Mariska Hargitay and Peter Hermann
Credit: Getty Images

We’ve seen Olivia Benson date throughout the years on Law & Order: SVU. But in real life, who is the SVU actress married to? Keep reading to learn about Mariska Hargitay’s husband and how they first met almost two decades ago.

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (known as Law & Order: SVU or just SVU), is NBC’s crime drama created and produced by Dick Wolf’s Wolf Entertainment. It’s the first spin-off of Law & Order and follows a group of specially trained detectives in the New York City Police Department that investigate sexually related crimes. Hargitay has played Commanding Officer Olivia Benson of the Manhattan Special Victims Unit since the very first season aired in 1999.

“I read the script and I just—I knew in my gut that I had to do this role. I had never been so excited about it,” she told The Late Show with Stephen Colbert in May 2019. “And the thing that was interesting is that my agent called me, and he said, ‘Maris, you know it’s very dark subject matter. I don’t know if it’s your thing. I don’t know if it’s going to be your bag, it’s super dark.’ I read it and just, you know, chills. And I knew I had to do it.”

Hargitay is the daughter of American actress and Playboy playmate Jayne Mansfield and actor and body builder Mickey Hargitay. Her mother, a 1950s Hollywood icon, appeared in several hits on Broadway and at the box office, including the play Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? and the film adaptation of the same name. Her other notable roles include The Girl Can’t Help It, The Wayward BusToo Hot to Handle and Promises! Promises! Her mother was tragically killed in a car crash in 1967; Mariska (who was only three years old) and her brothers, Zoltan Hargitay and Mickey Hargitay Jr., were in the car at the time but miraculously survived the fatal accident.

In honor of what would have been her mother’s 90th birthday, the actress recently shared an Instagram post of her late mother on April 19, 2023. “Happy birthday Mama. We live to love you more each day,” she wrote in the caption. After her mother’s death, the actress was raised in Los Angeles by her dad and her stepmother, Ellen Siano, along with her two brothers and three half-siblings. Her father passed in 2006 due to a long illness.

So, what do we know about Mariska Hargitay’s husband? See who the longtime SVU actress is married to and how the couple first met.

Who is Mariska Hargitay’s husband?

Mariska Hargitay and her husband Peter Hermann


Who is Mariska Hargitay’s husband? Mariska Hargitay is married to fellow actor Peter Hermann, who is best known for his roles in Younger, Law & Order: SVU and Blue Bloods. He was born in New York City in August 1967 to German parents, who moved Hermann back to Germany when he was two months old. He returned to the United States when he was 10, attended Yale University and began his acting career with brief roles on television, including on the soap opera Guiding Light (he played Dr. Michael Burke, who infamously was responsible for the cloning of Reva Shayne), the ABC show Beautiful People and the Lifetime series Angela’s Eyes.

In early 2022, Hermann was introduced to Mariska on the set of Law & Order: SVU in Season 3, when Hermann guest-starred as defense attorney Trevor Langan. After filming wrapped, Hermann asked Hargitay to accompany him to church for their first date. In an interview with People in June 2019, Hargitay opened up about that special moment with her now-husband.

“We went to church together, and it was like getting hit with a lightning bolt,” she said, admitting that she became so “overwhelmed” by feelings of love that she broke down crying. “I just started sobbing. Peter thought I was crying because I was so moved by the service… No, it was because I was just overwhelmed, realizing he was the one.”

Hargitay also recalled to actress Drew Barrymore on the The Drew Barrymore Show in January 2022 that she was nervous to be around her husband at first because of his good looks. “On the first date, I was so nervous. He was really handsome, and it was distracting.” She also said that the producers of SVU were on to Hargitay about her crush on Hermann. When Barrymore asked if the producers knew, Hargitay responded: “Yeah… I’d never been like that to anyone… ever.”

They dated for two years before tying the knot in Santa Barbara, California, in 2004. Hargitay celebrated 18 years of marriage to Hermann in an Instagram post for their latest anniversary on August 28, 2022. “Eighteen years. Grateful. In love. Together,” the caption read.

Two years later, the Mariska and Peter welcomed their first child, son August Miklos Hermann, on June 28, 2006. They adopted their next two children, daughter Amaya Josephine Hermann and son Andrew Nicolas Hargitay Hermann, in 2011. “Our family is so perfect, or at least perfect for me,” she told People in March 2018. “The beauty is that families are made in so many different ways, and that was my reality as a child. Growing up, my family was made in such an inter­esting and unique way, and now I have that with my own family, and so I under­stand it. It’s been amazing.” She also called her husband her “North Star” and her kids “my teachers.”

Law & Order: SVU airs on Thursdays at 9 p.m. on NBC.

Peter Hermann’s storyline on Guiding Light made our list of all-time worst soap storylines. See the gallery, below!