[122] She was a guest on three episodes of The Bob Hope Show touring team. A+E Networks TV series Biography featured her in an episode titled Jayne Mansfield: Blonde Ambition. Despite the publicity and her popularity, Mansfield had no good film roles after 1959. Born Vera Jayne Palmer in 1933, the future icon eloped with 20-year-old Paul Mansfield in 1950, just before graduating from high school. In the later years of her career, Mansfield also returned to the stage with an acclaimed turn in Bus Stop and developed into a successful Vegas headliner and nightclub performer. Her father was an attorney in Phillipsburg, New Jersey, where she spent her early childhood. Jayne Mansfield (born Vera Jayne Palmer; April 19, 1933 – June 29, 1967) was an American film, theater, and television actress. When Mansfield returned to Hollywood in mid-1960, 20th Century-Fox cast her in It Happened in Athens with Trax Colton, a handsome newcomer Fox was trying to mold into a heartthrob. [106] It was a modified version of the Tropicana show, and ran for six weeks with fair success. Before filming began, Mansfield said she would not "share any screen time with the drive-in's answer to Marilyn Monroe", meaning Van Doren. [32] In 1954, she auditioned at both Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros. At Paramount, Jayne performed a sketch she had worked out with Lumet from Joan of Arc for casting director Milton Lewis. [25][185] In the ensuing row, Mr. California, Chuck Krauser, beat Hargitay up and was arrested and released on a $300 bond ($3,000 in 2019 dollars[3]). 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. born 1965, age 52 with Matt Cimber. She was a major leading lady in the 1930s and 1940s. Italian film, radio and television journalists awarded her the Silver Mask award in 1962. "[41] By the late 1950s, Mansfield began to generate a great deal of negative publicity because of repeated exposure of her breasts in carefully staged public "wardrobe accidents". Both co-starred Mickey Hargitay and were well-reviewed. She was also a natural-born performer. In 1957, she toured United States Pacific Command areas in Hawaii, Okinawa, Guam, Tokyo and Korea with Bob Hope for the United Service Organizations for 13 days appearing as a comedian;[123] and in 1961, toured Newfoundland,[124] Labrador and Baffin Island in Canada for a Christmas special. Jayne Mansfield was born Vera Jayne Palmer on April 19, 1933, in Phillipsburg, New Jersey, USA, to Herbert William, who was of German and English origin, and Vera Jeffrey Palmer of British origin. [99][100][101] She had a million-dollar policy with Lloyd's of London in case Hargitay dropped her as he whirled her around for the show. The car crash that killed Jayne Mansfield also decapitated her. [54] It was Kellman's first major venture, and he claimed to have "discovered" Mansfield. Fox stopped viewing her as major Hollywood star material and started lending her out to foreign productions until the end of her contract in 1962. [78] In 1966, Mansfield was cast in Single Room Furnished, directed by then-husband Matt Cimber. [118][119] Her notable performances in television dramas included episodes of Burke's Law, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Red Skelton Hour (three episodes), Kraft Mystery Theater and Follow the Sun. The reviewer went on to remark that "Miss Mansfield is a lady with apparent charms, but reading poetry is not one of them. [200][201][202] Hargitay accused Bomba of sabotaging their marriage. Her club performances regularly featured songs like Call Me, A Little Brains, A Little Talent ("This Queen has her aces in all the right places"), Plain Jane, Quando-Quando, Besame Mucho, and the song made famous by Marilyn Monroe â€” Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend. [62], Tashlin cast Mansfield in the film version of the Broadway show Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? [173] Returning 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 â€” a Great Dane, three cats named Sabina, Romulus, and Ophelia, two chihuahuas, a poodle dyed pink, and a rabbit. [305] While involved with Brody, she also showed interest in Judaism. [4][5][Notes 1], She spent her early childhood in Phillipsburg, New Jersey,[7] where her father was an attorney practicing with future