Jayne Mansfield
American actress, singer, model
Jayne Mansfield
Jayne Mansfield was an American film, theatre, and television actress, and major Hollywood sex symbol during the late 1950s and early 1960s. Mansfield was 20th Century Fox's alternative Marilyn Monroe, who became known as "The Working Man's Monroe" and "The Poor Man's Monroe" during her career. Mansfield was also a noted rival to other Hollywood blondes including Mamie Van Doren, Anita Ekberg, Cleo Moore, and Sheree North.
Jayne Mansfield's personal information overview.
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Pose for your pinup - Houston Chronicle
Google News - over 5 years
Photos of models and actresses, such as Grable and Jayne Mansfield, were ripped from newspapers, magazines and calendars and tacked on walls and inside the lockers of World War II GIs. Peruvian painter Alberto Vargas and American illustrator Gil
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This week in celebrity wedding anniversaries - SunHerald.com
Google News - over 5 years
In honor of her family, she wore a locket with pictures of her late mother, Jayne Mansfield, as well as her late grandmother. 2010 - Chad Lowe and Kim Painter, in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif. Actor Lowe and his bride, film producer Kim Painter,
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Joan Blondell on TCM: DAMES, WILL SUCCESS SPOIL ROCK HUNTER? - Alt Film Guide (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
(1957), starring Tony Randall and Jayne Mansfield at their very best as, respectively, an ad man and a movie star. Blondell steals every scene she's in as Mansfield's no-nonsense personal assistant. Though John G. Adolfi's Sinners' Holiday (1930) has
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Marilyn Mansfield Shows Off Her 500 Dolls on My Collection Obsession - TV Guide
Google News - over 5 years
Mansfield, who got her stage name by combining those of Marilyn Monroe and Jayne Mansfield, has a particular love of "reborn" dolls — those which closely resemble real babies and cost hundreds of dollars (Mansfield tells us that her most expensive
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A Who's Who Of Hollywood's Hottest, In The Buff - San Francisco Chronicle (press release)
Google News - over 5 years
Nominees were chosen from Mr. Skin's database of over 18000 sexy nude stars, ranging from the history-making silver screen celebs of the 1950's (Marilyn Monroe, Jayne Mansfield) to the hottest, most fearless A-list actresses working today (Anne
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Classic Cars Owned by Eric Clapton, Herbie Hancock, Jayne Mansfield, Ava ... - Business Wire (press release)
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1966 right-hand drive Ferrari 275 GTS, whose owners included rock star Eric Clapton and movie star Jayne Mansfield, whose daughter is Emmy and Golden Globe winner Mariska Hargitay, star of Law and Order, Special Victims Unit
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Frank Tashlin - A.V. Club Chicago
Google News - over 5 years
Tashlin was also a mentor and frequent collaborator with Jerry Lewis, arguably the most ridiculed comic performer of his generation, and made two of his most transcendent 1950s comedies with Jayne Mansfield, a figure of camp not commonly associated
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Those Oldies but Goodies Remind Me of You - Patch.com
Google News - over 5 years
was topping the charts, pinups of Marilyn Monroe, Jayne Mansfield, and Brigitte Bardot were hanging on every teenage boy's bedroom walls, and another class of seniors was graduating from New London High School. That year it was a graduation marked by
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Kevin Bacon - Kevin Bacon Still Sizzling, Not Dead - Contactmusic.com
Google News - over 5 years
The rumours started circulating on Wednesday (13Jul11) but Bacon's rep Jennifer Allen has assured fans the actor is alive and well and at work on new Billy Bob Thornton movie Jayne Mansfield's Car
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Kevin Bacon is not Dead: Internet Rumors False - Entertainment Tonight News
Google News - over 5 years
Kevin is currently in Atlanta shooting 'Jayne Mansfield's Car', directed by Billy Bob Thornton and also starring Robert Duvall, and according to his rep Jennifer Allen, is "on set in Atlanta and is just fine."
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It's Lights, Camera, Action in Monroe County - 13WMAZ
Google News - over 5 years
The red carpet has rolled out in Central Georgia, bringing some actors including Kevin Bacon and Dennis Quaid to shoot a movie called "Jayne Mansfield's Car." The Monroe County Chamber of Commerce says filming should start around July 14 in High Falls
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Local funeral home is filming location for Thornton movie - Newton Citizen
Google News - over 5 years
The comedy/drama “Jayne Mansfield's Car” will film at Lester Lackey and Sons Funeral Home on Reynolds Street in Covington Wednesday. Lester Lackey said filming will take place from 7 am to 1 pm, likely both inside and outside his business
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Monroe County set to host film crews for 'Jayne Mansfield's Car' - Macon Telegraph (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
Film crews are expected to roll into High Falls in mid-July to film part of “Jayne Mansfield's Car,” a comedy-drama about human relationships and examining the “randomness of life and death,” as well as how different generations view war,
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Local Man Keeps Mansfield's Memory Alive - WFMZ Allentown
Google News - over 5 years
"We love you more each day" -- the words etched on movie legend Jayne Mansfield's grave in Pen Argyl, Northampton County. Wednesday marked the 44th anniversary her death, and one man has made it his life's mission to never forget Mansfield's death
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Jayne Mansfield's Car draws a crowd in Cedartown, GA - On Location Vacations
Google News - over 5 years
by Christine on June 28, 2011 · 1 comment Last week the clock was turned back 40 years in Cedartown, GA for the feature film Jayne Mansfield's Car which has spent several days filming on Main St. The movie, which is set in 1969, stars Kevin Bacon,
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Lundy family members have roles in movie - Cedartown Standard
Google News - over 5 years
by Lowell Vickers Spencer Lundy, 16, and sister Laura, 23, wait between takes while performing as extras in the movie "Jayne Mansfield's Car" Wednesday. (Lowell Vickers/thepolkfishwrap.com) The filming of a Hollywood movie in Cedartown turned out to
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Filming of 'Jayne Mansfield's Car' resumes on second day - Cedartown Standard
Google News - over 5 years
by Lowell Vickers Film crews prepare to film a scene Thursday afternoon in which Vietnam War protesters march in the small Alabama town of Morrison, during the second day of filming in Cedartown for the film, "Jayne Mansfield's Car
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"Jayne Mansfield's Car" street closures and procedures announced - Cedartown Standard
Google News - over 5 years
by Press Release--JMC productions JMC Productions Is coming to Cedartown, GA_Our crew is busy transforming Main Street to look like 1968 for scenes in the feature film, "Jayne Mansfield's Car." On Wednesday, Main Street will be shut down to automobile
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Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Jayne Mansfield
  • 1967
    Age 33
    Mansfield's youngest child, Tony was raised by his father, Matt Cimber and his third wife, dress designer Christy Hilliard Hanak, whom he married on December 2, 1967.
