Mickey Hargitay, the Hungary-born actor and champion bodybuilder who won the titles Mr Universe, Mr America, and Mr Olympia and married blonde bombshell Jayne Mansfield, with whom he had daughter Mariska Hargitay, died Thursday in Los Angeles. He was 80. “My dad’s a bit of a superhero,” Mariska said last year.
Hargitay’s segue from bodybuilding to show business came after he was discovered by aging Hollywood sex symbol Mae West on the cover of Strength and Health magazine. He was part of the cast of musclemen in West’s nightclub act, the Mae West Revue, when he caught the eye of Mansfield on stage in New York in 1956. When Mansfield was asked what she would like that evening, she reportedly responded: “I’ll have a steak and the man on the left!”