Jayne Mansfield – Headless Hottie

celeb: Jayne Mansfield
occupation: Film Actress and Marilyn Monroe Wannabe

  

then

  

  

  

  1960s

Jayne Mansfield started her career as a pretty brunette but her film career began only after she imitated Marilyn Monroe, dying her hair platinum and speaking in a breathy voice. Amazing what a little hair dye can do. In 1955, Jayne was signed by Warner Brothers as it’s answer to 20th Century Fox’s Marilyn Monroe. Marilyn made Fox millions and Warner hoped Jayne would do the same  (see my blog Marilyn Monroe )  In 1955, Jayne starred as Gladden in The Burglar. Jayne played one of her finest roles however the film was a flop.

She made one more movie with Warner in Illegal (must have been referring to her measurements…Sophia Loren seems to think so) but it was another flop and Warner dropped her on her curvy bottom. Ouch. In 1956, Jayne signed a six-year contract with 20th Century Fox who molded Jayne as a Marilyn Monroe second to threaten their star when she got out of line. The studio touted Jayne as “Marilyn Monroe King Sized”. Ouch. Not my idea of a compliment.
video: Jayne Mansfield in Cannes
video: Jayne Mansfield in Vegas 1958
video: Marilyn Monroe vs Jayne Mansfield

Fox soon realized that Jayne was no Marilyn. Jayne starred in The Wayward Bus in 1957. It was no coincidence that around this time Marilyn starred in Bus Stop. Whatever Marilyn did, Jayne mirrored it. Marilyn had the last laugh when Bus Stop made them millions and The Wayward Bus was only a mediocre success. So there. If possible Jayne was made into a bigger joke than Marilyn (you’ll see why when you watch her videos). The media wrote scathing comments such as, “we are amused when Miss Mansfield strains to pull in her stomach to fill out her bikini better.” By the late 1950s, Jayne received more negative publicity from exposing her breasts in staged “accidents” (we call them wardrobe malfunctions nowadays), a trick she copied from, who else, Marilyn.
video: Never Before Seen Jayne Mansfield
video: Jayne Mansfield in song and dance clip  **warning: painful**
video: Mae West Sues Jayne Mansfield: calls Marilyn Monroe an impersonator

Jayne’s next flop was Kiss Them for Me (1957). The movie was described as “vapid” and “ill-advised”. Ouch. It was the last attempt Fox made to promote its unsuccessful Marilyn wannabe. That’s when Jayne’s career took a serious nosedive. Sucks to be you Jayne. She was demoted to low-budget films until Fox tried to cast her in a comedy, Rally ‘Round the Flag, Boy!, but the part went to Joan Collins. Ouch again. In a vain attempt to revitalize her career Jayne appeared nude in a mainstream film. In 1963, Playboy displayed the pictures, which closely resembled the style and background of Marilyn’s photographs taken by Bert Stein in 1962. That same year Playboy published Marilyn’s nude photos posthumously and the edition sold far more copies than Jayne’s. Jayne would never escape the spectre of Marilyn Monroe.
video: Jayne Mansfield What’s My Line (probably “I wanna be Marilyn Monroe”)
video: Jayne Mansfield That Makes It!
video: CBC Archives: Jayne Mansfield on Tabloid 1957

By 1964 Jayne’s film was in the toilet. In her last film Single Room Furnished, Jayne gave up the Marilyn thing and appeared without make up and wore a black wig. The film wasn’t released until after her death in a car accident. Due to graphic photographs depicting the roof of the car pinned beneath a truck and clearly visible mangled blonde hair, the rumour circulated that Jayne was decapitated although this was later confirmed to be false. The hair was a wig Jayne wore at the time of death. The death certificate stated the immediate cause of Mansfield’s death was a “crushed skull with avulsion of cranium and brain.” Gory, yes, but not severed. Jayne, like Marilyn (of course) died in her 30s at the age of 34.
video: Jayne Mansfield: It Happened in Athens
video: Loni Anderson The Jayne Mansfield Story

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27 Responses to Jayne Mansfield – Headless Hottie

  1. James Wirth says:

    Wow a bit harsh. Jayne Mansfield was always in my opinion way more interesting than Marilyn Monroe. Monroe was looked at as a snake who used sex to get ahead, Jayne just had sex cause she had to have it. I recall comedians at the time referring to Monroe as the Hollywood Spermbank… But don’t let those crazy Monroe fans hear that… They try and discredit Monroe for the true user she was. Jayne was by far smarter than Monroe, and was everything Marilyn was only more. She was prettier, blonder had bigger breasts and other than her hair color it was all her. Unlike Monroe who had her nose done to get that stunning face. But most of all Jayne was fun. Marilyn was boring, painfully serious and demanded she be taken seriously for what little talent she had.

