If part of Hollywood’s appeal is the lure of the artificial—not the entirety of its appeal, but some—then Jayne Mansfield is irresistible. For everything unbelievable, garish, overdone, over-everything about her, there’s also something beguiling, funny, even touching. Her story isn’t pretty (especially as told in the shallow, sensationalistic style of the A&E Biography—par for that series—included in the new Jayne Mansfield Collection). With an insatiable appetite for fame and a figure that seems to have sprung from the imagination of a dirty-minded cartoonist, Jayne (it would be heartless to call her Mansfield) parlayed pin-up work into a contract as a bit player at Twentieth Century Fox. Bigger roles came her way in the mid-’50s, accompanied by near-hysterical press coverage. But both petered out, and Jayne sank into European exploitation movies, cheapie American-made nudies, regional theater, third-rate nightclub tours—and alcohol and drugs on top of that. Her career was essentially over by the time, in 1967, she was killed in a car crash. She was 34.
more from the NY Observer here.