    More Details Hide Details Tony Cimber later worked as an announcer for Married... with Children and a producer for Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling. She was a major Hollywood sex symbol of the 1950s and early 1960s and 20th Century Fox's alternative to Marilyn Monroe. She came to be known as the "Working Man's Monroe". She was one of Hollywood's original blonde bombshells, and, although many people have never seen her movies, Mansfield remains one of the most recognizable icons of 1950s celebrity culture. According to Hollywood historian and biographer James Robert Parish, Mansfield's hourglass figure (she claimed dimensions of 40-21-35), unique sashaying walk, breathy baby talk and cleavage-revealing costumes made a lasting impact on popular culture. According to Hollywood historian Andrew Nelson, she was seen as Hollywood's gaudiest, boldest D-cupped B-grade actress from 1955 until the early 1960s. Frequent references have been made to Mansfield's very high IQ, which she claimed was 163. In addition to English, she spoke four other languages. She learned French, Spanish, and German in high school, and she studied Italian in 1963. Reputed to be Hollywood's "smartest dumb blonde", she later complained that the public did not care about her brains: "They're more interested in 40–21–35," she said.
    Mansfield was in Biloxi, Mississippi, for an engagement at the Gus Stevens Supper Club. After two appearances the evening of June 28, 1967, Mansfield, her lover Sam Brody, their driver Ronnie Harrison (age 20), and three of Mansfield's children – Miklós, Zoltán and Mariska – departed Biloxi after midnight in Stevens' 1966 Buick Electra 225.
    More Details Hide Details Their destination was New Orleans, where Mansfield was scheduled to appear on WDSU's "Midday Show" at noon the next day. At approximately 2:29 a.m., on U.S. Highway 90 east of the Rigolets Bridge (at approximately) the Buick crashed at high speed into the rear of a tractor-trailer that had slowed behind a truck spraying mosquito fogger and which was shrouded in the insecticide fog. The three adults in the front seat were killed instantly. The children, who were asleep in the rear seat, survived with minor injuries.
    In May 1967, her performance at the Mount Brandon Hotel in Tralee, Ireland, was canceled because Catholic clergy condemned it.
    More Details Hide Details She wanted to marry Cimber in a Catholic ceremony, but was unable to find a priest who would perform the ceremony. While involved with Brody, she also showed interest in Judaism. In San Francisco for the 1966 Film Festival, Mansfield visited the Church of Satan with Sam Brody (her lawyer and boyfriend) to meet Anton LaVey, the church's founder. LaVey awarded Mansfield a medallion and the title "High Priestess of San Francisco's Church of Satan". The media enthusiastically covered the meeting and the events surrounding it, identifying her as a Satanist and romantically involved with LaVey. That meeting remained a much-publicized and oft-quoted event of her life, as well as the history of the Church of Satan. Additionally, Karla LaVey confirmed in a 1992 interview with Joan Rivers that Mansfield was indeed a practicing Satanist and that she had a romantic relationship with Anton LaVey. Her funeral ceremony was conducted by a Methodist minister.
    Mansfield's breasts fluctuated in size, it was said, from her pregnancies and nursing her five children. Her smallest bust measurement was 40D (102 cm), which was constant throughout the 1950s, and her largest was 46DD (117 cm), measured by the press in 1967.
    More Details Hide Details According to Playboy, her vital statistics were 40D-21-36 (102-53-91 cm) on her 5'6" (1.68 m) frame. According to her autopsy report, she was 5'8" (1.73 m). It has been claimed that her bosom was a major force behind the development of the 1950s brassieres, including the whirlpool bra, cuties, the shutter bra, the action bra, latex pads, cleavage-revealing designs, and uplifted outlines. R. L. Rutsky and Bill Osgerby have claimed that it was Mansfield, along with Marilyn Monroe and Brigitte Bardot, who made the bikini popular. Drawing on the Freudian concept of fetishism, British science fiction writer and socio-cultural commentator J. G. Ballard commented that Mae West, Mansfield and Monroe's breasts "loomed across the horizon of popular consciousness." But, as the 1960s approached, according to Dave Kehr, the anatomy that had made her a star turned her into a joke. In this decade, the female body ideal shifted to appreciate the slim waif-like features popularized by supermodel Twiggy, actress Audrey Hepburn and others, demarcating the demise of the busty blonde bombshells.
