Vera Jayne Hargitay (Palmer) (1933 - 1967) MP

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Nicknames: "Vera Jayne Palmer", "Jayne Mansfield"
Birthdate:
Birthplace: Bryn Mawr, PA, USA
Death: Died in Louisiana, USA
Cause of death: automobile accident
Managed by: Mandy Tan
Last Updated:
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About Vera Jayne Hargitay (Palmer)

She was an American actress working both on Broadway and in Hollywood. One of the leading blonde sex symbols of the 1950s, Mansfield starred in several popular Hollywood films that emphasized her platinum-blonde hair, hourglass figure and cleavage-revealing costumes.

While 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. As the demand for blonde bombshells declined in the 1960s, Mansfield was relegated to low-budget film melodramas and comedies, but remained a popular celebrity.

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, of German and English ancestry, was the only child of Herbert William and Vera (née Jeffrey) Palmer. Her birthname was Vera Jayne Palmer. A natural brunette, she was born in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, but spent her early childhood in Phillipsburg, New Jersey. When she was three years old, her father, a lawyer who was in practice with future New Jersey governor Robert B. Meyner, died of a heart attack while driving a car with his wife and daughter. After his death, her mother worked as a school teacher. In 1939, when Vera Palmer remarried, the family moved to Dallas, Texas. Mansfield's desire to become an actress developed at an early age. In 1950, Vera Jayne Palmer married Paul Mansfield, thus becoming Jayne Mansfield, and the couple moved to Austin, Texas. She studied dramatics at the University of Dallas and the University of Texas at Austin. While attending the University of Texas, she won several beauty contests, with titles that included "Miss Photoflash," "Miss Magnesium Lamp" and "Miss Fire Prevention Week." The only title she ever turned down was "Miss Roquefort Cheese," because she believed that it "just didn't sound right." In 1954, they moved to Los Angeles and she studied dramatics at UCLA.

Mansfield's acting aspirations were temporarily put on hold with the birth of her first child, Jayne Marie Mansfield, on November 8, 1950, when Mansfield was 17. She juggled motherhood and classes at the University of Texas at Austin, then spent a year at Camp Gordon, Georgia, during her husband's service in the United States Army. She attended UCLA during the summer of 1953 then went back to Texas for fall quarter at Southern Methodist University. In Dallas she became a student of actor Baruch Lumet, father of director Sidney Lumet and founder of the Dallas Institute of the Performing Arts. On October 22, 1953, she first appeared on stage in a production of Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman. Frequent references have been made to Mansfield's very high IQ, which she advertised as 163. She spoke five languages, and was a classically trained pianist and violinist. Mansfield admitted her public didn't care about her brains. "They're more interested in 40-21-35," she said.

Personal life:

Mansfield was married three times, divorced twice, and had five children. Reportedly she also had 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 secretly married Paul Mansfield on January 28, 1950. The couple had a public wedding on May 10, 1950 and were divorced on January 8, 1958. During this marriage they had one child, Jayne Marie Mansfield. Two weeks before her mother's death, Jayne Marie, then 16, accused her mother's boyfriend, Sam Brody, of beating her. The girl's statement to officers of the West Los Angeles police department the following morning implicated her mother in encouraging the abuse, and days later, a juvenile-court judge awarded temporary custody of Jayne Marie to a great-uncle, W.W. Pigue.

