Orson Bean never met a leading lady quite like Jayne Mansfield

Jayne and Orson on stage performing in the play "Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?"

Jayne and Orson on stage performing in the play “Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?”

Orson Bean never met a leading lady quite like Jayne Mansfield.

The voluptuous blond sex symbol was the toast of Broadway in the comedy “Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?” in 1955 and 1956.

Jayne with Walther Matthau

Jayne with Walther Matthau

“It was interesting,” recalled Bean, breaking into a wide grin remembering “Rock Hunter,” which also featured Walter Matthau and Martin Gabel, who were not happy that newcomer Mansfield was getting the lion’s share of attention for the comedy.

“She liked me,” Bean said. “She would hear me going by her dressing room and she’d said ‘Orsie.'”

Bean would walk into the dressing room where, invariably, she would be sitting stark naked, “completely guileless, no flirtation, just putting on makeup,” he recalled. “She’d say to me, ‘Who is out front tonight?’ because if there was a famous person, she’d do a good performance.”

Bean would peek through the curtain, and if no celebrity was there, he would make one up.

“I’d say ‘Marlon Brando,’ and I knew she’d be good,” Bean said. “It was a funny experience for a year.”

Read more here:

Orson Bean, a sage on the Geffen stage

Too Hot To Handle!

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Too Hot to Handle (released in the United States as Playgirl After Dark) is a 1960 British neo-noir gangster thriller film, starring Jayne Mansfield and Leo Genn. Directed by Terence Young, later involved with some of the early James Bond films. Christopher Lee appears in a small role in the film.

Too Hot to Handle was Jayne Mansfield’s first film away from 20th Century Fox after achieving stardom in the mid-1950s. By 1960, however, Mansfield’s box office popularity had faded, and Fox loaned her (as they did others) to foreign studios while they awaited a good film for her. This British drama is usually marked as the beginning of her descent into low-budget productions.

The film was billed as “an exposé of ‘sexy, sordid Soho, England’s greatest shame'”. Notorious in its day because Mansfield’s risqué see-through clothing and racy musical numbers caused some controversy, holding up the American release until January 1961, while the sexiest frames were fully displayed in Playboy magazine. For its American releases, Too Hot to Handle was retitled Playgirl After Dark and was mildly edited to meet America’s censor requirements. Halliwell’s Film and Video Guide describes the film as a “rotten, hilarious British gangster film set in a totally unreal underworld and a very uncomfortably cast.”

While filmed and released in Eastman Color, the VHS and DVD editions are in black-and-white for unknown reasons.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Too_Hot_to_Handle_(1960_film)

ps. recently a German dvd was released in colour (dubbed in German, so there is no copy available in English). Sadly I don’t own it yet myself but I have heard that the quality is really good.

jaynie-too-hot_p

1964 New York World’s Fair memory: Meeting a sex symbol

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Gus Vaccaro kisses his bride Mary Lou at the 1964 New York World’s Fair. Jayne Mansfield was the bridesmaid and Mickey Hargitay the bestman.

Meeting a sex symbol

I was 18. My first job at the fair was at the Transportation and Travel Pavilion, where I saw many actors and other famous people, such as the shah of Iran, Eddie Albert and Dagmar.

The most memorable moment came when I was picked to escort Jayne Mansfield to do a photo shoot on the roof of a pavilion shaped like the moon, a greenish-colored dome with craters on it. She was holding two small dogs as she was walking. What does an 18-year-old say to a sex goddess? The only thing that came to mind was, “What kind of dogs are they?” She answered, “Italian greyhounds.”

Ray Steinberg, Commack

Jayne Mansfield by Peter Basch

by peter basch

Peter Basch (September 23, 1921 – March 15, 2004) was an American magazine and glamour photographer. He was born in Berlin, lived and died in New York City. The main body of his work was produced in the fifties and sixties.

Bill Devon on Jayne Mansfield

Recently the magician Bill Devon was interviewed by Newsreview.com. When he got the question of his favourite moment in his career he told this little story:

In 1967, Jayne Mansfield was in Sacramento, and she was appearing at a local nightclub on Auburn Boulevard, the Cleopatra Club.She was the guest of honor, and they had me perform. They introduce me, and I do my dove act, and the main audience is in front of me, but behind me is the guest-of-honor table. And that’s where Jayne Mansfield is sitting. So I produce a dove and every time I produce a dove, my assistant would walk past me and pass Jayne. And Jayne would want to pet the dove. I didn’t know that, I found out later.About the fourth dove I produce, the audience in front is just laughing. I didn’t know what it was until after the show was over. They told me: “Do you know what everyone was laughing at?”I go, “No.”[Someone] says, “Jayne wanted to pet your doves. Well, that poor dove pooped in her fruit cocktail!”

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