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97 Memorable Quotes By Mariska Hargitay On Life, Love, Power, Experience & Soul

Famous As: Best Known for Her Role as 'Olivia Benson' on the NBC Drama Series 'Law & Order: Special Victims Unit'
Born On: January 23, 1964
Born In: Santa Monica, California, United States
Founder / Co Founder: Joyful Heart Foundation
Age: 58 Years

Mariska Hargitay, known for her role as NYPD Lieutenant Olivia Benson on the NBC series 'Law & Order: Special Victims Unit', was inspired to help domestic, sexual and child abuse survivors following a highly spiritual encounter with a school of dolphins as a teenager. Following her success as an actor, she established the Joyful Heart Foundation, which provided support to sexually abused men and women. She also raised awareness about the statistics of untested rape kits and campaigned for the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. Here we look at some of her most memorable speeches delivered at public events and interviews. She has frequently talked about pain, healing, life journey, children, mothers, domestic violence and sexual assault.

They say that the average lifespan of an SVU detective is 4 years. People can't do it longer than that because it's so difficult.

They say that the average lifespan of an SVU detective is 4 years. People can't do it longer than that because it's so difficult.

Mariska Hargitay
Kids who drink alcohol, fairly regularly before they're 14 have a 48% chance... of becoming alcoholics.

Kids who drink alcohol, fairly regularly before they're 14 have a 48% chance... of becoming alcoholics.

Mariska Hargitay
Eric Lewis doesn't play the piano, he devours it. He doesn't play music, he channels the divine.

Eric Lewis doesn't play the piano, he devours it. He doesn't play music, he channels the divine.

Mariska Hargitay
Our early dating life consisted of trying to figure out whether we were dating.

Our early dating life consisted of trying to figure out whether we were dating.

Mariska Hargitay
It's very difficult leaving the house anytime with my baby at home.

It's very difficult leaving the house anytime with my baby at home.

Mariska Hargitay
I say to everybody, 'Adoption is not for the faint of heart.'

I say to everybody, 'Adoption is not for the faint of heart.'

Mariska Hargitay
You should've seen my big hair in the 80's, that was a real project.

You should've seen my big hair in the 80's, that was a real project.

Mariska Hargitay
I wasn't at all trying to be skinny, My Mom is Jayne Mansfield, I'm allowed to have curves.

I wasn't at all trying to be skinny, My Mom is Jayne Mansfield, I'm allowed to have curves.

Mariska Hargitay
I'm an L.A. girl who became a tough New York cop.

I'm an L.A. girl who became a tough New York cop.

Mariska Hargitay
It wasn't really that hard to act when you see somebody holding a gun to your partner. It's also believing the circumstances and I believed it.

It wasn't really that hard to act when you see somebody holding a gun to your partner. It's also believing the circumstances and I believed it.

Mariska Hargitay
To me, the definition of sexy - at any age - is strength and confidence.

To me, the definition of sexy - at any age - is strength and confidence.

Mariska Hargitay
Criminals are just regular people who didn’t have time to read all the laws.

Criminals are just regular people who didn’t have time to read all the laws.

Mariska Hargitay
My Dad taught me that good health is all about living in gratitude.

My Dad taught me that good health is all about living in gratitude.

Mariska Hargitay
The only reason I have the career I have is that I didn't quit.

The only reason I have the career I have is that I didn't quit.

Mariska Hargitay
Fifty years ago my Mother stood on this stage accepting this award; She was fortunate enough to have my Dad with her. Fifty years later, I'm fortunate enough to have my Dad with me. I love you, Dad.

Fifty years ago my Mother stood on this stage accepting this award; She was fortunate enough to have my Dad with her. Fifty years later, I'm fortunate enough to have my Dad with me. I love you, Dad.

Mariska Hargitay
I'm a water person; water heals.

I'm a water person; water heals.

