biography

Born Vera Jayne Palmer on April 19, 1933, in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, Jayne Mansfield became a sexpot of Hollywood and Italian-produced films of the 1950s and 1960s. Married at 16 to high school sweetheart Paul Mansfield and becoming a mother at 17, she started out as a physics major but then switched to drama at the University of Texas and later at UCLA. After she and her husband parted company, Mansfield made the rounds in Hollywood, trying out for bit parts and modeling assignments. Mansfield used her exceptional I.Q. (reportedly 163) to break into movies via a series of incredible publicity stunts, becoming a household name before ever appearing in a film. After bleaching her hair, she did some television work before making her screen debut in the low-budget film noir vehicle Female Jungle (1954; with John Carradine and Lawrence Tierney). The following year she signed with Warner Bros. and was cast in a small role in Pete Kelly's Blues (1955; with Jack Webb, Martin Milner, and Peggy Lee). However, the studio dropped her contract soon afterward.

Jayne MansfieldJayne Mansfield and a Lincoln PremierJayne Mansfield and Sophia Loren

LEFT and CENTER: Mid to late 1950s cheesecake shots. RIGHT: With Sophia Loren

Ironically, Mansfield's big break came by way of the Broadway stage, where she starred in the smash Broadway hit, Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? The success of the play landed her a seven-year 20th Century-Fox contract and a starring role in The Girl Can't Help It (1956) opposite Tom Ewell, who had starred with Marilyn Monroe in 1955's The Seven-Year Itch. Following the box-office success of The Girl Can't Help It, Mansfield made the film version of Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? with Tony Randall and Mickey Hargitay, whom she married in January 1958.

Mickey Hargitay and Jayne MansfieldMickey Hargitay and Jayne MansfieldMickey Hargitay and Jayne MansfieldMickey Hargitay and Jayne Mansfield

LEFT: Mickey Hargitay and Jayne Mansfield in Europe in the late 1950s. CENTER A: Mickey Hargitay with Jayne Mansfield and her daughter, Jayne Marie, in 1958. CENTER B: Photo from their late 1950s nightclub act. RIGHT: Around the time of their 1958 marriage

During their six-year marriage, Mansfield and Hargitay made several films together, including The Loves of Hercules (1960); Promises! Promises! (1963); and Primitive Love (1964). After four films and three children (Miklos, Zoltan, and Mariska), they divorced in August 1964.

the films of jayne mansfield

The Girl Can't Help It (1956) Get It Here at Movies Unlimited

Jayne MansfieldJayne Mansfield

Mansfield's first starring role came in the 20th Century Fox release The Girl Can't Help It

The Burglar (1957)

Jayne Mansfield and Dan Duryea

From Columbia's excellent film noir entry The Burglar with Dan Duryea

The Wayward Bus (1957)

Jayne Mansfield and Dan DaileyJoan Collins and Jayne Mansfield

LEFT: With Dan Dailey in a scene from the Fox film The Wayward Bus. RIGHT: With co-star Joan Collins

Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? (1957) Get It Here at Movies Unlimited

Tony Randall, Jayne Mansfield, and Joan Blondell

With Tony Randall and Joan Blondell in the Fox comedy Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?

The Sheriff of Fractured Jaw (1958)

Kenneth More and Jayne Mansfield

With Kenneth More in the 20th Century-Fox western comedy The Sheriff of Fractured Jaw

The George Raft Story (1961) Get It Here at Movies Unlimited

Ray Danton and Jayne MansfieldJayne Mansfield, Ray Danton, and Frank Gorshin

From the Allied Artists release The George Raft Story. LEFT: With Ray Danton. RIGHT: With Ray Danton and Frank Gorshin

Follow the Sun (1961-1962 ABC TV Series)

Barry Coe and Jayne Mansfield

Mansfield guest-starred in a February 1962 episode of the ABC series Follow the Sun titled The Dumbest Blonde. Also pictured is series star Barry Coe

Panic Button (1964)

Mike Connors and Jayne Mansfield

With Mike Connors in the comedy Panic Button. Shot in Italy during the summer of 1962, this film was released two years later

