Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Instagram
 

“Working man’s Monroe” – the stunningly beautiful Jayne Mansfield

Ian Harvey

Everybody knows who Marilyn Monroe is, she is arguably one of the most famous sex symbols ever.

Women wanted to look like her and men wanted to be with her. She was even notoriously linked with President John F. Kennedy.  Many people consider her to be one of the most beautiful women that have ever lived. She was in high demand and was a gifted actress, she was extremely famous.

Promotion photo of Jayne Mansfield for the film Kiss Them for Me (film) (1935) Photo Credit

Promotion photo of Jayne Mansfield for the film Kiss Them for Me (film) (1935)

Photo of Barry Coe and Jayne Mansfield from the television program I’ll Follow the Sun Photo Credit

Photo of Barry Coe and Jayne Mansfield from the television program I’ll Follow the Sun.

Marilyn Monroe was certainly not the only sex symbol of her time. In the 1950s and early 1960s, Jayne Mansfield was a majorly significant sex symbol in Hollywood and was 20th Century Fox’s response to Marilyn Monroe, labeled by some as the “working man’s Monroe.”

Beyond just being an actress in movies, Jayne Mansfield also had a highly publicized personal life which was filled with publicity stunts and wardrobe malfunctions.

She is considered by many to be one of Hollywood’s original blonde bombshells; while many people may have never seen her movies, she is still one of the more highly recognizable actresses of the celebrity culture of 1950.

Photo of actor Steve Cochran, actress Jayne Mansfield and Ed Wynne, the owner of the Harwyn Club in New York, where the photo was taken Photo Credit

Photo of actor Steve Cochran, actress Jayne Mansfield and Ed Wynne, the owner of the Harwyn Club in New York, where the photo was taken.

Mansfield and husband Mickey Hargitay dancing at the Candy Stik Lounge, 1962 Photo Credit

Mansfield and husband Mickey Hargitay dancing at the Candy Stik Lounge, 1962

Jayne Mansfield with jockeys Johnny Longden, Eddie Arcaro and Willie Shoemaker at Jockeys’ Ball in Los Angeles, Calif., 1957 Photo Credit

Jayne Mansfield with jockeys Johnny Longden, Eddie Arcaro and Willie Shoemaker at Jockeys’ Ball in Los Angeles, Calif., 1957

Jayne Mansfield started out as a Broadway star in 1955 and became a major Hollywood star in 1956. She went on to quickly become a leading celebrity in 1957, making these big time transitions very quickly.  Her film career was short-lived but nonetheless notable.

Throughout the entirety of her career, Jayne Mansfield was compared to the leading sex symbol of the time, Marilyn Monroe.  She knew this, and she pandered to it, She adopted a lot of the same mannerisms as Marilyn Monroe so that she truly could serve as the version of her that 20th Century Fox studios could use in response to Marilyn Monroe’s success.

Other studios had their versions of Marilyn Monroe, although the original was just so hard to compete with in popularity.

Biografen Park 1957 Photo Credit

Biografen Park 1957.

Unfortunately for Jayne Mansfield, there was a decreased demand for blonde bombshells with big breasts, and this, coupled with the increasingly negative backlash for all of the publicity that she brought on herself, she soon became a box-office has-been by the early 1960s. Her career did not have the longevity that she would have hoped for.

While her acting career did not flourish for as long as she wanted, she did still maintain a place as a celebrity that many people spoke about. She was extremely popular and still had the ability to attract large crowds outside of clubs that she was frequenting.

She was also the first American actress who was popular for having done a nude scene in a movie.

Jayne Mansfield with Sam Brody, Germany, 1967.

Jayne Mansfield with Sam Brody, Germany, 1967.

We have a story about another Hollywood diva: Audrey Hepburn and the Nazis: How wartime tyranny turned a Hollywood icon into a humanitarian.

Jayne Mansfield was certainly a beautiful actress, and while she was considered by many to be the working man’s Monroe, that does not take away from her gorgeous looks and the work that she did in the film. Even if her fame was short-lived, she is still a very recognizable face to this day.