Mariska Hargitay Once Revealed How Mother's Tragic Death Still Affected Her Life 50 Years Later

While talking to PEOPLE, Mariska Hargitay revealed how her mother had influenced her life. The award-winning actress held nothing back as she spoke of her pride in her mother’s legacy. 

At three years old, Mariska lost her famous mother, Jaynes Mansfield, in a disastrous car crash in 1967. Just a little child, Mariska barely remembers the incident although she had been in the car herself. A scar by the side of her head, however, stays as a reminder of the tragedy. 

Long after, Mariska has grown up and followed her mother’s path, paving the way for herself in the entertainment industry. While speaking in an interview with PEOPLE, she talked about how much of an influence the late Mansfield has had on her every endeavor. 

If you didn't know, Mansfield was a widely popular actress back in the 50s. While alive, she enjoyed great success as one of Hollywood’s finest women. With her signature blond hairdo and curvy physique, she has been recognized as a sex symbol. A lot like Marilyn Monroe. 

The tragedy may have shortened her film career but her legacy sure lives on. She reached the peak of her career in the mid-50s when she played the role of "Rita Marlowe" in “Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?” That and many others earned her numerous awards. But her personal life, which was rather well-publicized, had her under constant public scrutiny. 

However, very few know of what lays underneath all of that beautiful charisma of hers as Mariska revealed saying:

“My mother was this amazing, beautiful, glamor­ous sex symbol — but people didn’t know that she played the violin and had a 160 IQ and had five kids and loved dogs.”

Bursting into tears, she went on to say:

“She was just so ahead of her time. She was an inspiration, she had this appetite for life, and I think I share that with her.”

Mariska’s adoration and pride shone through as she spoke of her mother. Who wouldn't be really!? Now well into her fifties, Mariska never ceases to talk about the lasting legacy that seems to follow her just about anywhere!

Mariska:

“Someone once said about [remembering] my mother: ‘All you have to do is look in the mirror,’ ” she adds. “She’s with me still.”

The resemblance sure is uncanny because Mariska could pass for a Jaynes aged 55! We can only imagine how hard it must have been for Mariska growing up and getting likened to her mother. They might be complimentary, but it is certain that they would have only intensified Mariska’s feeling of losing someone that important. 

She discussed this saying she had "hated the constant references" and even went on to describe the tragic loss as "the scar of my soul."  

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