I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles~Audrey Hepburn

Monday, November 30, 2009

Matinee Monday: Jayne Mansfield

(1933-1967)

Jayne Mansfield was born Vera Jayne Palmer on April 19, 1933 in Bryn Mawr Pennsylvania. When Jayne was three years old her father died of a heart attack and her mother worked as a schoolteacher. Soon after his death Jayne's mother remarried and they moved to Dallas Texas.

In 1950, Vera Jayne Palmer married Paul Mansfield and started to go by the name Jayne Mansfield. The couple moved to Austin Texas. Jayne studied dramatics at the University of Dallas and the University of Texas at Austin. While she attended the University of Texas, Jayne won several beauty contests. In 1954, Jayne and her husband moved to Los Angeles and she studied dramatics at UCLA.On November 8, 1950 at the age of 17, Jayne gave birth to her first child , Jayne Marie Mansfield. While managing motherhood she continued to study at UCLA, and in the summer of 1953 she went back to Texas for the fall at Southern Methodist University. In Dallas Jayne became founder of the Dallas Institute of the Performing Arts. On October 22, 1953 she appeared on stage in a production of Arthur Miller's Death Of A Salesman. Jayne's husband was hoping the birth of their child would discourage her interests in acting. When that didn't happen he agreed to move to Los Angeles to help her further her career. Her movie career began with bit parts at Warner Brothers. They soon signed her and in 1954 she had small roles in Female Jungle and in 1955 Pete Kelly's Blues.In 1955 she was offered a dramatic role as Gladden in The Burglar. The Burglar was released two years later when Mansfield's fame was at its peak. She made two more movies with Warner Brothers including 1955's Illegal. Also that year, Jayne enjoyed a successful run in Broadway called Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? Followed by 1956's The Girl Can't Help It.On May 3, 1956, Jayne signed a long-term contract with 20th Century Fox. Her first dramatic role was The Wayward Bus in 1957. She won a Golden Globe this same year for "New Star Of The Year ".Jayne also toured with Bob Hope for the USO and appeared on numerous television programs, including The Ed Sullivan Show and The Jack Benny Show.In 1957 she reprised her role in the movie version of Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? Her fourth staring role was in Kiss Them For Me where she acted alongside the talented Cary Grant. But Kiss Them for Me was a box office disappointment and would prove to be Jayne's final starring role in a mainstream Hollywood studio film. In 1958 Jayne and her husband Paul were divorced. She also appeared in stage productions of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and Bus Stop where she got involved with her costar Mickey Hargitay (an actor and bodybuilder). Shortly before their marriage Jayne bought a mansion in Beverly Hills that was later dubbed "The Pink Palace" due to everything being the color pink, Jayne's favorite color. Jayne and Mickey were married January 13, 1958. The couple had three children Miklós, Zoltán and Mariska.
By 1959 Jayne was no longer getting significant parts offered to her but she continued to act in low budget films mostly in Europe. In 1960 Fox lent her to appear in two independent gangster thrillers in England, Too Hot To Handle and The Challenge. In 1962 her film It Happened In Athens was released. In 1963 she was persuaded to become the first mainstream American actress to appear nude with a staring role in the movie Promises, Promises. Photographs of the naked star were published in Playboy Magazine. Because of the success of the film Jayne landed on the Top 10 list of Box Office Attractions for that year. Fox did not renew its contract with her in 1962 and in May 1963 Jayne and Mickey were divorced.In 1963 Mansfield appeared in the low-budget West German movie Homesick for St. Pauli. Despite her film career setbacks Mansfield remained a highly visible personality through the early 1960's. On September 24, 1963, Jayne married Matt Cimber (an Italian born film director). Work on her last film, Single Room Furnished, was suspended as her marriage to director Matt Cimber began to collapse in the wake of Jayne's alcohol abuse. They had one son Antonio. The couple separated on July 11, 1965, and filed for divorce on July 20, 1966.After a June 28, 1967 evening engagement in Biloxi Mississippi, Jayne, Sam Brody (her divorce attorney and boyfriend), their driver along with her three children Miklós, Zoltán, and Mariska, set out in Stevens' 1966 Buick Electra 225 for New Orleans, where Mansfield was to appear in an early morning television interview. At approximately 2:25 a.m. the next morning, due to low visibility their car crashed into a tractor trailer killing Jayne, Brody and the driver. The children escaped with minor injuries. Jayne Mansfield was 34 years old.After Jayne's death there were many rumors about Jayne being decapitated. The reporters on the seen were said to see blonde hair smashed into the windshield. After much controversy the rumors were finally put to rest by the medical examiner. Although Jayne suffered major skull and a brain injury, she was not decapitated. The "blonde hair" seen at the accident was ruled to be one of Jayne's wigs. After her death, Mickey Hargitay sued his former wife's estate for more than $275,000 to support the children, whom he and his third and last wife, Ellen Siano, would raise. Mansfield's youngest child, Tony, was raised by his father, Matt Cimber, whose divorce from the actress was pending when she was killed.Jayne was a beautiful soul inside and out. She was taken far too soon leaving very young children behind. And although she had some personal struggles in life, awkward career moves, alleged affairs and complicated relationships Jayne was a really good person and wonderful mother. She adored her children and always wanted to be taken seriously despite her sex symbol status and bombshell looks. Her daughter Mariska Hargitay is a famous actress now starring in the hit show "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit".

