Jayne Mansfield-Sophia Loren photo

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Sophia Loren and Jayne Mansfield, seated at a restaurant table
Sophia Loren (left) with Mansfield (right) at Romanoff's in Beverly Hills[1]

American actress Jayne Mansfield was known for her publicity stunts, including what are now called wardrobe malfunctions. One of the major incidents involved Sophia Loren.

Original incident[edit]

In April 1957, Mansfield's breasts were the focus of a notorious publicity stunt intended to deflect media attention from Sophia Loren during a dinner party in the Italian star's honor. Photographs of the encounter were published around the world. The best-known photo showed Loren's disapproving gaze falling on the cleavage of the American actress (who was seated between Loren and her dinner companion, Clifton Webb) when Mansfield leaned over the table, allowing her breasts to spill over her low neckline and exposing one nipple.[2] The photograph of that episode was a UPI sensation, appearing in newspapers and magazines with the word "censored" hiding the actress's exposed bosom.[3] Sophia Loren said in a 2014 interview that she was "staring at her nipples because I am afraid they are about to come onto my plate."[4]

Publicity[edit]

Fearful of public outrage, most Italian newspapers refused to print the wirephotos; Il Giorno and Gazzetta del Popolo printed them after retouching to cover much of Mansfield's bosom, and only Il Giornale d'Italia printed them uncensored.[5]

Re-creations[edit]

In 1993, Daniela Federici created an homage with Anna Nicole Smith as Mansfield and New York City DJ Sky Nellor as Loren for a Guess Jeans campaign.[6] Later, Mark Seliger took a picture named Heidi Klum at Romanoff's with Heidi Klum in a reproduction of the restaurant set.[7] This photo was also parodied in the 2014 Modern Family episode "iSpy" with Julie Bowen in Loren's place staring down the chest of Sofia Vergara, who took Mansfield's spot.[8]

References[edit]

Sources[edit]

  • Strait, Raymond (1974). Tragic Secret Life of Jayne Mansfield. Robert Hale. ISBN 0709155433.
  • Saxton, Martha (1975). Jayne Mansfield and the American Fifties. New York: Houghton Mifflin. ISBN 978-0-395-20289-0.

Citation[edit]

  1. ^ Merkin, Daphne (August 28, 2005). "The Great Divide". The New York Times.
  2. ^ Saxton 1975, p. 95
  3. ^ Strait 1992, pp. 115
  4. ^ Heidi Parker, "I was afraid her breasts would spill out on my plate!", Daily Mail, 1 November 2014
  5. ^ "Too Low Down". The Palm Beach Post. April 15, 1957. p. 9.
  6. ^ Bowman, David (August 23, 2002). "Searching for Marcello". Salon.com. Archived from the original on February 1, 2013. Retrieved September 7, 2008.
  7. ^ "Heidi Klum at Romanoff's". artnet. Retrieved September 7, 2008.
  8. ^ "Julie Bowen Gets Breast Envy, Gives Sofia Vergara Death Stare", socialnewsdaily.com