1. She Was A Known Spoiled Brat
Jayne Mansfield, originally named Vera Jane Palmer, was born on April 19, 1933, in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. She was the only child of Herbert and Vera Palmer, who were well-off and influential. In simpler terms, Jayne grew up as a spoiled kid, getting everything she wanted because her parents believed she could conquer the world. However, before she had the chance to achieve her dreams, something unimaginably tragic happened.
2. She Suffered A Huge Tragedy
Jayne Mansfield's life took a dramatic turn when she was only three years old. Her father, Herbert, suffered a fatal heart attack, leaving her and her mother, Vera, devastated. Soon after, her mother remarried, and they moved to Texas. However, this devastating loss of her biological father had a significant impact on her life. According to her poor romantic choices as an adult, it was clear that this tragedy had a profound effect on her.
3. She Was A Popular High School Girl
As Jayne Mansfield grew older, it was pretty obvious to anyone within a three-foot radius that she was extremely attractive. She developed early and was already embracing her famous curves. Consequently, she became one of the most popular girls in her high school, capturing the attention of both men and women. However, this attention wasn't always a positive thing for her.
4. She Was Into Older Men
On Christmas Eve in 1949, Jayne, who was 16, went to a high school party. There she met Paul Mansfield, a handsome guy a little older than her. They were both popular and good-looking, and they liked each other right away. They started dating quickly, but they were both pretty young and made silly mistakes.
5. She Was A Young Bride
When Jayne Mansfield moved, she moved fast. Less than a year after they met, she and Paul married, tying the knot in May, 1950 when she was just 17 years old. But at the altar, she was hiding a dark secret. The teenaged beauty was already three months pregnant on her wedding day. She gave birth to a daughter, little Jayne Marie, six months later. Not the best way to start a marriage, and Jayne found that out the hard way.
6. She Didnt Listen To Her Husband
After they got married, Paul thought Jayne would just want to stay home and be a mom. But Jayne had different plans. She had always dreamed of being famous. Jayne was really good at convincing people, so in 1954, she got Paul to move with her to Los Angeles so she could chase her dream. And wow, did she make a splash when she started!
7. She Was Way TOO Attractive
Jayne Mansfield had a very curvy body, and sometimes it caused problems. When she first started in Hollywood, she got to be in a TV ad for General Electric. In the ad, women were wearing swimsuits by a pool. But something embarrassing happened. The people making the ad said Jayne's chest was too big and they didn't want her in the commercial anymore. This was tough for her, and sadly, even harder times were coming.
8. Embarrassing Ways Studios Rejected Her
Jayne Mansfield was really pretty and had an eye-catching figure. This helped her meet a lot of people in the movie business. But even though she tried hard, most of her first meetings didn't go well. One producer said she had “obvious talent,” but big studios like Paramount and Warner Brothers didn't give her any movie roles. She left with nothing. Then, Jayne came up with a really clever plan.
9. She Dyed Her Hair Blonde
Today, people remember Jayne Mansfield as one of the most famous blonde actresses in Hollywood. But what many don't know is that she was actually born with brown hair. Yep, it's true. After her tough times trying to get movie roles, Jayne decided to change her look. She thought being blonde might be more fun, so she dyed her hair really blonde. And guess what? It worked, but things turned out a bit different than she might have thought.
10. Her Naughty Photoshoot
In February 1955, Mansfield got a scandalous claim to fame: She appeared as Playboy magazine’s playgirl of the month, launching thousands of teenage fantasies in the process. Suddenly, “Jayne Mansfield” was the name on everybody’s lips, and all those studio heads that rejected her thought twice. With an origin story like this, is it any wonder Mansfield’s life got so insane?
11. Her Rivalry
In 1956, Jayne Mansfield got a big role in a movie called "The Girl Can’t Help It." But there was a not-so-nice reason behind it. People in the movie world were looking for the next big actress to be as famous as Marilyn Monroe, and Jayne was just one of many blonde actresses they tried. Her studio, Twentieth-Century Fox, even called her “Marilyn Monroe king-sized” to promote her. But there were even more unpleasant things than that going on.
