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Mariska Hargitay’s father dies

Former Mr. Universe-turned-actor Mickey Hargitay was 80 years old
/ Source: Reuters

Former Mr. Universe turned actor Mickey Hargitay, the onetime husband of Hollywood bombshell Jayne Mansfield and father of Emmy-winning actress Mariska Hargitay, has died at the age of 80.

The Hungarian-born Hargitay, who was named Mr. Universe in 1955 and appeared opposite Mansfield in the 1960 film “The Loves of Hercules,” died Thursday, a family spokesman said.

“Words cannot express how saddened we are by the loss of Mickey. At the same time, we are so grateful for who he was and is to all of us and for the love he gave us in our lives,” the spokesman said. “He will continue to be a source of inspiration and strength.”

A private service has been held.

Born in Budapest in 1926, bodybuilder Hargitay was working in a Mae West stage revue in the mid-1950s when he met Hollywood film star and sex symbol Mansfield. The couple married in 1958 and had three children together before divorcing in the early 1960s.

Mansfield was killed in a 1967 car crash at age 34. All three children -- Mariska, Zoltan and Mickey Jr. — were riding in the back seat of the 1966 Buick Electra but survived the accident.

Mariska Hargitay, 42, won an Emmy last month for her performance in the NBC crime drama “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.” She was nominated twice before for her role as a detective on the show.