Jayne Mansfield (born Vera Jayne Palmer; April 19, 1933 – June 29, 1967) was an American actress in film, theatre, and television. She was also a nightclub entertainer, a singer, and one of the early Playboy Playmates. She was a major Hollywood sex symbol of the 1950s and early 1960s and 20th Century Fox's alternative to Marilyn Monroe who came to be known as the "Working Man's Monroe". She was also known for her well-publicized personal life and publicity stunts, such as wardrobe malfunctions. She was one of Hollywood's original blonde bombshells, and, although many people have never seen her movies, Mansfield remains one of the most recognizable icons of 1950s celebrity culture.
Mansfield became a major Broadway star in 1955, a major Hollywood star in 1956, and a leading celebrity in 1957. While Mansfield's film career was short lived, she had several box-office successes and won a Theatre World Award and a Golden Globe. She enjoyed success in the role of fictional actress Rita Marlowe, both in the 1955–1956 Broadway version and the 1957 Hollywood film version of Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?. Her other major movie performances were for The Girl Can't Help It (1956), The Wayward Bus (1957), and Too Hot to Handle (1960).
With decreased demand for big-breasted blonde bombshells and an increased negative backlash against her excessive publicity, she became a box-office has-been by the early 1960s, but she remained a popular celebrity, continuing to attract large crowds outside the United States by way of lucrative and successful nightclub acts. In the sexploitation film Promises! Promises! (1963), she became the first major American actress to have a nude starring role in a Hollywood motion picture.
Mansfield's professional name came from her first husband, public relations professional Paul Mansfield, with whom she had a daughter. She was the mother of three children from her second marriage to actor/bodybuilder Mickey Hargitay. She had a son with her third husband, film director Matt Cimber. In 1967, Mansfield was killed in a car accident at the age of 34, along with two others.