Jayne Mansfield was born as Vera Jayne Palmer on April 19, 1933. She died in a car accident on June 29, 1967. Jayne was an American actress, singer, nightclub entertainer and a Playboy Playmate.
She arrived in Hollywood at just 21 years old, already a wife and mother. She quickly became the alternative to Marilyn Monroe and soon became famous for her personal stunts and for her very open personal life.
After winning a Theatre World Award and Golden Globe Award for her acting, Jayne soon gained the nickname of Hollywood’s “smartest dumb blonde.”
Mansfield married and divorced three times and had five children in all. She also had a number of highly publicized affairs.
Five years after Monroe’s death, Jayne Mansfield died in a car accident after crashing into the back of a truck. She was killed instantly. Mariska Hargitay, who went on to become famous for her role as Olivia Benson in Law and Order: SVU, survived the car accident that killed her mother. So did two of her brothers: Zoltan, who was six, and Miklos Jr., who was eight.
Jayne Mansfield’s death had a huge impact outside of her family and fans. The accident that killed her spurred a change in federal law. The back of modern semi-truck trailers now include a low bar, known as a Mansfield Bar. This prevents cars from sliding under the trailer, which was what had killed Jayne.