    Film critic and exploitation movie expert Whitney Williams wrote of Mansfield in Variety in 1967 that "her personal life out-rivaled any of the roles she played".
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    In early 1967, Mansfield filmed her last film role: a cameo in A Guide for the Married Man, a comedy starring Walter Matthau, Robert Morse, and Inger Stevens.
    More Details Hide Details Mansfield is listed as one of the technical advisers, along with other popular stars in the opening credits. Mansfield acted both on stage and in films. She was a student of acting, theater arts and dramatics in college and with Baruch Lumet. She started acting with campus clubs and summer stock theatre. Her first big break was on Broadway with Will success spoil Rock Hunter, for which she won a Theatre World Award as the most promising actress. In her later career she was more busy on stage, performing and making appearances with her nightclub acts, club engagements and performance tours. During her tenure at Dallas, she and Paul Mansfield participated in a number of local theater productions. Between 1951 and 1953 she acted in The Slaves of Demon Rum, Ten Nights in a Barroom and Anything Goes. Her performance in an October 1953 production of Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman in Dallas, Texas, attracted Paramount Pictures to audition her. Lumet trained her for the audition. In 1955, she went to New York and appeared in the Broadway production of George Axelrod's comedy Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?, also featuring Orson Bean and Walter Matthau. She starred as Rita Marlowe (a wild, blonde Hollywood starlet a la Monroe) in the musical spoofing Hollywood in general and Marilyn Monroe in particular. Her wardrobe in the play, namely a bath-towel, caused a sensation.
    In 1967, Mansfield was killed in a car crash at the age of 34, along with two others.
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  • 1966
    Age 32
    Mansfield's son Zoltan was in the news when a lion named Sammy attacked him and bit his neck while he and his mother were visiting the theme park Jungleland USA in Thousand Oaks, California on November 23, 1966.
    More Details Hide Details He suffered from severe head trauma, underwent three surgeries at Community Memorial Hospital in Ventura, California, including a six-hour brain surgery, and contracted meningitis. He recovered. The negative publicity led to closure of the theme park.
    Mansfield at the time had descended into alcoholism, drunken brawls and cheap burlesque shows. By July 1966, Mansfield started living with her attorney Sam Brody, who had frequent drunken brawls with her and mistreated her eldest daughter Jayne Marie.
    More Details Hide Details Sam's wife Beverly Brody filed a divorce suit naming Mansfield as the "41st other woman" in Sam's life. Cimber's divorce from the actress was pending when she was killed. The couple had one son, Antonio Raphael Ottaviano (a.k.a. Tony Cimber, born October 18, 1965).
  • 1965
    Age 31
    Jimi Hendrix played bass and added lead in his session musician days for Mansfield in 1965 on two songs ("As The Clouds Drift By" and "Suey"), released as a 45-rpm single released by London Records in 1966.
    More Details Hide Details Ed Chalpin, the record producer, claimed that Mansfield played all the instruments on the singles. According to Hendrix historian Steven Roby (Black Gold: The Lost Archives Of Jimi Hendrix, Billboard Books), this collaboration occurred because they shared the same manager. Wo ist der Mann sung in German and released by Polydor Records in Austria was much in demand immediately after its release in August 1963. The A-side featured Hans Last's Scnicksnack-Snuckelchen. Two original soundtracks from The Las Vegas Hillbillys — That Makes It (an answer to The Big Bopper's "Chantilly Lace")on side-A and Little Things Mean a Lot on side-B — was released in 1964 on the Original Sound label.
  • 1964
    Age 30
    She married him on September 24, 1964, in Mulegé, Baja California Sur, Mexico. The couple separated on July 11, 1965, and filed for divorce on July 20, 1966.
    More Details Hide Details Cimber took over the management of her career during their marriage, and guided her through a series of increasingly tawdry projects like Promises, Promises and The Las Vegas Hillbillys. Her marriage to Cimber began to collapse in the wake of Mansfield's alcohol abuse, open infidelities and her disclosure to Cimber that she had only been happy with her former lover, Nelson Sardelli. Work on Mansfield's film, Single Room Furnished directed by Cimber (1966) was suspended.
    After their divorce, Mansfield discovered she was pregnant. Since being an unwed mother would have killed her career, Mansfield and Hargitay announced they were still married. Mariska was born January 23, 1964, after the actual divorce but before California ruled it valid. Mariska later became an actress, best known for her role as Olivia Benson in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. After her birth, Mansfield sued to get the Juarez divorce declared legal and won. The divorce was recognized in the United States on August 26, 1964.
    More Details Hide Details Shortly after Mansfield's funeral, Mickey Hargitay sued his former wife's estate for more than $275,000 ($ in dollars) to support the children whom he and his third (and last) wife, Ellen Siano, would raise. Hargitay was appointed the guardian of Micky, Zoltan and Mariska by a court decree in June 1967, though they went on living with their mother. He married airline stewardess Ellen Siano in 1968, who accompanied him to New Orleans when he went to pick up his three children with Mansfield after her death. Towards the very end of her life and some time after her divorce with Hargitay, Mansfield told her ex-husband, on a television talk show, she was sorry for all the trouble she gave him. Mansfield became involved with her third husband Matt Cimber (a.k.a. Matteo Ottaviano, né Thomas Vitale Ottaviano), an Italian-born film director, when he directed her in a well-reviewed stage production of Bus Stop in Yonkers, New York costarring Hargitay.
