Jayne Mansfield: Shy, Modest Girl Strives to Make Good

Miss Mansfield thoroughly enjoys practically everything reporters write about her.

20th Century Studios/Doctormacro.com

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—From “She Will Do Anything for Publicity” by Richard Donovan, in the June 1, 1957, issue of The Saturday Evening Post

Jayne Mansfield sometimes startles reporters by announcing that she has a master five-year plan for taking Hollywood and the nation into her camp.

“The first step, which is to get all the men stirred up, is about three-quarters completed, as I see it,” she says. “The next step — the one I’m working on now — is to get all the women stirred up. This could backfire,” she frowns. “To make it work, I’ll probably have to start emphasizing my home life and the PTA and all that. When that’s done,” Miss Mansfield says firmly, “I may take a shot at the intellectuals.”

In Hollywood some evenings ago, Miss Mansfield made an entrance into the auditorium of her daughter’s school to attend a PTA meeting. She had thought seriously of wearing a cloth coat, but decided at the last minute on the mink. “I didn’t want to be conspicuous,” she says.

After the meeting, a great many of the male parents and teachers crowded around to make Miss Mansfield welcome. She was her most engaging self.

A normal housewife: A barely clad Mansfield climbs into her pink Jaguar as Mickey Hargitay, Mr. Universe 1955 and soon to be her husband, struggles to corral her Great Dane Lord Byron. (Universal Pictures/DoctorMacro.com)

“How many people are there in the PTA?” she inquired eagerly. “Nationally, that is?” Informed that the membership must run to several millions, Miss Mansfield’s lovely features were lighted by a tender smile.

“Mine! All mine!” she was heard to breathe ecstatically, as she bade the gentlemen adieu. “Mine! All mine!”

Miss Mansfield thoroughly enjoys practically everything reporters write about her. In a recent newspaper story concerning her and other United States “uncover girls,” she shrieked approvingly while reading rather acid comments about her “drive for success,” her “teasing tactics,” her “Dumb Dora act,” and the way she had made “flesh reap a film payoff.” Near the end of the story, however, she suddenly stiffened all over with outrage and ripped a paragraph from the paper with a long thumbnail. The paragraph said she was 24 years old and really had a 39-inch bust.

“All I ask is a little accuracy,” she says. “Since I came to Hollywood, I’ve been so happy, so unbelievably happy, that I find I’m now a size forty-one.”

Miss Mansfield drives the town’s only known shocking-pink Jaguar, often accompanied by a black, 170-pound Great Dane. She has walked a small tiger down Sunset Boulevard on a pink ribbon and astonished attendant photographers by walking into a Hollywood drugstore and ordering a padded bra.

“That was to show I had a sense of humor,” she says.


Read the entire article “She Will Do Anything for Publicity” from the June 1, 1957 issue of The Saturday Evening Post.

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  1. Well, I read the whole feature per the link, and she was/is delightful. A young woman with her eyes on the prize, keenly aware of how to create and manipulate situations to her advantage. If a roadblock got in her way, she’d sashay it away to even greater heights. Yet, throughout it all, with appearances to the contrary, she (at heart) was a shy, modest American girl just striving to make good!


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