Jayne Mansfield: The Urban Legend

Jayne Mansfield

Jayne Mansfield was born on the 19th of April 1933  and died on June 29, 1967. She was an American actress in theatre working both on Broadway and in Hollywood. One of the leading blonde sex symbols of the 1950s, known for her hourglass figure and plunging clothes that reveals cleavage and platinum blonde hair.

Although, Mansfield’s film career was short-lived, she had several box office successes. She won the Theatre World Award, a Golden Globe and a Golden Laurel. She remained a popular celebrity despite the demands for Blonde Bombshell decline in the sixties.

In her later career she continued to attract large crowds in foreign countries and in lucrative and successful nightclub tours. Mansfield had been a Playboy Playmate of the Month and appeared in the magazine several additional times. She died in an automobile accident at age 34.

Mansfield acted on stage and appeared in a prominent role in the Broadway production of George Axelrod’s comedy Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? Wherein The New York Times described the “commendable abandon” of her scantily clad rendition of Rita Marlowe in the play, “a platinum-pated movie siren” with the wavy contours of Marilyn Monroe. Mansfield tour 16 countries in Europe for the 20th Century Fox. She also appeared in stage productions of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and Bus Stop, which were well reviewed and co-starred Hargitay.

Mansfield was dissatisfied with her film roles when Hargitay and her were headlined at the Dunes in Las Vegas in an act called The House of Love, for which the actress earned $35,000 a week. It proved to be such a hit that she extended her stay, and 20th Century Fox Records subsequently recorded the show for an album called Jayne Mansfield Busts Up Las Vegas, in 1962. Because of her huge success she still commanded a salary of $8,000-$25,000 per week for her nightclub act. She traveled all over the world with it. In 1967, the year she died, Mansfield’s time was split between nightclub performances and the production of her last film, Single Room Furnished, a low-budget production directed by then-husband Matt Cimber.

Mansfield was married three times, divorced twice, and had five children. Reportedly she also had illicit affairs and sexual encounters with numerous individuals, including Claude Terrail (the owner of the Paris restaurant La Tour d’Argent), Robert F. Kennedy, John F Kennedy the Brazilian billionaire Jorge Guinle, and Anton LaVey. She had a brief affair with Jan Cremer, a young Dutch writer who dedicated his 1965 autobiographical novel, I, Jan Cremer, to her. Jan Cremer wrote a large part of his book I, Jan Cremer – III about their relationship. She also had a well-publicized relationship in 1963 with the singer Nelson Sardelli, whom she said she planned to marry once her divorce from Hargitay was finalized. At the time of her death, Mansfield was accompanied by Sam Brody, her married divorce lawyer and lover at the time.

The Urban legend died in automotive accident, The death certificate stated that the immediate cause of Mansfield’s death was a “crushed skull with avulsion of cranium and brain”. She is interred in Fairview Cemetery, southeast of Pen Argyl. Her gravestone reads “We Live to Love You More Each Day”. A memorial cenotaph, showing an incorrect birth year, was erected in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, Hollywood, California. The cenotaph was placed by The Jayne Mansfield Fan Club and has the incorrect birth year because Mansfield herself tended to provide incorrect information about her age.