Mariska Hargitay grew up without her biological mother. When she was just three years old, her mother, Jayne Mansfield, tragically died in an accident. However, Mariska's father, Mickey, won full custody of her and her siblings, and soon remarried. This marked the beginning of a close relationship between Mariska and her stepmother, Ellen Siano.
Tragedy struck the family when Jayne Mansfield died in a car accident on June 29, 1967. She, along with her driver, Ronald B. Harrison, and her lawyer, Samuel S.
Months before Jayne's untimely death, Mickey had remarried, finding love and support in Ellen Siano. Mariska regarded Siano not as a stepmother, but as her mom. Siano embraced Mariska and her siblings wholeheartedly, and they quickly formed a strong bond. Tragedy struck again when Siano was horrifically injured in a plane crash, coming close to losing her life.