    Jayne’s career failing at Fox wasn’t her own doing she was used by them. Plus she could of done more films only she was pregnant constantly. Something the studios did then was frowned upon women who wanted families and married. When the studios preferred them childless and to be seen around town with local contract players. Jayne always defied them and had five kids and still manged to hold down a career. Keep in mind though her film career had taken a decline she was never starving. She got paid well for Vegas and nightclub gigs. She died very wealthy with 2 mil in the bank unlike Monroe who died near broke(only 50 grand ouch!) due to doctor bills and whoever else was leeching off from her.

    Jayne’s last film was Guild for the Married Man(1967), Single Room Furnished(1964 three years before her death) was never completed. Though since we are comparing. If you compare their looks you would see Jayne was in the same shape she was when she filmed The Girl Can’t Help It, where in Marilyn’s Misfits she was fat and grotesque.

    Other than their hair color each had nothing in common. Marilyn had that weak, vulnerable, fragile little girl lost kind of image(Which I still can’t figure out why that’s appealing.). Where as Jayne was a campy creation of her own doing it was tougher, and more of a put on(sort of like a female female impersonator). Jayne made a blueprint and made her career happen using her brains(167 IQ, and played violin at a concert level, Monroe couldn’t even play a ukulele), in essence it’s a feminist victory.

    • kathleen says:

      could not agree more

    • Anonymous says:

      Jayne Mansfield was a not-even-close second and she was indeed a copy of Monroe, who came first and was better-looking and had far more public fans. Marilyn didn’t die as a “fat and grotesque” woman as you call her (156 lbs at 5’5″….you call that grotesque?). She was 117 pounds when she died. As to whether Jayne had a stunning face, that’s all in the perspective. And you consider Jayne to be superior because her breasts were bigger? Oh, tsk tsk…you do set the feminist movement backwards.

    • me says:

      And as you can see Jayne is not remembered by much or as copied at all by any celeb so I wonder how it feels to know Marilyn was obviously the real deal and she was in fact 5’6 117 pounds at death Jayne constantly pulled her stomach in for most pictures her body wasn’t all that beautiful with her grotesque ,big,hanging breasts.Jayne had five children and hardly paid any attention to them her 16 year old daughter recieved a brutal beating from her husband and Jayne told him to do it yeah that’s a really good parent.Jayne was so smart but didn’t use those smarts for anything all she did was try to portray Marilyn copy coming off sleezy,cheesy and second place . Once Marilyn died the career of the blondes including Jayne’s was over in the end she was losing her looks from all that LSD and drinking she was doing if she was so smart and so much better and beautiful than Marilyn she could have revived her career with all those smarts and yet could not she was long forgotten ,devil worshipping and finally her life ended.Another thing get your facts straight about their money at the time of Marilyn’s death before her death she had resolved her next movie money dispute from Warner Bro she was to get 1 million for her next production and another 10 million for an Italian four part deal so she was not as broke as you say now being deceased her estate makes millions on top of millions Jayne’s estate does not generate anywhere near that amount deceased even alive her offers had dried up she made money weekly from nightclub or Vegas clubs and that was weekly pay that was drying up those 8000 were not lasting her and her 5 children with her drug problems and failing career.Clearly Marilyn is still the winner. being Jayne was forgotten once Marilyn died.

  2. Nick says:

    Mr Wirth,
    You start out saying “Wow, a bit harsh”, then dovetail into one of the nastiest diatribes I have ever read. I doubt anyone has to take any of this seriously, MM is the STAR and Jayne is the pathetic wannabe, period, end of story. Jayne was a living cartoon. Marilyn had more talent in her little finger than Jayne had in her whole headless body!
    You know I generally like Jayne, otherwise I wouldn’t have landed on this site, but with bitter fans like this, ugh, I just want to look at more MM sites.

  3. Namuna says:

    Both ladies are beautiful sexy blonde but Jayne got education. And it’s hard to tell that Jayne had 5 kids. So impressive. There was only one Marilyn and only one Jayne in whole word so obiously we can’t copy each other. Even we did we never going to be that person.

