Mariska Hargitay shared that "Marsha" is "one of the numerous nicknames" Meloni has christened her with.
On Monday, Mariska Hargitay celebrated her 59th birthday, and at least one of her Law & Order: Special Victims Unit co-stars wasn't going to let the event pass unnoticed. Christopher Meloni shared a kooky birthday wish for Hargitay in a bizarre tribute video that was uploaded to Instagram. Only his eyes and forehead were visible due to Meloni's near proximity to the camera. He sneered, calling the actress by his pet name for her, "Marsha, Do you know what today is?" Then, as he leaned in front of the camera, he mumbled, "I do."
The wacky but cute post was captioned by the 61-year-old Meloni, as, "Celebrate it Marsha!"
During a joint appearance with Meloni on Late Night With Seth Meyers in March, Hargitay shared that "Marsha" is "one of the numerous nicknames" her co-star has christened her with. Along with "Bensler," a combination of her SVU character's last name, Benson, and Meloni's character's last name, Stabler, the pair also go by the names "Marshmelon" and "Bensler."
Since the show's debut in 1999, Hargitay has played Detective Olivia Benson in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Detective Elliott Stabler, who was portrayed by Meloni, left the show in 2011. Last year, he made a comeback to the brand and took on the same role in his own spin-off series, Law & Order: Organized Crime, per PEOPLE.
In spite of the fact that they are both married to other people, the two actors have a natural rapport that has won over fans both on and off the screen. In fact, Hargitay even ended up being labeled as Meloni's wife on his Wikipedia page. "I mean, I don't think I'll be marrying him any time soon, but I am kind of like his second wife," Hargitay shared with PEOPLE in September. "Wife, therapist, bestie, sister, mother," she added.
Hargitay and Meloni's on-screen chemistry causes "the fandom to go nuts," but Meloni cynically quipped, "I think the uber fans literally want our spouses to go away." Meloni and Sherman Williams celebrated their 27th anniversary of marriage in July. Meanwhile, Hargitay and her husband Peter Hermann, who met on the set of Law & Order: SVU in the early 2000s, celebrated their 18th anniversary in August.
The two were seen together at the 74th Primetime Emmy Awards in September 2022. Given her tight relationship with Meloni, Hargitay told PEOPLE at the time that the Emmys scene came together "quickly" and "effortlessly." She added, "It was so much fun to just create together with shorthand." To her, the 2022 Emmys "felt like a party with a bunch of people I hadn't seen in a long time, but they're all sort of my favorites. And I get to go with my best friend," she said, referring to Meloni.
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Kevin Winter