Vera Jayne Palmer Mansfield, 1933 - 1967

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Born: 19 April 1933, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania
Died: 29 June 1967, U.S. Highway 90 near Slidell, Louisiana

Vera Jayne Palmer was born a brunette and spent her early life at Phillipsburg, New Jersey, her father was an attorney. At age three she and her mother were in the car when her father had a fatal heart attack. Her mother worked as a school teacher, remarried in 1950, and moved to Dallas, Texas. Jayne attended the University of Dallas, married in 1950 (becoming Jayne Mansfield), and moved to Austin, studying drama in both places. Her husband hoped motherhood would dampen her interest in acting, but after a stint in the Army the family moved to LA and Jayne took more drama classes at UCLA. She posed nude as Playmate for the February 1955 issue of Playboy, a spread that the magazine would repeat in 1964. Her acting career included low-budget comedy that featured her impressive bosom (Fox billed her as "Marilyn Monroe King Sized") and a disappointingly-small number of serious dramatic roles. She claimed an IQ of 163, spoke five languages, played classic piano and violin, and was in casts with some of the greatest dramatic talent of the age. Long before Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction" she developed a talent for stunts that had her ample bosom popping out of her low-cut dresses. The combination of serious dramatic aspirations and mammarian publicity stunts probably kept her from greater success. In addition to films, she also was in a number of significant Broadway productions. After appearing at a dinner club at Biloxi, Mississippi she was on route to New Orleans for a morning television appearance. Mansfield, her third husband, and their driver were killed when the car hit the back of a braking tractor-trailer rig, her three children sustained only minor injuries. that accident led the NHTSA to require an underride guard on all big rigs, this is now generally called the "Mansfield bar".

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