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2Feb/11Off

Must-Read Book: Did Success Spoil Jayne Mansfield? Her Life in Pictures and Text

Amazon Product Description:

Jayne Mansfield is a legend.

She appeared in twenty-nine movies as an actress and she was also a musician and a comedienne. Her I.Q. was reputed to be 163. She was the mother of five, including Mariska Hargitay, the star of the hit TV show LAW & ORDER SVU.

Now Frank Ferruccio, film historian and personal friend of the Mansfield children, shares more of his behind-the-scenes stories from Jayne's life.

Following up on his first biography of Jayne, Diamonds to Dust, The Life and Death of Jayne Mansfield, this newest work fills in many of the missing pieces to Jayne's life and is a fascinating tribute to one of the greatest sex symbols of all time.

Did Success Spoil Jayne Mansfield, Her Life in Pictures and Text is a must read for any admirer of Jayne Mansfield and of the era of film which gave her fame.


Click here to purchase.

16Aug/09Off

Jayne Mansfield’s daughter invited to the 50th birthday party of the Chiswick Flyover

The day that Jayne Mansfield cut a ribbon with a pair of golden scissors and declared the Chiswick Flyover in west London officially open must count as one of the most unlikely moments in the history of British motorways.

Next month, on the 50th anniversary of the flyover's glamorous opening, Paul Lynch, the local mayor, hopes that Mariska Hargitay – the star of Law & Order and the late screen goddess's youngest daughter – will agree to come to the borough to commemorate the event.

"Whether we love the flyover or hate it, we can't let this moment go by without doing something," Councilor Lynch tells Mandrake. "I suppose it wouldn't occur to anyone to get someone like Miss Mansfield to open a stretch of motorway these days, but in the fifties we still associated motoring with fun and we need to re-capture some of that spirit as we mark the half century."

Gerald McGregor, a fellow councilor, envisaged Miss Hargitay attending a "small drinks party" immediately beneath the flyover so that it wouldn't interfere with the flow of traffic.

Regarded as too risqué an actress to conduct the opening by one Conservative councilor at the time, Miss Mansfield was not in fact the first person to have been invited to do the honors. Stirling Moss and Donald Campbell had both declined. "It's a sweet little flyover,' Miss Mansfield told the press on the big day, making it clear it wasn't a patch on the flyovers in America.

It is hard even for Alastair Campbell to put a positive spin on this, but the Central Office of Information – "the Government's marketing and communications specialist hub," as it calls itself – is advertising for senior news and public relations professionals who have the ability to "manage crisis communications" and know how to "handle situations diplomatically." Mandrake wonders if this can be taken as official confirmation that the nation has finally spun out of control.

Original Article

16Aug/09Off

Prince William misses the bus with Princess Madeleine

After Prince William temporarily ended his relationship with Kate Middleton two years ago, Princess Madeleine of Sweden, the youngest daughter of King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia, was briefly mooted as a possible replacement.

William was certainly not alone in being impressed by the 27-year-old princess's beauty, but now, alas, she is taken. Sweden's royal palace announced yesterday that she was engaged to Jonas Bergstroem, a 30-year-old lawyer whom she had been dating for seven years.

No date has been set for the wedding, but Princess Madeleine, who works for the World Childhood Foundation in Stockholm, will presumably have to wait until after her elder sister, Crown Princess Victoria, 31, marries Daniel Westling, a 35-year-old entrepreneur, in June next year.

Flyover falling-out

As the local worthies prepare to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Chiswick Flyover in West London next month, a reader tells me there is a story behind how Jayne Mansfield was chosen to cut the ribbon.

Christian Ingerslev, the son of Eric Ingerslev, the boss of the company which built the flyover, says Ernest Marples, the transport minister, had decreed there was to be no opening as he had been irked that the company had submitted its tender for the job too late in the day.

Ingerslev's father decided to organise the opening off his own bat, persuading Miss Mansfield, who was in town for a Royal Variety Performance, to do the honours. Marples was livid.

Another reader, Toby McDonald, tells me that his father, John, closed the flyover on the day it opened after crashing his car on the approach to it.

And, contrary to reports elsewhere, I will not myself be hosting a cheese and wine party beneath the flyover. The things people write in gossip columns.

A shift of gear

Zac Goldsmith lambasts Top Gear in his book, The Constant Economy, saying it promotes a "fantasy" that people can "push a Ferrari over 150mph with impunity". Road safety is a difficult one for Zac: he was once chastised by road safety campaigners for rolling a cigarette while driving.

Original Article