The way they were, inaugural edition: Mickey and Jayne

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.


Ditto credit to above

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.

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5 Responses to “The way they were, inaugural edition: Mickey and Jayne”

  1. Beatrice Says:

    I’m a fan of Mariska, daughter of Jayne and seeing these pictures you’ll realize the facial resemblance between the duas.E, coincidentally, Jayne and Hargitay has several titles of beauty.

    • E. Says:

      I agree, they look very much alike. It’s a shame that Mariska Hargitay had to grow up without Jayne, but at least she had a loving stepmother. Both Jayne and Mariska are very beautiful, indeed!

  2. Shayra Says:

    It does not appear that Mariska got many of Hargitay’s genes. She looks much more like her mother but I struggle to see her father in her. Mariska’s nose is sharper than Jayne’s was and she is less soft -looking and darker tha Jayne was. That is the only resemblance to Hargitay I can detect. By today’s IFBB standards of bodybuilding, Hargitay would not have made Mr. Universe, P.S. Not big and ripped enough, guess anabolic steroids weren’t around or in use.
    But I do like Mariska and think maybe it was a blessing she did not grow up under Jayne. The curse Jayne jad placed on Brody by Anton LaVey backfired and I am glad Mariska was not a victim of it.

  3. Valentine Vixen — Miss February 1955, Jayne Mansfield « The Thought Experiment Says:

    […] Over the course of her career, the lovely and talented (and, I hope I have convinced you, underratedly clever) Jayne Mansfield appeared in Playboy magazine over 30 times. You may visit Jayne’s star on the Walk of Fame at 6328 Hollywood Boulevard. As her gravestone says, “We live to love you more each day.” R.I.P., Ms. Mansfield. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)The way they were, inaugural edition: Mickey and Jayne […]

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