When it comes to legendary television duos, Mariska Hargitay and Christopher Meloni take the cake. The Law & Order: Special Victims Unit costars met during a screen test before making their debut on the long-running NBC franchise. Their friendship has lasted more than two decades, and they have both become important parts of each other’s lives.
Before landing her breakout role in the crime drama, Mariska snagged minor roles in 1985’s Ghoulies, 1989’s Baywatch and 1990’s Wise Guy. Chris worked odd jobs before making the transition into becoming a full-time actor. He starred in 1996’s Bound, 1993’s The Boys and 1996’s NYPD Blue. Meeting for the first time was life-changing for the Golden Globe winner and the Hollywood hunk.
“I had instantaneous ease, chemistry, trust and comfort with Chris,” Mariska told Closer in April 2020. “It was nonstop chitchat — I couldn’t stop talking. I thought, ‘I want to be with that guy!’ Chris and I both knew we were going to get cast.”
For 12 years, Mariska and Chris shared the screen as Olivia Benson and Elliot Stabler before he left the series in 2011. He went on to star in the spinoff, Law & Order: Organized Crime. Even after the Handmaid’s Tale actor left SVU, the pair continued to stay in touch. They reunited during a special crossover episode in 2021, much to the delight of their massive fanbase.
“[SVU] gave birth to Mariska and Meloni, and Benson and Stabler. So, we’re kind of inextricably linked and connected in that way,” Chris told Entertainment Tonight about their bond in July 2020. “Beyond that, we’re very good friends. I think we value each other.”
In November 2021, the 42 actor was tapped to present Mariska with her Glamour Woman of the Year Award. The Oz star said Mariska is “a connector of people because she knows we’re all better when we’re working together.” He went on to say that the mother of three “is a soul in the constant search of the beauty and the truth that she knows that this world holds.” Mariska broke down after accepting the award from her colleague, who has now become one of her closest friends.
Keep scrolling to see Mariska and Chris’ cutest quotes about their friendship.
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