‘Law & Order: SVU’ Star Mariska Hargitay Speaks Frankly About Mother Jayne Mansfield

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It’s been 50 years since the death of Mariska Hargitay’s famous mother, blonde bombshell Jayne Mansfield, in a tragic car accident, and Hargitay is finally ready to talk about her mother and the grief she still feels. The Law & Order: SVU star wants to know that even though her mother was beautiful, she was so much more to her family and friends.

Mariska Hargitay Lost Her Mother Jayne Mansfield When She Was 3-Years-Old

Mariska Hargitay is now talking about the good and the bad of life since losing her mother, Jayne Mansfield, in a devastating crash (where Mariska as a child was in the back seat), says Town & Country. Mariska Hargitay, who continues to star on Law & Order: SVU as Olivia Benson, says there were definitely years where she avoided feeling the pain.

“The way I’ve lived with loss is to lean into it. As the saying goes, the only way out is through. In my life, certainly, I’ve tried to avoid pain, loss, feeling things. But I’ve learned instead to real­ly lean into it because sooner or later you have to pay the piper.”

Hargitay says that even after 50 years, he mother is still with her, and even though her mother was known for her sex appeal, there was more to the mother of five.

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Mariska Hargitay says that she knows her mother was best known for her movies like The Girl Can’t Help It and Playgirl After Dark, but the sexy siren was no dumb blonde.

“My mother [Jayne Mansfield] was this amazing, beautiful, glamor­ous sex symbol—but people didn’t know that she played the violin and had a 160 IQ and had five kids and loved dogs…She was just so ahead of her time. She was an inspiration, she had this appetite for life, and I think I share that with her.”

Mariska Hargitay was just 3-years-old, and in the back seat of the car with her brothers Miklos and Zoltan, when Mansfield was killed immediately in a collision in Louisiana.

“Losing my mother at such an early age is the scar of my soul. But I feel like it ultimately made me into the person I am today. I understand the journey of life. I had to go through what I did to be here.”

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Mariska Hargitay says she considers herself lucky to have had an excellent and wise father in former Mr. Universe Mickey Hargitay, who was born in Budapest, Hungary, reports People. Mariska says that she was raised in Los Angeles by Mickey Hargitay along with her two brothers and three half-siblings.

“My dad taught me to listen and to learn. As a young kid, I had my antennas out for who had wisdom and why, and what was I supposed to learn from them, and why were they there? The way I’ve been able to make sense of the cards I was dealt was to follow those signs.”

Mariska Hargitay Was Raised By Her Father, Mr. Universe, Mickey Hargitay

Mickey Hargitay, who was also larger than life, as one of the world’s first fitness celebrities, died in 2006 at age 80. Mariska Hargitay says that her father is still with her.

“It was huge to lose this person who was my everything, my strength, my power, the person who believed in me. But I got to say goodbye, and I remember it was very calm, and he just looked at me and he said, ‘Mariska… Always.’ I was the most like him, and the gift that I got, in addition to being able to say goodbye, was knowing that he was in me. I already carried his fire, the lessons that he taught me, his compas­sion, his love, his kindness. Now I do feel that he’s with me. Even though he’s not here physically, I carry him.”