Christopher Meloni Calls Longtime Pal Mariska Hargitay by Pet Name in Kooky Birthday Tribute

Mariska Hargitay celebrated her birthday on Monday, and at least one of her Law & Order: Special Victims Unit costars weren't going to let the occasion

slip by unnoticed. In a wacky tribute posted to Instagram, Christopher Meloni pulled so close to the camera that only his eyes and forehead were visible, and then sent a

message to Hargitay, 59. "Marsha," he hissed, referring to the actress by the pet name he uses. "Do you know what today is?" He then leaned toward the camera and

whispered, "I do." In the caption of the post, Meloni, 61, added, "Celebrate it Marsha" RELATED: Law & Order Stars Tease Must-Watch Crossover Premiere — 'That's

How We Roll,' Says Christopher Meloni Hargitay previously explained during a joint appearance with Meloni on Late Night With Seth Meyers last March that "Marsha" is "one of

the many names" her costar has dubbed her with. The duo also go by "Marshmelon", a combination of Marsha and Meloni, as well as "Bensler," a combination of her SVU

character's last name, Benson, and Meloni's character's last name, Stabler. Hargitay has starred in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit as Detective Olivia Benson since

its premiere in 1999. Meloni played her partner Detective Elliott Stabler until his departure from the show in 2011. He returned to the franchise last year, reprising his role

with his own spin-off series Law & Order: Organized Crime. The two actors share an easy camaraderie that has charmed fans both on and off screen — so much that Hargitay

even ended up listed as Meloni's wife on his Wikipedia page, despite them both being married to other people.