June 29, 2017

50 years ago today: "[Jayne] Mansfield died in a sedan that slammed into the back of an 18-wheeler that was shrouded in 'fog' from a mosquito-spray truck."

"The impact drove the car's engine into the front seat, killing the actress, two adults and a Chihuahua (who rode up front) but sparing Mansfield's children. Mansfield's wig was thrown to the side of the road, where it was mistaken in news stories for her head."

From a 1997 interview with the undertaker, who said "Her head was attached as much as mine is... People always figured wrong about Jayne... About the way she lived and the way she died." (NYT link.)

27 comments:

ndspinelli said...

She had hardly any areola around her nipples.

Laslo Spatula said...

'Cause when I lay down to sleep, I have the same dream
Of a world-famous actress in a pink limousine
And she flies through the sky in that pink Cadillac
While the boys of the Press, we drink vodka in back
And she tells us our fortune by crumbling leaves
And she teaches us card tricks, the Jack makes us weak
She divines water by dancing a jig for the boys of the Press
She will wrestle a pig

Camper Van Beethoven - She Divines Water

I am Laslo.

Known Unknown said...

Here they are ... Jayne Mansfield.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

"[M]istaken in the news" is one of the better euphemisms I've heard.

Bill Crawford said...

For years I thought Phil Silvers (Sergeant Bilko) was also killed in that accident. Wikipedia tells me I have been very wrong.

John said...

Cool clip.

Oh, crap. that probably makes me a misogynist.

But we all knew that already.

Seriously what got me was not her bust but her waist. She makes wasps look positively obese. That can't be good for a person physiologically.

John Henry

dreams said...

I remember that so well, I had just got off work and went into a bar near where I lived and a guy was reading the afternoon paper about her getting killed and after he finished reading it, I read it too. I remember it as being very shocking and upsetting.

traditionalguy said...

I doubt Jane's headlights were at fault. Her's were high beams.

James K said...

Mariska Hargitay was one of the kids in the back seat.

tcrosse said...

Her memorial is the bar which bears her name, found under the stern of every semitrailer.

Snark said...

I always thought Mariska Hargitay was really quite stunning. She doesn't photograph exceptionally well, but watching her on screen I always found she drew and held my eyes. I just liked looking at her, this interesting legacy of lush Hollywood beauty and eastern European angularity.

Darcy said...

I read somewhere that she was really bright. That makes sense to me. Super smart blondes can play the dumb blonde way better than the actual dumb blondes, IMO.

surfed said...

In 1966 a Blue Angel pilot who lived down the street from us was getting married. He was over at our house having a drink with my dad who was also a naval aviator. He mentioned that his soon to be wife was demanding he get rid of his collection of Playboy magazines and did my father want them. "No" my LtCmdr Daddy said "but I bet my 14 year old son does." Damn right I did! The transfer was made to our alley way garage and surf club hangout. I was acclaimed by the members og the 44th st Surf Club for the score. Soon the walls of the detached garage were covered in hanging surfboards, surf film posters (Slippery When Wet, etc) and tacked up Playboy foldouts. By almost unanimous aclaim Jayne Mansfield was the "It" foldout girl holding the wall of honor right next to the Endless Summer poster. Hubba hubba. She still pops these 50 years down the time line. I can't remember what happened to her poster but I still have the Endless Sumner poster. Giant waves and humongus breasts - peaks I wanted to surf and peaks I wanted to mount. Sigh...the days of my youth long gone now.

Darrell said...

She was not decapitated.

FullMoon said...

Saw her on a rerun of a talk show from the fifties. Had about six kids? Seemed to be a decent person and a caring mother. Kinda surprised me.

Etienne said...

She was out there running just to be on the run.

I remember Highway 90 in the 70's, as it was the only way to get to New Orleans from Biloxi. They made a 4 lane highway out of a two-lane road.

James K said...

Seriously what got me was not her bust but her waist.

Reportedly 40-18-36.

Maybe she was a good mom, but she drank a lot and went through three husbands.

Static Ping said...

Ah, so that is where Fregie got the "the girl can't help it" sample for her song "Clumsy."

Yeah, one of the most beautiful women ever in a very cleverly done cinematic scene and I'm thinking about a disposable pop song. I have issues.

YoungHegelian said...

Mansfield was in the movie "Kiss Them for Me" with Cary Grant, & she steals every scene she's in, especially compared to the anemic performance by Suzy Parker, the female lead. It's worth seeing just to see JM at work.

khematite said...

Lucky Tom Ewell, who got to co-star in films both with Marilyn and with Jayne. And also with the non-iconic Sheree North, who was initially hired by 20th Century Fox as a replacement for Marilyn.

Yancey Ward said...

I somehow missed the detail over the years that three of her children were in the back seat.

Snark,

If you haven't seen it, you should look up the clip from 1992 where Hargitay plays an actress auditioning for the role of "Elaine" on Seinfeld.

virgil xenophon said...

Those were the days when the Dixie Mafia controlled Biloxi and much of the Gulf Coast. The drinking age was 18 in New Orleans in those days ((circa 62-66) and nobody in Biloxi gave a damn because the Mafia wanted everything fast and loose. We (my fraternity brothers and I and other friends of mine) used to drive over from N.O. for the weekend for typical "lost weekend" types of binge drinking and general inventive hell. All kinds of Hollywood types used to come "slumming" at Gulf Coast Mafia nightclubs because the pay was in cash and it kept them employed between pictures, Vegas Gigs, etc. Caught Janes act at a club in 64. Impressive--from what little I could remember through the "Whisky Front" that rolled in off the Gulf that night, lol.

pdug said...

look at all those men sexually harassing her with their eyes. #rapeculture

I was pondering recently if it's unwoke to say "that is an attractive woman" instead of saying "that is a woman I find attractive".

But if finding a woman attractive is all in the viewer, how would a woman know what to do to make herself "more attractive"?

MadisonMan said...

And also with the non-iconic Sheree North

Couldn't stand her as Lou Grant's girlfriend on Mary Tyler Moore.

Ken B said...

Hargitay is stunning, but she always has an unpleasant sneer. I find that completely off-putting.

urbane legend said...

If that's the only thing keeping the two of you apart, Ken ...

Bill said...

Do yourself and favor and watch "Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?" Wonderful little movie that makes fun of Madison Avenue and the art of the publicity "buildup". Jayne and Tony Randall are excellent together, and Joan Blondell plays her lines for all they're worth.