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Mickey Hargitay was an actor/bodybuilder who
won the Mr. Universe bodybuilding title in
1955, and is often credited with popularizing
the sport of bodybuilding. He was married
to 1950s blonde bombshell Jayne Mansfield,
who died in a horrific auto accident in 1967.
Mickey was originally hired by Mae West to
appear in her nightclub act, but his acting
career really got off the ground with appearances
in the films Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?,
Promises! Promises!, Lady Frankenstein
and The Loves of Hercules. Additionally, he
guest-starred on TV's The Wild, Wild West, and his
daughter's series, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
The story of his life with wife Jayne Mansfield,
was told in the 1980 Arnold Schwarzenegger,
Loni Anderson TV-movie, The Jayne Mansfield Story.
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger called
him an "inspirational force." "Mickey was such an
inspiration and always had such a positive attitude."
"When I came to this country in 1968, he was
one of the first people I wanted to meet," recalled
the actor-turned-politician who portrayed
Mickey early is his acting career. "He was a
role model of mine for being a successful
immigrant who came to this country and pursued
Following his career in entertainment, Mickey
became a successful Southern California contractor
and real estate investor.
He lived to see his daughter Mariska Hargitay win
a Golden Globe in 2005, and an Emmy Award for her
work on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
He was in the very same hospital (Cedars-Sinai Medical
Center, in Los Angeles), being treated for cancer at
the same time Mariska was there giving birth to his
grandson, August Miklos Friedrich Hermann, June 28th,
2006. Mickey Hargitay died less than three months later,
on September 14th, 2006.
Biographical fast facts
Full or original name at birth: Miklos Hargitay
Date and place of birth: January 6, 1926, Budapest, Hungary*
Date, place and cause of death: September 14, 2006,
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A. (Multiple myeloma)
Note: Multiple myeloma is a form of cancer.
Spouse: Mary Birge (divorced September 6, 1956)
Spouse: Jayne Mansfield (m. January 13, 1958 - August 26, 1964) (divorced)
Wedding took place at the Wayfarer's Chapel,
5755 Palos Verdes Drive South, Palos Verdes, California, U.S.A.
Spouse: Ellen Siano (m. 1967 - September 14, 2006) (his death)
Sons: Miklos Jeffrey Hargitay (known as Mickey Hargitay, Jr.)
(b. December 21, 1958, at 5:00 a.m., St. John's Hospital, Santa Monica, California)
Zoltan Anthony Hargitay (b. August 1, 1960, St. John's Hospital,
Santa Monica, California)
Daughters: Tina Hargitay (b. 1949) (his daughter with first wife Mary)
Mariska Hargitay (b. January 23, 1964, St. John's Hospital,
Santa Monica, California) (his daughter with Jayne Mansfield)
Error correction or clarification
* A couple of sources report October 9th
as Mickey's date of birth, but we've found no
evidence to substantiate that claim.
The most in-depth of more than three dozen
sources consulted for this profile:
The Tragic Secret Life of Jayne Mansfield, by Raymond Strait (1974)
Jayne Mansfield and the American Fifties, by Martha Saxton (1975).
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