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Jayne Mansfield Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (5) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (3) | Trade Mark (4) | Trivia (46) | Personal Quotes (33) | Salary (7)

Overview (5)

Date of Birth 19 April 1933Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, USA
Date of Death 29 June 1967Slidell, Louisiana, USA  (road accident)
Birth NameVera Jayne Palmer
Nicknames Jaynie
Broadway's Smartest Dumb Blonde
Height 5' 6ΒΌ" (1.68 m)

Mini Bio (1)

One of the leading sex symbols of the 1950s and 1960s, film actress Jayne Mansfield was born Vera Jayne Palmer on April 19, 1933 in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, to Vera J. and Herbert W. Palmer. Her parents were well-to-do, with her father a successful attorney in Phillipburg, New Jersey, where Jayne began her girlhood. Her parents were both born with the same surname, and her ancestry was 7/8ths English and 1/8th German. Jayne was a talented pianist and violin player as a child.

Tragedy struck when Jayne was three, when her father suddenly died of a heart attack. Three years later, her mother remarried and the family moved south to Dallas, Texas. The family bought a little home where she had violin concerts in the driveway of their home. Up until the move, Jayne had no aspirations of being a star, but with maturity and the fact that she devoured the fan magazines of the day convinced her to try acting.

Amazingly, her I.Q. was reported to be a 163, and she attended the University of Dallas and participated in little-theatre productions. In 1949, at age 16, she married a man five years her senior named Paul Mansfield, the next year when Jayne was 17. Their daughter, Jayne Marie Mansfield, was born in November.

After some productions there and elsewhere, Jayne decided to go to Hollywood. Her first film was a bit role as a cigarette girl in Pete Kelly's Blues (1955). Although the roles in the beginning were not much, she was successful in gaining those roles because of her ample physical attributes which placed her in two other films that year, Hell on Frisco Bay (1955) and Illegal (1955). Her breakout role came the next year with a featured part in The Burglar (1957). By the time she portrayed Rita Marlowe in Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? (1957) and Playgirl After Dark (1960), Jayne was now known as the poor man's Marilyn Monroe. She did not get the plum roles that Marilyn got in her productions. Instead, Jayne's films were more of a showcase for her body more than anything else. Jayne did have a real talent for acting, but the movie executives insisted she stay in her dumb blonde stereotype roles. For the balance of her career, Jayne never received any standout performances although she was more than capable of doing them.

By the 1960s, Mansfield's career had options that grew lower. She made somewhat embarrassing guest appearances like on the popular game show What's My Line? (1950), she appeared on the show four times in 1956, 1957, 1964, and 1966 and many other 1950s and 1960s game shows. By 1962, she was dropped from 20th Century Fox and the rest of her career had smaller options like being in B movies and low budget movies or performing at food stores or small nightclubs.

While traveling from a nightclub in Biloxi, Mississippi and 30 miles from New Orleans to where she was to be on television the following day, she was killed instantly on Highway 90 in a car crash in the early hours of June 29, 1967, when the car in which she was riding in slammed into the back of a semi-tractor trailer truck that had stopped due to a truck in front of the tractor trailer that was spraying for bugs, and the car in which she was riding went under the truck at nearly 80 miles per hour along with boyfriend Samuel Brody and their driver Ronnie Harrison. The damage to the car was so bad that the engine was twisted sideways.

The beautiful woman who starred in 31 movies, the woman who fought so hard for respect, the woman who, in her own right, was a very good actress, was dead at age 34. Mansfield's funeral was on July 3, 1967 which was a small ceremony which her family, first child, and second husband Mickey Hargitay attended the same place in Pen Argyl, Pennsylvania, where her father was buried. Her final film, Single Room Furnished (1966), was released the following year of her death.

Jayne Mansfield's fame lives on in the success of her best movies, her documentary film appearances, her 22 television appearances, and in the career of her 4th child, actress Mariska Hargitay who plays Olivia Benson on the popular NBC crime drama Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999).

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Joel Nickerson and Vera Jayne Fan

Spouse (3)

Matt Cimber (24 September 1964 - 1966) (divorced) (1 child)
Mickey Hargitay (13 January 1958 - 26 August 1964) (divorced) (3 children)
Paul Mansfield (28 January 1950 - 8 January 1958) (divorced) (1 child)

Trade Mark (4)

Platinum blonde hair
Voluptuous figure
Lisp, breathless voice
High-pitched squeal

Trivia (46)

