Jayne Mansfield Death Photos Biography
One of the leading sex symbols of the 1950s and 1960s, movie and B movie actress, Jayne Mansfield was born on April 19, 1933 in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, and she was a talented pianist and violin player as a child. She moved to Dallas, Texas, after the death of her father at age three and the family bought a little home where she had violin concerts in the driveway of their home. 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, the two had a child named Jayne Marie Mansfield. She landed a small but sexy role in Pete Kelly's Blues (1955), which led to roles that were more prominent in several ways also when she started her movie career she played in movies with popular actors and actresses to help kick start her movie career. A job in the Broadway production of "Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?" brought her a good deal of attention for her scantily clad appearance, and she repeated the role in the film version with co-star Tony Randall (who would later co-star with Marilyn Monroe in the movie Let's Make Love (1960)). Her high-pitched squeal of delight and the studied ease with which she flaunted her more than obvious pulchritude led to a succession of roles as sex kittens and dumb blonde bombshells. She occasionally appeared in films of some quality, but though she apparently aspired to respectability as an actress, her public persona was too extreme to be taken seriously, and she became a sort of poor man's 'Marilyn Monroe' or as the backup or second star for Marilyn Monroe, without the vulnerability and ability that Monroe possessed also the popular movie studios did not think she was that much of a dumb blonde because she knew her movies lines easily. In the early 1960s, she began affairs with many famous individuals like 35th President JFK and his younger brother RFK. 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. Also 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 which she was riding in went under the truck at nearly 80 miles per hour along with boyfriend Samuel Brody and their driver Ronnie Harrison, she was only 34 years old at the time. The damage to the car was so bad that the engine was twisted sideways. Rumors began that Mansfield was decapitated began when the photographers and police found her platinum blonde wig on the dashboard of the car and they saw that and just took of with that which is highly untrue as her first child Jayne Marie Mansfield claims and it was a false report. 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. Today, 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).
Jayne Mansfield was born Vera Jayne Palmer on April 19, 1933 in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. Her parents were well-to-do, with her father as a successful attorney in Phillipburg, New Jersey, where Jayne was beginning her girlhood. 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. 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. Jayne's plans had to be put on hold when she became pregnant by Paul Mansfield who she married in May 1950. Her daughter Jayne Marie Mansfield was born in November. After graduation and the birth of her daughter, Jayne enrolled in the University of Texas at Austin to try her hand at thespian work. 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 got roles that was 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. On June 29, 1967, Jayne was killed when the car in which she was riding crashed into the back of a semi-trailer on the road near Slidell, Louisiana. Her lawyer Sam Brody also perished in the accident. 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 now at age 34. Her final film Single Room Furnished (1968) was released the following year of her death.