Mariska Hargitay was only 3 years old when she lost her mother in a crash that she survived.
Mariska Hargitay remembered her late mother, Jayne Mansfield, on what would have been her 90th birthday on April 19. The Law & Order: Special Victims Unit star posted a picture of her mother visiting the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas in 1956, smiling and leaning over a cake. “Happy birthday Mama. We live to love you more each day,” Hargitay, 59, wrote in the Instagram caption.
In the 1950s and 1960s, Mansfield gained fame as a renowned Hollywood actress, known for her beauty and for her work in the movies like Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? and Too Hot to Handle, per TODAY. Mickey Hargitay, an actor, and, a bodybuilder was Mansfield's second husband and the father of three of her children, including Hargitay. In addition to the Instagram photo, Hargitay posted an Instagram story of a scene from Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? featuring her mother.
When Hargitay was only 3 years old, Mansfield was tragically killed in a vehicle accident at only 34. The Law & Order actor has discussed how losing her mother at such a young age affected her. She shared that she spent much of her youth in a "frozen place" while she struggled to live and deal with her loss in an interview with Glamour. “I think I learned about crisis very young, and I learned very young that s--- happens and there are no guarantees, and we keep going. And then we transform it,” she said. “That’s been kind of my superpower, and the gift of having trauma early in life.”
Mansfield was unquestionably a symbol of Hollywood glitz, but Hargitay noted in her acceptance speech for Glamour Women of the Year that Mansfield's beauty went far beyond the surface. “You’ve given me a bigger gift than you know: an evening that for me is very much about my mother. We have many pictures of her in our house, and my God, she is just so unbelievably glamorous. But I think that her glamour, her real glamour, the glamour of her luminous, tender, searching heart, was deeper and more beautiful than she ever knew.”
"Losing my mom at such a young age is a scar on my soul," Mariska Hargitay said of Jayne Mansfield's tragic death. 💔 pic.twitter.com/Mpc5SAQxY2— Oprah Daily (@OprahDaily) September 3, 2018
She added that she feels grateful for this evening, adding that her mother would definitely be very happy seeing her daughter receive this accolade. She said, “She would be 88 now, and I think she would have liked this evening very much. I also think that she knows more now than when she died. She is here with us, and she is here with me, sitting with us and sitting with me, and I am so happy and grateful that we get to learn these things together. Thank you for this incredible honor.”
Cover Image Source: (L) Getty Images | Hulton Archive; (R) Getty Images | Stephen Lovekin