The Fat Spy (1965)

Brian Donlevy and Jayne Mansfield

From the low-budget comedy The Fat Spy with Brian Donlevy

Single Room Furnished (1968) Get It Here at Movies Unlimited

Jayne Mansfield

Still from the drama Single Room Furnished, Mansfield's last film

later years

By the dawn of the 1960s, Mansfield was making many low-budget films, including The Loves of Hercules, Promises! Promises!, and Panic Button. After her 1964 divorce from Mickey Hargitay, Mansfield married director Matt Cimber, who took over as her manager during their brief marriage. The couple had a son, Anthony, born in October 1965, and Cimber directed Mansfield's last film, Single Room Furnished (filmed in 1966; released in 1968). Mansfield and Cimber parted company soon after production on the film wrapped. With the downward turn in her film career, Mansfield kept busy with her successful Vegas act, nightclub performances, and television guest shots.

Following an evening performance at Gus Stevens Supper Club in Biloxi, Mississippi, Mansfield had scheduled an early morning television interview in New Orleans. While enroute to the interview, in the early hours of June 29, 1967, Mansfield, her 20-year-old driver Ronnie Harrison, and her boyfriend, Sam Brody, were killed when the 1966 Buick Electra in which they were riding plowed into the back of a large truck. Three of her children were in the backseat but escaped with minor injuries. She was survived by her five children and her mother. Despite the downturn in her career in the 1960s, she left an estate to her children valued at $2 million, which was a considerable sum at the time of her death. Mansfield's daughter, Mariska Hargitay, is a well-known actress who has made dozens of TV and film appearances. Sadly, in November 2002 Mansfield's famed "Pink Palace" residence was leveled, along with two surrounding houses, in order to make way for a new mansion.

