Mariska Hargitay as Olivia Benson
Source: USA

'Law & Order: Special Victims Unit' Made Mariska Hargitay a Millionaire

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Sep. 23 2021, Published 7:16 p.m. ET

Olivia Benson (played by Mariska Hargitay) has been protecting the city of New York on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit since 1999. While her stint has seen many detectives come and go, Olivia has stayed steadfast in dispensing her duties to the citizens.

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Benson’s beloved partner, Elliot Stabler (Chris Meloni), left SVU after Season 12 in 2011, but she remained consistent in her efforts to hold sexual predators accountable for their crimes. Fans want to know exactly how much her hard work paid off. So, how much does Mariska Hargitay make per episode of Law & Order: SVU?

Mariska Hargitay as Olivia Benson
Source: USA
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How much does Mariska Hargitay make per episode?

As it stands, Mariska is the highest-paid actress on Law & Order: SVU, with an estimated net worth of $100 million. According to reports, the actress earns anywhere from $500,000 to $540,00 per episode. With 22 episodes, her net pay per season is more than $11 million. And a glimpse at her resume proves that she earned it.

In 2005, Mariska won a Golden Globe award for best performance by an actress in a drama series. The following year, Mariska became the first cast member to win a Primetime Emmy for outstanding lead actress in a drama series. Additionally, Mariska has directed several episodes of SVU and is now an executive producer for the series.

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Mariska Hargitay as Olivia Benson
Source: USA

Further, Mariska made a cameo in the 2005 video game, True Crime: New York City, where she voiced Lieutenant Deena Dixon, as well as in Taylor Swift’s music video for “Bad Blood”, which later won a VMA for Video of the Year in 2015.

A lot has changed for Mariska since she rose to fame in the late '90s — especially her bank account. But how much do her co-stars make per episode?

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How much does Chris Meloni make per episode?

Chris took a 10-year hiatus from the Law & Order franchise before the highly anticipated reunion with his old partner. And now, it's like he never left.

With an estimated net worth of $30 million, the actor reportedly earned roughly $395,000 per episode before his exit from the franchise. The actor left after the network allegedly cut his salary by $2 million per year. It’s unclear how much showrunners agreed to pay Chris upon his return.

Chris Meloni and Mariska Hargitay
Source: USA
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Season 23 of 'Law & Order: Special Victims Unit' airs on Sept. 23.

On Sept 23, Season 23 of SVU premieres on USA. In a recent interview with TODAY, Mariska hinted that Benson and Stabler might be partners again, at last. But not in the way you’d think.

A photo recently surfaced online that teased a romantic relationship between Mariska and Chris, but the co-stars confirmed their relationship is strictly platonic. Benson and Stabler, on the other hand, are a different story.

Tune into the Season 23 premiere of Law & Order: SVU on Sept. 23 at 9 p.m. EST on USA.

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