I’ve been a huge fan of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit from the beginning, almost solely because of the chemistry between Mariska Hargitay’s Olivia Benson and Chris Meloni’s Elliot Stabler. But, of course, the TV gods can be cruel, and Elliott just disappeared after 12 years together. No goodbye, no dramatic shoot-out, no set up for an incredibly emotional and powerful climax they’ve been building up to for 12 years. He was not written out of the show at all. Yes, I’m still bitter about it.

Anyway, I still watch SVU (sporadically) now for the sole reason of my Mariska girl crush. She is so stunningly gorgeous, but still approachable and relatable. Perhaps it’s because we’ve seen her blossom and evolve from young TV ingénue to a bona fide series powerhouse and Emmy-winning star. Who else can carry a show so dark, gritty and downright disturbing as SVU and make it one of the most successful prime time dramas around? Oh, right, Chris Meloni. But everyone knows Mariska is- and always has been- the real heart of the show. You can’t help but adore her.

As the daughter of the late beauty Jayne Mansfield and actor Mickey Hargitay, Mariska had bombshell looks and award-winning acting in her genes. She was also a former Miss Beverly Hills USA.

She picked up an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama in August of 2006. She had just given birth to adorable son August two months earlier. I loved her Emmy-winning fashion look of dramatic bangs, long hair and a glamourous black gown. Very un-Olivia. Elegant, understated and just perfect.

As much as I loved her look that big night, I was even more impressed by the bright yellow one-shoulder Carolina Herrara gown she wore two years later at the 60th Annual Emmy Awards. Another departure from Olivia’s tough, leather jacket look, she exuded happiness and sunshine all night long.

Another gorgeous Red Carpet moment in classic black: the 2010 Oscars. Mariska wore a black Vera Wang gown with amazing jewels.

At the 2011 SAG Awards, Mariska rocked the Red Carpet in a bold indigo Isaac Mizrahi gown, complemented with stunning turquoise accessories.

If you still weren’t convinced of her overall loveliness, look no further than her Joyful Heart Foundation.Mariska took her Olivia Benson role one step further, and started this amazing foundation to help real-life victims of sexual assault, domestic violence and abuse. It seems that wherever she goes, she brings peace, warmth and joy.

It seemed odd to me, after watching season after season, that Mariska wore the exact same two short gold charm necklaces on the show every single episode. Upon research, I discovered that they are to gain awareness for the Joyful Heart Foundation. It wasn’t that Olivia has no sense of style and relies on the same accessories for years; the jewelry line “Me&Ro”benefits the Foundation. Olivia sports the “Fearlessness” pendant and “Lotus Mandela Amulet” for a great cause. Learn more about the necklaces here.

Mariska has proven herself to be a truly admirable woman of integrity, grace and style. Rocking a powerhouse TV role, starting a foundation to help others, and being a doting wife to hubby Peter Hermann (he plays a laywer on SVU a lot) and loving mom to 3 children-2 adopted- and looking fabulous while doing it all.  I just adore her!




Media Credits:

first photo courtesy of poptower.com

second photo courtesy of zimbio.com

third photo courtesy of fanpop.com

fourth photo courtesy of fabsugar.com

fifth photo courtesy of bestcelebritydress.com

sixth photo courtesy of poshposh.com

seventh photo courtesy of bossip.com