12. The Studio Used Her
Fox, the movie company, already had Marilyn Monroe working for them. They didn't just want Jayne Mansfield to be another famous actress; they wanted to use her to make Marilyn behave. They thought if they made Jayne famous, Marilyn would start listening to them more. That's not very nice, right? So, Jayne's job wasn't very secure. And to make things worse, her personal life was about to get really tough.
13. Her Husband Was Extremely Controlling
As Jayne became more and more famous, things with her husband Paul went downhill. Paul was often jealous and didn't want to share her with anyone. Once, Jayne secretly joined the Miss California beauty contest, but when Paul found out, he made her quit. He didn't like the idea of other people looking at her. And if you're wondering, things between them didn't get any better.
14. She Was Considered Serial Cheater
To be a bit fair to Paul, Jayne wasn't the easiest wife either, and she wasn't always loyal. With her stunning looks, Jayne liked getting attention from more than just one guy. This caused a lot of arguments between them. Also, Paul was upset that Jayne had dreams and goals—something called “ambition.” He preferred her to just stay at home. With all this going on, it's easy to guess that things might not turn out too well for them.
15. A Horrific Accusation Made By Her Ex
By 1956, Jayne's marriage was really falling apart, so she decided to get a divorce. That's when Paul did something mean. He tried to take their daughter, Jayne Marie, away from her. He even said Jayne wasn't a good mom, mostly because she was in Playboy. That's not very nice, Paul! But guess what? Paul didn't win that fight. Jayne got to keep her daughter. And it wasn't long before Jayne had a chance to turn things around on him.
16. She Fell For Mr. Universe
While Jayne was still getting divorced from Paul, she met a bodybuilder named Mickey Hargitay at a nightclub. But Mickey wasn't just any bodybuilder—he had won Mr. Universe the year before! He was also dancing in a show with a famous actress named Mae West when Jayne saw him at the club. Right from the start, when they looked at each other, there was a lot of excitement and drama.
17. Her Iconic Cat Fight
Jayne really fell for Hargitay when she first saw him, but there was a problem: Mae West, the famous actress, didn't like it. She got really jealous because Hargitay worked for her. This led to a big fight between the two blondes that same night. It got so bad that another guy from the chorus, known as Mr. California, ended up fighting Hargitay. Yep, that really happened. What a crazy way for Jayne and Mickey to start knowing each other! And believe it or not, that was just the start of their story.
18. Her Extravagant Wedding
Jayne was really enjoying being famous. So, when Hargitay asked her to marry him with a huge 10-carat ring in 1957, she planned a wedding that everyone would talk about. She married the bodybuilder just a few days after her divorce from Paul was official. And guess what? She wore the same fancy wedding dress that she had worn as a costume in her movie "The Girl Can’t Help It." That's so Jayne!
19. She Had Expensive Taste
In the late 1950s, Jayne Mansfield was causing trouble for herself. During that time, Mickey Hargitay was low on money, and Jayne made a big fuss in the news, saying she was a "poor little rich girl." She complained about not being able to buy new furniture and even said she had to sleep on the floor—although she was living in a mansion! The newspapers quickly criticized her for these out-of-touch comments. Jayne seemed sorry for a little while, but it didn't last long.
20. "Wardrobe Malfunction" Was Invented By Her
Honestly, Jayne Mansfield was becoming way too obsessed with being famous. She turned into one of the earliest stars in Hollywood to really chase after attention. She would even create chances on purpose just to get her photo taken by the media. Her favorite trick? Those moments when clothes don't do what they're supposed to, also known as "wardrobe malfunctions." But Jayne's malfunctions weren't small mistakes; oh no, they were way more shocking than that.
