Mariska Hargitay

Cheers to Mariska Hargitay for doing career-best work on Law & Order: SVU.

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You'd think after 13 years of playing NYPD sex-crimes Det. Olivia Benson — and losing her longtime on-screen partner, Christopher Meloni, at the end of last season — the Emmy winner might be tempted to phone in her performance. But between her rock-solid new costars Danny Pino and Kelli Giddish and brilliant new showrunner Warren Leight, the Emmy winner seems creatively reinvigorated.

Hargitay has shown off Benson's softer side through her ongoing romance with Harry Connick Jr.'s ADA David Haden as well as in this week's episode, when she attempted to help her troubled half-brother (Michael Weston) regain custody of his kids. No wonder the actress has already agreed to return for another season. It's up to NBC: Renew SVU!

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