Monday, March 28, 2011

Fan-Boy Icon #38

Husband of Jayne Mansfield, father of Mariska Hargitay, champion speed-skater, Mr. Universe 1955, Hercules actor, and WWII resistance fighter; Mickey Hargitay had a rather interesting life. A Hungarian immigrant turned bodybuilder, Hargitay found himself in a Mae West review. This led him to meeting Jayne Mansfield. Their marriage, according to Something Weird Video's liner notes for The Bloody Pit of Horror, so angered Mae West that she set out to ruin both of their careers. Whether Jayne's decline was due to personal problems or West's involvement is debateable, but West certainly had a viscious side which Raquel Welch discusses about their working on Myra Breckinridge. It is (I'll say) rumoured that Mae West was in fact a man, which was (I'll say) allegedly reported by John Wayne. It is entirely possible, and might be the reason West had such issues with up-and-coming starlets like Mansfield and Welch; however that might also be attributed to her advancing age and lack of limelight as the sex symbol of her era.

Two films I really like Hargitay in are The Bloody Pit of Horror (which goes by many titles), and Lady Frankenstein. In The Bloody Pit of Horror, Hargitay plays "The Crimson Executioner"— a man distraught by the world's degenration and perversion. How does he handle fixing things? By tying naked girls up and torturing them. Seems perfectly logical. In Lady Frankenstein we get to see some better acting and more clothing for Mickey. As The Crimson Executioner he is always running around shirtless, but as Captain Harris he gets to play the good guy gone bad, if you will. He is the local law, but is a bit of a dirtbag. I am pretty sure he is dubbed, as is likely everyone, but it is a more serious, less naked-chest-centric portrayal. Later in life he would appear with his daughter on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and really does a fine job. Sometimes it is not skill as much as availibilty of roles that define an actor.

Mickey and Jayne

Mickey, Jayne and Mariska

"Just hangin' out on some rocks, yo."

Just in case you did not know...


Anonymous said...

I recall that awful TV movie where Loni Anderson (?!) played Jayne. None other than Arnold Schwarzenegger played Mickey (his idol).

And if you watch early episodes of Law & Order SVU, look closely at John Munch's desk and you'll see a Jayne Mansfield hot water bottle!

Darius Whiteplume said...

I never saw the TV movie, but unfortunately can't think of who else would play Jayne at that time. Arnold seems as likely a choice for Mickey as well.

Never noticed the hot water bottle, but I don't watch SVU much :-)

Anonymous said...

that pic of the family with the little girl in the swimsuit cant me Mariska she was only 3 when Jayne died, it is Jayne's oldest daughter Jayne marie.

Darius Whiteplume said...

I should have recognized that. Good catch!

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