This hard-hitting and emotional series from NBC’s “Law & Order” brand chronicles the life and crimes of the Special Victims Unit of the New York Police Department, the elite squad of detectives who investigate sexually based crimes. Created by Emmy Award-winning producer Dick Wolf, “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” is now entering its eighth season. The program has received numerous citations from community-based organizations for the social issues it tackles, and the cast members are frequently recognized for the work they do off-screen to promote personal health and safety and other volunteer efforts and initiatives.
“Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” is a Wolf Films production in association with NBC Universal Television Studio. Wolf, is creator and executive producer, Neal Baer (NBC’s “ER”, “China Beach”), Ted Kotcheff (“Fun with Dick and Jane,” “Weekend at Bernie’s”) and Peter Jankowski are the executive producers.
Mariska Hargitay garnered her first Emmy in 2006 for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series, returns for her eighth season as Olivia Benson, the ambitious and emotionally driven detective on NBC’s “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.” The role also earned her a Golden Globe Award in 2004, two previous Emmy Nominations, three SAG Award nominations and a Gracie Allen Award for American Women in Radio and Television.
“As a woman, it’s gratifying to play such a multi-layered part. Olivia is not only a competent, street-smart cop, she’s also an empathetic woman who can respond emotionally to victims of terrible crimes without compromising her professionalism,” says Hargitay. Hargitay is also known to NBC viewers for her recurring role on “E.R.” as Dr. Greene’s (Anthony Edwards) girlfriend, Cynthia Hooper, in the 1997-98 season of the top-rated show.
She also gained notice as a cast regular in the sitcom “Can’t Hurry Love” with Nancy cKeon and Louis Mandylor. Additional television credits include guest roles on NBC’s “Seinfeld,” “Ellen” and “thirtysomething,” and starring roles on “Falcon Crest” and “Prince Street.” Hargitay was also seen in the telefilms “The Advocate’s Devil” and “Night Sins,” as well as the Lifetime movie “Plain Truth.”
Her film credits include the thriller “Lake Placid,” written by David E. Kelley and starring Bridget Fonda, the critically acclaimed “Leaving Las Vegas,” David Lynch’s “Hotel Room,” Bob Fosse’s “Star 80,” and Michael Rymer’s “Perfume.”
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Hargitay is the youngest daughter of screen legend Jayne Mansfield and Mickey Hargitay. She divides her time between New York and Los Angeles. The UCLA graduate speaks Hungarian, French and ItalianHargitay is married to actor Peter Hermann, who starred most recently in Universal/Working Title’s “United 93” and has a recurring role on “SVU” as attorney Trevor Langan. The couple recently gave birth to their first child, a son.
Dr. Neal Baer is executive producer of the hit NBC television series “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.” Now in it’s eighth season, this hard-hitting and emotional series from NBC’s “Law & Order” brand chronicles the life and crimes of the Special Victims Unit of the New York Police Department, the elite squad of detectives who investigate sexually-based crimes. “SVU” has collectively received six Emmy nominations, including this year’s nominations for Best Lead Actress in a Drama Series for Mariska Hargitay and Angela Lansbury as Best Guest Actress in a Drama Series. Hargitay also won the first Golden Globe for the brand.
Prior to his work on “SVU,” Dr. Baer was executive producer of the NBC series “ER.” A member of the show’s original staff and a writer and producer on the series for seven seasons, he was nominated for five Emmys as a producer. He also received Emmy nominations for Outstanding Writing in A Drama Series for the episodes “Hell and High Water” and “Whose Appy Now?” For the latter, he also received a Writers’ Guild of America nomination.
Dr. Baer’s other work includes “Warriors,” an episode of “China Beach,” nominated for a Writers’ Guild Award for best episodic drama, and the ABC After School Special “Private Affairs,” which he directed and wrote. The Association of Women in Film and Television selected the program, dealing with sexually transmitted diseases, as the Best Children’s Drama of the Year. He wrote “The Doctor Corps,” a feature film for Twentieth Century Fox; “Outreach,” a pilot for the WB Network, which he also produced; and “The Edge,” a pilot for CBS.
Dr. Baer graduated from Harvard Medical School and completed his internship in Pediatrics at Children’s Hospital, Los Angeles. He received the Jerry L. Pettis Memorial Scholarship from the American Medical Association as the most outstanding medical student who has contributed to promoting a better understanding of medicine in the media. The American Association for the Advancement of Science selected him as a Mass Media Fellow. In 2003, he was honored by Physicians for Social Responsibility, Lupus L.A., and the Media Project.
Dr. Baer’s primary medical interests are in adolescent health. He has written extensively for teens on health issues for “Scholastic Magazine,” covering such topics as teen pregnancy, AIDS, drug and alcohol abuse, and nutrition. Dr. Baer taught elementary school in Colorado and also worked as a research associate at USC Medical School, where he focused on drug and alcohol abuse prevention.
Dr. Baer graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in Political Science from Colorado College. He holds master’s degrees from Harvard Graduate School of Education and from Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in Sociology. Before working in television, he spent a year at the American Film Institute as a directing fellow. In 2000, he received an honorary Doctor of Laws from Colorado College.
Dr. Baer serves on the boards of many organizations related to health care, including the Venice Family Clinic, RAND Health, Children Now, the Huckleberry Fund of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and the National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (NOFAS). He is a trustee of the Writers Guild of America Health and Pension Fund, and a member of the Board of Associates at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research.
Dr. Baer received the Valentine Davies Award for 2004 from the Writers Guild of America, West for “public service efforts in both the entertainment industry and the community at large, bringing dignity to and raising the standard for writers everywhere.” In 2003 he received the Special Individual Achievement Award from the Media Project; the Leadership Award from NOFAS; the Loop Award from Lupus LA for educating the public about lupus and autoimmune diseases; and the Socially Responsible Medicine Award from Physicians for Social Responsibility for “accomplishment in crafting compelling health messages.” Dr. Baer lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Gerrie Smith, who is on the board of the service organization City Hearts, and his son Caleb, 16.