Jayne Mansfield

Jayne Mansfield

The Girl Couldn't Help It

Eve Golden
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The first definitive biography of tragicomic sex symbol Jayne Mansfield, one of the most colorful and eccentric movie stars of the 1950s-60s. The book examines both her life and her career, detailing her movie, TV and stage work, as well as her drive to become an old-fashioned movie star at the end of the big-studio era. Jayne Mansfield: The Girl Couldn' t Help It follows Jayne from her birth in 1933 through her early days as a starlet, her sudden fame as a Broadway star, and her too-brief years as 20th Century-Fox' s threat to Marilyn Monroe. After three hit films, showing what a talented actress she was, Jayne found herself cut loose and floundering, in ever-cheaper and worse films. Jayne' s private life will be examined as well: her expertise as a publicity magnet, her relationship with the press and her fans; her three marriages and many affairs, and her well-meaning but ill-equipped parenting skills. The rumors around her death will be addressed, via nearly 100 pages of police reports. Among the people interviewed for this book are her third husband, her lover shortly before Mariska Hargitay was born (the only interview he has ever given about Jayne), the man who published her 1963 memoirs, the inventor of the Jayne Mansfield Hot Water Bottle, and Loni Anderson, who portrayed Jayne in a 1980 TV-movie. Including 70 photos, The Girl Couldn' t Help It will finally set straight many misconceptions about Jayne Mansfield, and will provide a fair and balanced, sympathetic but clear-eyed portrait of one of show business' s most bizarre and endearing icons.
"As Eve Golden reveals in this ferociously readable biography, there were always two Jayne Mansfields: a dramatic actress who dressed like a stripper, an avowed Christian and serial adulteress, an animal-lover swathed in mink. Ms. Golden takes on the daunting task of reconciling these contradictions and succeeds admirably, giving us a vivid, well-rounded (no pun intended) account of a unique life. " -- Stage and Cinema "Eve Golden has given us an impeccably researched, fast-paced, unvarnished but loving tribute to one of Hollywood' s great 1950s blonde bombshells. " -- Robert Dance, author of Glamour of the Gods and Hollywood Icons "Eve Golden brings impeccable research and stylish writing to this mid-century American icon. Jayne Mansfield: The Girl Couldn' t Help It dispels the myths about Jayne Mansfield and examines her continuing popularity. " -- Larry Harnisch, retired L. A. Times editor, writer, columnist and blogger "Pop the pink champagne for Eve Golden' s breezily written tribute to the phenomenon known as Jayne Mansfield, which quite notably includes an appreciation of her undervalued talent and sadly unfulfilled potential. Immersed in the giddy pleasures of mid-century pop culture, this book is consistently entertaining while always respectful. Even when it' s funny, it never treats Mansfield as a joke. " -- John DiLeo, author of Ten Movies at a Time: A 350-Film Journey Through Hollywood and America 1930-1970 "There have been other Jayne Mansfield books -- but none like this one. Eve Golden' s even-handed, clear-eyed approach to Jayne' s often convoluted life pegs Jayne Mansfield: The Girl Couldn' t Help It as one of the best star bios ever. " -- Laura Wagner, book reviewer for Classic Images and author of Hollywood' s Hard-Luck Ladies "This is a confection of a book, but that is not to say it is without substance. The same could be said about its subject. With humor and a keen eye for separating fact from the multitude of fiction surrounding Mansfield, Golden provides the first definitive (and positively page-turning!) work on an underrated actress and cult icon. Readers will fall in love with the multi-talented Mansfield who refused to accept failure. Through turbulent romances and career hiccups, Jayne' s first love was truly being a celebrity. She embraced her over the top persona with a wildly eccentric home (called the pink palace) to complete her image. She was a fine comedienne and able to laugh at herself. Still, it is a shame few are aware of the depth of emotion and subtlety this bombshell could bring to her performances. Golden' s endlessly entertaining, cute yet intelligent, exhaustively researched book is a must for Mansfield devotees and film scholars alike. " -- Cynthia Brideson, author of He' s Got Rhythm: The Life and Career of Gene Kelly and ZiegfeldandHis Follies: A Biography of Broadway' s Greatest Producer
Eve Golden is the author of numerous theater and film biographies, including Jayne Mansfield: The Girl Couldn' t Help It, The Brief, Madcap Life of Kay Kendall, and John Gilbert: The Last of the Silent Film Stars.