Curious facts about the iconic Jayne Mansfield
What's in a name? -
Her birth name was Vera Jayne Palmer. She only became Jayne Mansfield when she married her first husband, John Mansfield, in May 1950.
Natural performer -
As a child she took voice, dance, piano, and violin lessons. She loved to perform and reportedly wanted to be a Hollywood star like Shirley Temple.
Working girl -
Before she made it as a Hollywood star she worked a number of odd jobs, including as a candy girl at a cinema.
Dark secret -
When she got married for the first time at just 17, she was already three months pregnant. Her daughter, Jayne Marie Mansfield, was born in November 1950.
Serial bride -
Jayne Mansfield was married three times and had a total of five children.
Smart blonde - She may have fit the "dumb blonde" bill perfectly in terms of image, but in reality she was extremely intelligent. She reportedly had an IQ of 163 and was fluent in five languages.
In fact, her blondness wasn’t even real: a natural brunette, Mansfield first dyed her hair platinum blonde when she moved to Los Angeles in 1951.
Wandering eye -
She garnered much attention for her extra-marital affairs and is said to have been romantically involved with men including Robert and John F. Kennedy
She also loved animals and was particularly fond of chihuahuas. The image of a blonde woman with a tiny dog in tow started with Jayne Mansfield rather than Paris Hilton.
Mansfield was one of the original Playboy Playmates along with Marilyn Monroe, Bettie Page, and Anita Ekberg. In February 1955, she was Playmate of the Month.
Movie work -
Her major movie performances were in ‘The Girl Can’t Help It’ (1956), ‘The Wayward Bus’ (1957), and ‘Too Hot to Handle’ (1960).
Cinema firsts -
In 1963, her role in ‘Promises! Promises!’ made her the first major Hollywood actress to appear fully naked in a film.
Business acumen -
She was also very entrepreneurial: at the peak of her fame she sold bottles of her used bath water for $10 a pop.
In 1965, she recorded two songs with Jimi Hendrix that were unfortunately never released.
A close call -
In November 1966, her son Zoltán was bitten on the neck by a lion while they were visiting a theme park in California.
A close call -
Thankfully he survived, but he suffered major head trauma and had to undergo three surgeries. The theme park was eventually closed down.
The actress died tragically in a car accident at just 34 years old. Her car crashed at high speed into a tractor-trailer that was barely visible due to insecticide fog.
The Buick she was traveling in when the accident happened was purchased by a fan years after the accident.