Mariska Hargitay Just Reached An Incredible Milestone

Mariska Hargitay is best known for her role on "Law and Order: Special Victims Unit" as the iconic and relentless lieutenant Olivia Benson. The crime drama has now entered its 23rd season and has been approved for an additional 24th season, officially making it the longest-running live-action show in television history, per Insider. One of the reasons fans love tuning in for the "Law and Order" spin-off series, which focuses primarily on crimes of a sexual nature, is for the fierce and empathetic Benson who would do anything to protect and help the victims who come to her. 

After so many seasons playing the same character, one may assume that Hargitay is passionate about the show and her role, and they would be correct. "'SVU' resonates because it's a path to healing and a path to survivorship," the Emmy-winner told Parade, specifying that the "environment" she hopes to create through her character is one of "compassion, sympathy and justice, [and] providing hope to those who experience shame and isolation caused by sexual violence." She believes that the purpose of the show goes beyond entertainment and brings a "greater awareness and understanding of the issues" explored. 

Hargitay clearly has plenty to be proud of, but the actor just celebrated another important milestone related to her time on "Law and Order: SUV."

Mariska Hargitay has played Olivia Benson for a long time

On October 19, "Law and Order: SUV" actor Mariska Hargitay celebrated 500 episodes playing detective-turned-lieutenant Olivia Benson. It also happened to coincide with the 500th-anniversary episode of the show itself, which is an incredible accomplishment for any television series, even one as beloved as "Law and Order: SUV." Hargitay celebrated the day with an enormous cake and balloons, according to a photo she posted on Instagram. In the snap, Hargitay can be seen posing behind a "Law and Order"-themed three-tier cake with the number "500" in gold serving as cake topper. 

Fans showered the "Jocks" actor with love and congratulations on the big day in the comments section of the post. One social media user commented, "Omggggg what an epic accomplishment," while another wrote, "It's an honor and a privilege to be a fan & witness this historical milestone. You (and all of the cast, writers, & crew over the years) have certainly earned it! Here's to 500." Instagram wasn't the only site blowing up with good wishes for all of Hargitay's hard work. She also earned a shout-out from her good friend and fellow actor, Bridget Moynahan, on Twitter, who called Hargitay's milestone an "amazing accomplishment and well deserved." With at least two more seasons of "SVU" in the pipeline, we're just waiting for the day we see Hargitay celebrate episode 600 — or more.