    • Anonymous says:

      Jayne was indeed a copy of Monroe, that was how her career got launched. Marilyn was uneducated because she was poor and didn’t have the opportunities Jayne had.

  4. busterg says:

    Nasty people. MM and Jayne both got used. No need to trash either one. “Comparisons are odious . . .” Both impressive.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I agree with James Wirth, only maybe with a lighter touch. Jayne LOVED LIFE, and was not seen as fragile or misunderstood (read: miserable). She’s not going to cry before you kiss her, she’s going to laugh and kiss you. She’s the opposite of a candle in the wind, she’s that steady flame that life is drawn towards. Although she has been seen as a MM wannabe, I think it’s a little over simplified. There are plenty of blonde-bombshells. Jayne capitalized on what was hers, which was zest, zeal and sex appeal. What mother of 5 (biological) children can you name that did as much?

    • Anonymous says:

      None, and her achievements were impressive. It’s the attempt at being a carbon copy of Monroe that I find pitiful. Marilyn had a zest for life. Many people have been interviewed who have stated “I remember that laughter.” No one reveres the image of Jayne Mansfield in the same way they do Marilyn Monroe. You can ask a 20-year-old who Marilyn Monroe was and they can tell you. You can ask a 20-year-old who Jayne Mansfield was and they would be stumped.

  6. Cindy says:

    People shouldn’t make nasty comparisons between them! They were both extremely beautiful and talented women, each in their own unique way. Just because you are a fan of one, more so than the other, doesn’t mean you have deride the other one! Yes James Wirth, I’m speaking to you!

  7. SABRINA_F says:

    Was surprised to notice that Jayne looked and spoke exactly like Marilyn in the film ‘Kiss Them For Me’. Shame that Jayne had to lose herself…but if she was content to earn a great income by mimicking Monroe then hats off to her.

  8. Anonymous says:

    As a fan of both women, I find this “one vs. one” commentary extremely sad. Being blonde, smart, sexy, and talented was nothing new by the the time either of these women became stars. I’m sure Lana Turner saw them both as upstarts and wannabes.
    Simply put, enjoy the impact the true stars made on our collective consciousness. These types of “stars” are a thing of the past.

    • Anonymous says:

      Lana Turner frightened and disgusted me since she allowed her many boyfriends to sexually abuse her daughter. Ultimately, she set up her daughter to murder her mafia boyfriend with a knife. The child was investigated in a trial but charges were dropped. I wonder what MM and JM would have thought of Lana’s sick use of her child.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Wow, two men trying to belittle two powerful women by pitting them against each other. So typical.

  10. SUSAN says:

    BOTH STUNNING, AND I RECENTLY WATCHED JAYNE IN A HITCHCOCK THRILLER,SHE WAS SO GOOD,AT THIS STRAIGHT PART,GIVE HER CREDIT WHEN DUE.BOTH LADIES WHERE STARS.XXXXSUSAN.

  11. heyYankee says:

    jayne Mansfield was not prettier than Monroe Nor did she have a better body, She was simply taller and bigger in every sense of the word, I can’t even believe the comments posted here, She was clearly Jealous of Monroe who was really the money maker at the time in the Studios, There hasnt been a woman as beautiful as Monroe in film nor will there be a logical comparison to Jayne Mansfield who was not pretty at all and needed imitatw Marilyn to make a buck,

  12. francis says:

    I wasn’t alive to know who any of these women were but later on loving old films, I just came across a photo of Jayne Mandsfield and thought she was beautiful! Far more so then Marilyn in every way. Also was wondering why people are always talking about Marilyn Monroe and not Jayne. Now I know:) Back then if I’m correct all the women were bigger, so Mandsfield was no different from any, just hot as fuck!

  13. me says:

