Fast Facts

  • Won several beauty contests while studying acting in college.
  • Moved from Dallas to Hollywood with first husband Paul Mansfield and worked in a movie theater as an usherette.
  • After some modeling work, her movie career began with bit parts; signed a contract with Warner Bros.
  • First appeared as a Playboy magazine centerfold in February 1955.
  • Known for having a genius-level IQ, she also spoke five languages and played the violin.
  • Positive film reviews led to a triumphant Broadway debut in the 1955 production of Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? She reprised her role of Rita Marlowe in the memorable 1957 movie version.
  • Fell in love with and eventually married Hungarian actor and "Mr. Universe" winner Mickey Hargitay.
  • Was the first mainstream actress in the sound era to appear completely nude on-screen, in the 1963 comedy Promises! Promises!
  • Was killed instantly in a crash at age 34 while seated in the front of a car. Her three children, Mickey Jr., Zoltan and Mariska, sat in the back and sustained minor injuries.


  • 1957, Golden Globe — New Star of the Year - Actress: Winner


  • Paul Mansfield — Ex-husband
  • Herbert William Palmer — Father
  • Vera Palmer — Mother
  • Jayne Marie Mansfield — Daughter
  • Micklós Hargitay — Son
  • Antonio Raphael Ottaviano Cimber — Son
  • Matt Cimber — Husband
  • Sam Brody — Significant Other
  • Mickey Hargitay — Ex-husband
  • Zoltan Hargitay — Son
  • Mariska Hargitay — Daughter


  • Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX; University of Texas, Austin, TX; University of California, Los Angeles, CA


  • Birth Name: Vera Jayne Palmer
  • Birth Place: Bryn Mawr, PA
  • Died: June 29, 1967
  • Profession: Actor

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