I was one of the steamiest femme fatale bombshells of the 1950s. Baby boomer boys and their dads went ga-ga when they saw me.
Baby boomers think they invented the sexual revolution. My generation created the public candy store. The boomers made the door key.
I know I’ll sound petty now…but Marilyn Monroe was always a more popular celebrity. Hey, I had a better figure, an IQ of 162 (who knew?!) and could speak 5 languages. Oh, you may say, Marilyn was a classically trained pianist, won a Gold Globe, and appeared as Playmate of the Month. Ditto, ditto, ditto.
Marilyn was “discovered” working in an aircraft factory
She was Miss Artichoke but I was Miss Photoflash, Miss Magnesium Lamp, and Miss Fire Prevention Week. Between late 1956 and the next spring, my bodacious bod was splashed across the world in 2500 news photos. I was the pop culture pin-up queen, but also acclaimed as a serious actress for the movie Wayward Bus, where I snatched my Golden Globe.
By the mid 1960s, my career was shrinking. Baby boomers were flocking to movies and idolizing young Tuesday Welds or skinny, superficial sophisticates like Julie Christie or Audrey Hepburn.
I turned down the role of Ginger in the television hit Gilligan’s Island because it reinforced my old stereotype. Ginger became a household name. I missed the boat, so to speak.
My best-known marriage was to Mickey Hargarity – Mr. Universe in 1955, easily the body equal of baby boomer hero Arnold S. And without steroids.
Driving with friends and my three young children in 1967 our car crashed into the rear of tractor-trailer. All the adults were killed but the children survived with minor injuries. One has gone on to have an acclaimed show business career of her own as Mariska Hagarity, playing Olivia Benson in the television hit Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. If you look deep at her, you can see me. Answer at end of post.
Mariska Hagarity on Falcon Crest, 1981
Academy Awards for 1965
Best Picture: The Sound of Music
Best Actor: Lee Marvin, Cat Ballou
Best Actress: Julie Christie, Darling
Answer to Baby Boomer Celebrity
♀ Jane Mansfield was one of the biggest (breasts and box office) Hollywood sex queens of the 1950s but never equaled Marilyn Monroe in success or adulation. That’s Sophia Loren (left) shooting a quick look at Jane.
Dick Cavett’s line to introduce Jane Mansfield, written for the Jack Paar Show, became the title of a best-selling biography.