New Jersey governor Robert B. Meyner. Born Vera Jayne Palmer in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, Mansfield arrived in Hollywood as a young wife and mother (to daughter Jayne Marie) in 1954, determined to … Jayne Mansfield was born Vera Jayne Palmer in Pennsylvania in 1933. Matteo Ottaviano, né Thomas Vitale Ottaviano), an Italian-born film director, when he directed her in a stage production of Bus Stop in Yonkers, New York, costarring Hargitay. Mansfield took voice, dance and violin lessons and would frequently stand out in her driveway playing her violin for passersby on the sidewalk. [250], Throughout her career, Mansfield was compared by the media to the reigning sex symbol of the period, Marilyn Monroe. The Olympic Games-based film was shot in Greece in the fall of 1960 but was not released until June 1962. The year after reconstructing the "Pink Palace" as a "pink landmark", she began riding in a pink Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz convertible with tailfins, then the only pink Cadillac in Hollywood. [29] Hollywood historian Andrew Nelson said that she was seen as Hollywood's gaudiest, boldest, D-cupped, B-grade actress from 1955 until the early 1960s. She became the first major American actress in a post-silent Hollywood film to have a nude scene in Promises! [59] Mansfield had become one of 20th Century Fox's main sex-symbol actresses. She tried to make a career as an actress for a long time. Mansfield and Hargitay's three children were riding in the back as well. Mansfield was allegedly intimately involved with many men, including Claude Terrail (owner of the Paris restaurant Tour d'Argent),[152] Robert F. Kennedy,[153] John F. Kennedy,[154] Brazilian billionaire Jorge Guinle,[155] her attorney Samuel S. Brody, Las Vegas entertainer Nelson Sardelli, and producer Enrico Bomba. [14] She graduated from Highland Park High School in 1950. [156][157][158] Mansfield and Brody, her lawyer and alleged lover at the time, were both killed in a car crash.[159][160]. (as a special mystery guest). She was also unable to fulfill a third of her contract with Fox because of repeated pregnancies. [91] She made news on a regular basis, for malfunctioning dresses and clothing that burst strategically at the seams, to wearing low cut dresses without a bra. Jayne worked at a variety of odd jobs including: selling popcorn at the Stanley Warner Theatre, teaching dance,[36] selling candy at a movie theater,[23] modeling part-time at the Blue Book Model Agency,[37] and working as a photographer at Esther Williams' Trails Restaurant. [84][85][86] She received a Theatre World Award (Promising Personality) for her performance in 1956,[87] as well as a Golden Globe Award (New Star of the year, Actress) in 1957. I always try to remember the good times when Daddy was alive.". In 1960, Mansfield topped press polls for more words in print than anyone else in the world, had made more personal appearances than a political candidate,[116] and was regarded as the world's most-photographed Hollywood celebrity. [61], Frequent references have been made to Mansfield's very high IQ, which she claimed was 163. Her birthname was Vera Jayne Palmer. Her daughter Mariska Hargitay became an actress and star of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. [297][298][299], In August 1963, Mansfield decided to convert to Catholicism. (1963). [359] The Los Angeles Daily News cited the Jayne Mansfield Fan Club, headed by Sabin Gray and very active in the 1980s, as one of the major fan clubs for a Hollywood star. [27][28][29] She also joined the Curtain Club,[28] a popular campus theatrical society that included among its members lyricist Tom Jones, composer Harvey Schmidt, and actors Rip Torn and Pat Hingle. In 1961, Mansfield signed on for a minor role but above-the-title billing in The George Raft Story. [24], In 1964, she performed in stage productions of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes at Carousel Theater, and Bus Stop at Yonkers Playhouse. [125] Her talk show career includes a large number of appearances which she appreciated for the publicity. Mansfield's first years in Hollywood initially brought disappointment. Mansfield wore a sensational pink, skintight wedding gown made of sequins with a 30 yd (27 m) flounce of pink tulle (designed by a 20th Century-Fox costume designer),[189] and at the reception she had Hargitay drink pink champagne.