21. She Got "Caught" Undressed By The Paps
One of the most famous times Jayne Mansfield tried to get attention was in 1955. She went to a pool party wearing a tiny red swimsuit that was really too small for her. When she jumped into the pool, right in front of a bunch of photographers, her top came off as she hit the water. The cameras started flashing like crazy. But let's be real, Jayne knew exactly what she was doing…
22. Her Rivalry With Marilyn Monroe
In 1957, Jayne Mansfield acted in the movie "Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?". It's the movie she's most known for even today. In it, she played Rita Marlowe, a star who was very demanding. But here's a secret: in playing Rita, Jayne was pretty much copying her biggest rival, Marilyn Monroe. Sneaky, right? Jayne Mansfield was super famous then. Sadly, when you're at the top, sometimes the only way left is down.
23. She Struggled Hard To Be A Good Wife
Jayne Mansfield found her dream guy in Mickey Hargitay. They looked great together, and they even had three kids. But things weren't perfect. Jayne started acting like before, having lots of high-profile affairs. She didn't even try to hide them from Mickey. It was pretty messy.
24. Sex Scandal With The President
Jayne Mansfield knew lots of famous people. Rumor has it, she even had relationships with Robert Kennedy and his brother John F. Kennedy. They both seemed to like blondes a lot. But things got really bad when Jayne started seeing Nelson Sardelli, a singer from Las Vegas. This was too much for Mickey, her husband. Their divorce turned out even messier and sadder than her first one.
25. She Would Make Her Ex Jealous
In May 1963, Jayne Mansfield really wanted to end her marriage with Mickey Hargitay. She was in such a hurry that she took him to Juarez, Mexico for a quick divorce. But Jayne did something mean. She brought her new boyfriend, Sardelli, with her. It was like she wanted to hurt Mickey's feelings even more. But believe it or not, that wasn't the meanest thing she did.
26. The Awful Plot She Came Up With
Jayne Mansfield could be really sneaky when she wanted to. After breaking up with Hargitay, she wanted to take a lot of his money. Her plan was really mean. To get more money from him in their divorce, she falsely accused Hargitay of taking one of their kids, even though it wasn't true at all. All I can say is, wow, that's pretty shocking.
27. She Was Called "A Freak"
Around this time, Jayne Mansfield started acting really differently. She always liked getting attention, but now she took it too far. Before, she might let her dress slip a bit, but by 1962, she was taking off her whole dress in nightclubs. Because of this, the person who made her dresses stopped working with her, and even her own agent said, "She became a freak." And they didn't even know what was about to happen next.
28. She Bared It On Stage
In the late 1950s, Mansfield switched from making movies to performing in nightclubs, and she was amazingly good at it. Her nighttime shows made her a lot of money, and it's easy to see why. Her outfits for these shows were often really shiny and see-through, so people joked about her acts as "Jayne Mansfield and a few sequins." But, sometimes having too much of a fun thing isn’t always great…
29. Her Career Took An Strange Turn
In 1964, Mansfield got married to Matt Cimber, an Italian director. This marriage turned out to be really sad for her. Hollywood wasn't looking for actresses like her anymore, so Cimber made her act in movies that weren't very good. These movies weren't respected and made her look bad. And guess what? With these not-so-great movies came a whole lot of drama.
30. A Sinister "First"
In 1963, Cimber and some other guys in the movie business talked Mansfield into acting in a movie called "Promises! Promises!" This wasn't a good choice for her. The movie had a scene where she was completely without clothes, making her the first famous Hollywood actress to do that. Because of this scene, the movie was banned in many places around the world. She really shouldn't have listened to her husband on this one!
31. She Really Only Loved One Man
Mansfield's third marriage to Matt Cimber didn't last long, and the reasons are pretty sad. She wasn't faithful, which wasn't new, but she was also very unhappy. She started drinking a lot and even told Cimber that she was only truly happy with her ex, Nelson Sardelli. They ended their marriage in 1966. From the outside, it looked like Mansfield's life was getting more and more messy, and fast.
