Everybody knows Jayne Mansfield (1933-1967)! Is that so sure ?
Vera Jayne Palmer visited Hollywood for the first time when she was thirteen. After a tour of Twentieth Century Fox Studios, she and her mother went to the Brown Derby for lunch. Jayne spotted The Great Gildersleeve radio stars Dennis Day and Harold Peary, and asked for their autographs. "You know Mama," she said when she returned, "one day some other young girl is going to make her way across this room and ask for my autograph."
At a party on Christmas Eve, 1949, Jayne met Paul Mansfield. They fell in love, and were married on January. Their daughter Jayne Marie Mansfield was born on November 1950. Well aware of his wife's Hollywood ambitions, Paul thought becoming a mother would distract her. He was wrong. Though she was thrilled with the birth of her daughter, Jayne had not faltered in her dream to become a star. The war in North Korea started, and Paul had to leave for Army reserve duty. Before leaving, he relented and promised her that when it was over, the family would move to Hollywood. Two years later, the Mansfield family started out for California. Paul would stay only four months. They divorced and he went back to Dallas. Nonetheless, Jayne kept the name Mansfield because she thought it sounded illustrious.
Jayne was on her way to becoming a celebrity when she attended a Mae West performance at the Latin Quarter. After the show, Jayne was also on her way to falling in love-with 1956 Mr. Universe Mickey Hargitay, who was working as one of Mae's musclemen in the show.
Jayne's career continued to prosper. In 1956, she starred in "The Girl Can't Help It," a successful film that satisfied the public's demand for anything rock and roll related. The musical talent of Little Richard, Gene Vincent and the Blue Caps, Fats Domino, The Platters and Julie London accompanied Jayne and her co-stars, Tom Ewell and Edmond O'Brien. When she earned the lead in "The Wayward Bus," based on John Steinbeck's best-selling novel, Jayne captured the persona of her character and the critics took notice. Next, Jayne took her Broadway role as Rita Marlowe to the big screen in the film version of "Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?" Once again, "Rock Hunter" was a success, and so was Jayne. Fox then placed her in "Kiss Them For Me" alongside Cary Grant, whom she found to be "one of the most marvelous men I've ever met." During this time she purchased a Mediterranean style mansion on Sunset Boulevard. In keeping with her distinct decorative taste, the mansion would soon become known as "The Pink Palace."

Before she left to film "The Sheriff of Fractured Jaw" in England, Jayne and her family spent four weeks in Las Vegas. She had been asked to appear in nightly performance at the Tropicana, where she sang, danced and joked with the audience. Jayne loved being able to personally interact with her fans, and the Tropicana loved the crowd she drew. Her performance brought in a packed house every night. It was the beginning of a long-standing, highly successful nightclub career for Jayne. Several years later she returned to Las Vegas, this time at the Dunes Hotel. Though she began touring with her act, Jayne's stage performances were not limited to nightclubs. She renewed her involvement in the theater, most notably in an acclaimed production of "Bus Stop." "As the chanteuse being abducted by the lonesome cowboy, Miss Mansfield can hardly help stealing scenes," said a critic. "But oft times the scenes are earned rather than stolen, it turns out the lady is endowed with a comedic talent." She also dabbled in television, with cameo appearances on "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour," "Jack Benny Program," "Burke's Law" and "The Steve Allen Show." Ultimately, Jayne juggled a career that encompassed almost every media facet. Unfortunately, as so often happens in Hollywood, Jayne and Mickey's relationship had become strained. They decided to divorce in August 1964, but always remained good friends.
In 1967, Jayne's life was still moving at full speed. "I will never be satisfied," she said in an interview. "Life is one constant search for betterment for me." Her time was split between a Southern nightclub tour and the production of "Single Room, Furnished," a drama that would become her last film. "Furnished" was directed by Matt Cimber, who Jayne met on the set of "Bus Stop" and later married. On June 29, Jayne was riding in front with Ronnie Harrison and lawyer Sam Brody on the way from a Mississippi nightclub engagement. Her children, Mickey Jr., Zoltan and Mariska sat in the back. As they rounded a curve on a dark stretch of road, the car slammed into a slowed semi. Though the children survived with minor injuries, everyone sitting in the front was killed instantly. The world was stunned. Jayne's personality was so vibrant, her career so vivacious, that it was impossible to believe she was gone. At 34, she had already earned a special place in the hearts of millions.

Listen to Jayne answering the phone in that song... she was sure a funny girl !!!

That makes it ! (1 track)

1 comment:

mook said...

WOW! I had no idea she sang. Everyone knows here more or less for her movies and/or the tragic way she died.