    In 1964 MGM Records released a novelty album called Jayne Mansfield: Shakespeare, Tchaikovsky & Me, in which Mansfield recited Shakespeare's sonnets and poems by Marlowe, Browning, Wordsworth, and others against a background of Tchaikovsky's music.
    More Details Hide Details The album cover depicted a bouffant-coiffed Mansfield with lips pursed and breasts barely covered by a fur stole, posing between busts of Tchaikovsky and Shakespeare. The New York Times described the album a reading of "30-odd poems in a husky, urban, baby voice". The reviewer went on to remark that "Miss Mansfield is a lady with apparent charms, but reading poetry is not one of them."
    In 1964, Mansfield turned down the role of Ginger Grant on the up-and-coming television sitcom Gilligan's Island.
    More Details Hide Details Although her acting roles were becoming marginalized, Mansfield rejected the part as it epitomized the stereotype she wished to rid herself of. The part eventually went to Tina Louise. A widespread rumor that Jayne Mansfield had a breast-flashing dress mishap at the 1957 Academy Awards was found baseless by Academy researchers. Ten days before her death, she read To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time, a poem by Robert Herrick about early death on The Joey Bishop Show (Mansfield's last television appearance). As late as the mid-1980s, Mansfield remained one of the biggest television draws. In 1980, The Jayne Mansfield Story aired on CBS starring Loni Anderson in the title role and Arnold Schwarzenegger as Mickey Hargitay. It was nominated for three Emmy Awards. She was featured in the A+E Networks TV series Biography in an episode titled Jayne Mansfield: Blonde Ambition. The TV series won an Emmy Award in outstanding non-fiction TV series category in 2001. A&E again featured her life in another TV serial, Dangerous Curves, in 1999. In 1988, her story and archival footage was a part of TV documentary Hollywood Sex Symbols.
    In 1964, she performed in stage productions of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes at Carousel Theater and Bus Stop at Yonker Playhouse.
    More Details Hide Details Both co-starred Mickey Hargitay and were well-reviewed. Mansfield toured small towns in the US alternating between the two plays. In 1965, she performed in another pair of plays – Rabbit Habit at Latin Quarter and Champagne Complex at Pabst Theater. Both were directed by Matt Cimber and were poorly reviewed. In February 1958, Tropicana Las Vegas launched Mansfield's striptease revue The Tropicana Holiday (produced by Monte Proser, co-starring Mickey Hargitay) under a four-week contract that was extended to eight. She had a million-dollar policy with Lloyd's of London in case of Hargitay dropping her as he whirled Mansfield around for the show. When her film offers disappeared, Mansfield turned to Las Vegas again. In December 1960, Dunes hotel and casino launched Mansfield's revue The House of Love (produced by Jack Cole, co-starring Hargitay). Her wardrobe for the shows at Tropicana and Dunes featured a gold mesh dress with sequins to cover her nipples and pubic region. That controversial sheer dress was referred to as "Jayne Mansfield and a few sequins". She returned to Las Vegas in 1966, but her show was staged at Fremont Street, away from the Strip where Tropicana and Dunes were. Her last nightclub act French Dressing was at Latin Quarter in New York in 1966, also repeated at Tropicana. It was a modified version of the Tropicana show, and ran for six weeks with fair success.
    Soon after her success in Promises! Promises! Mansfield was chosen from many other actresses to replace the recently deceased Marilyn Monroe in Kiss Me, Stupid, a 1964 romantic comedy that would co-star Dean Martin.
    More Details Hide Details She turned the role down due to her pregnancy with daughter Mariska Hargitay (known best for her role as Detective Olivia Benson on the television show Law & Order: Special Victims Unit), and was replaced by Kim Novak. That same year, Mansfield appeared in a salacious-for-its-time pinup book called "Jayne Mansfield for President: the White House or Bust," which was promoted on billboards; the photographs were taken by commercial and fine art photographer David Attie. In 1966 Mansfield was cast in Single Room Furnished, directed by then-husband Matt Cimber. The film required Mansfield to portray three different characters, and was her first starring dramatic role in several years. It was briefly released in 1966, but did not enjoy a full release until 1968, almost a year after her death. After Single Room Furnished wrapped, Mansfield was cast opposite Mamie Van Doren and Ferlin Husky in The Las Vegas Hillbillys (1966), a low-budget comedy from Woolner Brothers. It was her first country and western film, and she promoted it through a 29-day tour of major U.S. cities, accompanied by Ferlin Husky, Don Bowman, and other country musicians. Before filming began, Mansfield said she would not "share any screen time with the drive-in's answer to Marilyn Monroe," meaning Van Doren. Though their characters do share one scene, Mansfield and Van Doren filmed their parts at different times, later edited together.
  • 1963
    Age 29
    Nude photographs of Mansfield on the set were published in the June 1963 issue of Playboy, which resulted in obscenity charges against Hugh Hefner in Chicago city court.
