Mariska Hargitay (born January 23, 1964 in Los Angeles, California, USA) is an American actress. She is best known for her role on the television series Law & Order, SVU. She is also the daughter of actor Jayne Mansfield.
Hargitay plays Detective Olivia Benson on the television series Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Olivia is a sex-crimes detective who works with people and children who have been abused, assaulted, raped, molested, and otherwise victimized. Hargitay was inspired by the sad stories she learned on SVU, and she created the real-life Joyful Heart Foundation in 2004. The Joyful Heart Foundation helps real-life survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.