After Mansfield and Hargitay divorced, Jayne discovered she was pregnant with their third child. Being a single mother with a new daughter would have forced Mansfield to put her career on the back burner for a little while at least – something she was clearly loath to do – so the couple announced they would stay together for the time being.
At the same time, Mansfield was chosen over several other leading ladies of the time to replace the recently-deceased Marilyn Monroe in “Kiss Me, Stupid,” a 1964 romantic comedy that also starred Dean Martin. Mansfield had to turn the potentially career-reviving role down due to her pregnancy.
Stunts That Would Wow Acrobats
Mansfield must have started to feel desperate since she began to pull even riskier stunts. She showed up topless to a Mardi Gras party while visiting Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (which is a little more common there). She also decided to leave her polka-dot dress on the floor of a Rome nightclub in June of 1962.
Only three years after her Broadway debut with “Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?” Mansfield had become one of the most controversial stars of the decade. The media, both at home and around the world, started to realize Mansfield was doing everything she could to keep an eye on her, even if the only things she had to offer peeked at her body.
Too Hot for the Censors
Mansfield had become a different person. She pushed all kinds of boundaries in both her public life and her (if she even had one) private life. It had never been truer than in 1963 when she starred in the movie “Promises! Promises!” It titillated moviegoers with promises of Mansfield practically baring it all on-screen in what would be a history-making move in Hollywood.
Due to the censorship practices at the time, such skin was unheard of, and those same organizations considered the content explicit. As a result, the footage was banned worldwide.
Making Mom Proud
The third child of Mickey Hargitay and Jayne Mansfield, they named Mariska, and that name should ring a bell. Like her mother, Mariska is now an award-winning actress, best known for her portrayal as New York Police Department Captain Olivia Benson on the NBC drama “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.”
Mariska Hargitay has been part of the show since it began all the way back in September of 1999, making it the longest-running United States live-action series. We have no doubt that Jayne would be happy with the success Mariska has found, as well as Mariska's choice to avoid the pitfalls Jayne herself stumbled into.
Third Try at Love
Once Mansfield had her feet on the ground concerning the new baby girl, her divorce from Hargitay was officially recognized – August of 1964. A court decree made Hargitay the guardian of the three children, but they continued to live with Mansfield. Only a month after the divorce was finalized, Mansfield married Matt Cimber, an Italian-born film director.
The two had become involved when he directed her stage production of “Bus Stop,” which co-starred Hargitay. During their marriage, Cimber began managing Jayne's career, guiding her toward increasingly tasteless projects in an attempt to rebuild her career.