Mariska Hargitay Honors Late Mother Jayne Mansfield on 55th Anniversary of Death

It has been 55 years since Jayne Mansfield died tragically at 34 years old. June 29, 1967 saw the star and others involved in a crash, with daughter and Law & Order: SVU star Mariska Hargitay in the backseat. The actress took a moment to mark the sad anniversary and honor her mother. "We live to love you more each day," Hargitay captioned a photo of her mother. The quote itself also adorns the late actress' cenotaph at Hollywood Forever Cemetery in California and her resting place at Fairview Cemetery in Pen Argyl, Pennsylvania.

Hargitay was in the vehicle when the accident happened, sleeping in the backseat alongside her two siblings, Mickey Jr., 8, and Zoltan, 6, as they traveled from Mississippi to New Orleans. Also in the car was driver Ronnie Harrison and Mansfield's boyfriend and lawyer Samuel S. Brody.

Harrison smashed into the rear of a tractor-trailer he saw too late due to a cloud of insecticide dust emitting from the vehicle. The three adults in the front seat died instantly, with Mansfield sustaining traumatic head trauma. She was not beheaded despite urban legends related to the incident.

Hargitay is the daughter of Mansfield and former Mr. Universe Mickey Hargitay, the actress' second husband. The SVU star was born after the couple had split up because Mansfield didn't discover she was pregnant until after the divorce was finalized. California ruled it a valid birth since being an unwed mother was frowned upon for a Hollywood star.

Fans were very supportive of the Law & Order icon's post, with some noting that Mansfield lives on through Hargitay and she's proud of how far her daughter has come. She's certainly not making the same mistakes Mansfield made near the end of her career.


Hargitay has spoken about how hard her mother's death affected her life, speaking to Glamour in 2021 about the lessons she learned from the tragedy. "I think I learned about crisis very young, and I learned very young that s- happens and there's no guarantees, and we keep going. And then we transform it," Hargitay said. "That's been kind of my superpower, and the gift of having trauma early in life. I've spent the last 50-how old am I?-57, so 54 years sort of trying to figure out what happened and why, and what am I supposed to do with it?"

She hasn't shied away from being open about her emotional journey either, learning early how to live with loss, not making it easy but allowing for better understanding. Mother and daughter did reunite in spirit after Hargitay's walk of fame star was placed beside her mother's in 2013.