19 comments:

  1. It's too bad she wasn't taken more seriously during her film career. Who knows where things would have led if she had not been in that accident.

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  2. Seeing these pictures, I see a huge facial resemblance between her and Mariska mãe.Mariska does the genre femme, sex symbol, does not like to take my clothes off but it is very beautiful and talented actress. Coincidentally, both have several titles of beauty.

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  3. Wow - such a beautiful lady - sad it had such a tragic ending.

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  4. Wow she was beautiful, I love her hair, and her lips are like perfect, and perfect eye brows, I think I was born in the wrong era I love my hair big ;0)

    Blessings

    -:¦:-H-:¦:-E-:¦:-I-:¦:-D-:¦:-I-:¦:-

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  5. What an intense life! It is a pity it was so a short life! She really had to be an extraordinary woman. Women like that, you can count on your fingers. Oh, yes! Another example? Not easy... Let me think... After long thought, it comes to mind only one person: MARISKA is an extraordinary woman! It is quite a coincidence, isn't it?

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  6. Cool post..great write up and nice pics.

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  7. And by the way thanks for adding my blog to your following list..You have a very interesting blog yourself. Glad I added it my list.

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  8. Gorgeous post. Jayne was getting older and more beatiful.

    Have a nice week, girl!
    xxx,
    Maju

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  9. SCD - Jayne Mansfield was quite fearfully designed, no doubt...the girl REALLY just couldn't help it!
    What is so 'ironic' for me about Jayne is that she died one day before I was born (6-30-67)... a very sad ending for her.
    Of course, she was a knockout, and MAY have been the ultimate 'bombshell'...hard to deny MM that title, but Jayne pushed the envelope, it appears...
    Great overview on her life - dang! you need to start making money doing these 'overviews'! They are better than most of the stuff you would find in a magazine!

    BTW...hopefully this link will work -

    http://www.imdb.com/media/rm3948648448/nm0543790

    It is of Jayne and Sophia Loren (probably have seen it before, but just in case...)...the pic needs no caption...one of my all-time fav pics, just because it 'reveals' everything... well, of course, it 'reveals' Jayne :-P , but even more, it 'reveals' what Sophia thinks of the 'revelation' of Jayne....just classic.

    Thanks again for the great post!
    VKMfan

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  10. As always I love stopping by here. What a great story and I so enjoyed reading it. Wasn't she just beautiful and your great for sharing this about her.
    Thanks and Happy Holidays
    Maggie

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  11. I had no idea that she was Mariska Hargitay's mother. I LOVE Law and Order! This was a very informative post!

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  12. She was pretty. It's sad she had to die so young.

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  13. i love love love her <3 thanks for you post!!!

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  14. An absolute knockout! If only I had been born 40 years ealier but then I'd be 74 now. Gives Debbie Harry of Blondie a run fo r her money for sexiest lady ever! A total hottie that died way too young! Man was she dropdead gorgeous.

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  15. Sadly, we lost Jayne talented. Actress whom,gotten her shining star. Image everyone,states when saw Jayne. Statement everyone notice her, only problem. Political
    ordeals of Hollywood could succeed. On developing Jayne sorry only remembrance. Ms.
    Double D's Jayne nature pretty woman. Madonna
    attempted emulate Jayne on US magazine. True
    and Dear 1991 also Sex Box 1992. Inspired by
    Jayne which more archive photos released. Bye.

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