I have been meaning to post about the alluring and simply gorgeous Jayne Mansfield as my pinup of the month for April and ironically her birthday is tomorrow as well!!! So Happy Birthday Miss Mansfield!!!!!!!
Jayne Mansfield was born Vera Jayne Palmer on April 19th, 1933 and was the only child to parents who were of German and English descent respectively. She grew up mostly in Pennsylvania and New Jersey but it was in Texas where she began studying acting with Sidney Lumet's son Baruch Lumet. By 1950, she married Paul Mansfield and she had her first child, Jayne Marie Mansfield.
Jayne with her first husband Paul Mansfield.
She was a mild mannered devoted housewife and
mother who later would become a pinup icon!
She not only attended the University of Texas at Austin and UCLA as well. There at UCLA she entered beauty contests but found her ample breasts often helped her lose modeling and acting jobs. In 1954, she auditioned for a part in "The Seven Year Itch" starring Marilyn Monroe. How ironic because the years following her looks were often compared to that of Miss Monroe's.
Alluring and utterly tasteful-prime
example of pinup work done well!!
Can you imagine a women in the 1950's who is already married and a mother to one child going against the grain of society and working towards a career outside of the home! Shocking isn't it? My Miss Mansfield sure was a gusty lady!
In 1954, she decided to pose nude for Playboy which did indeed help launch her acting career (something many modern actress after her time would do to boost or begin their careers as well!!). Before all of this she did some acting in theatre but it was the Hollywood big screens that she was yearning to be on and hat goal was achieved in her first film in 1955 called Female Jungle
She eventually would come to be in over thirty films such as; Hell on Frisco Bay (1955), Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? (1957), Too Hot to Handle (1960), and Promises! Promises! (1963). It was in this film "Promises! Promises! that Jayne became the first American actress to ever be nude on the big screen. Think about that one for a moment....
Just beautiful! Don't you think?
By 1958, she divorced Paul Mansfield and in 1958 married Mickey Hargitay (Mr. Universe-bodybuilder) just days after the divorce was finalized. They would have three children together; Miklos in 1958, Zolton in 1960, and Mariska in 1964. Technically they were already divorced when Mariska was born but they played it out as if they were reconciling due to the damage a pregnancy of a unwed mother would do to her career. Ironically there is gossip that she was pregnant before she married Paul Mansfield and later after her death her eldest daughter went to live with a Mr. William Pigue who was Paul's uncle because he was stated as being the natural father.
Jayne Mansfield's life was not without drama or scandal or potential scandal. Today, many of these things are not too shocking but that is because our morals and values have been altered dramatically in our modern world but that's a whole other blog post hehehe
Jayne was famous for her publicity stunts especially exposing
her ample breasts (as seen here with Sophia Loren) in public places in
order to get a scandalous photo in the newspaper.
Goodness she knew how to work the media!
Throughout the 1960's she worked steadily but in low budget films due to her decline in popularity. I find B movies to be interesting and fun to watch--I don't believe ever film should be a contender for an Oscar. LOL In 1964, she married Matt Climber and had her fifth (omg! amazing!) child named Antonio in 1965. Unfortunately, in 1967 Miss Mansfield lost her life in a horrific car accident with her lawyer/lover Sam Brody and the driver as well. Three of her children were in the car as well but they were unharmed. She was only 34 years old!!!!
Jayne Mansfield was truly ahead of her time. The things she did with her life most women didn't dare to dream after marriage and children. But she went after it anyway. I have mixed feelings about Miss Mansfield-in some ways I admire her and in other ways I am utterly confused by her. I mean who would love to learn her exercise regime after looking incredibly gorgeous and sexy after giving birth to FIVE children and breast feeding all of them as well! I truly admire that she celebrated her physical beauty all the while being a mother. She showed the world that mothers can still be desirable. I suppose I don't admire how chaotic she made her life to be and although the public wanted to see more of her body she used her physical attributes in a way that eventually diminished her image.
I love this photo of Miss Mansfield!
She was a pinup that modern women can admire and look to for inspiration because what she did was not mainstream or popular at the time. She is an example of what can be done when society says you cannot. And she was more than just a beautiful curvy women but she was intelligent, savvy, and inventive.
So, Happy Birthday to you, Miss Janye Mansfield! You left behind a heck of a legacy and you will not be forgotten!