Source:The Daily Review
This Is Your Life Jayne Mansfield, is a short story in years, but a fascinating story that plays more like a long, but great soap opera for a woman who comes from very humble meanings at least in the sense that wasn’t known at all until she went to Hollywood and started landing parts in movies. But then hits it big in Hollywood in the mid 1950s with roles in The Burglar, Will Success Spoil Rockwell Hunter, The Girl Can’t Help it, making it clear to Hollywood that she was a good comedian and comedic actress with great timing including musical comedy. Had Jayne stayed on that track I believe we’re talking about one of the best comedians and musical comedians of her generation at least.
But by 1960 she was moving away from Hollywood because she was tired of just doing comedy and wanted to expand her career as an actress and move into drama. The problem that she had was that Hollywood just saw her as a comedian and as a sex symbol. A woman who was obviously gorgeous with the great body, yet who was also as cute as a little girl really up until she died in 1967. And they wanted to use her to sell movies with her sex appeal and comedy. But she wanted to move to drama instead which is who she ends up in Britain in the early 1960s with the movie Too Hot To Handle. But unless you’re a huge, dedicated fan of Jayne Mansfield or have lived in Britain, you probably haven’t heard of Too Hot To Handle.
It’s Hollywood where Jayne always belonged and if it was drama she wanted to do, then it was soap operas and dramatic comedy like working with Alfred Hitchcock where she should’ve been working. Instead of trying to do serious roles in TV and films. I tweeted on Twitter ( of all places ) a few weeks ago about Jayne Mansfield with one of my followers ( but not my only follower, ha, ha ) replying to me that she was never taken seriously and wasn’t a serious actress. Which is true, but I would qualify that by saying that she wasn’t meant to be taken seriously. She wasn’t a dumb blonde, but she wasn’t cut out for serious roles.
Similar to Mary Tyler Moore, Carol Burnett, Bette Midler, and I’m sure other actresses and comedians she was a natural comedian who was born to entertain and to make people laugh. Which is what she should’ve been doing her whole career and would’ve had a great career in Hollywood as a comedian and not try to move away from that.