Playboy Playmate of the Month February 1955.
Mother of Jayne Marie Mansfield, who appeared in Playboy magazine in 1976, following her mother's footsteps.
Producer Louis W. Kellman always said that he "discovered" Jayne Mansfield. He gave the then little known actress her first starring role (Gladden, Dan Duryea's sexy-but-shy gun moll kid sister) in The Burglar (1957) after seeing the normally jaded and unflappable film crew's "overheated" reaction to her on the set of Pete Kelly's Blues (1955) in which she had a small role.
Following her untimely death, she was interred at Fairview Cemetery in Plainfield (Outside of Pen Argyl), Pennsylvania.
Had five children: Jayne Marie Mansfield (born November 8, 1950), Mickey Hargitay Jr. (born December 21, 1958), Zoltan Hargitay (born August 1, 1960), Mariska Hargitay (born January 24, 1964) and Tony Cimber (born October 18, 1965).
Turned down the role of Ginger Grant on Gilligan's Island (1964), which went to Tina Louise.
Spoke five languages.
Was a classically trained pianist and violinist.
Made Mr. Blackwell's Worst-Dressed List in 1961 with Marilyn Monroe, Sophia Loren and Shirley MacLaine. She also made the List in 1964.
Initally divorced Mickey Hargitay on May 1, 1963; she divorced him again in Juarez, Mexico. On August 26, 1964, the California Superior Court recognized the Mexican divorce pronouncement.
Was arrested for indecent exposure during her nightclub act in Burlington, Vermont in 1963.
Claimed to have an I.Q. of 163, though she did not have exceptional grades in school.
Son Zoltan Hargitay was critically injured by a supposedly tame lion while visiting the Jungleland Zoo in Thousand Oaks, California, but made a full recovery. [December 1966]
Her goal, as quoted in the book, "Jayne Mansfield and the American Fifties": "To feel satisfied with myself; to know that I have arrived. To be liked. To be a big personality. The real stars are not actors or actresses. They're personalities. The quality of making everyone stop in their tracks is what I work at.".
Contrary to popular belief, she was not decapitated in the car crash that killed her. Her death certificate, issued in New Orleans, Louisiana, lists "crushed skull with avulsion of cranium and brain" as the immediate cause of death; her other injuries included "closed fracture of right humerus" and "multiple lacerations of hands and lower extremities".
The late model Buick that Jayne was killed in was locked in a garage for decades, in the same shape it was in after the crash. The owner, who was a huge fan, displayed it at various shows over the years, and it was sometimes billed as Jayne Mansfield's death car. The car was sold at auction in 1999 for $8000. Reportedly, the car still has the blood stains on the seats.
During the late 1950s, the front bumpers of some American cars came with extensions that resembled the bullet-bra conical brassieres of the period. Soon after their introduction, these extensions were nicknamed Jayne Mansfields.
Her death is the subject of the Siouxsie and the Banshees song "Kiss Them for Me", the title of which is taken from her 1957 film.
The German punk-rock-band The Bates dedicated the song "The Lips of Jayne Mansfield" (from the album "Shake!") to her.
Only child of Vera and Herbert Palmer. Her father was of 3/4 English and 1/4 German ancestry, and her mother was of English descent.
Her character in the film The George Raft Story (1961) is based on 1940s bombshell Betty Grable.
She had a serious drinking problem most of her adult life.
The Japanese garage rock band The 5.6.7.8's play a song called "I Walk Like Jayne Mansfield".
Los Angeles heavy metal band L.A. Guns had a top-40 hit in the early 1990s with a song called "The Ballad of Jayne", which was based on her.
Was the first American actress to appear nude in a mainstream American film (Promises... Promises! (1963)).
Was with 20th Century-Fox from 1956-1962.
Though her film career seemed to have fallen from grace in the mid and late 1960s, her nightclub act was huge, earning her $8,000-$17,000 weekly.
She was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6328 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on February 8, 1960.
Her estate was valued at approximately $2,000,000 at the time of her death, a significant sum by 1967 standards.
She was named the second (out of 100) top Playboy Playmates of all time according to Playboy magazine.
California license plate on her 1956 Lincoln Premiere convertible: NBB 851.
She was inducted into the Texas Film Hall of Fame in March 2008 in Austin, Texas. Her daughter Mariska Hargitay accepted the award.
Mother-in-law of Peter Hermann and former mother-in-law of Dana Hargitay. Grandmother of August Miklos Friedrich Hermann (Mariska's son).
Grandmother of Jianni Cimber (Tony's daughter), Brandon and Zoltan Jr. Hargitay.
Before she entered films, Mansfield was coached by Yiddish theater veteran Baruch Lumet, father of Sidney Lumet.
Her daughter Mariska Hargitay has a zig zag scar on the side of her head from the car accident that killed her mother. Mariska has no memory of the accident since she was only three years old at the time.
She studied with Baruch Lumet in 1952 at his Dallas Institute of the Performing Arts.
She was Miss Photoflash 1952, the first in a series of beauty awards she would win.
Biographer Martha Saxton about Mansfield and sex: "If Jayne was a product of the fifties, then she was a casualty of the sixties. In the fifties, Jayne and American men had conspired to keep it a secret. By the sixties the secret was out.".
Gave birth to her first child at age 17, a daughter, Jayne Marie Mansfield, on November 8th, 1950. Child's father is her 1st ex-husband, Paul Mansfield.
Gave birth to her second child at age 25, a son, Mickey Hargitay Jr. on December 21st, 1958. Child's father is her 2nd ex-husband, Mickey Hargitay.
Gave birth to her third child at age 27, a son, Zoltan Hargitay, on August 1st, 1960. Child's father is her 2nd ex-husband, Mickey Hargitay.
Gave birth to her fourth child at age 30, a daughter, Mariska Hargitay, on January 24th, 1964. Child's father is her 2nd ex husband, Mickey Hargitay.
Gave birth to her fifth child at age 32, a son, Tony Cimber, on October 18th, 1965. Child's father is her 3rd husband Matt Cimber.
Even though she divorced her first husband, Paul Mansfield, she kept the last name Mansfield because it sounded "Hollywood" to her. She felt that it would help gain her stardom.
Her daughter Mariska Hargitay received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame right next to hers.

