Jayne Mansfield Biography

(Best Known for Her Role as ‘Rita Marlowe’ in the Broadway Play 'Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?)

Birthday: April 19, 1933 (Aries)

Born In: Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, United States

Jayne Mansfield was a popular American actress who acted in films, theatre, and television. Apart from that, she was a nightclub entertainer and singer. Her first big break on stage was ‘Will success spoil Rock Hunter?’ which became a huge success. Later, she made several stage appearances and performed in nightclubs. W. Kellman, the producer of the film ‘The Burglar,’ was the first to offer her a dramatic role. She grabbed the opportunity with both hands and proved that she can perform a dramatic role as well. With her performance in the film ‘The Wayward Bus,’ she tried to break the ‘blonde bombshell’ stereotype and establish herself as an actress who could play serious roles. After the success of ‘The Girl Can’t Help It,’ ‘20th Century Fox’ bought her out of her contract with Broadway for a whopping $100,000 and started promoting her. Her first lead role on television was in ‘The Bachelor.’ ‘Kiss Them for Me’ was her last starring role in a mainstream Hollywood studio film. She returned to European films with her performance in ‘The George Raft Story.’ Her film ‘Promises! Promises!’ was banned in Cleveland for its obscene content, but it became a huge success in other places and her name was on the Top 10 list of box-office attractions for the year 1963.
Quick Facts

Also Known As: Vera Jayne Palmer

Died At Age: 34


Spouse/Ex-: Matt Cimber (m. 1964–1966), Mickey Hargitay (m. 1958–1964), Paul Mansfield (m. 1950–1958)

father: Herbert William Palmer

mother: Vera Jeffrey Palmer Peers

children: Jayne Marie Mansfield, Mariska Hargitay, Mickey Hargitay Jr., Tony Cimber, Zoltan Hargitay

Born Country: United States

Actresses Pennsylvania Actresses

Died on: June 29, 1967

place of death: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States

Cause of Death: Automobile Accident

U.S. State: Pennsylvania

Ancestry: German American, British American

Notable Alumni: UCLA Film School, University Of Dallas

More Facts

education: Southern Methodist University, University Of Dallas, UCLA Film School

Childhood & Early Life
Jayne Mansfield was born Vera Jayne Palmer on April 19, 1933, in Phillipsburg, New Jersey, USA, to Herbert William, who was of German and English origin, and Vera Jeffrey Palmer of British origin.
Her father was an attorney in Phillipsburg, New Jersey, where she spent her early childhood. She lost her father at the age of three. After her father’s death, her mother remarried and moved to Dallas, Texas.
In 1950, she completed her graduation from ‘Highland Park High School.’ She learnt to play violin, piano, and viola at school. Besides these, she also studied Spanish and German.
On May 6, 1950, she married Paul Mansfield at the age of 17. She spent a year at ‘Camp Gordon,’ Georgia (a US Army training facility) while Paul Mansfield served in the ‘United States Army Reserve’ during the ‘Korean War.’
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In 1950, she received an offer to play a role in ‘Prehistoric Women,’ a B-grade film. After that, she studied acting at ‘Southern Methodist University,’ Texas. In 1951, after shifting to Austin, Texas, she studied dramatics at the ‘University of Texas.’
Around 1951, she worked as a nude model for art classes, sold books, and worked as a receptionist to earn her living. At the same time, she also won several beauty contests.
In 1953, she returned to Dallas and became a student of Baruch Lumet, a Jewish actor. Under Lumet, she made her first stage appearance, acting in ‘Death of a Salesman’ in 1953.
In 1954, she moved to Los Angeles and studied Theatre Arts at UCLA. During this time, she participated in the ‘Miss California’ contest. The same year, she acted in a CBS series under ‘Lux Video Theatre.’ Later, she returned to Texas to complete her studies at the ‘Southern Methodist University.’
She modeled for the February 1955 issue of ‘Playboy.’ Subsequently, she caught the attention of the media and Hollywood.
Her first major performance was for the Broadway play ‘Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?’ In 1956, she acted in the film ‘The Girl Can’t Help It.’ When the film achieved success, ‘20th Century Fox’ bought her out of her Broadway contract.
In 1957, she acted in the film ‘The Burglar’ whose producer was Louis W. Kellman. In this film, she proved her acting prowess by playing a dramatic role. She also acted in ‘Oh! For a man in UK.’
‘The Sheriff of Fractured Jaw’ under ‘20th Century Fox’ was her last mainstream successful film. In 1959, she acted in ‘The Challenge’ and ‘Too Hot to Handle.’ After 1959, she could not land any meaty roles in films.
Due to her inability to fulfil her contract with ‘Fox,’ she was loaned out to several English and Italian studios for a number of low-budget films. In 1962, she played a role in ‘It Happened in Athens’ which was a box office failure.
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Major Works
In 1957, she acted in ‘The Wayward Bus,’ an adaptation of John Steinbeck’s novel. Her performance in this film established her as an actress who could play serious roles. Produced by ‘20th Century Fox,’ this film won a ‘Golden Globe’ award.
Awards & Achievements
Her first noteworthy role on stage was in ‘Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?’ For her role in the stage comedy, she won a ‘Theatre World Award’ for ‘Promising Personality.’
In 1957, she received a ‘Golden Globe’ award under the ‘New Star of the Year—Actress’ category for her performance in the film ‘The Wayward Bus.’
Personal Life & Legacy
She had illicit relationship with several men. She married three times. In 1950, she got married to Paul James Mansfield with whom she had a daughter named Jayne Marie Mansfield. They divorced in 1958.
In 1958, she married former Mr. Universe Mickey Hargitay. Through this marriage, she had three children, namely Miklos, Zoltan, and Mariska. In 1963, she divorced Mickey.
In 1964, she tied the nuptial knot with Matt Cimber, a film director of Italian origin. They had a son. Due to her infidelities and alcoholism, they filed for divorce in 1966.
In the year 1966, she started living with her attorney Sam Brody. She died in a car accident on June 29, 1967. Her funeral took place on July 3 in Pen Argyl, Pennsylvania.
Her nightclub career acted as source of inspiration for a number of films, documentaries, and a musical album. Thanks to her contribution as a singer, she became an inspiration for punk-rock musicians.
‘20th Century Fox’ signed a six-year contract with this talented actress. By signing the contract, she replaced Marilyn Monroe. After signing the contract, ‘Fox’ promoted her as ‘Marilyn Monroe king-sized.’

Jayne Mansfield Movies

1. Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? (1957)

  (Romance, Comedy)

2. The Girl Can't Help It (1956)

  (Comedy, Music)

3. Illegal (1955)

  (Film-Noir, Thriller, Crime, Drama)

4. A Guide for the Married Man (1967)

  (Comedy, Romance)

5. The Wayward Bus (1957)


6. The Burglar (1957)

  (Drama, Film-Noir, Thriller)

7. Hell on Frisco Bay (1955)

  (Film-Noir, Drama, Crime, Thriller)

8. Pete Kelly's Blues (1955)

  (Music, Crime, Drama)

9. Too Hot to Handle (1960)

  (Drama, Crime)

10. Heimweh nach St. Pauli (1963)

  (Musical, Drama)


Golden Globe Awards
1957 Most Promising Newcomer - Female The Girl Can't Help It (1956)

See the events in life of Jayne Mansfield in Chronological Order

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