jayne mansfield films available from movies unlimited

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Hollywood Rivals [DVD] DVD
Did Bette Davis and Joan Crawford dislike each other? Any bad blood between Pacino and De Niro? This comprehensive five-disc collection spotlights Hollywood rivalries like you've never seen them before! Learn all about the clashes between Bogart and Cagney, Marilyn Monroe and Jayne Mansfield, and other celebrities whose similar audience appeal set them against each other in friendly--or unfriendly--competition. 16 2/3 hrs. total. Standard; Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital mono.
Film Noir Classic Collection, Vol. 4 [DVD] DVD
A WWII veteran finds his quiet civilian life thrown into turmoil when he's pursued by a fellow former soldier out for revenge after all their buddies were killed while being held in a Nazi prison camp, in "Act of Violence" (1948). Van Heflin, Robert Ryan, Janet Leigh star. "The Big Steal" (1949) follows Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer, Patric Knowles, and William Bendix on a suspenseful chase across the Southwest in pursuit of a six-figure sum in a stolen Army payroll shipment. When a female skeleton is discovered in Cape Cod, a Boston detective (Ricardo Montalban) must find the killer before the wrong man is sent to prison, in "Mystery Street" (1950). With Marshall Thompson, Sally Forrest. And, after sending an innocent man to the electric chair, a D.A. (Edward G. Robinson) resigns and enters private practice, only to find himself mixed up with the criminal underworld, in "Illegal" (1955). With Nina Foch, Hugh Marlowe. Five-disc set also includes "Decoy," "They Live by Night," "Side Street," "Where Danger Lives," "Tension," and "Crime Wave." 13 3/4 hrs. total. Standard; Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital mono; Subtitles: English (SDH), French; audio commentary; featurettes; theatrical trailers.
Kiss Them For Me [DVD](1957) DVD
Frothy wartime comedy stars Cary Grant as a fun-loving naval pilot who finagles a furlough in San Francisco for himself and two other flyboys. But as Grant tries to lead the men on a four-day party in the city by the bay, he finds he must deal with a persistent public relations officer (Werner Klemperer) and a pleasant distraction in the form of a local tycoon's beautiful daughter (Jayne Mansfield). Ray Walston, Suzy Parker, Leif Erickson also star. 102 min. Widescreen (Enhanced); Soundtracks: English Dolby Digital stereo, Spanish Dolby Digital stereo; Subtitles: English, Spanish; photo gallery; theatrical trailer.
Jayne Mansfield Collection [DVD] DVD
Sex, gangsters and rock 'n' roll blend in "The Girl Can't Help It" (1956), one of the '50s best comedies and the film that made Jayne Mansfield a star. Mob boss Edmond O'Brien coerces agent Tom Ewell into making his talentless girlfriend (Jayne) a singing star. With performances by Little Richard, Gene Vincent, and Fats Domino. Next, "Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?" (1957). Find out in a wildly funny spoof of Hollywood and Madison Avenue. Struggling New York ad man Tony Randall saves his company by convincing sexpot Mansfield to endorse a line of lipstick, only to become a celebrity himself when he's mistaken for her new beau. With Betsy Drake, Mickey Hargitay, and a cameo by Groucho Marx. Finally, a prim English gentleman (Kenneth More) befriends an unruly saloon girl (Mansfield) in the Old West and reluctantly becomes "The Sheriff of Fractured Jaw" (1958). Comedic western also stars Henry Hull, Bruce Cabot, William Campbell. 4 3/4 hrs. total on three discs. Widescreen (Enhanced); Soundtrack: English; newsreel footage; "Biography" episode.
Columbia Pictures Film Noir Classics III [DVD] DVD
First, in "My Name Is Julia Ross" (1945), Nina Foch is an unemployed secretary whose quest for work leads her to a wealthy widow. After getting hired to help the woman, she is thrust into a strange world of murder and mistaken identity. With Dame May Whitty, George Macready. Next, Broderick Crawford is a New Orleans police detective who goes undercover to stop "The Mob" (1951). Betty Buehler, Richard Kiley, Ernest Borgnine co-star. A cast-against-type Ginger Rogers shines as an uncooperative witness in a criminal case whose association with gangsters puts her in a "Tight Spot" (1955). With Edward G. Robinson, Brian Keith. Then, a shot-in-Philadelphia adaptation of David Goodis' "The Burglar" (1957) has jewel thief Dan Duryea planning one final heist with the help of accomplices Jayne Mansfield, Mickey Shaughnessy, and Peter Capell. Lastly, in "Drive A Crooked Road" (1964), Mickey Rooney is a race car enthusiast who is blackmailed into driving the getaway car during a bank robbery. Dianne Foster, Kevin McCarthy co-star. 7 hrs. total on five discs. Standard/Widescreen; Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital stereo.
It Takes A Thief [DVD](1960) DVD
A black-wigged Jayne Mansfield leads a gang of crooks in this intriguing crime drama about a failed heist that lands member Anthony Quayle, who hides the money before he's caught, in prison. Upon Quayle's release years later, his former "friends" kidnap his child to pressure him for the whereabouts of the cash. Carl Mohner co-stars. AKA: "The Challenge." 93 min. Soundtrack: English.