    More Details Hide Details Promises! Promises! was banned in Cleveland, but enjoyed box-office success elsewhere. As a result of the film's success, Mansfield landed on the Top 10 list of box-office attractions for that year.
    In 1963, Tommy Noonan persuaded Mansfield to become the first mainstream American actress to appear nude in a starring role in the film Promises!
    More Details Hide Details Promises!
    The couple divorced in Juarez, Mexico, in May 1963, where Nelson Sardelli accompanied Mansfield in her legal preparations.
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    In 1963, she had another well-publicized relationship with singer Nelson Sardelli, whom she said she planned to marry when her divorce from Mickey Hargitay was finalized.
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  • 1962
    Age 28
    She had previously filed for divorce on May 4, 1962, but told reporters "I'm sure we will make it up."
    More Details Hide Details Their acrimonious divorce had the actress accusing Hargitay of kidnapping one of her children to force a more favorable financial settlement.
    In 1962, she had a well-publicized affair with Enrico Bomba, the Italian producer and production manager of her film Panic Button.
    More Details Hide Details Hargitay accused Bomba of sabotaging their marriage.
  • 1961
    Age 27
    In 1961, Mansfield signed on for an above-the-title billing minor role in The George Raft Story.
    More Details Hide Details Starring Ray Danton as Raft, the film showcased Mansfield as a glamorous film star in a small part. Soon after the release of The George Raft Story, Mansfield returned to European films. Over the next few years she appeared primarily in low-budget foreign films such as: Heimweh nach St. Pauli (1963, Germany), L'Amore Primitivo (1964, Italy), Panic Button (1964, Italy) and Einer frisst den anderen (1964, Germany).
  • 1960
    Age 26
    She met John F. Kennedy through his brother-in-law Peter Lawford at Palm Springs, California in 1960, before he had his alleged affair with Marilyn Monroe, but the alleged affair did not last.
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    When Mansfield returned to Hollywood in mid-1960, 20th Century-Fox cast her in It Happened in Athens (1962).
    More Details Hide Details She received first billing above the title, but only appeared in a supporting role. It Happened in Athens starred Trax Colton, a handsome newcomer and an unknown whom Fox was trying to mold into a heartthrob. This Olympic Games-based film was shot in Greece in fall 1960, but was unreleased until June 1962. It was a box office failure, and Mansfield's 20th Century-Fox contract was dropped.
  • 1959
    Age 25
    In 1959, Fox cast her in two independent gangster films filmed in the United Kingdom: The Challenge and Too Hot to Handle.
    More Details Hide Details Both films were low-budget, and their American releases were delayed. Too Hot to Handle was not released in the United States until 1961 (as Playgirl After Dark), and The Challenge in 1963 (as It Takes a Thief). In the United States, censors objected to a scene in Too Hot to Handle where Mansfield, wearing silver netting with sequins painted over her nipples, appeared nearly nude.
    Despite her publicity and popularity, Mansfield had no quality film roles after 1959.
    More Details Hide Details She was also unable to fulfill a third of her time contracted to Fox because of her repeated pregnancies. Fox stopped viewing her as major Hollywood star material, and started loaning her out to foreign productions until the end of her contract in 1962. She was first loaned out to English studios and then to Italian studios for a series of low-budget films, many of them obscure and some considered lost.
    When the film was released in the United States in 1959, it was Mansfield's last mainstream film success.
    More Details Hide Details Mansfield was offered a part opposite James Stewart and Jack Lemmon in the romantic comedy Bell, Book and Candle (1958), but had to turn it down because of her pregnancy. Thereafter, Fox attempted to cast Mansfield opposite Paul Newman in Rally 'Round the Flag, Boys! (1958), his ill-fated first attempt at comedy. After intense lobbying by Newman and Joanne Woodward, however, she was replaced by Mansfield's Wayward Bus co-star Joan Collins. With decreased demand for big-breasted blonde bombshells and an increased negative backlash against her excessive publicity, she became a box-office has-been by the early 1960s, but she remained a popular celebrity, continuing to attract large crowds outside the United States by way of lucrative and successful nightclub acts.
  • 1958
    Age 24
    On January 13, 1958, days after her divorce from Paul was finalized, Mansfield married Hargitay at the Wayfarers Chapel in Rancho Palos Verdes, California.
    More Details Hide Details The unique glass chapel made public and press viewing of the wedding easy. Mansfield wore a sensational pink skintight wedding gown made of sequins with a 30-yard flounce. Hargitay's first film appearance with Mansfield was a bit part in Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? The couple became a popular publicity and performing team touring widely in stage shows, wherein Jayne's leopard-spot bikini became a topic of discussion and newspaper coverage. Hargitay's tossing her around his waist and spinning her in wide circles as a highlight of her shows made more headlines. On screen, he was Mansfield's male lead in her Italian ventures—The Loves of Hercules and L'Amore Primitivo, and a major supporting character in Promises! Promises! On stage, he was the male lead in The Tropicana Holiday, The House of Love, French Dressing and other nightclub acts. They were also popular for their personal appearances in television shows such as Bob Hope Christmas Specials. Mansfield and Hargitay had a number of business holdings, including the Hargitay Exercise Equipment Company, Jayne Mansfield Productions, and Eastland Savings and Loan. She co-wrote the autobiographical book Jayne Mansfield's Wild, Wild World with Hargitay. The book also contained 32 pages of black-and-white photographs from the film on glossy paper.
