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June 29, 1967 | Jayne Mansfield

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A car accident claimed the life of sex symbol Jayne Mansfield – June 29, 1967.

She was the mother of SVU actress Mariska Hargitay.

1952 Photo of Mariska's parents

On June 29, 1967, Jayne Mansfield was killed in an automobile accident on a stretch of U.S. Highway 90 between New Orleans and Slidell, Louisiana. Her boyfriend, Sam Brody, and the driver were also killed. Asleep in the back of the vehicle, Mariska, then three-and-a-half years old, was left with a zig-zag scar on one side of her head. Her brothers, Miklós and Zoltán were also in the car, but escaped with minor injuries. After the death of their mother, the three siblings were raised by their father and his third wife, Ellen Siano.

Sophia Loren eyes Jayne Mansfield, a 50's pin up girl famous for her huge bust

Upon winning her award in August 2006, Mariska made a point of thanking her father for everything he had done for her in her life. He died just 17 days later.

Philanthropy

Mariska is founder and president of the Joyful Heart Foundation, an organization that was set up in 2004 to provide support to women who have been sexually assaulted.

“I started getting fan mail from survivors who felt a connection to Olivia. In many of these letters, people would disclose their personal stories of abuse — some for the very first time. I remember getting the sense that many were living in isolation with so much shame, but the shame belonged to the perpetrators. I wanted to help find a way to help people reclaim their lives and live them with a renewed sense of possibility and hope. And that’s what we work to do every day at Joyful Heart.”

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