Born in New York to German parents, he lived in Germany until he was 10. Initially he worked for the Teach For America Program before becoming an actor. He speaks four languages: English, German, French, and Spanish.
In 1999 he met his now-wife, Mariska Hargitay on the set of Law & Order: SVU. In 2006 they had their first child, August Miklós Friedrich, then in 2011 they adopted two others, Andrew Nicolas Hargitay Hermann and Amaya Josephine Hermann.
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