Jayne Mansfield was not only an actress, singer, and nightclub entertainer. But she was also one of the biggest sex symbols of the 1950s and 1960s. In addition to one of the first Playboy Playmates, she also well known for her highly-publicized personal life and scandals. Long before Janet Jackson shocked the world when she had that controversial nip-slip incident at the super bowl. Mansfield also known for ‘wardrobe malfunctions’.
Her film career unfortunately cut short by her untimely death. But she still managed to appear in several films that were hits at the box office. And she honored for her talent with both a Golden Globe and a Theatre World Award.
A few of her biggest films include 1956s The Girl Can’t Help It,1957s Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter and The Wayward Bus, and 1963s Promises.
Even though Mansfield made a name for herself as a gifted performer, she is perhaps best known for the truly horrific way she died. And just recently, Mansfield’s daughter has decided to share never before heard details about the heartbreaking day that her mother died. Join Facts Verse as we remember this iconic actor’s life while discovering new details about her tragic death and how it impacted her daughter’s life story.
June 29, 1967
On the night that she died, Mansfield was in Biloxi, Mississippi, for an event at the Gus Stevens Supper Club. After performing twice at the club, Manfield’s lawyer and companion, Sam Brody, her driver, Ronnie Harrison, and her three children, Mariska, Zoltan, and Miklos, left shortly after midnight in their 1966 Buick Elektra 225.
Mansfield was all set to appear on WDSU’s Midday Show the following day in New Orleans, Louisian. So they were doing their best to get to their destination in a timely manner. Right around 2:25 in the morning. However, while their vehicle was cruising down US Highway 90 about a mile east of Rigolets Bridge between Slidell and New Orleans. The car they were traveling in collided into the backside of a tractor-trailer while traveling at relatively high speeds.
The tractor-trailer had reduced it’s speed significantly and unexpectedly when it had come upon a truck that was spraying a thick cloud of anti-mosquito fogger. The tractor-trailer engulfed by this dense, view-obstructing spray and lost all visibility.
In the front seat of Mansfield’s Buick sat the three adult passengers while the children were all asleep in the back. Mansfield, her lawyer, and her driver killed instantly when the car crashed into the semi. And while the children managed to survive with minimal injuries.
At the time, some reports stated that Mansfield had been decapatated in the incident, but these claims proved to be unfounded. She did, however, sustain severe head injuries. When police photos from the scene of the crime initially leaked to the public. There’s one photo that depicted what appeared to be Mansfields hair and possibly her scalp lodged in the car’s windshield. It determined later, though, that what appeared to be her head actually the blonde wig she wearing the evening of the accident. Join Facts Verse to know the details about Jayne Mansfield’s Daughter finally opens up about her death. Like and subscribe today!
The Aftermath Of That Tragedy
Mansfield’s funeral held on July 3 in Pen Argyl, Pennsylvania. The service presided over by Pastor Charles Montgomery of the Zion Methodist Church. And the service held at a small chapel at the Pullis Funeral Home. Mansfield interred in Fairview Cemetery, which is just southeast of Pen Argyl. She was laid to rest beside her beloved father, Herbert Palmer.
Following the tragic accident and Mansfield’s untimely death, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration pushed for protective underride guards to installed on all tractor-trailers. While the transportation industry didn’t immediately adopt these protective measures. They eventually did become standard on all such vehicles. And today they are known as ‘Mansfield’s Bars’.
The year after the tragedy that took Mansfield’s life. As well as the lives of those two other innocent souls, two-wrongful death lawsuits filed on behalf of Matt Cimber and Jayne Mansfield.
The car that Mansfield met her fate in morbidly saved by a private collector and turned into a roadside attraction in Florida in the 1970s. These days, the car is owned by a man by the name of Scott Michaels and is on display at the Dearly Departed Tours & Artifact Museum in LA.
Jayne Mansfield’s Daughter Finally Speaks Out
Mansfield’s daughter, Mariska, only three years old when her mother was killed in that horrific accident. While she has spent the majority of her life keeping silent on the events of that tragic night. She recently has opened up to the press and disclosed some never-before-heard details about the event and how it shaped her life.