Mariska Hargitay
Losing my mother at such an early age is the scar of my soul. But I feel like it ultimately made me into the person I am today; I understand the journey of life. I had to go through what I did to be here.

Losing my mother at such an early age is the scar of my soul. But I feel like it ultimately made me into the person I am today; I understand the journey of life. I had to go through what I did to be here.

Mariska Hargitay
I have a more developed sense of my priorities. Life has so much more meaning now.

I have a more developed sense of my priorities. Life has so much more meaning now.

Mariska Hargitay
You survived the abuse, you’re going to survive the recovery.

You survived the abuse, you’re going to survive the recovery.

Mariska Hargitay
Being thin is not more important than enjoying life

Being thin is not more important than enjoying life

Mariska Hargitay
I've got no problems with my age. I rejoice in the knowledge I have accrued and savor the greatest moments, because I know how fast it goes.

I've got no problems with my age. I rejoice in the knowledge I have accrued and savor the greatest moments, because I know how fast it goes.

Mariska Hargitay
There's so much that you can get mad about. Out of self-preservation, I focus on being grateful.

There's so much that you can get mad about. Out of self-preservation, I focus on being grateful.

Mariska Hargitay
Surviving and thriving in the wake of my mothers loss, I learned to believe in God. He has a plan, if you pay attention to the signs. I am inspired by the absolute proof of miracles.

Surviving and thriving in the wake of my mothers loss, I learned to believe in God. He has a plan, if you pay attention to the signs. I am inspired by the absolute proof of miracles.

Mariska Hargitay
A guy at ABC told me to change my name and get a nose job. I said 'You get a nose job.'

A guy at ABC told me to change my name and get a nose job. I said 'You get a nose job.'

Mariska Hargitay
Adoption was a bumpy ride - very bumpy. But, God, was it worth the fight.

Adoption was a bumpy ride - very bumpy. But, God, was it worth the fight.

Mariska Hargitay
By coming forward and sharing your story, you don't know the countless lives you change.

By coming forward and sharing your story, you don't know the countless lives you change.

Mariska Hargitay
I think God runs the show. Completely. Life proves it every day: He runs the show.

I think God runs the show. Completely. Life proves it every day: He runs the show.

Mariska Hargitay
I'm a size 8, and I feel proud of that, because it's healthy. I've never felt compelled to be a skinny actress.

I'm a size 8, and I feel proud of that, because it's healthy. I've never felt compelled to be a skinny actress.

Mariska Hargitay
Just having someone make you laugh so hard that it hurts is so healing to me.

Just having someone make you laugh so hard that it hurts is so healing to me.

Mariska Hargitay
In life you have two choices. You can laugh or you can cry. You have to laugh, you have to.

In life you have two choices. You can laugh or you can cry. You have to laugh, you have to.

Mariska Hargitay
But trust can take you a long way. And my faith takes me a long way. And I think that our pains, our vulnerabilities, and our insecurities can fuel us to be better. To try harder. To dig deeper.

But trust can take you a long way. And my faith takes me a long way. And I think that our pains, our vulnerabilities, and our insecurities can fuel us to be better. To try harder. To dig deeper.

Mariska Hargitay
You've got to kick fear to the side, because the payoff is huge.

You've got to kick fear to the side, because the payoff is huge.

Mariska Hargitay
Humor is about perspective, and hanging out with people who see life through a similar lens is so important.

Humor is about perspective, and hanging out with people who see life through a similar lens is so important.

Mariska Hargitay
Healing takes time, and asking for help is a courageous step.

Healing takes time, and asking for help is a courageous step.

Mariska Hargitay
Sexual assault and domestic violence are difficult things to talk about. Talk about them anyway.

Sexual assault and domestic violence are difficult things to talk about. Talk about them anyway.

Mariska Hargitay
Being sexy is just one part of being a woman and an actress. But if the part calls for sexy...

Being sexy is just one part of being a woman and an actress. But if the part calls for sexy...

