mariska harigtay turning
Source: mega

Mariska Hargitay Is 'So Excited' to Turn 60: 'I'm Stronger Than I've Ever Been'

Jan. 16 2024, Published 8:05 a.m. ET

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While some celebrities may shy away from aging, Mariska Hargitay doesn't feel that way.

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mariska harigtay turning
Source: mega

Mariska Hargitay plays Olivia Benson 'Law & Order: SVU.'

“I’m so excited. I announce it constantly,” the star, who turns 60 on January 23, told People. “I’m proud of it. I’m stronger than I’ve ever been.”

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“The age thing was never something I was scared of,” the actress, who is married to Peter Hermann, added. “I didn’t get cast [on SVU] until I was 35 and then the show kept going as I aged. At 45, we’d been on for ten years and I just met my husband [when Hermann had a guest role on the show.] The man of my dreams. I got married at 40. I had August [her eldest son] at 42. So it was like defying all the odds."

mariska harigtay turning
Source: mega

The actress is thankful for her career.

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Though Hargitay, who plays Olivia Benson, the longest-running character on a primetime drama, has been in the industry for a while, she is still thankful for her career.

"I won an Emmy [in 2006] and all these major things kept happening. I didn’t take anything for granted. My beautiful children [she and Hermann adopted Amaya, 12, and Andrew, 12, in 2011.] And then in my 50’s, my foundation is on fire, and I’m on a show that matters, and I’m counting my lucky stars. How did I get here? And why does nobody care how old I am?” she shared.

mariska harigtay turning
Source: mega

The star calls Olivia Benson 'strong and fearless.'

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“We’ve been on a parallel journey,” she continued of the show. “There’s a thing WWOBD, what would Olivia Benson do? The fans would always talk about it, and one day it hit me. I also have those moments where I’ve sort of slipped into her. If there’s a crisis, I just take over and lead like that. Being strong and fearless. It’s sort of this perfect feminist story.”

mariska harigtay turning
Source: mega

Mariska Hargitay can't believe the show has been on for 25 years.

The director reflected on playing Olivia, a role that means so much to her.

“I have two diametrically opposed answers. One is I can’t believe it’s been 25 years, a quarter of a century! And the other is, I can’t see it any other way. I can’t imagine the show ending, and can’t imagine not going on this journey with my cast, my crew. I have so much to look forward to. And I’m still growing. I like that you can be so many things at one time. It’s learning to give yourself permission to be all of yourself," she gushed.

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