Mickey Hargitay will always be fondly remembered by all Jayne-fans as her most devoted husband. He never stopped loving her. But there was so much more to him than just being “the 2nd Mr. Mansfield”. Mickey Hargitay had quite an interesting life.
Born and raised in Hungary, Hargitay performed in an acrobatic act with his brothers. He also played soccer and became a champion speed skater. Mickey was an underground fighter during World War II. After the war he emigrated to the United States. He found jobs working as a plumber and carpenter.
Mae West hired him to be one of the musclemen in her stage show: “The Mae West Revue”. While performing with Mae West at the Latin quarter, Mickey Hargitay met Jayne Mansfeld.
He is remembered by fans of the horror, sci-fi and fantasy genre for his starring roles in The Loves of Hercules (1960), Bloody Pit of Horror (1965), Lady Frankenstein (1971), Delirium (1972), and Rites, Black Magic and Secret Orgies in the Fourteenth Century (1973).
Jayne Marie Mansfield was born at 10:50 A.M., November 8, 1950.
Natal chart for Jayne Marie
I am saddened to hear that Jayne’s first husband, Paul Mansfield, has passed away, 83 years old. He always seemed like a really nice man.
Jayne Mansfield and Paul Mansfield married in a secret ceremony on 28 January 1950, and later they had a public wedding on 10 May. The very same year Jayne gave birth to their daughter Jayne Marie. Jayne and Paul were divorced on 8 January 1958.
Jayne chose to keep her married name as her professional name: “I liked the sound of Mansfield. It had star quality.”
Here’s an obituary over Mr. Mansfield:
Paul James Mansfield Obituary
Paul James Mansfield was born Nov. 28, 1929, on Thanksgiving Day at John Sealey Hospital in Galveston, Texas. His parents were Norman and Virginia Ruth Pigue Mansfield. The family moved permanently from Galveston to Dallas in 1932. Paul graduated from Sunset High School 1947. The summer he was 15 he traveled by train from Dallas to New York and Washington to see the sights by himself. At 16, his Sunset Quartet (later called the Beau Jesters) traveled on behalf of Lyndon Johnson’s first primary Senatorial campaign. At 17 he joined a summer sales crew in Dallas in early June to sell stationery throughout the West. He hitchhiked from Portland, Ore. to Los Angeles, Calif., boarding a train to Dallas in time to begin school in September. During school days he found his lifelong love of reading, music and travel. He attended NTAC (North Texas Agricultural-College), Arlington, Texas from September, 1947, until January, 1950, by hitchhiking between Oak Cliff and Arlington for five semesters. While there Paul was promoted to Lt. Colonel/Battalion Commander in ROTC and elected cheerleader. In January, 1950, Paul entered the University of Texas in Austin, Texas as a Junior and graduated in January, 1952, with a BFA major in radio production, script writing and performance, and a minor in journalism. In 1950 he married Dallasite Vera Jayne (Palmer) Peers in Fort Worth. They were married until 1955, and had one child, Jayne Marie, who is currently living in Ventura, Calif. During graduation week he was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant, Military Police Corps, U.S. Army Reserve, through ROTC. He had been in ROTC since high school. He then entered active service in March, 1952. He served until December, 1952, at Camp Gordon, Ga. as cadre in the Military Police School there and leader of a training platoon. In January, 1953, he sailed on a troop ship for Korea as a replacement assigned to 8″‘ Army. The Cease Fire of the United Nations action in Korea occurred in July, 1953, and Paul was assigned to a Military Police unit in August which was posted in Osaka, Japan to protect and serve U.S. servicemen on R&R. He was sent to Fort Bliss, Texas in March, 1954, to muster out of the Army and return to Dallas. In April, 1954, he moved with Jayne and Jayne Marie to Los Angeles, where he worked with a public relations firm; an usher at Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood, and editor of the Los Angeles News-Advertiser, a weekly newspaper. That year he moved to San Francisco, Calif. to join the News Bureau Staff of Southern Pacific Railroad. In 1955, he was transferred to Houston, Texas, where he served as Assistant Editor and photographer of the monthly employees’ magazine of the Texas and New Orleans Lines of the Southern Pacific. In 1956 he joined the corporate staff of Dr. Pepper Company, Dallas. He was assigned as a Merchandiser, working with Dr. Pepper bottling plants east of