‘My secret pain & how I survived'
Woman's Day Australia|January 10, 2022
Law & Order: SVU star Mariska Hargitay opens up about losing her mum at the age of three
Gavin Scott

Mariska Hargitay has confronted trauma for more than two decades playing Olivia Benson on crime series Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. In real life, the awardwinning actress contended with her own pain following the loss of her mother when she was just three years old.

“I think I learned about crisis very young, and I learned very young that sh*t happens and there are no guarantees, and we keep going,” the 57-yearold star recently told Glamour.

Mariska’s mother, Hollywood legend Jayne Mansfield, was killed in a car crash in 1967 at the age of 34.

Three of Jayne’s children – Mariska and her brothers Mickey and Zoltan – were passengers in the vehicle when it smashed into the back of a semitrailer.

The siblings all survived the accident with only minor injuries, but the mental scars of the tragedy run deep, with Mariska describing a “frozen place” that took hold of her in the wake of the trauma.

“I clearly was in that frozen place for a lot of my childhood – of trying to survive, actually trying to survive,” she said.

“My life has been a process of unpeeling the layers and trust and trusting again.”

That process took some time, as she worked through the impact of losing such a central figure in her life at such a formative stage.

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