32. She Used To Hurt Her Own Daughter
After her split with Cimber, Mansfield started living with her lawyer, Sam Brody. Things went downhill quickly. She began drinking a lot and got into loud arguments. Most of her income came from not-so-nice dance shows. Her daughter, Jayne Marie, even said Brody hurt her and that her mom didn't stop him. You'd think, "How could things get worse?" *nervous laughter*
33. Her Son Got Attacked A Lion
On November 26, 1966, tragedy rammed right into Mansfield’s life. She and her children were visiting Jungleland USA in California when a lion savagely attacked her young son Zoltan, biting him in the neck. The attack was so severe that Zoltan underwent brain surgery and, rubbing salt in the wound, also contracted meningitis after the procedure. Thankfully, he eventually pulled through…but Mansfield would have precious little time left with her son.
34. Her Last Appearance On Film
In December 1966, while her son Zoltan was still getting better from the scary lion attack that everyone knew about, Mansfield filmed a short, steamy part in the movie "A Guide for the Married Man" with Walter Matthau. It was a funny, grown-up comedy. Sadly, this turned out to be the very last time she acted in a movie.
35. She Had An On-Set Battle
While filming "The Loves of Hercules," Mansfield found herself in a mean fight. Her co-star from Italy, Moira Orfei, thought she should have been the main star instead of Mansfield. Orfei was super mad and planned to get back at Mansfield. She wasn't just mean to Mansfield while they were working, but she also did something really sneaky. Orfei made sure Mansfield's name was taken off all the posters and ads for the movie in Italy.
36. She Made A Wild Catty Remark
Even though people thought Marilyn Monroe was Mansfield's big rival, Mansfield actually saw Mamie Van Doren as her main competition in Hollywood. When they had to work together in a not-so-fancy movie called "The Las Vegas Hillbillys," Mansfield was not happy at all. She didn't want to be in the same scenes as Van Doren. Mansfield made a mean comment, saying Van Doren was just "the drive-in's answer to Marilyn Monroe." She really wasn't friendly to her.
37. Her Signature Color
Mansfield really loved the color pink. She even colored her dog pink, had a pink car, and liked drinking pink champagne. But guess what? This was actually a smart plan to get noticed. She picked pink as her special color to stand out. She first thought about purple, but it was too similar to actress Kim Novak's favorite lavender color. Mansfield was proud of her choice. She once said, “It must have been the right decision. I got more column space from pink than Kim Novak ever did from lavender."
38. Her Legendary Feud That Was Caught On Film
There's this famous photo of Sophia Loren looking kind of annoyed at Jayne Mansfield, who's smiling big in a really low-cut dress. People always wondered why Loren looked that way. Well, Loren finally spilled the beans. The story's just like you'd guess. It was supposed to be Loren's big Hollywood welcome party, but Mansfield came in late, sat next to her, and tried to grab all the attention with her flashy dress. Loren explained her look, saying, "[In the photo] I’m so frightened that everything in her dress is going to blow—BOOM!—and spill all over the table."
39. Her Rival Really Respected Her
Even though Sophia Loren might have been upset with Jayne Mansfield for taking over her big party, she says they never really held a grudge against each other. After Mansfield passed away, lots of people kept showing Loren that famous picture and asked her to sign it. But out of respect for Mansfield, Loren always said no to signing it, every single time.
40. Her Trademark Look
When Jayne Mansfield was with Mickey Hargitay, they went on tours together and got famous for wearing cool, matching leopard print swimsuits. They even did a "Tarzan and Jane" act that everyone loved. The news people started calling Mansfield "the girl in the leopard-print bikini." She loved to be in the spotlight, so she wore that eye-catching swimsuit when she went shopping, to parties, and even when she walked down Hollywood Boulevard.
