The Other Michael Musto!

Categories: Film

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I once got a call from a TV producer doing a biographical show about the cartoonishly appealing blond starlet Jayne Mansfield, who tragically died in a 1967 car crash.

I was thrilled to come aboard as a commentator, having loved Jayne's campy film appearances, as well as her record album of Shakespeare sonnets and Tchaikovsky tunes, which I actually owned.

But when they found out I wasn't the Michael Musto they wanted, they promptly canned me.

See, Jayne's last starring film, Single Room Furnished, was executive-produced and co-written by a guy named Michael Musto! And that's who they were looking for!

I would have been a perfect talking head for that show anyway.

Furnished happens to be one of my movie-club faves -- a three-in-one tale about a woman's fall to prostitution, and an added narration by gossip columnist Walter Winchell makes it no less incoherent.

But Jayne -- a/k/a Mariska Hargitay's mom -- is surprisingly touching in the film (which was made in 1966, released that year, pulled back, and re-released after her death in '68).

That Michael Musto has no other credits on IMDb, but still, if I couldn't be this Michael Musto, I would have loved to be that one!



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6 comments
wes
wes

Don't believe everything you read in the papers. "avulsion of the cranium, crushed skull and brain" was what the death certificate, found on the internet, says. That means injury at TOP of the scalp and the coroner on the youtube piece says she was "intact". The producer of the film mentioned here was her husband at the time, Matt Kimber.   The death of these three folks was 45 years ago this month.

Ralph
Ralph

Was working in the wire room of the Chicago Sun Times the night Jayne died. The bells on the UPI and AP machines were ringing like it was midnight on New Year’s Eve and when I ripped the first copy off the teletypes, it was very clear that the editors would hit the "stop the presses" button, which they’d do only in the rarest of cases. But the real excitement came when the UPI pictures were being transmitted, because it certainly did look like Jayne had lost her head. The other photo services sent transmissions depicting her as "decapitated," with editors underlining the word. Not one of the editors expressed a doubt about the claim. Only dilemma that night: do they run the photo? They did. The typographers were on the phone with the copy editors while setting the type -- no time to write a story -- and the presses were rolling again not more than 20 minutes later. By 4 AM the paper was being loaded onto the trucks. Jayne never got more excited press in her career.

Dangerous Herbert
Dangerous Herbert

Thanks for the tip! Easily found online to download in 4 parts. Widescreen, too.

Savannah Montgomery
Savannah Montgomery

hahaha...I too accidentally discovered my doppelganger...a[my real-name] Brit who'd written a book. I bought it (used) and put it on my bookshelf waiting for someone to "discover" it...never happened. I never read it...the first chapter was enough to figure out why it was "used".

Imp
Imp

I always wondered if you'd written Single Room Furnished. But you're actually not old enough to have done so.

Winston
Winston

I'd love to be that one too!

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