the Mississippi River, In 1956, he joined the corporate staff of Dr. Pepper Company, Dallas. He was assigned as a Merchandiser, working with Dr. Pepper bottling plants east of the Mississippi River, then promoted to Regional Manager and headquartered in Chattanooga, Tenn. to work with 12 Dr. Pepper plants in Tennessee and North Georgia. Paul was introduced to a young widow, Mary Sue Greer, and her son, Robert Otie Greer, by his Aunt Gerry at Cliff Temple Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas in 1956. They quickly fell in love and were married on June 1, 1957. Paul eagerly adopted Rob, whose name became Robert Greer Mansfield. The family made their new home in Chattanooga, Tenn. In the nearly 56 years since then, he and Sue have lived in Nashville; Dallas; Macedonia, Ohio; Kingston, N.J. with office in New York City; Temple, Texas; Dallas again; and… presently San Angelo, Texas. They have lived in 11 different homes. Paul spent much of his life in service to others. While a member of Wilshire Baptist Church in Dallas, he was ordained as deacon. He also taught English as a second language and was revered by his students. As a member of First Baptist Church in San Angelo, he created a bus ministry that provided sack lunches to families as they traveled through San Angelo on long-distance trips. He was also heavily involved with the volunteer organization at Baptist Memorials. Paul loved and treasured his precious, beautiful Sue and the life she has made for him. They traveled to Europe and across the United States. They sang together. She made a loving home for him, stood by him in all kinds of weather and nurtured their children and grandchildren. He is survived by his wife, Sue; children Jayne Marie Fenley Mansfield, Robert Greer Mansfield and wife Miriam (Yum), Paul James Mansfield Jr. and wife Lorie, Jennifer Suzanne Mansfield Peal and husband Tom and Amy Foster Mansfield Babinski and husband Jeffrey; grandchildren Morgan Fenley, Gregory, John and James Mansfield, Nichole and Benjamin Mansfield, Andy Van Horn, and Mary, Alexander (Al) and Ellen Babinski; and great-grandchildren Devin, Taylor and Jo Anna Fenley Clyde Foster Mansfield. Family visitation will be from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday, June 9, 2013, at Robert Massie Funeral Home. Memorial services will be at 2 p.m. Monday, June 10, 2013, in First Baptist Church Chapel with Larry Howard, officiating. Burial of his ashes will be at a later date at Laurel Land Cemetery in Dallas, Texas. Arrangements are with Robert Massie Funeral Home. Paul’s obituary, memorial guestbook may be viewed online at http://www.robertmassie.com .
An informal poll of my co-workers last week confirmed her enduring popularity forty-five years after she died in a horrific car crash (despite the urban legend, she was most definitely NOT decapitated). Currently, viewers can watch her daughter Mariska Hargitay play Detective Olivia Benson on the NBC drama Law and Order, a role that has earned her critical acclaim. There have been numerous dramas, biographies, and documentaries about Jayne’s life, and she is widely considered to be one of the most iconic of all Hollywood beauties. So–what can I possibly add to all of that? I’ll tell you what.
I recently interviewed a man named Danny Echols for a series of articles I am writing on the tragic 1977 crash of Southern Airways Flight 242 in New Hope, GA. Danny is a retired Battalion Chief from the Cobb County Fire Department’s Fourth Battalion, and he was a first responder on the afternoon of the plane crash–seventy-two people lost their lives that day. As we were discussing various ways to raise funds for the future Flight 242 Memorial, a vintage 8×10 publicity shot of Jayne Mansfield fell out of the photo album he was showing me. I immediately took note.
Mr. Echols explained he was a young fire department lieutenant around the time of the crash, in charge of training new recruits. He told me he found the forgotten photograph in a derelict house during a routine pre-inspection for a rookie fire training drill. He admired it, made a note on the back for future reference, and stored it away for safe-keeping. We had a good laugh–after all these years, Jayne Mansfield can still surprise and delight!
Read it in full here and view the photo: “The Long Lost Navy Photograph of Jayne Mansfield”–by Clifford Davids
April 1959: Jayne and Mickey spend a quiet evening at home with their son Miklos and Jayne Marie, her daughter by a previous marriage.
February 1967: Jayne Mansfield Meets South Vietnam Prime Minister Ky.