Mariska Hargitay Is a Real-Life Hero as She Helps a Child Find Her Mother While Filming 'Law & Order: SVU'

The actress was seemingly mistaken for a real officer by a lost child while dressed in her 'Law & Order: SVU' uniform.

Mariska Hargitay has been playing Law & Order: Special Victims Unit's Olivia Benson for so long that stepping into her heroic shoes is second nature. 

While filming season 25 of the hit NBC series on April 10 with Ice T, 60-year-old Hargitay took a break when she was approached by a little girl who seemingly mistook her for a real police officer. The case of mistaken identity is understandable considering that Hargitay wears a police badge as part of Benson's outfit. 

"Mariska was filming with Ice-T and was interrupted by a little girl walking into the scene. She walked straight to Mariska," the eyewitness says. 

The eyewitness adds that Hargitay quickly paused filming after she was approached by the little girl and the actress happily helped her reunite with her mother. 


Mariska Hargitay takes a break from filming Law and Order: SVU to help a lost child find her mother. - Jose Perez / SPLASH

Hargitay's tenure as Benson has set the record for the longest-running portrayal of a character in a drama show, and she's spoken before about how proud she is that her character and performance have helped people who have dealt with trauma find hope and closure.

When the actress spoke with ET at the special 25th anniversary celebration of Special Victims Unit in January, she opened up about the legacy she hopes to leave behind for her beloved police detective -- a character she's played since the show's premiere in 1999.

"I hope that her legacy is that she helped a lot of people heal," Hargitay shared as she began tearing up. "It's too early to cry, people! It's way too early."

Mariska Hargitay is seen taking a break from filming Law and Order: SVU help a child at the Fort Tryon Playground on April 10, 2024 in New York City. - Jose Perez/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images
Ice T and Mariska Hargitay are seen on the set Law and Order: SVU on April 11, 2024 in New York City. - Jose Perez/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

"There's a lot of love in the people that created this show and a lot of intimacy and an incredible amount of respect and trust and honor," Hargitay says. "So I think that we all honor and respect each other."

"It's been a privilege for me to work with them and to have such an incredibly intimate relationship with all of them," she added. "So this feels like family tonight."

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit airs Thursdays at 9 p.m.