The George Raft Story [DVD](1961) DVD
He was born in Hell's Kitchen, turned down the Sam Spade role in "The Maltese Falcon," and knew real-life gangsters Bugsy Siegel and Meyer Lansky--but, who was the "real" George Raft? This biopic gives the actor's life story a gripping whirl, tracing Raft's (played by Ray Danton) career from his fame-making turn in 1932's "Scarface" to his romance with a beautiful actress (Jayne Mansfield), to his comeback in "Some Like It Hot." With Julie London, Frank Gorshin. 106 min. Widescreen (Enhanced); Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital mono.
Dog Eat Dog [DVD](1963) DVD
Jayne Mansfield, Cameron Mitchell and Werner Peters star in this Albert Zugsmith production, playing bank robbers who encounter murder and heated passion while on the lam in the Mediterranean following a robbery. 86 min. Widescreen; Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital mono; photo gallery; newsreel footage; theatrical trailer.
Promises! Promises! [DVD](1963) DVD
The luscious Jayne Mansfield dares and bares all in this outrageous sex comedy set on an ocean liner where a sea cruise becomes a bed-hopping mix-up for Jayne, real-life spouse Mickey Hargitay, Tommy Noonan and Marie McDonald. See Imogene Coca as herself! See Jayne in totally superfluous nude scenes! See why this film was (honest!) banned in Cleveland! Uncut, uncensored European version; 75 min. Widescreen (Enhanced); Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital mono; biographies; theatrical trailers; photo gallery.
Hillbilly Comedy Collection [DVD] DVD
Country bumpkin Ferlin Husky lands in Las Vegas, inherits a dilapidated casino and turns it into a moneymaker with help from Jayne Mansfield and Mamie Van Doren (what a pair!), in "Las Vegas Hillbillys." With Sonny James, Del Reeves, and Richard Kiel. Two-disc set also includes "Li'l Abner" (1940), "Private Snuffy Smith," and "Hillbillys in a Haunted House." 5 hrs. total.
Las Vegas Hillbillys [DVD](1966) DVD
Country bumpkin Ferlin Husky lands in Las Vegas, inherits a dilapidated casino and turns it into a moneymaker with help from Jayne Mansfield and Mamie Van Doren (what a pair!). With Sonny James, Del Reeves and Richard Kiel. Spawned the sequel "Hillbillys in a Haunted House." 85 min. Standard; Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital mono.
A Guide For The Married Man [DVD](1967) DVD
Gene Kelly directs this delicious farce that finds faithful husband Walter Matthau contemplating stepping out on wife Inger Stevens. To get lessons in infidelity, Matthau consults philandering pal Robert Morse, whose advice plays out in a series of hilarious vignettes, boasting appearances by Lucille Ball, Art Carney, Jayne Mansfield, Sid Caesar, Phil Silvers, Carl Reiner, and Jack Benny; features the hit title song performed by The Turtles. 91 min.
Big Screen Bombshells: 12 Movie Collection [DVD] DVD
Jayne Mansfield plays three roles in her final screen turn, the tenement drama "Single Room Furnished" (1968). With Billy M. Greene. Half-sisters "Cindy and Donna" (1970) bloom into tragic babes. With Sue Allen. "Chain Gang Women" (1971) escape from captivity. Barbara Mills stars. AKA: "The Chain." "The Stepmother" (1972) lusts after her stepson. Katherine Justice, Alejandro Rey star. Stewardess "Superchick" (1973) Joyce Jillson scores lovers in every city. Sexy "Policewomen" (1974) battle smugglers. Sondra Currie, Tony Young star. A would-be singer is hot for "The Sister-In-Law" (1974), with John Savage. Hostess/thief Stella Stevens plans a casino heist. "Las Vegas Lady" (1975) co-stars George DiCenzo, Lynne Moody. A dude decides to "Pick-Up" (1975) two hippie chicks. With Jill Senter, Alan Long. Four combat-trained hookers invade a Philippine brothel in "Hustler Squad" (1976), with Karen Ericson. Playmate Dorothy Stratten is "Galaxina" (1980), the cosmos' hottest robot. With Stephen Macht, Angelo Rossitto. And a "Housewife from Hell" (1993) haunts her killer. Lisa Comshaw, Gregg Bullock star. 17 hrs. total on three discs. Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital stereo.
The Wild, Wild World Of Jayne Mansfield (1968)/The Labyrinth Of Sex [DVD](1970) DVD
It's mondo mania! First, lots of bare-breasted beauties (including Jayne herself) populate this must-see look at the legendary sex goddess. Includes footage of Mansfield and hubby Mickey Hargitay on location in Europe, visiting nude beaches and strip joints and so much more! Then, a shocking film that looks at the roots of sexual deviance by focusing on a number of kinky people and how they got that way. 175 min. total. Widescreen; Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital mono; art gallery; bonus shorts; theatrical trailers; more.
Twisted Sex, Vol. 13 [DVD] DVD
Trailers for exploitation and softcore delights galore are offered in this softcore "pornucopia." "It Happened in Athens" with Jayne Mansfield, "Hot Pants Holiday," "Taboos of the World," "The Love Merchant," "That Tender Touch," "When Women Had Tails" and "Mondo Freudo" are among the delights. Soundtrack: English.

