to walk. Not to say I wasn’t sad or impatient.”

It was only when Hargitay felt comfortable where she was at in her life did she make the decision to tie the knot.

The ‘Law & Order: SVU’ Star Learned the Value of Hard Work From Her Father

Law & Order: SVU has been on television for almost 23 years, and in that time, Hargitay hasn’t quit. She’s put a ton of hard work into the show, and she told Parade that her father is the one who told her to never give up.

“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.”

Before Law & Order: SVU, Hargitay was still trying to find work in the entertainment business. This is even with the connections she had. Her father was famous bodybuilder Mickey Hargitay. Mickey passed away in 2006.

“My dad gave me so much advice and shored me up so young. 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,” Hargitay said. Those lessons she carried with her right onto the set of Law & Order: SVU and it doesn’t seem like she’ll ever lose sight of them.

Law & Order: SVU returns on Thursday, September 23rd on NBC. It’ll air back to back with its spinoff series, Law & Order: Organized Crime. Organized Crime stars Chris Meloni as Elliot Stabler. Hargitay worked alongside Meloni on Law & Order: SVU before Melon left after season 11. Fans saw plenty of crossover episodes between the two shows last year, and they can expect to see more.