    In 1958, an orchestra was recorded for the 31st Academy Awards ceremony with Jack Benny on first violin, Jayne Mansfield on violin, Dick Powell on trumpet, Robert Mitchum on woodwind, Fred Astaire on drums and Jerry Lewis as conductor; however, the performance was canceled.
    More Details Hide Details She played violin with a six-musician back-up ensemble on The Ed Sullivan Show, and sang "Too Marvelous for Words" for The Jack Benny Program ("Jack Takes Boat to Hawaii"; Episode 9, Season 14; November 26, 1963). She sang in her club performances regularly featuring songs like Call Me, This Queen has her aces in all the right places, Plain Jane, Quando-Quando, Besame Mucho, and the song made famous by Marilyn Monroe — Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend. In 1962, 20th Century Fox Records released an album titled Jayne Mansfield Busts Up Las Vegas, which was a recording of her Las Vegas revue The House of Love.
  • 1957
    Age 23
    In November 1957 (shortly before their marriage), Mansfield bought the 40-room Mediterranean-style mansion (formerly owned by Rudy Vallée) at 10100 Sunset Boulevard in Beverly Hills.
    More Details Hide Details Much of the money to buy the house came from her inheritance from Elmer Palmer, her maternal grandfather. Mansfield had the house painted pink, with cupids surrounded by pink fluorescent lights, pink fur in the bathrooms, a pink heart-shaped bathtub and a fountain spurting pink champagne; she then dubbed it the "Pink Palace". Hargitay (a plumber and carpenter before taking up bodybuilding) built the pink heart-shaped swimming pool. The year after reconstructing the "Pink Palace" as a "pink landmark", she began riding a pink Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz convertible with tailfins, then the only pink Cadillac in Hollywood. Though Elvis Presley's Pink Cadillac came about in 1955, it was in Memphis, Tennessee. In August 1963, Jayne Mansfield decided to convert to Catholicism. Although she never actually converted, she did attend Catholic services when she was in Europe, and followed Catholic practices when she was involved with a Catholic partner (including Hargitay, Sardelli and Cimber).
    Paul Mansfield divorced her in Texas on March 16, 1957, on the grounds of mental cruelty. They finally received their divorce papers on January 8, 1958.
    More Details Hide Details After the divorce, she decided to keep "Mansfield" as her professional name. Paul Mansfield remarried, settled into the public relations business and moved to Chattanooga, Tennessee—but failed to win custody suits over Jayne Marie or restrain her from traveling abroad with her mother.
    In 1957, Tashlin cast Mansfield in the film version of the Broadway show Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? reprising her role of Rita Marlowe alongside co-stars Tony Randall and Joan Blondell.
    More Details Hide Details Fox launched their new blonde bombshell with a forty-day sixteen-country tour of Europe for the studio. She attended the premiere of film (released as Oh! For a man in the UK) in London, and met the Queen of England as part of the tour. Mansfield's fourth starring role in a Hollywood film was in Kiss Them for Me (1957), for which she received prominent billing alongside Cary Grant. However, in the film itself she is little more than comic relief; Grant's character prefers a sleek, demure redhead played by fashion model Suzy Parker. Kiss Them for Me was described as "vapid" and "ill-advised", and was a critical and box office flop. The film was Mansfield's final starring role in a mainstream Hollywood studio film. It also marked one of the last attempts by 20th Century-Fox to publicize her.
    It enjoyed moderate success at the box office, and Mansfield won a Golden Globe in 1957 for New Star of the Year (beating Carroll Baker and Natalie Wood) for her performance as a "wistful derelict".
    More Details Hide Details It was "generally conceded to have been her best acting", according to The New York Times, in a fitful career hampered by her flamboyant image, distinctive voice ("a soft-voiced coo punctuated with squeals"), voluptuous figure and limited acting range.
  • 1956
    Age 22
    Jayne divorced Paul Mansfield in California on October 21, 1956.
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    Mary was Mickey's first wife, divorced on September 6, 1956, and Tina his nine-year-old first child.
    More Details Hide Details During this marriage she had three children, Miklós Jeffrey Palmer Hargitay (born December 21, 1958), Zoltán Anthony Hargitay (born August 1, 1960), and Mariska Hargitay (born January 23, 1964). In January 1955 Mansfield appeared at a Silver Springs, Florida, press junket promoting the film Underwater!, starring Jane Russell. Mansfield purposely wore a too-small red bikini, lent to her by photographer friend Peter Gowland. When she dove into the pool for photographers, her top came off, creating a burst of media attention. The ensuing publicity led to Warner Bros. and Playboy approaching her with offers. In June 8 of the same year, her dress fell down to her waist twice in a single evening —once at a movie party, and later at a nightclub. In February 1958, she was stripped to the waist at a Mardi Gras party in Rio de Janeiro. In June 1962, she shimmied out of her polka-dot dress in a Rome nightclub. In the three years since making her Broadway debut in Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? Mansfield had become the most controversial star of the decade.
  • 1955
    Age 21
    Mansfield claimed a 41-inch bust line and a 22-inch waist when she made her Broadway debut in 1955, though some scholars dispute those figures.
    More Details Hide Details She was known as the Cleavage Queen and the Queen of Sex and Bosom.
    In February 1955, James Byron, her manager and publicist, negotiated a seven-year contract with Warner Brothers, who were intrigued by her publicity antics.
