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Jayne Mansfield (Hardback)

The Girl Couldn't Help It

Hobbies & Lifestyle > Film, Media & Television P&S History > Humanities > Biography & Memoirs

Imprint: University Press of Kentucky
Series: Screen Classics
Pages: 502
Illustrations: 72 b&w photos
ISBN: 9780813180953
Published: 29th June 2021
Casemate UK Academic



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The first definitive biography of tragicomic sex symbol Jayne Mansfield, one of the most colorful and eccentric movie stars of the 1950s-60s. The book examines both her life and her career, detailing her movie, TV and stage work, as well as her drive to become an old-fashioned movie star at the end of the big-studio era.  


Jayne Mansfield: The Girl Couldn't Help It follows Jayne from her birth in 1933 through her early days as a starlet, her sudden fame as a Broadway star, and her too-brief years as 20th Century-Fox's threat to Marilyn Monroe. After three hit films, showing what a talented actress she was, Jayne found herself cut loose and floundering, in ever-cheaper and worse films.


Jayne's private life will be examined as well: her expertise as a publicity magnet, her relationship with the press and her fans; her three marriages and many affairs, and her well-meaning but ill-equipped parenting skills. The rumors around her death will be addressed, via nearly 100 pages of police reports.


Among the people interviewed for this book are her third husband, her lover shortly before Mariska Hargitay was born (the only interview he has ever given about Jayne), the man who published her 1963 memoirs, the inventor of the Jayne Mansfield Hot Water Bottle, and Loni Anderson, who portrayed Jayne in a 1980 TV-movie.


Including 70 photos, The Girl Couldn't Help It will finally set straight many misconceptions about Jayne Mansfield, and will provide a fair and balanced, sympathetic but clear-eyed portrait of one of show business's most bizarre and endearing icons.

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