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filmography

FILM
The Wild, Wild World of Jayne Mansfield (1968) with Mickey Hargitay
Single Room Furnished (1968) with Bruno VeSota
Mondo Hollywood (1967) with Jay Sebring and Frank Zappa
Spree (1967) with Mickey Hargitay, Vic Damone, and Juliet Prowse
A Guide for the Married Man (1967) with Walter Matthau, Inger Stevens, and Sue Ane Langdon
Las Vegas Hillbillys (1966) with Mamie Van Doren and Ferlin Husky
The Fat Spy (1965) with Phyllis Diller, Brian Donlevy, and Jack E. Leonard
Primitive Love (1964) with Mickey Hargitay and Franco and Ciccio
Dog Eat Dog (1964) with Cameron Mitchell
Panic Button (1964) with Maurice Chevalier, Eleanor Parker, and Mike Connors
Homesick for St. Pauli (1963)
Promises, Promises! (1963) with Mickey Hargitay, Tommy Noonan, and Marie McDonald
It Happened in Athens (1962) with Bob Mathias and Roger Browne
The George Raft Story (1961) with Ray Danton, Julie London, and Barbara Nichols
Monte Carlo (1961) with John Ericson and Richard Anderson
The Loves of Hercules (1960) with Mickey Hargitay
It Takes a Thief (1960) with Anthony Quayle
Too Hot to Handle (1959) with Christopher Lee
The Sheriff of Fractured Jaw (1958) with Kenneth More, Henry Hull, William Campbell, Bruce Cabot, and Robert Morley
Kiss Them for Me (1957) with Cary Grant, Suzy Parker, Leif Erickson, Ray Walston, Larry Blyden, Werner Klemperer, and Jack Mullaney
The Wayward Bus (1957) with Joan Collins and Dan Dailey
Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? (1957) with Tony Randall, Mickey Hargitay, Betsy Drake, Joan Blondell, John Williams, and Henry Jones
The Burglar (1957) with Dan Duryea, Martha Vickers, and Mickey Shaughnessy
Female Jungle (1956) with John Carradine and Bruno VeSota
The Girl Can't Help It (1956) with Tom Ewell, Julie London, Little Richard, and Eddie Cochran
Hell on Frisco Bay (1955) with Alan Ladd, Edward G. Robinson, Joanne Dru, William Demarest, and Fay Wray
Illegal (1955) with Edward G. Robinson, Nina Foch, Hugh Marlowe, and Albert Dekker
Pete Kelly's Blues (1955) with Peggy Lee, Jack Webb, and Martin Milner

TELEVISION GUEST APPEARANCES
The Match Game, July 1964 (daytime; five appearances)
Burke's Law, episode Who Killed Molly?, originally aired March 27, 1964
The Red Skelton Show, episode Advice to the Loveworn, originally aired February 19, 1963
The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, episode Hangover, originally aired December 6, 1962
Follow the Sun, episode The Dumbest Blonde, originally aired February 4, 1962
The Red Skelton Show, episode Will Success Spoil Clem Kadiddlehopper?, originally aired September 26, 1961
Kraft Mystery Theater, episode The House of Rue Riviera, originally aired August 30, 1961
The Red Skelton Show, episode Clem's General Store, originally aired October 6, 1959
This Is Your Life, originally aired December 18, 1960
Shower of Stars, episode Star Time, originally aired January 10, 1957
The Jack Benny Program, episode Talent Show, originally aired December 30, 1956

jayne mansfield links

The Official Jayne Mansfield Web Site
This site is the last word on Jayne Mansfield and contains a lengthy biography, many photos, and more.

The Jayne Mansfield Online Fan Club
This is a great site with tons of rare and original photos of Jayne Mansfield. Also, there's a comprehensive listing of links.

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Watch Jayne Mansfield's 1966 comedy The Fat Spy
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