Jayne Mansfield Poster


Jump to: Overview (5)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Family (3)  | Trade Mark (3)  | Trivia (41)  | Personal Quotes (31)  | Salary (7)

Overview (5)

Born in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, USA
Died in Slidell, Louisiana, USA  (road accident)
Birth NameVera Jayne Palmer
Nicknames Jaynie
Broadway's Smartest Dumb Blonde
The Blonde Bombshell
Height 5' 6¼" (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, the only child of Vera J. (nee Palmer; later Peers) and Herbert W. Palmer. Her parents were well-to-do, with her father a successful attorney in Phillipsburg, New Jersey, where she spent a portion of her childhood. Her parents were both born with the same surname, and her ancestry was seven eighths English and Cornish and one eighth German. She was reportedly a talented pianist and played the violin when she was young.

Tragedy struck when Jayne was three, when her father suddenly died of a heart attack. Three years later, her mother remarried and she and her mother moved to Dallas, Texas, buying a small home where she had violin concerts in the driveway of their home. Her IQ was reportedly 163, and she attended the University of Dallas and participated in little-theater productions. In 1949, at the age of 16, she married a man five years her senior named Paul Mansfield. In November 1950, when Jayne was seventeen, their daughter, Jayne Marie Mansfield was born. The union ended in divorce but she kept the surname Mansfield as a good surname for an actress.

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, her films were more of a showcase for her body more than anything else. She did have a real talent for acting, but the movie executives insisted she stay in her dumb blonde stereotype roles. By the 1960s, her 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 Slidell, Louisiana in a car crash in the early hours of June 29, 1967, when the car in which she was riding 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. Her car went under the truck at nearly 80 miles per hour. Her boyfriend Samuel Brody and their driver Ronnie Harrison, were also killed. The damage to the car was so bad that the engine was twisted sideways. She was not, however, decapitated, as had long been misreported. She was 34 years old.

Mansfield's funeral was on July 3, 1967 and hundreds of people lined the main street of Pen Argyl for Mansfield's funeral, a small private ceremony at Fairview Cemetery in Plainfield (outside Pen Argyl), Pennsylvania (where her father was also buried), attended by her family. The only ex-husband to attend was Mickey Hargitay. Her final film, Single Room Furnished (1966), was released the following year. In 2000, Mansfield's 97 year old mother, Mrs. Vera Peers, was interred alongside Mansfield.

After Mansfield's death, Mansfield's mother, as well as her ex-husband Mickey Hargitay, William Pigue (legal guardian for her daughter, Jayne Marie), Charles Goldring (Mansfield's business manager), and Bernard B. Cohen and Jerome Webber (both administrators of the estate) all filed unsuccessful suits to gain control of her estate, which was initially estimated at $600,000 ($3,712,000 in 2018 dollars), including the Pink Palace (estimated at $100,000 ($619,000 in 2018 dollars)), a sports car sold for $7,000 ($43,000 in 2018 dollars), her jewelry, and Sam Brody's $185,000 estate left to her in his last will ($1,145,000 in 2018 dollars).

In 1971, Beverly Brody sued the Mansfield estate for $325,000 ($2,011,000 in 2018 dollars) worth of presents and jewelry given to Mansfield by Sam Brody; the suit was settled out of court.

In 1977, Mansfield's four eldest children (Jayne Marie, Mickey, Zoltan, and Mariska) went to court to discover that some $500,000 in debt which Mansfield had incurred ($3,093,000 in 2018 dollars) and litigation had left the estate insolvent.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Joel Nickerson/Robert Sieger

Family (3)

Spouse Matt Cimber (24 September 1964 - 20 July 1966)  (separated)  (1 child)
Mickey Hargitay (13 January 1958 - 26 August 1964)  (divorced)  (3 children)
Paul Mansfield (28 January 1950 - 8 January 1958)  (divorced)  (1 child)
Children Tony Cimber
Mickey Hargitay Jr.
Zoltan Hargitay
Jayne Marie Mansfield
Mariska Hargitay
Parents Palmer, Vera J.
Palmer, Herbert W.

Trade Mark (3)

Platinum blonde hair
Lisp, breathless voice
High-pitched squeal

Trivia (41)

The Playboy Playmate of the Month for February 1955, Mansfield's daughter, Jayne Marie Mansfield, followed in her mother's footsteps by appearing in Playboy in 1976.
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.
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.
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.
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". Following her untimely death, she was interred at Fairview Cemetery in Plainfield (Outside of Pen Argyl), Pennsylvania.
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.
After her death an extension was added to the rear bumper of semi trailers to keep autos from driving under the truck. The were colloquially called Mansfield bars.
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.
The only child of Vera (nee Palmer) and Herbert Palmer, Mansfield's ancestry was English and Cornish, and one-eighth German.
The Japanese garage rock band The'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.
Mansfield's nightclub act was enormously successful, reportedly 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 1957 Lincoln Premiere convertible: NBB 851. This Lincoln was nearly identical to the one from The Girl Can't Help It (1956); the movie car did not have a Continental kit and hers did.
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, Andrew Nicolas Hargitay Hermann and Amaya Josephine Hermann (Mariska's children).
Grandmother of Jianni Cimber (Tony's daughter), Brandon and Zoltan Jr. Hargitay.
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 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 23rd, 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.
She appeared in one film that has been selected for the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically or aesthetically" significant: Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? (1957).
At the zenith of her popularity, a peculiar promotional merchandising venture was launched...The Jayne Mansfield Hot Water Bottle. This was a 22" plastic novelty item molded in a modestly risqué likeness of the actress. Many thousands were sold, and today they are something of an oddball collector's item commanding as much as $300 in the original box.
Mentioned in the film Murder She Said (1961) by Alexander in the hopes of having a maid with the figure of Jayne Mansfield.
Signed by 20th Century-Fox in 1954, Mansfield was meant to be a rival (or, in the vernacular of gossip magazines of the time, a "threat") to up-and-coming Fox starlet Marilyn Monroe, but Mansfield never achieved the same level of popularity or success as Marilyn, and was widely regarded as a pale imitation of blonde bombshell Monroe.

Personal Quotes (31)

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.
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.
The real stars are not good actors or actresses. They're personalities.
I love sex... It should be animalistic, it should be sadistic, it should at times be masochistic... There are few rules and moral conventions.
Nothing risque, nothing gained.

Salary (7)

Lux Video Theatre (1950) $300
Female Jungle (1955) $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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