Wrestler and former Mr. Universe and Mr. America, Miklós “Mickey” Hargitay and actress/sex symbol Jayne Mansfield, carousing on the beach at Santa Monica, circa 1958-59.
Captured by vintage glam, fun, and cheesecake photographer Peter Gowland, likely with the assistance of his adorable wife Alice (they are a beautiful partnership).
The story goes like this, or so it is said. One night, Jayne Mansfield was attending one of Mae West’s famous burlesque shows (she idolized West, the original dirty blonde, and rightly so). She saw Mickey Hargitay in the crowd and when the waiter came to take her order, she said, “I’ll have a steak and that man on the right.” It was a stormy relationship, full of make-ups, break-ups, and affairs which, given how famous the blonde bombshell and the bodybuilder were, could not help but be public. The pair were tabloid fixtures until the jumping cartoon alarm clock of their marriage finally wound itself down and petered out.
Onstage in 1961, via Vintage Vegas on flickr. Mickey and Jayne had a show there at the Arabian Room called “House of Love.”
The couple divorced in Juarez, Mexico in May 1963. The Mexican divorce was initially declared invalid in California, and the two reconciled in October 1963. After the birth of their third child, Mansfield sued for the Juarez divorce to be declared legal and won. The divorce was recognized in the United States on August 26, 1964. She had previously filed for divorce on May 4, 1962, but told reporters, “I’m sure we will make it up.”
Must have made it up indeed, temporarily. Actress Mariska Hargitay (Law & Order: SVU), the youngest of their three children, was born earlier that year.
Via Muscle Growth Lovin’ Femme, unsourced, undated.
Jayne had several failed marriages and dead-end relationships following her final divorce from Mickey. She was killed in a car accident in 1968, along with Sam Brody, her boyfriend and accused child abuser. She was not decapitated; that is pure gruesome urban myth. Three of her children were in the car with her, including Mariska, but they survived with minor injuries.
Mickey Hargitay married Ellen Siano several years after he and Jayne divorced, and remained married to her the rest of his life. She raised Jayne’s children as her own in the wake of their mother’s tragic death. Mickey died of multiple myeloma in 2006.