Jayne Mansfield’s real name was Vera Jayne Palmer, and she was born on April 19, 1933, in Pennsylvania. Her parents were Herbert, a lawyer, and Vera. They lived in New Jersey, but when Jayne was very young, her dad died. After that, her mom married a man named Harry, and they moved to Texas. When she was 12, Jayne learned ballroom dancing. She went to Highland Park High School and finished in 1950.
As a young girl, she also learned how to play piano, violin, and viola, and she studied two languages: German and Spanish. After school, Jayne learned acting at two universities in Texas. She went back to Dallas and trained with an actor named Baruch Lumet, who helped her try out for movies in 1954.
In the 1950s and early 1960s, Jayne Mansfield was a well-known Hollywood actor and a s*x symbol. Her life was full of fame, controversy, and, in the end, tragedy. When she died too soon in 1967, it led to a lot of talk and stories. Here’s a better look at what happened before and after Jayne Mansfield died.
What was Jayne Mansfield’s Cause of Death?
When Jayne Mansfield died, it started a story that has stuck around for a long time. Many people said that she lost her head in the crash. This story probably came from police pictures that showed Mansfield’s wig lying next to the wreckage. Even though the crash was wrong and the top of the car was ripped off, Mansfield did not lose his head. The official cause of death was described as a “crushed skull.”
Read a Facebook post that revealed the cause of Jayne Mansfield’s death:
Who was Jayne Mansfield?
Jayne Mansfield was an American actress, singer, and Playboy Playmate. She was born Vera Jayne Palmer on April 19, 1933, and died on June 29, 1967. During the 1950s and early 1960s, when Mansfield was under contract with 20th Century Fox, she was known as a s*x icon. Her personal life and press stunts were well-known. Her time in movies was short, but she did well at the box office and won both the Theatre World Award and the Golden Globe Award.
In the Broadway play Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? which ran from 1955 to 1956, Mansfield played the fictional actor Rita Marlowe. In the 1957 movie version of the same name, she played Rita Marlowe again. Her other movie roles were in the musical comedy The Girl Can’t Help It (1956), the drama The Wayward Bus (1957), the neo-noir Too Hot to Handle (1960), and the s*x comedy Promises! Promises! (1963).
Promises! Promises! made Mansfield the first prominent American actress to act in a naked scene in a movie made after the silent era. Mansfield took her last name from her first husband, Paul Mansfield, who worked in public relations. She got divorced from each of her three husbands, and she had five children. She was said to have had close relationships with many men, including Robert and John F. Kennedy, her lawyer Samuel S. Brody, and Las Vegas performer Nelson Sardelli. She was 34 years old when she died in a car accident in New Orleans on June 29, 1967.
You can read Mariska Hargitay’s message about her mom’s death in the tweet below:
“Losing my mom at such a young age is a scar on my soul,” Mariska Hargitay said of Jayne Mansfield’s tragic death. 💔 pic.twitter.com/Mpc5SAQxY2
— Oprah Daily (@OprahDaily) September 3, 2018
Jayne Mansfield Fatal Accident
On June 29, 1967, Jayne Mansfield, her boyfriend Sam Brody, her driver Ronnie Harrison, and three of her five children were driving from Biloxi, Mississippi, where Mansfield had played at a nightclub, to New Orleans.
Their 1966 Buick Electra crashed into the back of a tractor-trailer early in the morning. The tractor-trailer had slowed down because a truck with a fogger was spraying the area. The crash was so bad that the car slid under the back of the trailer and cut the roof off. Mansfield, Brody, and Harrison were all killed right away.
The three kids in the back, including a young Mariska Hargitay, who would go on to become a famous actor, were lucky that they only got minor injuries.
Like the mysteries surrounding famous people like Jayne Mansfield, the events of Felipe Arriaga’s death have captivated people and made them want to know more.
How Old Was Jayne Mansfield When She Died?
Jayne Mansfield was only 34 years old when she passed away as a result of injuries sustained in an automobile accident. The only child of Herbert William and Vera Palmer, Mansfield has lineage from both Germany and England. He was an only child. Vera Jayne Palmer was her given name at birth.
Who Was Driving the Car That Killed Jayne Mansfield?
Ronald B. Harrison, a driver for the Gus Stevens Dinner Club, was driving Mansfield, her lawyer and friend Samuel S. Brody, and three of Mansfield’s children with her ex-husband Mickey Hargitay in Stevens’ 1966 Buick Electra. On a dark stretch of road, the Electra hit the trailer truck from behind.
Here’s a deep wedding day message for Mickey and Jayne:
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This may have been because Harrison couldn’t see the truck because it was close to a machine that sprayed white fog to kill mosquitoes. In the crash, Mansfield, Harrison, and Brody all died. Mickey, who was eight, Zoltan, who was six, and Marie, or Mariska, who was three, were probably sleeping in the back seat. They were hurt but lived.
Jayne Mansfield’s Net Worth at the Time of Death
American actress and singer Jayne Mansfield had a net worth of $2 million when she died in 1967 after allowing for inflation. Mansfield was an actress on stage, in movies, and on TV. She also sang, performed in nightclubs, and was an early “Playboy” Playmate. During the 1950s and 1960s, she was seen as a significant Hollywood s*x symbol. In 1963’s “Promises! Promises!,” she was the first prominent American actress to star in a Hollywood movie without clothes on.
She acted in over 30 movies and TV shows, like “The Girl Can’t Help It” and “The Red Skelton Hour.” She also did plays on Broadway and released music albums. One time, she even worked with the famous musician Jimi Hendrix on two songs in 1967. Jayne, who was the mom of actress Mariska Hargitay, sadly died in a car crash when she was 34 years old.
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Legacy and Changes to Vehicle Safety
The sad death of Mansfield did have a long-lasting effect on how cars are made safe. The crash showed how dangerous it is for a car to slide under the back of a bigger vehicle, like a semi-trailer.
In answer, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) suggested a new safety standard that would require large trucks to have what are now called “Mansfield bars” to protect the back of the truck from being run over from behind. These bars stop cars from going under them when they hit from behind, which could save lives.
Jayne Mansfield’s life was full of both fame and trouble, and it ended suddenly and sadly. But because of her death, significant safety changes were made to cars that have probably saved a lot of lives in the years since. We remember Mansfield for what she did for movies and pop culture, but we also remember the lasting impact she had on car safety.