Personal Quotes (33)

[on Bette Davis] Dramatic art in her opinion is knowing how to fill a sweater.
To establish yourself as an actress, you have to become well known. A girl just starting out, I would tell her to concentrate on acting, but she doesn't have to go around wearing blankets.
Stars were made to suffer, and I am a star.
I don't want to get involved in the racial situation at the expense of losing fans. I wouldn't say anything too strong, but I do know that God created us equal and we're not living up to it.
If you're going to do something wrong, do it big, because the punishment is the same either way.
Carrying a baby is the most rewarding experience a woman can enjoy.
I will never be satisfied. Life is one constant search for betterment for me.
I don't particularly enjoy publicity, it seems to just follow me around.
I like being a pin-up girl, there's nothing wrong with it.
A lot of happiness can be brought to the mentally distraught by a little understanding.
We eat a lot of lean meat and fresh vegetables. You are what you eat, you know. When I'm 100, I'll still be doing pin-ups.
War is a foolish, childish, animalistic, unthinking, unintelligent way of trying to accomplish a purpose.
I want to earn my own way, I like having nice things, but I've never accepted anything I haven't earned.
I'd like ten more babies and ten more chihuahuas and a few Academy Awards. Meanwhile, I enjoy being a sex symbol and making people happy.
No one wants to see or read about a dull subject. I don't consider myself a dull subject.
I've got the strangest build. It's big in the hips, small in the waist and I've got these enormous... shoulders.
Looks don't regulate a girl's body temperature, at least not this girl's body temperature. Intelligence in a man is the keynote and no girl in her right mind is going to go shopping for a man who's handsome and husky alone.
To function as an actress, I have to be in love. I have to have that incentive to work.
I didn't come to Hollywood to be the girl next door. I came to be a movie star.
My father was the only man I ever knew who really loved me unselfishly, who never used me for personal gain.
Once you were a starlet. Then you're a star. Can you be a starlet again?
If you want the best things in life, you have to earn them for yourself.
I like the California style of living.
[Upon learning that 20th Century-Fox had lied to her about being considered for the lead in a film about the life of Jean Harlow] I have thousands of letters here, from people all over the world, saying I am the perfect Harlow... even naturally have her mannerisms of caressing my body and arms in that way. But no, they can't see me playing the dramatic side of Harlow's life.
I guess a lot of people think that a girl who shows her bosom and wears tight dresses can't be close to God. God has always been close to me. Only He knew what was in my heart.
I have always considered my career self and my personal self as two different and separate people. There's a Jayne Mansfield at home, a wife and devoted mother, and there's Jayne the sex symbol, which is my career. I have always kept them completely apart and separate.
Sex appeal is a wonderful, warm, womanly, healthy feeling. If you're a woman it's womanly, if you're not it's manly... it comes only from inside... it's an effervescent desire to enjoy life.
You know which title I like best? I like to be called mother.
Men are those creatures with two legs and eight hands.
If you're going to do something wrong, do it big, because the punishment is the same either way.
Nothing risque, nothing gained.
Once you were a starlet. Then you're a star. Can you become a starlet again?
I love sex... It should be animalistic, it should be sadistic, it should at times be masochistic... There are few rules and moral conventions.

Salary (7)

Lux Video Theatre (1950) $300
Female Jungle (1956) $150
The Girl Can't Help It (1956) $2,500 .00 per week
The Burglar (1957) $5,000
Gli amori di Ercole (1960) $75,000
Promises... Promises! (1963) $150,000 + % of profits
A Guide for the Married Man (1967) $10,000

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