    More Details Hide Details She filed for separation from Paul Mansfield that January. Mansfield was given bit parts in Pete Kelly's Blues (1955), starring Jack Webb, and Hell on Frisco Bay (1955), starring Alan Ladd. She acted in one more movie with Warner Brothers—another small, but significant role opposite Edward G. Robinson in the courtroom-drama Illegal (1955). Dissatisfied with the Warner contract, she hired attorney Greg Bautzer to get out of it. Then her agent, William Shiffrin, signed her to play fictional film star Rita Marlowe in the Broadway play Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? with Orson Bean and Walter Matthau. It became her first major performance, garnering her critical attention, although not always positive, and public popularity. After securing the part in the show, she accepted producer Louis W. Kellman's offer to play a dramatic role in The Burglar (1957), director Paul Wendkos's film adaptation of David Goodis' novel. The film was done in film noir style, and Mansfield appeared alongside Dan Duryea and Martha Vickers. The Burglar was released two years later, when Mansfield's fame was at its peak. She was successful in this straight dramatic role, though most of her subsequent film appearances were either comedic or capitalized on her sex appeal. It was Kellman's first major venture, and he claimed to have "discovered" Mansfield.
    Beginning in February 1955, she formed a long-standing relationship with Playboy.
    More Details Hide Details Shortly afterward, she posed for the Playboy calendar covering her breasts with her hands. Playboy featured Jayne every February from 1955 to 1958, and again in 1960. In August 1956, Paul Mansfield claimed custody of their daughter, claiming Jayne was an unfit mother because she appeared nude in Playboy. In 1964, the magazine repeated the pictorial. Photos from that pictorial were reprinted in a number of Playboy issues, including: December 1965 ("The Playboy Portfolio of Sex Stars"), January 1979 ("25 Beautiful Years"), January 1984 ("30 Memorable Years"), January 1989 ("Women of the Fifties"), January 1994 ("Remember Jayne"), November 1996 ("Playboy Gallery"), August 1999 ("Playboy's Sex Stars of the Century"; Special edition), and January 2000 ("Centerfolds of the Century"). In the week following her first Playboy appearance, Mansfield caught Hollywood and media attention by dropping her bikini-top at a press junket for the Jane Russell film Underwater! RKO, 1955).
    She posed nude for the February 1955 issue of Playboy, modelling in pajamas raised so that the bottoms of her breasts showed.
    More Details Hide Details This increased the magazine's circulation and helped launch Mansfield's career. Playboy had begun publishing from publisher–editor Hugh Hefner's kitchen in 1953, but became popular in the first decade of publication—riding on the popularity of its early Playmates like Mansfield, Marilyn Monroe, Bettie Page and Anita Ekberg.
  • 1954
    Age 20
    Mansfield's publicity drive was one of the best in Hollywood. For publicity she gave up all privacy, keeping her doors always open to photographers. In 1954, the day before Christmas she walked into publicist James Byron's office with a gift and asked him to supervise her publicity.
    More Details Hide Details From that time till the end of 1961, Byron shaped much of her publicity. Byron appointed most people in her team — William Shiffrin (press agent), Greg Bautzer (attorney) and Charles Goldring (business manager), and constantly planted bits of publicity material in the media. She appeared in about 2,500 newspaper photographs between September 1956 and May 1957, and had about 122,000 lines of newspaper copy written about her during this time. Because of the successful media blitz, she quickly became a household name. In 1960, Mansfield topped press polls for more words in print than anyone else in the world, made more personal appearances than a political candidate, and was regarded as the world's most-photographed Hollywood celebrity. She made news on a regular basis, from dresses falling off, to clothing that burst strategically at the seams, to low cut dresses worn without a bra. Things started to get over the top, even by her standards, when she took charge of her own publicity without advice. According to Shiffrin, "She became a freak." James Bacon wrote in the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner in 1973, "Here was a girl with real comedy talent, spectacular figure and looks and yet ridiculed herself out of business by outlandish publicity."
    In 1954, she auditioned at both Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros. for a part in The Seven Year Itch, but failed to impress.
    More Details Hide Details She also auditioned at Paramount for Joan of Arc — a project that was never completed — and failed again. That year, she landed her first acting assignment in Lux Video Theatre, a series on CBS (An Angel Went AWOL, October 21, 1954).
    They moved to Los Angeles in 1954, where Mansfield studied Theater Arts at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) during the summer, and returned to Texas to spend the fall quarter at Southern Methodist University.
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  • 1953
    Age 19
    After Paul Mansfield left for military service, Mansfield first appeared on stage in a production of Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman on October 22, 1953, with the players of the Knox Street Theater, headed by Lumet.
    More Details Hide Details While at UCLA, she entered the Miss California contest (hiding her marital status), and won the local round before withdrawing. She also won many small and local beauty pageants, including Miss Photoflash, Miss Magnesium Lamp, Miss Fire Prevention Week, Gas Station Queen, Miss Analgesin, Cherry Blossom Queen, Miss Third Platoon, Miss Blues Bonnet of Austin, Miss Direct Mail, Miss Electric Switch, Miss Fill-er-up, Miss Negligee, Nylon Sweater Queen, Miss One for the Road, Miss Freeway, Hot Dog Ambassador, Miss Geiger Counter, Best Dressed Woman of Theater, Miss 100% Pure Maple Syrup, Miss July Fourth, Miss Texas Tomato, Miss Standard Foods, Miss Orchid, Miss Potato Soup, Miss Lobster, Miss United Dairies and Miss Chihuahua Show. Early in her career, her prominent breasts were considered problematic, and led to her losing her first professional assignment—an advertising campaign for General Electric that depicted young women in bathing suits relaxing around a pool. Emmeline Snively, head of the Blue Book Model Agency, sent her to photographer Gene Lester, which led to her short-lived assignment in the General Electric commercial.
