Matt Cimber

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Matt Cimber
Born Thomas Vitale Ottaviano
Spouse(s) Jane Baldera (1954–1963)
Jayne Mansfield (1964–1966)
Christy Hanak (1967–?)
Lynn Fero (?-present)
Children 3

Matt Cimber (born Thomas Vitale Ottaviano[1][2][3] in 1936) is an Italian–American film producer, director and screenwriter. He was the last husband of Jayne Mansfield.[4] Cimber directed her on stage and in one movie, Single Room Furnished (1968). They divorced the year before her death in a car crash.

Personal life[edit]

Cimber married his first wife Jane Baldera in 1954, and together they have two children, Katie and Venicio. They divorced in 1963. Cimber married his second wife Jayne Mansfield the following year, and have one son, Antonio. They divorced 19 July 1966 even if the divorce was not completed when Mansfield died (because of the interlocutory decree period in California).[1] Cimber married his third wife, Christy Hanak in 1967. He is now married to his fourth wife, Liz Furio.


Cimber began his career in the early 60s directing off-Broadway plays including works by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Tennessee Williams and the US premieres of the Jean Cocteau trilogy. During his theater years, Cimber adapted Burning Bright by John Steinbeck which introduced Sandy Dennis who went on to win an Academy Award for Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966). Cimber then directed the Broadway revival of Bus Stop, where he met his future wife Jayne Mansfield.


Matt made his cinematic directorial debut (credited on-screen like Matteo Ottaviano)[1][5] with the offbeat Single Room Furnished (1966), which was also Jayne Mansfield's last movie. Cimber directed Man and Wife in 1969 and He and She the following year. He followed this movie with the film The Sexually Liberated Female (1970), which was based on a best-selling book The Sensuous Female by J.

Cimber did three blaxploitation pictures in the mid 70s: The Black 6 (1973), Lady Cocoa (1975) and The Candy Tangerine Man (1975) which Samuel L. Jackson has been quoted as saying is his "favorite film." In 1976 Matt made a rare foray into the horror genre with the disturbing psychological shocker The Witch Who Came from the Sea. His next work was based on a Mario Puzo story, a World War II drama Time to Die (1982) starring Rex Harrison.

Later that year Matt teamed up with Pia Zadora for two films: Butterfly (1982) and Fake-Out (1982). Butterfly (1982) was the master filmmaker Orson Welles's last film for which he received one of the film's three Golden Globe nominations. The following year Matt joined forces with actress Laurene Landon for the delightful action/adventure romps Hundra (1983) and Yellow Hair and the Fortress of Gold (1984). Quentin Tarantino is quoted as saying Matt Cimber films were among his favorite.

After a twenty years absence in motion picture production, Matt Cimber made a comeback with the independent drama Miriam (2006).


In the late 80s, Cimber created and directed the successful TV series GLOW: Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling (1986). The show lasted for four seasons and was broadcast on over 100 station in the US. Cimber's recent work has been in the documentary genre. He wrote and directed "An American Icon: Coca-Cola, the Early Years" (1997) and "The History of United Nations" (1996). He created and wrote the eight-minute intro for visitors to the United Nations for which he received a special commendation from the UN.


1982's Butterfly received a total of three Golden Globe nominations: Orson Welles for Best Motion Picture Actor in a Supporting Role Ennio Morricone (music) and Carol Connors (lyrics) for the song "It's Wrong For Me To Love You", Best Original Song – Motion Picture Pia Zadora, who starred as Kady in the film, won "Best Female Newcomer" over Elizabeth McGovern and Kathleen Turner. This occurred after her husband flew members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association to Las Vegas to watch Pia sing, producing accusations that the award had been "bought".

The film was also nominated for the Razzie Award three times: Worst Director (Cimber), Worst Writer (Cimber and John Goff) and Worst Picture. The film garnered a total of ten Worst nominations. Even Orson Welles, one of the most accomplished actors ever, was nominated as Worst Supporting Actor under Cimber's direction. Pia Zadora, who starred as Kady in the film, financed by her husband Meshulam Riklis, won Razzie Awards for Worst Actress and Worst New Star. Ed McMahon also won for Worst Supporting Actor.



  1. ^ a b c Faris, Jocelyn (1 January 1994). Jayne Mansfield: A Bio-bibliography. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 9780313285448. 
  2. ^ Parish, James Robert (20 December 2010). The Hollywood Book of Breakups. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 9781118040676. 
  3. ^ Strait, Raymond (1 January 1992). Here They Are Jayne Mansfield. SP Books. ISBN 9781561711468. 
  4. ^,_Antonio_Raphael
  5. ^ Ferruccio, Frank; Santroni, Damien (1 January 2010). Did Success Spoil Jayne Mansfield?: Her Life in Pictures and Text. Frank Ferruccio. ISBN 9781432761233. 

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