Mariska Hargitay at the 17th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards

Mariska Hargitay’s Net Worth in 2023

Mariska Hargitay’s Net Worth is $100 Million

Mariska Hargitay, our favorite detective Olivia Benson from the smashing hit TV show “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit”, isn’t just an actor—she’s also a seriously savvy businesswoman with a head for real estate and a stunning net worth estimated at $100 million as of 2023. And we’re taking you behind the scenes.

We all know her as the consistent star of one of TV’s longest-lasting dramas. She’s totally aced that part, no doubt. But there’s so much more to her than just the small screen. She’s managed to stash away one heck of a fortune while also making smart moves on the real estate landscape. Seriously, her achievements are just getting more amazing every year.

And now it’s time to dive deep into Mariska’s financial journey that’s been anything but conventional. We’re going to explore the wealth she’s built up, the investments she’s made and the key career moments that have put her on the financial map.

NameMariska Magdolna Hargitay
ProfessionActress, Producer, Director
Net Worth$100 Million
BirthplaceSanta Monica, California, USA
BirthdayJanuary 23, 1964 (Aquarius)
Height / Weight5 ft 8 in (172 cm)
Relationship statusMarried to Peter Hermann

The Making of Mariska: Early life and breakthrough

Mariska Hargitay was born to be a star. Her mom was the glamorous actress Jayne Mansfield and her dad was muscleman Mickey Hargitay. Even though she tragically lost her mom in a car accident when she was just a toddler (an accident that she and her two brothers amazingly survived), she was destined to follow in her parents’ famous footsteps.

Born in Washington, but eventually settling in Los Angeles, Mariska caught the acting bug in high school. Not long after, she was strutting her stuff in beauty pageants, then moved onto honing her acting chops at UCLA’s School of Theatre, Film and Television. She also dabbled in improv with the comedy troupe Groundlings in L.A. She got her acting break in 1984 in a music video for country star Ronnie Milsap, and then starred in the creepy movie Ghoulies.

Mariska flirted with a fair few roles on the small screen early in her career. She made appearances on “Baywatch”, “thirtysomething”, and “Booker” but it wasn’t until she landed the role of intense Detective Olivia Benson on the “Law & Order” spinoff, “Special Victims Unit”, that she really hit the big time. She probably had no idea just how impactful this role would be. Her portrayal of the powerful and empathetic Detective Olivia Benson didn’t just bring a character to life; it made an icon.

She holds the record for the longest time portraying a single character by the same actor on a TV show. Her incredible performances have earned her some serious kudos, being nominated every year for a Best Actress Emmy from 2004 to 2011, eventually winning the award in 2006.

A Detective’s Salary: Mariska’s primary earnings

Once Mariska Hargitay stepped into those detective shoes, she lit a fire and climbed the ladder at lightning speed. With her killer skills and unwavering passion, it was hardly a shocker when she made it to the top brass of TV’s best-paid group. Being the reigning queen on set, Hargitay scoops up a mind-blowing $500,000 an episode.

The cash doesn’t stop flowing once the camera’s off, though. Rumor has it that stars on the series bag roughly 6% of their original pay in syndication royalties annually. So Mariska earns money through Det. Benson even when she’s away from the set. Given the never-ending love for the show, those royalties sure can pile high. According to a cursory calculation, she earns at least $660,000 annually from syndication royalties alone – and that’s probably on the conservative side.

With a whopping 24 seasons under her belt and more coming up, Hargitay’s reign as one of TV’s most intriguing characters has truly powered a pocket-popping empire.

Away From The Station: Mariska’s alternative revenue streams

Mariska’s bank balance owes its health to more than Olivia Benson. Though an Emmy winner, Hargitay is also a boss when it comes to making money beyond acting.

One thing Hargitay has a keen eye for, apart from crime scene clues, is prime real estate. In 2012, she and her hubby, actor Peter Hermann, dropped $10.7 million for an Upper West Side townhouse. We’re talking six floors, 7,000 square feet, an elevator, double-height ceilings, a garden, sunroom, and not one but two terraces. A few years later, they listed it for a bit more than what they paid, sealing the deal at $10.75 million.

In 2008, she put another bustling piece in her property empire up for sale—a penthouse in NYC she bought the previous year for $7.1 million. Located all the way up on the seventh floor of the O’Neill Building on Sixth Avenue, this baby is a piece of history with its 19th-century roots. It went up for sale in 2020 for $13.5 million. 

A Lot of Heart: Mariska’s philanthropy

While Mariska Hargitay earns money from her day job on “Law & Order: SVU” AND accumulates some pocket money with the flipping of her real estate properties, she also gives back and is committed to making a real difference. Her passion for helping survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, and child abuse led her to create the Joyful Heart Foundation in 2004. The goal? To change the way we respond to these issues, support healing for survivors, and, ultimately, put a stop to this violence. It appears art has influenced reality, as Det. Benson’s exposure to the horrors of abuse have spurred the actor to take action and help those in need.

Like a Hollywood Romance: Mariska’s personal life

Let’s talk about Mariska and her hubby, Peter Hermann. Their romance plays like a Hollywood movie. They met on the set of “Law & Order: SVU” in season 3; Hermann was guest-starring as the slick defense attorney Trevor Langan. Their chemistry was off the charts and their relationship evolved into a dreamy love story, leading them down the aisle in August 2004.

They are now parents to three adorable kids: their son August, and two adopted cuties, Amaya Josephine and Andrew Nicolas. Despite all the craziness that their jobs bring, these two always put their family first.

On a more sentimental note, though Mariska’s memories with her mom are few due to her untimely death, those moments hold a super special place in her heart and have truly shaped who she is today. She told People in 2018 about her mother, “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.”

Jayne’s Girl: The challenges in Mariska’s life

As alluded to, tough times started early for Mariska. She was just three years old when she survived the 1967 car crash that took the life of her mother Jayne Mansfield and two others. Though little Mariska and her brothers somehow managed to escape without a scratch, the memory of that awful event, we’re sure, will always be with them.

In 2021, she had a trip-up at a screening that resulted in a trimalleolar fracture — that’s doctor-speak for a total foot mauling — which required surgery and some serious reshuffling of her schedule on “Law & Order: SVU”. But being the trooper that she is, Mariska did not let the accident dampen her spirit, and would eventually return to work in tip-top shape.