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Jayne Mansfield Biography - Part Nine
Taking it off

Jayne Mansfield was a step ahead of her time whe she decided to become one of the first big stars to take it all off for Playboy magazine. This coincided with her production of her film "Promises Promises." Playboy shot behind the scenes nude shots of Jayne by the urging of her producer Tommy Noonan, and she agreed to do the pictorial without compensation. The magazine would go on to become the biggest seller for the magazine at that point in history. "The Nudest Jayne Mansfield" flew off the newspaper stands, with many copies selling for the steep price of $10.00 a piece. Hugh Hefner was arrested for obscenity for publishing the pictures. Even with all this publicity, "Promises Promises" was not the box office hit that she had hoped for, and by mid 1963 she hit the nightclub circuit.

In her nightclub act she performed a burlesque which toured throughout the U.S. There were some show tunes, a little stand up comedy and then capped the evening with a striptease routine. This was an extremely successful act everywhere it went, and often brought a standing ovation finale. Also during this time she appeared on television quite frequently. She appeared on Follow The Sun, two Alfred Hitchcock presents, Jack Parr, Red Skelton and Jack Benny. In 1964 she did a guest appearance on Burke's Law.

During this time she also took over the lead roles of two road show productions of films made famous by Marilyn Monroe. "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" and "Bus Stop." In 1964 her divorce to Mickey became finalized. As happened so often in Jayne's career, the lead man in her road show for Gentlemen became her new lover and fairly soon afterward her husband.

When the Beatles came to the U.S. and were asked which American celebrity they'd like to meet they cited Jayne Mansfield. Jayne hooked up with them at the Whiskey A-Go-Go. When she first met John, and saw his shag haircut she asked him if it was real. John quipped, while looking at her breasts, "Are those real?" Supposedly the meeting ended when George Harrison sloshed his glass of Scotch at an inebriated Jayne, and instead hit Mamie Van Doren square in the face.

Jayne and Matt Cimber married in 1964, and he became her new publicist. He attempted to get her into the "A" roles she had longed for again, and he set up many television appearances. Jayne turned down a contract for the television show "Gilligan's Island" which was later taken by Tina Louise.

She opened in New York City's Latin Quarter with a nightclub act, and even during one of the worst winters in the city, she played to packed houses every night. Filled with insecurities about her future, she poured herself into a Cimber role "Single Room Furnished," which did not even get distributed in her lifetime. She recognized the position she was in, and although this was certainly not one of the best roles, she said, "it is a role that will make people sit up and take notice about what I can do."

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