How Jayne Mansfield And Marilyn Monroe Really Felt About Each Other

Marilyn Monroe saw substantial upward mobility in her late teens. Born Norma Jeane Mortenson (but going by her baptismal name, Norma Jeane Baker, per Time), she spent her early life in and out of foster care, subjected to assault, and forced to leave school. She married a marine at age 16, and when he left during World War II she took up a job at a munitions factory (via It was then that Norma Jean began her modeling career. When she was discovered by actor and talent director Ben Lyon, per The New York Times, he gave her the stage name of Marilyn Monroe.

Although her first marriage fell apart as a result of her husband's disapproval in her having a career, Monroe's fame continually increased as she gradually became a Hollywood star (via The Vintage News). Monroe was an inspiration to many women at the time, including aspiring starlet Jayne Mansfield. While the similarities in their appearances and careers were numerous, Mansfield was adamant that she didn't see much overlap between herself and Monroe. The latter on the other hand did not share this sentiment.

Monroe saw Mansfield as little more than an imitator

According to Showbiz Cheat Sheet, Monroe saw the younger actress as little more than a caricature of her own career and style. When questioned on the issue she even expressed a wish to sue Mansfield for the perceived imitation, which she viewed as "gross" and "vulgar." Feeding into this opinion was each woman's persona. Monroe was an often insecure person and later in her career wished to shake off the typecasting she had been subjected to. Jayne Mansfield, on the other hand, had little issue continuing to play the part of a stereotypical blonde (in spite of having a remarkably high IQ, per CBS News) in public and on-screen.

Film studios started to view Mansfield as having a more reliable work ethic — Monroe was chronically late. According to Closer Weekly, Mansfield even earned double the salary than Monroe initially made. Their rivalry was perhaps best embodied In 1955 when the two were physically in the same location for what appears to have been the first and only time at the Astor Hotel. Mansfield was pictured seemingly attempting to interact with a visibly dismissive Monroe (via The Marilyn Report).

Biographer Frank Ferruccio told Closer Weekly of the scene, "Jayne was enamored of Marilyn and wanted to go over, but Marilyn snubbed her. For someone who was very sure of herself, it was hard to be snubbed by her idol."