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See Mariska Hargitay's roles through the years

Shaun Harrison
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1 of 7 Paul Morigi/WireImage.com

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As the 62nd Primetime Emmy Awards draw near, we look back at the careers of the lead acting nominees.
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2 of 7 CBS /Landov

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In her first major TV role, Hargitay recurred as Carly Fixx on the '80s prime-time soap. Her arc ended when Carly and her stepbrother, Dan, leave town to start a relationship after discovering they're not related.
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3 of 7 NBC

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Hargitay appeared in the fourth-season finale of the NBC sitcom as Melissa Shannon, who auditions for the part of Elaine in Jerry's eponymous show-within-a-show. George cuts short her scene though, upset at her comment about the auditioning Georges: "It's like a bald convention out there."
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4 of 7 CBS/Landov

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Can't Hurry Love Hargitay went blonde for her first regular TV role on this short-lived CBS sitcom, in which she played Didi, the divorcee neighbor to Nancy McKeon's love-seeking Annie.
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5 of 7 Alice S. Hall/NBCU Photo Bank

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As the scatterbrained desk clerk Cynthia Hooper, Hargitay got to woo Anthony Edwards' Dr. Greene during the fourth season. Cynthia eventually breaks up with him when she realizes their relationship is purely physical.
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6 of 7 Justin Stephens/NBC

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In 1999, Hargitay landed the role of Detective Olivia Benson, the tough but empathic sex-crimes cop whose empathy stems from her being the product of a rape. Hargitay won an Emmy for drama lead actress in 2006 and remains the only regular cast member of any Law & Order show to win TV's top honor.
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7 of 7 Lifetime

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Hargitay starred in this 2004 Lifetime movie based on the book of the same name as Ellie, a lawyer who represents her distantly related niece after she's accused of murdering her newborn.