My Mother’s Daughter: Jayne Mansfield and Mariska Hargitay

Mariska Hargitay has been the star of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit for over a decade (and counting), but her days in the spotlight date back to her birth. She is, after all, the daughter of former Mr. Universe Mickey Hargitay and actress and playmate Jayne Mansfield. These days, she’s a mother of three and a passionate philanthropist—having created the Joyful Heart Foundation in 2004. The foundation takes a holistic approach to healing victims of domestic violence, and child and sexual abuse— issues with which she has become increasingly familiar during her tenure as Detective Olivia Benson.

Mariska likely takes her knack for multi-tasking from her mom. Mansfield, who shared the “blonde bombshell” title with the likes of Marilyn Monroe and Jean Harlow, tended to her family life (with five children!) and her public image until her death in 1967. Mariska was only three at the time.

“I think that she was a woman who was way before her time, because I don’t know how somebody can have five children and yet still be a sex symbol!” Hargitay said to NBC. “She was just amazing.

Nichola Hunt

Cocktail aficionado. Large dog breed lover. Fondness of summer dresses. Hater of pickles. Born in London, based in Bali.

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