  • 1952
    Age 18
    In 1952, while in Dallas, she and Paul Mansfield participated in small local-theater productions of The Slaves of Demon Rum and Ten Nights in a Barroom, and Anything Goes in Camp Gordon, Georgia.
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    In 1952, she moved back to Dallas and for several months was a student of actor Baruch Lumet, father of director Sidney Lumet and founder of Dallas Institute of Performing Arts.
    More Details Hide Details Lumet called Mansfield and Rip Torn his "kids", and provided her private lessons. Then she spent a year at Camp Gordon, Georgia (a US Army training facility) when Paul Mansfield served in the United States Army Reserve in the Korean War.
  • 1950
    Age 16
    On November 8, 1950, Mansfield gave birth to their daughter, Jayne Marie Mansfield.
    More Details Hide Details Some sources cite Paul Mansfield as the father of her child, while others allege the pregnancy was the result of date rape. Paul Mansfield hoped the birth of their child would discourage her interest in acting. When it did not, he agreed to move to Los Angeles in late 1954 to help further her career. In 1952, she juggled motherhood and classes at the University of Texas. Early in 1952, Paul was called to the United States Army Reserve for the Korean War. While he served in the army, she spent a year at Camp Gordon, Georgia. Her life became easier with Paul's army allotment. Coming back from the Korean War in 1954, he took a job with a small newspaper in East Los Angeles, California, and lived in a small apartment in Van Nuys, Los Angeles, with Jayne and her pets — a Great Dane, three cats named Sabina, Romulus, and Ophelia, two chihuahuas, a poodle dyed pink, and a rabbit. While in California, she left Jayne Marie with her maternal grandparents and spent the summer semester at UCLA.
    On May 6, 1950, they married in Fort Worth, Texas. At the time of their marriage, Jayne was 17, and three months pregnant. Paul Mansfield was 20. While most major biographies put the date at May 6, some sources say the marriage was on May 10, 1950.
    More Details Hide Details According to biographer Raymond Strait, she had an earlier "secret" marriage on January 28, after which she conceived her first child.
    Their daughter, Jayne Marie Mansfield, was born on November 8, 1950.
    More Details Hide Details After marriage, Mansfield and her husband enrolled in Southern Methodist University to study acting. In 1951, she moved to Austin, Texas, with her husband, and studied dramatics at the University of Texas at Austin, until her junior year. There she worked as a nude model for art classes, sold books door to door, and worked as a receptionist of a dance studio. She also joined the Curtain Club, a popular campus theatrical society that featured Tom Jones, Harvey Schmidt, Rip Torn, and Pat Hingle among its members of that time.
    She married Paul James Mansfield on May 10, 1950.
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    As a child she wanted to be a Hollywood star like Shirley Temple, as did many other young girls of her time. She graduated from Highland Park High School in 1950.
    More Details Hide Details At the age of 12, she took lessons in ballroom dance. While in high school, Palmer took lessons in violin, piano and viola. She also studied Spanish and German. She consistently received high B's in school, including mathematics.
  • 1939
    Age 5
    In 1939 Vera married sales engineer Harry Lawrence Peers, and the family moved to Dallas, Texas, where she was known as Vera Jayne Peers.
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  • 1938
    Age 4
    A cenotaph was placed in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Hollywood by the Jayne Mansfield Fan Club, but incorrectly cites her year of birth as 1938 (Mansfield tended to provide incorrect information about her age).
    More Details Hide Details In 1968, two wrongful-death lawsuits were filed on behalf of Jayne Marie Mansfield and Matt Cimber, the former for $4.8 million ($ in dollars) and the latter for $2.7 million ($ in dollars). Mansfield left behind five children, three ex-husbands, a crumbling estate including the Pink Palace, a large number of followers, and a lasting impact on popular culture. The L.A. Guns song "The Ballad Of Jayne" is about Mansfield and her untimely death. After Mansfield's death, Hargitay, Cimbers, Vera Peers (Jayne Mansfield's mother), William Pigue (Jayne Marie's legal guardian), and Charles Goldring (Jayne Mansfield's business manager), as well as Bernard B. Cohen and Jerome Webber (both administrators of the estate) filed suits to gain control of her estate without success. The Pink Palace was sold. Its subsequent owners included Ringo Starr, Cass Elliot and Engelbert Humperdinck. In 2002 Humperdinck sold it to developers, and the house was demolished in November of that year. What remained of her estate subsequently came under the management of CMG Worldwide, an intellectual property-management company.
  • 1933
    Jayne Mansfield was born Vera Jayne Palmer on April 19, 1933, in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania.
    More Details Hide Details She was the only child of Herbert William Palmer (1904–1936), who was of German and English ancestry, and Vera (Jeffrey) Palmer (1903–2000), of English origin. She spent her early childhood in Phillipsburg, New Jersey, where her father was an attorney practising with future New Jersey governor Robert B. Meyner. In 1936, her father Herbert William Palmer died of a heart attack while driving a car with his wife and daughter.
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