"I like being a pin-up girl. There's nothing wrong with it." - Jayne Mansfield
Jayne Mansfield was born Vera Jane Palmer on April 19, 1933, in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. Jayne's father died when she was three years old. Her mother remarried and the family moved to Texas. In 1950 Jayne married Paul Mansfield. Their daughter, Jayne Marie, was born that November. Jayne convinced her husband to move to Hollywood so she could pursue an acting career. She won dozens of beauty titles including "Miss Photoflash" and "Miss Fire Prevention". In 1954 Jayne made her film debut in Female Jungle. She starred on Broadway and in the movie version of Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?. Jayne's flair for publicity made her one of the most talked about actresses in Hollywood.
Although she often played dumb blondes Jayne's IQ was actually 163. She divorced Paul and married former Mr. Universe Mickey Hargitay in January 1958. Jayne and Mickey had three children (Miklos, Zoltan, and Mariska). They lived in a pink mansion in Beverly Hills called "The Pink Palace". By the early 1960s Jayne was having trouble finding good roles. She was offered the part of Ginger on the television series Gilligan's Island but turned it down. Jayne appeared naked in the low budget film Promises! Promises! but the controversy did not help her career. In 1964 she divorced Mickey and married Matt Cimber, a director. Their son, Antonio, was born in 1965. The marriage ended the following year and Jayne became involved in an abusive relationship with her manager, Sam Brody.
She also had a serious addiction to drugs and alcohol. On June 29, 1967 Jayne was on her way to a nightclub appearance when she was killed in a car accident (rumors that she was decapitated are not true). Jayne was just thirty-four years old. She is buried at Fairview Cemetery in Plainfield, Pennsylvania. Her fans paid for a cenotaph to be placed at Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Hollywood, California. Jayne's daughter, Mariska Hargitay, became a successful actress. In 2005 Mariska won a Golden Globe for her role in the TV series Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter (1957)