[190][191][192]. One of the leading sex symbols of the 1950s, like Marilyn Monroe, Mansfield starred in several popular Hollywood films that emphasized her platinum-blonde hair, dramatic hourglass figure and cleavage-revealing costumes. From then on, as one journalist put it, Mansfield "suffered so many on-stage strap and zipper mishaps that nudity was, for her, a professional hazard." [102][103] In 1959, Jayne returned to the Tropicana and made $30,000 per week, with her show being extended twice. Twentieth Century-Fox signed Mansfield to a six-year contract on May 3, 1956 in its New York office to mold her as a successor to the increasingly difficult Marilyn Monroe,[56] their resident blonde bombshell, who had just completed the very difficult Bus Stop. At the time of their marriage, Jayne was 17 and three months pregnant; Paul was 20. [3][187][188] On January 13, 1958 (days after her divorce from Paul was finalized), Mansfield married Hargitay at the Wayfarers Chapel in Rancho Palos Verdes, California. [199], In 1962, she had a well-publicized affair with Enrico Bomba, the Italian producer and production manager of her film Panic Button. [228], Because of the successful media blitz, she quickly became a household name. 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 also star Dean Martin. It was a box-office failure, and 20th Century-Fox dropped Mansfield's contract. Jayne Mansfield as seen in the promotional photo for the film ‘Kiss Them for Me’ (1957) (20th Century Fox / doctormacro.com / Public Domain) Age. [342][343][344] However, her four eldest children (Jayne Marie, Mickey, Zoltan, and Mariska) went to court in 1977 to find that approximately $500,000 in debt that Mansfield had incurred ($3,157,000 in 2019 dollars), including $11,000 for lingerie ($69,000 in 2019 dollars), $11,600 for plumbing of the heart-shaped swimming pool ($73,000 in 2019 dollars), and litigation had left the estate insolvent. What Jayne Mansfield was great at was self promotion. [311], In 1967, Mansfield was in Biloxi, Mississippi, for an engagement at the Gus Stevens Supper Club. Sam's wife, Beverly Brody, filed a divorce suit naming Mansfield the "41st other woman" in Sam's life. Those performances finally established Mansfield as a marquis actress, and she went on to be featured in such films as Kiss Them For Me (1957), co-starring Cary Grant, The Wayward Bus (1957), The Sheriff of Fractured Jaw (1958) and It Takes a Thief (1960). 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. Actress Jayne Mansfield was a Hollywood bombshell just slightly less explosive than her more famous contemporary, Marilyn Monroe.Jayne Mansfield was famous for her bleached-blonde hair and ample bosom, both of which she displayed willingly in publicity photos and in Playboy magazine. She lost her father at the age of three. Reflecting back on the tragedy, Mansfield later said, "Something went out of my life. Mariska Hargitay was born January 23, 1964, after the actual divorce but before California ruled it valid. https://www.biography.com/actor/jayne-mansfield. [261] Even when Mansfield's film roles were drying up she was widely considered Monroe's primary rival. [58] Soon afterward, Fox started promoting Mansfield as "Marilyn Monroe king-sized", attempting to coerce Monroe to return to the studio and finish out her contract. She was also a nightclub entertainer and a singer, and one of the early Playboy Playmates. [151] She married and divorced three times and had five children. Guns song "The Ballad of Jayne", are about Mansfield and her untimely death. "[143], In 1965, Jimi Hendrix played bass and added lead in his session musician days for Mansfield on two songs—"As The Clouds Drift By" and "Suey"—released as a 45-rpm single by London Records in 1966. "[61][25], A natural brunette, Mansfield had her hair bleached, and colored platinum blonde when she moved to Los Angeles,[231] and became one of the early "blonde bombshells", along with Marilyn Monroe, Betty Grable and Mamie Van Doren. American film, theater, and television actress. [340][341] In 1971, Beverly Brody sued the Mansfield estate for $325,000 ($2,052,000 in 2019 dollars) worth of presents and