    True Jayne could never compare or come close to what Marilyn Monroe did and was Jayne Mansfield was way to vulgar,cheap and tried way to hard with her sexuality she did not have the Monroe IT factor.Jayne was also a devil worshipper.Jane also made herself look bad when daughter Jane Marie came forward with a brutal beating she recieved by Jayn’s husband and was instructed by Jane to give it to her daughter.The whole point no one will ever be able to debate is that Marilyn Monroe is still remembered today more than any female star and the most copied by female celebs and women that just can’t stop being obsessed copying daily like Christina Aguilera,Lindsay Lohan,Gwen Steffani,Madonna,Paris Hilton there is such a long list that one can’t even argue who is the best sexiest, celeb of all time that every woman wants to be ,not Jayne Mansfield they want to be Marilyn Monroe .Marilyn was searching for love,she had an innocent way about her and her sexuality was there on screen as well as pictures.Marilyn Monroe was stunning even in person ,never heard anyone say that Mansfield was as stunning in person because people said she was attractive but never the statement said by many people who knew her but Marilyn’s fans said Marilyn Monroe was just stunning in person.No one cares about Jayne’s education because obviously she didn’t care about it she made money out of using her body and constantly being pornographic at everything she did more than Marilyn ever did and it backfired she was seen as sleezy.The point is the public has spoken Marilyn Monroe is clearly the winner over many and she will continue to rein supreme simply because her fans won’t let her die she is loved and copied by many and many other ones that copy behind her are just added to the list of posers. Jayne Mansfield fans shouldn’t get upset about that she clearly isn’t as remembered as Monroe she will probably always be remembered for being the poor man’s Marilyn Monroe and even her own daughter refused to follow her footsteps and degrade herself to that level she wanted to be viewed as smart and good actress not one following in her moms footsteps Maritzka Hargitay has quoted saying she is proud of her father Micky and would rather be like him she does not however like comparisons between her mother and herself and that speaks volumes.

  14. susan says:

    jayne mansfield was a stunning girl who who was clearly able to act.in her films will success spoil rock hunter,the girl carnt help it,kiss them for me,she showed her comedy talent,but jayne could do serious and good if given the right role.the burglar,the hangover and many more,but her last film where she played three roles showed her talent,watch single room furnished,it is good,people now are starting to want to know more about jayne,what a short life,tragic,five children and only thirty four years old when she was killed,. wife mother, daughter,bless susanxxxx

  15. CLee says:

    Look, Jayne Mansfield was a smart woman with a MENSA-level IQ, played concert-level violin, was a credible concert pianist, spoke 5 languages, and was working on learning even more languages at the time of her death, loved to talk politics, etc. etc. She was, in reality, smarter than 90% of the rest of us. Would she have lived a better life and been more respected and well known with all that as a woman in the 1950’s if she’d become the best darned manager of the secretarial pool, bank teller lead, or head phone operator at the insurance company? To what level of success could she have risen to if she’d took the “normal” path? As it was, she rose to CEO of “Jayne Mansfield”, on her terms, and was entirely her own creation, and could afford a fabulous lifestyle. Her “blond bimbo” act was just that, an act, because that’s what sold, and she made the big bucks doing it. The fact that the act was so believable is a testament to her ability, and willingness, to do what it took to “get the job done”. Even in her so-called “decline” she was able to pull off 5 to 10 grand a week, in 1960’s dollars, as a stand up act, all by herself. Not near what she made in the 1950’s, but certainly far above what the average professional woman was making then..not to mention now.. Not “chump change” today, it was a fortune in 1965. There are plenty of dumb people out there..but how many are able to make a damned good living at it? Jayne Mansfield was anything but dumb.

    The fact that we are even talking about her, over 40 years after her tragic death (through no fault of her own), is a testament to the fact that she was definitely a personality that created an impression. And when you are selling you, that’s exactly what you want.

    • apples says:

      Just goes to prove that someone with a high IQ can live a pathetic stupid destructive life — she stunk at everything she did this Jayne — those poor kids!

  16. Donna Martin says:

    I can think of two movies that would have worked better had Jayne had the opportunity to play the lead: “No Down Payment” and “Desire Under the Elms”. Joanne Woodward wasn’t really convincing in a tawdry part, and Sophia was really too distinguished to play the role of an alley cat that old man Burl Ives dragged in. Jayne would have been able to play those roles. In her rare dramatic parts, she was not self-conscious in her delivery. Marilyn had better instincts, she saw what earned respect and wanted that for herself, she died unable to get it. Jayne took a shorter view, was more realistic about what the reaction would be if she’d tried for self-improvement as Marilyn had. To me, Jayne’s was the greater tragedy. Yes, she had money in the bank when she died but her last husband got it all, a man who cared nothing about her. Jayne left children behind, and an ex-husband (Hargitay) to support them. Having lost my mother at an early age, I know the hole in a child’s life without a mother. At least Marilyn only seriously hurt herself. What gets me is why even in this day and age we punish women and won’t forgive them either for their sexuality or the sin of aging.

  17. apples says:

    saw Marilyn Monroes last film days ago – the misfits — she was so miles away superior in depth, beauty + style than that gross + vulgar Jayne!

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