Mariska Hargitay
We're all connected. Helping another woman is helping yourself, your mother, your sister, your children.

We're all connected. Helping another woman is helping yourself, your mother, your sister, your children.

Mariska Hargitay
People who overcome their fears every day, without fanfare, without recognition. Quiet, everyday courage, that’s what I admire most.

People who overcome their fears every day, without fanfare, without recognition. Quiet, everyday courage, that’s what I admire most.

Mariska Hargitay
If I can play a little part in the world's healing, and making it a better place than when I came, then I just thank God for that chance.

If I can play a little part in the world's healing, and making it a better place than when I came, then I just thank God for that chance.

Mariska Hargitay
No one can tell you who you are and what you are made of, only you yourself know what you are made of, and only you yourself can do the work to become who you want to be.

No one can tell you who you are and what you are made of, only you yourself know what you are made of, and only you yourself can do the work to become who you want to be.

Mariska Hargitay
I don't have to be an expert. I just have to care.

I don't have to be an expert. I just have to care.

Mariska Hargitay
It's a life's journey of finding ourselves, finding our power, and living for yourself, not for everyone else.

It's a life's journey of finding ourselves, finding our power, and living for yourself, not for everyone else.

Mariska Hargitay
No one can take away your pain, so don't let anyone take away your happiness.

No one can take away your pain, so don't let anyone take away your happiness.

Mariska Hargitay
I think one of the mistakes actors make is we're so focused on what we're going to say.

I think one of the mistakes actors make is we're so focused on what we're going to say.

Mariska Hargitay
I look at all the things life has allowed me to do, and I feel like the luckiest person in the world.

I look at all the things life has allowed me to do, and I feel like the luckiest person in the world.

Mariska Hargitay
Life begins at 40, and I'm living proof.

Life begins at 40, and I'm living proof.

Mariska Hargitay
I think because I became a mom later in life, everything in life means more.

I think because I became a mom later in life, everything in life means more.

Mariska Hargitay
I realize that you have to show up for your life.

I realize that you have to show up for your life.

Mariska Hargitay
I have a nest egg, and I don't buy above my means.

I have a nest egg, and I don't buy above my means.

Mariska Hargitay
I am grateful that I didn't let fear get the best of me. It only holds you back from possibilities and greatness.

I am grateful that I didn't let fear get the best of me. It only holds you back from possibilities and greatness.

Mariska Hargitay
It's very difficult leaving the house anytime with my baby at home.

It's very difficult leaving the house anytime with my baby at home.

Mariska Hargitay
It's a new skill to have two children that want you at the same time.

It's a new skill to have two children that want you at the same time.

Mariska Hargitay
I have everything I need. Our house is very joyful.

I have everything I need. Our house is very joyful.

Mariska Hargitay
My heart just keeps getting bigger and bigger.

My heart just keeps getting bigger and bigger.

Mariska Hargitay
I get very excited about my double stroller. Every time I look at it, I get a shot of adrenaline and joy because I think, This is real!

I get very excited about my double stroller. Every time I look at it, I get a shot of adrenaline and joy because I think, This is real!

Mariska Hargitay
When we're on the street and someone drops something, I pick it up.

When we're on the street and someone drops something, I pick it up.

Mariska Hargitay
When I was pregnant, I was so huge and people on the bus would get up for me. That made me feel so precious and valued and valuable. I try to treat everyone like they're pregnant.

When I was pregnant, I was so huge and people on the bus would get up for me. That made me feel so precious and valued and valuable. I try to treat everyone like they're pregnant.

Mariska Hargitay
Having a child changes everything. All of a sudden you have so much to lose, so much to live for.

Having a child changes everything. All of a sudden you have so much to lose, so much to live for.

Mariska Hargitay
Sometimes things in life happen that allow us to understand our priorities very clearly. Ultimately you can see those as gifts.