jewelry given to Mansfield by Sam Brody; the suit was settled out of court. This page was last edited on 14 December 2020, at 21:52. [95] Mickey Hargitay was the only ex-husband present at the funeral. [43], In 1953, editor Hugh Hefner began publishing Playboy and the magazine became popular because of its early Playmates, such as Mansfield, Marilyn Monroe, Bettie Page, and Anita Ekberg. She was also a singer and nightclub entertainer as well as one of the early Playboy Playmates. [168] On November 8, 1950, Mansfield gave birth to her daughter, Jayne Marie Mansfield. [88][89] Brooks Atkinson of the New York Times described the "commendable abandon" of her scantily clad rendition of Rita Marlowe in the play as "a platinum-pated movie siren with the wavy contours of Marilyn Monroe". Work on Mansfield's film, Single Room Furnished directed by Cimber (1966), was suspended. [315] After her death, the NHTSA recommended requiring an underride guard (a strong bar made of steel tubing) on all tractor-trailers; the trucking industry was slow to adopt this change. Jayne Mansfield (1933-1967). [50], Mansfield's first film part was a supporting role in Female Jungle, a low-budget drama completed in ten days. [16][35][29] Lumet would eventually help Jayne get her first screen test at Paramount in April 1954. [346] Cass Elliot is often falsely claimed to have owned the home. On stage, he was the male lead in The Tropicana Holiday, The House of Love, French Dressing, and other nightclub acts. [15][16][17][18] While in high school, Palmer took violin, piano, and viola lessons. Claudia Luther, "Jayne Mansfield Estate Depleted of Funds for Heirs". "[206] During the acrimonious divorce proceedings, the actress attempted to force a more favorable financial settlement by accusing Hargitay of kidnapping one of her children. She was born in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. [263][264], Because of her striking physique, newspapers in the 1950s routinely published her body measurements, which once led evangelist Billy Graham to exclaim, "This country knows more about Jayne Mansfield's statistics than the Second Commandment. Kimmie later added Frank Ferruccio as co-owner and Damien Santroni as graphic designer to help her with the website at www.jaynemansfield.net. [94][95], In February 1958, the 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. "use strict";(function(){var insertion=document.getElementById("citation-access-date");var date=new Date().toLocaleDateString(undefined,{month:"long",day:"numeric",year:"numeric"});insertion.parentElement.replaceChild(document.createTextNode(date),insertion)})(); Subscribe to the Biography newsletter to receive stories about the people who shaped our world and the stories that shaped their lives. [38] While at UCLA, she entered the Miss California contest (hiding her marital status), and won the local round before withdrawing. The film required Mansfield to portray three different characters, and was her first starring, dramatic role in several years. [348], Several entertainers have been dubbed the "new Jayne Mansfield", including Italian actress Marisa Allasio. [182][183], Mansfield met her second husband, Mickey Hargitay, at the Latin Quarter nightclub in New York City on May 13, 1956, where he was performing as a member of the chorus line in Mae West's show. [162][163][164] While most major biographies put the date at May 6, some sources say the marriage was on May 10, 1950. Promises! On June 29, 1967, she died in an automobile accident in Eastern New Orleans at the age of 34. The children, asleep in the rear seat, survived with minor injuries. [319] A Methodist minister conducted her funeral ceremony. [276], In April 1957, her breasts were the focus of a notorious publicity stunt intended to deflect media attention from Sophia Loren during a dinner party in the Italian star's honor. "[257] The crowd of contenders also included Sheree North, Kim Novak, Joi Lansing, Beverly Michaels, Barbara Nichols and Greta Thyssen, and even two brunettes â€” Elizabeth Taylor and Jane Russell. Jayne commonly said that the only title she refused was Miss Roquefort Cheese, because she believed it "just didn't sound right". The Challenge was released in 1963 as It Takes a Thief. 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