Jayne Mansfield was well aware, of course, that the public was most keenly interested in her spectacular 40–21–35 frame; Billy Graham once declared with exasperation that “This country knows more about Jayne Mansfield’s statistics than the Second Commandment!” – and he probably wasn’t wrong, at that. But Jayne boasted another ridiculously impressive attribute: Her I.Q. of over 160, which puts her comfortably in the same neighborhood as Albert Einstein, Bill Gates, and Steven Hawking.
She spoke five languages, was classically trained on the piano and the violin, and I’m pretty sure that she’s the only blonde bombshell to record a spoken-word album of a selection of Shakespeare’s sonnets, as well as poems by Browning, Wordsworth, Marlowe, and others, accented by the music of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Today, “Jayne Mansfield: Shakespeare, Tchaikovsky & Me” is a rare and highly sought-after collectible, but it must be said that, big brain aside, she wasn’t smart enough to realize that her trademark breathy delivery doesn’t mesh very well with classical poetry and music – the New York Times remarked sadly, upon the album’s release, that “Miss Mansfield is a lady with apparent charms, but reading poetry is not one of them.”