Sometimes things in life happen that allow us to understand our priorities very clearly. Ultimately you can see those as gifts.

Mariska Hargitay
I was lucky enough to have a father who said, 'Don't quit.' So I just kept going.

I was lucky enough to have a father who said, 'Don't quit.' So I just kept going.

Mariska Hargitay
Becoming a parent erased many of my negative childhood feelings and filled them in with something new.

Becoming a parent erased many of my negative childhood feelings and filled them in with something new.

Mariska Hargitay
Of course everyone says they hate baby talk, but mine was not annoying.

Of course everyone says they hate baby talk, but mine was not annoying.

Mariska Hargitay
Everything has combined to make my life in New York an amazing experience. I told my manager a few years ago that I wanted to move here and try acting in the theater.

Everything has combined to make my life in New York an amazing experience. I told my manager a few years ago that I wanted to move here and try acting in the theater.

Mariska Hargitay
There's the occasional script that just hammers you, that you can't shower off.

There's the occasional script that just hammers you, that you can't shower off.

Mariska Hargitay
I have so much love that I didn't even know about.

I have so much love that I didn't even know about.

Mariska Hargitay
When I read the script sometimes, it's like 'Christ! Enough!' I can't sleep at night sometimes. There's the occasional script that just hammers you, that you can't shower off.

When I read the script sometimes, it's like 'Christ! Enough!' I can't sleep at night sometimes. There's the occasional script that just hammers you, that you can't shower off.

Mariska Hargitay
As an actress, there were so many months, years even, when I didn't get work, when I wanted to quit.

As an actress, there were so many months, years even, when I didn't get work, when I wanted to quit.

Mariska Hargitay
When I was in my early 20s, I had my hair permed. Bad idea! It turned into total frizz. My advice to women is, if you have nice hair already, don't get a perm, leave your hair alone!

When I was in my early 20s, I had my hair permed. Bad idea! It turned into total frizz. My advice to women is, if you have nice hair already, don't get a perm, leave your hair alone!

Mariska Hargitay
If I eat clean, I look 10 years younger.

If I eat clean, I look 10 years younger.

Mariska Hargitay
When my body is strong, I feel stronger inside. I feel more capable of handling emotional situations. Usually I'm more of a inside-out person, but this was a great case of me from the outside in.

When my body is strong, I feel stronger inside. I feel more capable of handling emotional situations. Usually I'm more of a inside-out person, but this was a great case of me from the outside in.

Mariska Hargitay
I'm a ready-shoot-aim kind of gal.

I'm a ready-shoot-aim kind of gal.

Mariska Hargitay
I am proud to be a role model for my viewers. I am finding out that helping victims is as or more rewarding the all the awards I win.

I am proud to be a role model for my viewers. I am finding out that helping victims is as or more rewarding the all the awards I win.

Mariska Hargitay
I think people were expecting me to be that kind of glamorous sexpot. So they were always, Wow you're not what I expected.

I think people were expecting me to be that kind of glamorous sexpot. So they were always, Wow you're not what I expected.

Mariska Hargitay
I want to be a fun mom. Not a gasping for air mom.

I want to be a fun mom. Not a gasping for air mom.

Mariska Hargitay
When you see a girl like me bustin' perps, there ain't no time to be pretty.

When you see a girl like me bustin' perps, there ain't no time to be pretty.

Mariska Hargitay
The experience of being cared for is profound, and it nourishes the soul as much as the food does the body.

The experience of being cared for is profound, and it nourishes the soul as much as the food does the body.

Mariska Hargitay
I definitely have my days where I look like I got dressed in the dark.

I definitely have my days where I look like I got dressed in the dark.

Mariska Hargitay
You've got to kick fear to the side, because the payoff is huge.

You've got to kick fear to the side, because the payoff is huge.

Mariska Hargitay
I'm an L.A. girl who became a tough New York cop.

I'm an L.A. girl who became a tough New York cop.

