Jayne Mansfield (April 19, 1933 - June 29, 1967) was an American actress and sex symbol. Born Vera Jayne Palmer in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, she moved to Dallas, Texas, then attended the University of Texas. In 1954 she moved to Los Angeles, California, and attended UCLA, taking drama classes. She had a bit part in that year in the movie Female Jungle, but the small role the following year in Pete Kelly's Blues brought her attention.
She starred in the Broadway production of Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter, and took the role back to Hollywood. But she became mired in the sterotype of the dumb blonde bimbo, and was rarely able to shake it. She was inevitably compared, usually unfavourably, with Marilyn Monroe.
Mansfield died in an automobile accident, and was infamously said to have been decapitated in the accident. This is an urban legend, possibly spawned by the fact that her blond wig was knocked off her head. In the car with her was her daughter, Mariska Hargitay, who has become an actress in her own right.
Mansfield was married three times: to Paul Mansfield, to actor and bodybuilder Mickey Hargitay and to director Matt Cimber. Her daughter Jayne Marie Mansfield was a Playboy centerfold in 1976, following in her mother's footsteps -- Jayne Mansfield herself was a centerfold in 1955.
It is said that the role of Ginger Grant in Gilligan's Island was created for her, but she turned down the part.