Mansfield married Miklós Hargitay, an actor and bodybuilder, (publicly known as Mickey Hargitay, who won the Mr. Universe title in 1955) on January 13, 1958 at The Wayfarers Chapel in Rancho Palos Verdes, California. The unique glass chapel made public and press viewing of the wedding much easier. Jayne herself wore a transparent wedding gown, adding to the occasion's publicity aspect. The couple divorced in Juarez, Mexico in May 1963. The Mexican divorce was initially declared invalid in California, and the two reconciled in October 1963. After the birth of their third child, Mansfield sued for the Juarez divorce to be declared legal and won. The divorce was recognized in the United States on August 26, 1964. She had previously filed for divorce on May 4, 1962, but told reporters, "I'm sure we will make it up." Their acrimonious divorce had the actress accusing Hargitay of kidnapping one of her children to force a more favorable financial settlement. During this marriage she had three children — Miklós Jeffrey Palmer Hargitay (born December 21, 1958), Zoltán Anthony Hargitay (born August 1, 1960), and Mariska Magdolina Hargitay (born January 23, 1964), an actress best known for her role as Olivia Benson in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.

In November 1957 (shortly before her marriage to Hargitay), Mansfield bought a 40-room Mediterranean-style mansion formerly owned by Rudy Vallee at 10100 Sunset Boulevard in Beverly Hills. Mansfield had the house painted pink, with cupids surrounded by pink fluorescent lights, pink furs in the bathrooms, a pink heart-shaped bathtub, and a fountain spurting pink champagne, and then dubbed it the Pink Palace. Hargitay, a plumber and carpenter before getting into bodybuilding, built a pink heart-shaped swimming pool. Mansfield decorated the Pink Palace by writing to furniture and building suppliers requesting free samples. She received over $150,000 worth of free merchandise while paying only $76,000 for the mansion itself (a large sum nonetheless when the average house cost under $7,500 at the time ).

Mansfield married Matt Cimber (alias Matteo Ottaviano, né Thomas Vitale Ottaviano) an Italian-born film director on September 24, 1964. The couple separated on July 11, 1965, and filed for divorce on July 20, 1966.Cimber was a director with whom the actress had become involved when he directed her in a widely praised stage production of Bus Stop in Yonkers, New York, which costarred Hargitay. Cimber took over managing her career during their marriage. With him she had one son, Antonio Raphael Ottaviano (alias Tony Cimber, born October 17, 1965).

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. Work on her last film, Single Room Furnished, was suspended as her marriage to director Matt Cimber began to collapse in the wake of Mansfield's alcohol abuse, open infidelities, and her claim to Cimber that she had only ever been happy with her former lover, Nelson Sardelli.

At the time of her death, Mansfield was accompanied by Sam Brody, her married divorce lawyer and lover at the time.

Recognition:

   * In February 1955, Mansfield was the Playmate of the Month in Playboy, in which she subsequently appeared over 30 times.
   * Although Mansfield was reluctant to appear in the play, she received the Theatre World Award of 1956 for her performance in the Broadway production of George Axelrod's comedy Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?.
   * Mansfield won a Golden Globe in 1957 for New Star Of The Year - Actress
   * Mansfield won a Golden Laurel in 1959 for Top Female Musical Performance for her role in The Sheriff of Fractured Jaw, a western spoof directed by Raoul Walsh, although the songs were performed by Connie Francis.
   * In 1963, Mansfield was voted one of the Top 10 Box Office Attractions by an organization of American theater owners for her performance in Promises! Promises!, a film banned in areas around the US.
   * Mansfield has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6328 Hollywood Boulevard.

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jayne_Mansfield

http://en.wikipedia.orgJayne Mansfield in popular culture: /wiki/Jayne_Mansfield_in_popular_culture

List of people in Playboy 1953–1959: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_people_in_Playboy_1953%E2%80%931959

List of people in Playboy 1960–1969: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_people_in_Playboy_1960%E2%80%931969

Playboy.com: http://www.playboy.com/girls/playmates/directory/195502.html

IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0543790/

IBDB: http://www.ibdb.com/person.php?id=51309

Find a Grave: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=665

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Jayne Mansfield's Timeline

1933
April 19, 1933
Bryn Mawr, PA, USA
1950
1950
Age 16
1958
January 13, 1958
Age 24
1958
Age 24
1964
January 23, 1964
Age 30
Los Angeles, CA, USA
1964
Age 30
1964
Age 30