Mariska Hargitay
You make sacrifices to become a mother, but you really find yourself and your soul.

You make sacrifices to become a mother, but you really find yourself and your soul.

Mariska Hargitay
I say to everybody, 'Adoption is not for the faint of heart.'

I say to everybody, 'Adoption is not for the faint of heart.'

Mariska Hargitay
Every day is deeper and richer and more soulful.

Every day is deeper and richer and more soulful.

Mariska Hargitay
Golf made me feel like a loser. So I dismissed it.

Golf made me feel like a loser. So I dismissed it.

Mariska Hargitay
My weekends are extremely precious.

My weekends are extremely precious.

Mariska Hargitay
If you stop for one second and do something, everyone is happy. You pay it forward and it comes back to you twelve-fold.

If you stop for one second and do something, everyone is happy. You pay it forward and it comes back to you twelve-fold.

Mariska Hargitay
It's a life's journey of finding ourselves, finding our power, and living for yourself, not for everyone else.

It's a life's journey of finding ourselves, finding our power, and living for yourself, not for everyone else.

Mariska Hargitay
Just smiling at someone walking down the street can make the person's day. It's all about paying it forward.

Just smiling at someone walking down the street can make the person's day. It's all about paying it forward.

Mariska Hargitay
Chocolate is the first luxury. It has so many things wrapped up in it: deliciousness in the moment, childhood memories, and that grin-inducing feeling of getting a reward for being good.

Chocolate is the first luxury. It has so many things wrapped up in it: deliciousness in the moment, childhood memories, and that grin-inducing feeling of getting a reward for being good.

Mariska Hargitay

Your body is not who you are. I don't think women should label themselves based on the way they look. What about defining yourself by a different kind of measurement? What about your heart, your soul, your compassion, your generosity, your strength and your power? There are so many other things to focus on besides your waistline.

Mariska Hargitay

I'm living every ten-year-old boy's fantasy. The other day, Chris and I had this big scene where we had to pull out our guns, and I was thinking, 'Here we are in New York City - a place where every actor wants to be - and we are literally playing cops and robbers. How great is that?'

Mariska Hargitay

The message I got from my father was that life is hard, but you just don't quit. I am grateful that I didn't let fear get the best of me. It only holds you back from possibilities and greatness. You've got to kick fear to the side, because the payoff is huge.

Mariska Hargitay

Over half a million women are raped in this country every year, and only a fraction of them report it because they're too ashamed. It’s a really screwed up world, but its not your fault, and what happened to you, it doesn't make you the monster.

Mariska Hargitay

I'm a big believer that your word is your wand. You know how people say things like, 'Oh my gosh, I'm such an idiot.' I don't say things like that anymore. Those put-downs, even if they're in jest, are little bullets of negativity that you don't need in your life.

Mariska Hargitay

Sixty-five percent of Americans don't have the conversation with their children. So you're sending off boys and girls off to college, off to high school, off to wherever they go, and nobody's had the conversation about how to conduct themselves. About a man telling his son how to be a man. How to respect a woman. How do you respect yourself?

Mariska Hargitay

You know how you wake up in the morning and sometimes you look gorgeous and other times you look like you got hit by a mack truck? I realized that my mack truck is food. If I have no sugar, yeast or wine, I have no undereye bags and my skin is perfect.

Mariska Hargitay

I'm just grateful that my body is healthy. I want to be on this planet for a long time, so I try to eat things that make me feel good and make me strong. But I also love food and I love life: Some days having that extra bowl of pasta and a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup means more to me than being thin.

Mariska Hargitay

Yes. I did more research than I ever wanted to and saw some things I wish I didn't. I went on ride-alongs, spent time with Homicide, Cold Case, and SVU detectives, hung out in subways learning how to spot pervs and pick-pockets, viewed an autopsy, went to a police firing range, and witnessed court cases and I read, read, read.

Mariska Hargitay