Though best remembered today as the spouse of Jayne Mansfield, Hungarian-born bodybuilder Mickey Hargitay also enjoyed a career as an actor both in the United States and Europe during the late '60s and early '70s. Born Miklos Hargitay in 1926, he left his native Budapest after World War II and emigrated to the United States, where he performed as an adagio dancer and also owned his own construction business. He became interested in professional bodybuilding in the mid-'50s, and eventually won the Mr. Universe title in 1955. He then joined Mae West's stage show, where he met and fell in love with Jayne Mansfield. The pair was married in 1958, the same year that Mickey made his motion-picture debut in Slaughter on Tenth Avenue. He would co-star with Jayne three times -- in Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? (1958), The Loves of Hercules (1960) (in which he played the title role), and in Promises! Promises! -- before the couple divorced in 1964. Mickey's subsequent roles were primarily in Italian productions; the most notable of these was 1965's Bloody Pit of Horror, in which he played a crazed nobleman possessed by the sadistic spirit of his ancestor. Shortly after Jayne's unfortunate death in 1967 Mickey re-married. Mickey continued his acting career and appeared in several Italian Westerns and spy films before wrapping up his acting career in a trio of horror films -- Lady Frankenstein (1971), the perverse The Reincarnation of Isabel, and Delirium (both 1972). Mickey later became the president of Graphic Muscle, an internet site devoted to bodybuilding, and the proud father of four children, one of whom, Mariska Hargitay, achieved her own success in Hollywood.
"Mickey had a huge heart under all those muscles. He raised his three children even after Jayne's death and did a wonderful job. He was in my opinion, a good man. RIP Mickey"
Jayne Mansfield Online Fan Club President