Mariska Hargitay, as you may be aware, has followed in her mother’s footsteps and has made a name for herself in the entertainment industry as well. Most notably, she is one of the stars of Law & Order: Special VIctims Unit.
When talking to People Magazine, Mariska confided that throughout her life. She has done her best to try and avoid dealing with things like pain, loss, and her own feelings. But in more recent years, she has learned to instead lean into her experiences knowing full well that inevitably we will all have to face our own mortality.
Mariska fully admits that it hasn’t been easy for her to deal with the ramifications of her mother’s demise. But she says that through all of the darkness, there is light on the other side.
Mariska lights up whenever she talks about her dearly departed mother. Mansfield was a bit of a trailblazer for her time. While many other women in her shoes dared not embrace their sexuality, she sure did. And that’s one of the things that Mariska appreciates the most about her mother. She couldn’t have cared less about what others thought about her. She remained true to herself and didn’t feel the need to hide who she was and what she stood for.
When speaking to the press, Mariska explained that there are many things about her mother that the public didn’t know. The majority of people just saw her as the blonde-bombshell of a sex symbol that she was. They failed to realize that she was also quite intelligent and gifted in many different capacities.
For one, Mansfield had an IQ of 160 and loved to play the violin. She also had a tremendous amount of love in her heart for he five children and her dogs.
Mariska further described her mother as being ‘ahead of her time’ and called her an inspiration. In her words, Jayne Mansfield had an ‘appetite for life’. And Mariska says that that is something that she has in common with her late mother.
After her mother’s passing, Mariska was raised by her father in Los Angeles. Her dad is the former Mr. Universe bodybuilder, Mickey Hargitay. And he had help raising young Mariska with the help of her stepmithher, Ellen. Mariska also has two brothers in addition to three half-siblings.
Mariska credits her father for teaching her how to listen and learn. She says that when she was young, she always was on the lookout for who had tidbits of wisdom. And what she could learn from what they had to say. She always had a very curious mind and never stopped asking ‘why?’. If it weren’t for her father’s guidance, she likely wouldn’t have stepped into that line of thinking.
But it’s been by this approach to life that she has been able to make sense of the trauma that was thrust upon her at such an early age and keep trudging on forward to see another day.
Even though her father, Mickey, passed away in 2006, Mariska says that she still feels very close to him. Even so, she says that it was tremendously difficult for her to lose the one person that was the source of her strength and power and never once stopped believing in her.
While she wasn’t able to tell her mother goodbye, Mariska fortuantely got a chance to hold her father’s hand and send him off to the great beyond. And since his passing, she says that she has done her best to carry his torch and the invaluable lessons that he taught her about love, compassion, and kindness.
Very few people are fortunate enough to have had parent’s like Mariska has had. Even though she passed away when she was just 3, Mariska’s mother, Jayne Mansfield, taught her so much about the importance of sticking to your guns and not letting the world mold you into what it wants you to be. Mansfield stood for independence and the value of tapping into your inner strength.
Mariska’s father, no doubt instilled these values into her while incorporating his own beliefs and ideals into her at the same time. No doubt, this solid foundation of family support even from beyond the grave. And has had a great deal of impact on the sort of person that Mariska has become.
Today, Mariska is happily married to her husband, actor Peter Hermann. And is a proud and loving parent of two sons, August and Andrew, and a daughter, Amaya.
While no family is perfect, Mariska says that her family is perfect to her. Her childhood experience, even though it was a difficult one. And taught her that families come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and flavors.
She has done her best to take what she lived and learned back during those formative years. And beyond and use that knowledge and experience to give her own family that best possible life that she can. Through all of that pain and turmoil that she experienced by losing her Mother at such an early age to such a tragic means. She has managed to still see the beauty in life and in her own unique way, help spread it.
Were you surprised to learn how Jayne Mansfield’s daughter Mariska has managed to transform the grief of losing her mother into a motivating force for spreading love and compassion in her life? And did you know that Jayne Mansfield death led to increased safety standards in the world of commercial transportation?
Feel free to drop us a line in the comments sharing your thoughts and feelings on the tragedy that claimed Mansfield’s life and the change that it inspired.
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