Question: I have been wondering ever since Mariska Hargitay first appeared on Law & Order: SVU if she is the daughter of Mickey Hargitay and Jayne Mansfield? I can't seem to find an answer. Can you tell me if she is? Thank you.

Answer: She is indeed, Patricia. Born in 1964 to the title-winning weight lifter (Mr. Universe, Mr. World, Mr. America) and the legendary blonde bombshell, the actress was in the car with her mom and her two siblings when a tragic accident near New Orleans took Mansfield's life in 1967. In fact, early in Hargitay's career, her mom's image helped influence her acting choices in the other direction. "I played lots of tomboys, wearing flannel shirts, jeans and boots," she told The Los Angeles Times last year. "On some unconscious level, I was shying away from those sexual roles because of my mother. But as I got older, I changed my mind. I now look forward to doing all kinds of parts, including those that are sexual and sensual."

You may also have seen her as a girlfriend to Dr. Greene (Anthony Edwards) on ER or in films like Lake Placid and Leaving Las Vegas. But for now the lady's got herself a hit and, to my mind, deserves it for the combination of intelligence and no-nonsense intensity she brings to the part.