Law And Order's Chris Meloni Shared Powerful Tribute To Mariska Hargitay During Award Presentation

Chris Meloni and Mariska Hargitay on Law and Order: SVU
(Image credit: NBCUniversal)

Anyone with a working television knows the impact of Law and Order: SVU star Mariska Hargitay. In addition to starring on the long-running procedural for upwards of two decades, she’s also become a philanthropist, who uses her fame to help survivors of assault. This year, she was honored during a major awards presentation by none other than her longtime on-screen partner, Detective Elliot Stabler a.k.a Christopher Meloni. 

The veteran actor was on deck to acknowledge Mariska Hargitay at the 2021 Glamour Women of the Year Awards on November 8th. The actress and activist was recognized for her tireless work to bring recognition to the countless unused rape kits in the U.S. criminal justice backlog, as well as her founding of the Joyful Heart foundation. While many celebs had great things to say about her, including fellow SVU star Ice-T, Christopher Meloni‘s really struck a chord. He said: 

To be truthful, have you ever met Mariska? She’s got great energy, great personality. So tonight, I say this: Radiant. Charming. Funny. Generous. Elegant. Bawdy. Honest. Appreciative. Inclusive. Direct. Vivacious. That’s my favorite word; it comes from the Latin, to live. Which is what she does with great passion, every day, with everyone that she engages, be they friends, family, strangers, or commitments.

If you got a bit teary-eyed just from reading that, you’re not alone. Both stars reportedly got emotional during the Stabler actor's speech. The moment wasn’t captured on video, but his touching words were recorded for posterity on the Glamour website. In addition to calling his longtime screen partner every positive adjective in the dictionary, he also commended her sense of empathy and compassion: 

She’s fearless, without the bravado of the warrior stance, but always with the open arms, the open heart. She’s a connector of people, because she knows we’re all better when we’re working together. She is as comfortable in the sacred as she is in the profane; she is a soul in the constant search of the beauty and the truth that she knows that this world holds, but she also knows requires vigilance, persistence, and insistence to pry magic from the often times mundane reality. Her first instance is to always react with compassion and empathy. She sees hope in the hopeless; she sees the potential in the you, and me, and us.

It’s good to know that the on-screen closeness between Christopher Meloni and Mariska Hargitay is just as genuine off the clock. After all, their relationship was part of what made that era of SVU so compulsively watchable. And it’s also what made their reunion on the Stabler-centric spinoff, Law and Order: Organized Crime, so compelling (albeit a bit messy). Hey, even the best partners have their ups and downs, even if it's just on camera

The first 22 seasons of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit are available to stream on Peacock and Hulu. Season 23 of SVU is currently airing at 9 p.m. ET on Thursdays on NBC, followed by Season 2 of Organized Crime at 10 p.m. ET.

Rachel Romean

Actor, singer, and occasional dancer. Likes: fashion, books, old buildings. Dislikes: cilantro, the NJ Turnpike, sneaker wedges.