‘SVU’ Star Mariska Hargitay Loves Parenting Her ‘Chaotic’ Yet ‘Joyful’ Family Of 3 Children

Mariska Hargitay has been in the spotlight since she was a child due to her celebrity parents. As the daughter of bombshell Jayne Mansfield and bodybuilder Mickey Hargitay, it is no wonder that Mariska went into show business. Tragically, Mansfield was killed in a car accident when Mariska was 3-years-old. The actress was in the car when the accident occurred and has a scar on the side of her head shaped like a zig-zag.

The star has had an incredible career, having starred in the popular television drama “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit” since 1999. Hargitay is the winner of a Primetime Emmy Award and a Golden Globe Award for her performance on the show.

Before she was Olivia Benson on “Law and Order,” Hargitay appeared in a number of films and TV series. Her debut came in 1984 when she was featured in a music video for “She Loves My Car” by Ronnie Milsap. After that, the actress had a small role in a horror film called “Ghoulies.”

Some of the other TV shows Hargitay has been involved in include “Freddy’s Nightmares – A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Series,” “Baywatch” and “In the Heat of the Night.” The star also made guest appearances on “Falcon Crest” and “Seinfeld.”

Hargitay and her husband Peter Hermann celebrated 15 years of marital bliss in 2019. The stars met on the show “Law And Order: SVU,” working alongside one another. The couple has given advice over the years on why their marriage is so strong and lasted throughout their on-screen careers. The couple has three children together, two sons, August and Andrew, and a daughter Amaya. Keep reading to learn more about Hargitay’s marriage and why she describes her family as “perfect.”

Hermann guest-starred on “Law and Order: SVU” in 2002, and apparently, there was an instant connection between him and Mariska. “I never thought I would have this much laughter in my life,” Hermann told People. “Not just actual laughter, but also the way that Mariska is just the embodiment of laughter — of joy.”

Likewise, Mariska said, “We sort of knew that we found the right one. I never thought it could be this good, and I never knew that I’d be reminded on the journey, that I’d marry the right one. That I waited and married the right one and it’s better than I thought it was. Because sometimes you take a snapshot and you go, ‘I can’t believe this is my life.’ ”

The key to their successful marriage? Laughter. “It’s the way we find our way back to each other,” Peter told People. “It’s this fantastically, wonderfully ridiculous way that we can swing back and forth any number of times in any given day. But fundamentally we know we have the same destination. We know where we’re headed, and it’s good. And we know we’ll get there together.”

Mariska remembers the first time they met, which was on set. “On the first day I was so nervous and I felt very, he was very handsome and it was distracting. And then he would come back the other days and all the producers would look at me and give me eyes and stuff… I had never been like that to anyone ever and it was funny because you know I was single,” she recalled.

Hargitay shared that she is able to learn from her children. “The thing that’s made me a better parent is my kids. Because they taught me to really listen. My husband is my North Star, and my kids are my teachers,” she said to People in 2018. Hermann and Mariska had one son, August, that was delivered by C-section, while their other children, Andrew and Amaya, were both adopted by the couple in 2011.

Adopting two babies less than a year apart was a challenge, especially for a working mom, but Hargitay would have it no other way. “Our family is so perfect, or at least perfect for me,” she said. “Together we’re just this whole, happy, joyful, chaotic, crazy unit. I’ve never known anything that was more right.”

Hermann and Hargitay work together as a team to raise their children, and coming from different backgrounds has rounded out their parenting style. “Peter and I, we’re so different that it’s been amazing how we complement each other,” Mariska shared. “He knows everything I don’t.”

Working as much as she does means that Hargitay does sometimes have to make sacrifices at home. She explained, “I get jealous that other people get to take August to school and pick him up. It’s hard for me to go to his school and not know all the parents. They all know one another, and it’s a community. I can’t always be a part of that. You can’t have everything, though.” Even with the struggles, both Hargitay and Hermann are able to find balance together.


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