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Image of Mariska Hargitay alongside a photo of her parents, Jayne Mansfield and Mickey Hargitay

All about Mariska Hargitay's Hollywood bombshell parents Jayne Mansfield and Mickey Hargitay

The Law and Order star inherited her parent's love of acting 

Megan Bull
TV Writer
June 20, 2024
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Mariska Hargitay is no stranger to Hollywood. The daughter of actress Jayne Mansfield and former Mr. Universe, Mickey Hargitay, Mariska has drawn several comparisons to her famous parents over the years, and she often honors them on social media. Here's what you need to know…

Jayne Mansfield

An American actress and former Playboy Playmate, Jaye Mansfield was revered as a Hollywood bombshell. Shooting to stardom during the '50s and '60s, the Pennsylvania native appeared in The Girl Can't Help It (1956), The Wayward Bus (1957), Too Hot to Handle (1960) and A Guide for the Married Man (1967). 

Jayne Mansfield holding six-weeks old Mariska Hargitay, United States, March 1964.© Getty
Jayne Mansfield holding six-week old Mariska Hargitay in 1964

A mother of five, Jayne welcomed her first daughter, Jayne, with her first husband, Paul Mansfield. During her six-year marriage to Mickey Hargitay, the star then welcomed sons Miklós and Zoltán, and daughter Mariska. After tying the knot with Matt Cimber, Jayne became a mother for the fifth time, with the arrival of their son Tony. 

Tragically, when Jayne was just 34 years old, she died in a car accident on her way to New Orleans. Jayne's partner at the time, Sam Brody, was also killed in the crash, as was driver Ronald B. Harrison. Three of her children – Miklós, Zoltán, and Mariska – were in the back seat at the time but managed to survive with minor injuries.

Jayne Mansfield pictured wearing a blue dress© Getty
The American actress was known as one of Hollywood's blonde bombshells

In a 2018 interview with People magazine, Mariska spoke about losing her mother. "The way I've lived with loss is to lean into it," she began. "As the saying goes, the only way out is through. "I'm not saying it's easy, and it certainly hasn't been for me. There's been a lot of darkness. But on the other side things can be so bright."

"She was an inspiration, she had this appetite for life, and I think I share that with her," added Mariska. 

Mickey Hargitay 

Following her mother's death, Jayne was raised in Los Angeles by her dad, Mickey Hargitay, and her stepmother, Ellen, along with two brothers and three half-siblings.

Bodybuilder Mickey Hargitay working out© Getty
Bodybuilder Mickey Hargitay was crowned Mr. Universe in 1955

Born in Budapest, Hungary, in 1926, Mickey famously won the National Amateur Body-Builders' Association Mr. Universe award in 1955. A celebrated bodybuilder, he then launched a successful acting career in 1957, appearing in Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? (1957), The Love of Hercules (1960) and Revenge of The Gladiators (1964). 

Mickey Hargitay pictured alongside his second wife, Jayne Mansfield, in 1957© Getty
Mickey pictured alongside his second wife, Jayne Mansfield, in 1957

Married three times, Mickey first wed acrobat Mary Birge and welcomed his oldest daughter, Tina. Following their divorce, he met and fell for Jayne Mansfield, with whom he shares Miklós, Zoltán, and Mariska. With the pair divorced in 1964, he then tied the knot with Ellen Siano in 1968. They remained married until his passing in 2006. 

Mariska Hargitay and Mickey Hargitay at the Golden Globe Awards© Getty
Mariska was incredibly close to her father

"The message I got from my father was that life is hard, but you just don't quit," Mariska recalled to Closer in 2018. "I'd get an audition and he'd say, 'How hard are you going to work for it?' So I pushed myself even when I didn't feel like pushing myself. I acted confident even when I wasn't. And slowly… I became more confident." 

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