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Wednesday 24 March 2010 09:00.

Mariska Hargitay (as Detective Olivia Benson)

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After winning the 2006 Emmy for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series, Mariska Hargitay returns for her tenth season as Olivia Benson, the ambitious and emotionally driven detective on NBC's "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit."

The role earned her a third Emmy Nomination in 2007, a 2004 Golden Globe Award, three SAG Award nominations and a Gracie Allen Award for American Women in Radio and Television.

"As a woman, it's gratifying to play such a multilayered part. Olivia is not only a competent, street-smart cop, she's also an empathetic woman who can respond emotionally to victims of terrible crimes without compromising her professionalism," says Hargitay.

Hargitay is also known to NBC viewers for her recurring role on "E.R." as Dr. Greene's (Anthony Edwards) girlfriend Cynthia Hooper in the 1997-98 season of the top-rated show.

She also gained notice as a cast regular in the sitcom "Can't Hurry Love" with Nancy McKeon and Louis Mandylor. Additional television credits include guest roles on NBC's "Seinfeld," "Ellen" and "thirtysomething," and starring roles on "Falcon Crest" and "Prince Street." Hargitay was also seen in the telefilms "The Advocate's Devil" and "Night Sins," as well as the Lifetime movie "Plain Truth."

Her film credits include the thriller "Lake Placid" written by David E. Kelley and starring Bridget Fonda, the critically acclaimed "Leaving Las Vegas," David Lynch's "Hotel Room," Bob Fosse's "Star 80," AND Michael Rymer's "Perfume."

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Hargitay is the youngest daughter of screen legend Jayne Mansfield and Mickey Hargitay. She divides her time between New York and Los Angeles. The UCLA graduate speaks Hungarian, French and Italian.

Hargitay is married to actor Peter Hermann, who starred most recently in Universal/Working Title's "United 93" and has a recurring role on "SVU" as attorney Trevor Langan. Together, they have one son.

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