41. Her Strange Pet Animals
Jayne Mansfield always looked perfect, but she also loved animals a lot. She had so many pets it was like a little zoo at her place! Her most favorite pets were Chihuahuas and she always had a few of them. But that's not all! She also had a big Great Dane dog, three cats, a rabbit, and a poodle. She really liked being around all kinds of animals.
42. Her Talents Were Little-Known
Some people thought Jayne Mansfield was just a pretty face, but she was actually really smart! She had a high IQ and could speak five different languages. People even called her "the smartest dumb blonde." But Jayne was sometimes sad because people seemed more interested in her looks than her brain. She once said, "They're more interested in 40–21–35"—talking about her body measurements—than in how smart she was.
43. She Was One Satanist
Jayne Mansfield may have looked sweet, but she had some surprising interests. In 1966, she met Anton LaVey, who was the leader of the Church of Satan. This meeting caused a big stir in the news, and some people even said Mansfield was into Satanism. LaVey even called her the “High Priestess of San Francisco’s Church of Satan.” But hold on, the story gets even stranger...
44. She Even Slept With The Devil
Even though some folks thought Jayne Mansfield's interest in Anton LaVey and his church was just for attention, his daughter Karla had a more shocking story. Karla said that Mansfield was really into Satanism. And guess what? She even shared that Anton LaVey and Mansfield had a romantic relationship. Wow, our girl had some wild secrets.
45. The Devastating Crash
In the early hours of June 29, 1967, something really sad happened in Jayne Mansfield's life. She was traveling to New Orleans with her driver, her lawyer, and her kids Miklos, Zoltan, and little Mariska. At 2:25 in the morning, their car crashed into the back of a big truck that was hard to see because of a thick fog of bug spray. When the fog cleared, the truth was really heartbreaking.
46. Her Tragic End
When their car hit the big truck, all three grown-ups in the front seats passed away right away; sadly, Mansfield was only 34 years old then. The crash was so terrible that it took the police and helpers a really long time to figure out what really happened and how Mansfield's last moments were. Sadly, the truth is that it was really, really awful.
47. They All Thought She Was Decapitated
When people heard about Mansfield's awful accident, lots of wild stories started spreading. Many folks whispered that the crash was so bad it cut off her head. This rumor got even bigger because of a real photo from the crash that seemed to show her famous blonde hair stuck in the car's broken window. But, the real story was actually quite different.
48. The Autopsy Revealed A Heartbreaking Truth
When the official report about Mansfield's accident came out, it said she died because her skull was crushed, not because she lost her head. So, what was that blonde hair on the car window? It turns out it was actually part of her wig, which got thrown out during the crash. Even though this is the truth, some people still believe the made-up story that she was decapitated. It's like her ending wasn't sad enough already.
49. Her Kids Barely Survived
In the middle of all the sadness, there was a tiny bit of good news. All of Mansfield's kids somehow made it through the terrible car crash. But they still got hurt. Mariska Hargitay, who plays Olivia Benson on the TV show "Law and Order: SVU," still has a zig-zag scar on her head. Even so, she can't remember anything about her mom's last moments or the crash.
50. Traces Of Her Last Moments Still Exist
After she passed away, Mansfield's Buick turned into something people were really curious about. A big fan bought the car and kept it just like it was, right in his garage for a long time. People say the car even had bloodstains on the seats from that sad night. It's hard to think that Jayne, who loved the spotlight, would like this kind of attention. But it looks like some folks are interested in that stuff. In 1999, the car was sold at an auction for $8,000.
51. She Was Known For Her Chest Was
Mansfield and Marilyn Monroe, with their curvy figures, really changed what people liked in America. Before them, people usually liked slimmer ladies. Mansfield's curves were so famous that when she went on a talk show called The Tonight Show, the host Jack Parr introduced her in a funny way. He said, "Here they are, Jayne Mansfield." He was kind of joking about how famous her curves were!