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| name = Mamie Van Doren | image = Mamie Van Doren LF.jpg | caption = Van Doren at the launch of her new wine in November 2007 | birthname = Joan Lucille Olander | birthdate = Template:Birth date and age | location = Rowena, South Dakota | yearsactive = 1950 - present | spouse = Jack Newman (1950-1950)
Ray Anthony (1955-1961)
Lee Meyers (1966-1969)
Ross McClintock (1972-1973)
Thomas Dixon (1979-present) | website = }}

Mamie Van Doren (born February 6, 1931) is an American actress and sex symbol,from 1950's and 1960's to the 1970's.Some people think Mamie Van Doren's scewie and maybe she is,who knows.She obviously is horny,sexy and own unique person,plus her age to still going at,when women stop at age 40 or 50.She tells it like it is and dosen't appoligize for being a size queen.Sorry, but Madonna did it before BOTH of them, and Marilyn Monroe, Marlene Dietrich and Mamie Van Doren (and others) did it before her, so don't go thinking Gwen Stefani's look is anything close to original. Mamie Van Doren Date of Birth 6 February 1931, Rowena, South Dakota, USA

Birth Name Joan Lucille Olander

Height 5' 4" (1.63 m) 35-23-35

Spouse Thomas Dixon (26 June 1979 - present) Ross McClintock (1 December 1972 - 1973) (divorced) Lee Meyers (4 May 1966 - 3 January 1969) (divorced) Ray Anthony (29 August 1955 - 22 March 1961) (divorced) Jack Newman (1950 - 1950)


Miss Palm Springs 1948, at age 15.

Signed by Universal Studios at age 18 with the hope that they could make her their answer to Fox's Marilyn Monroe.

Measurements: 35-23-35 (as a 15 year-old model in 1946), 36-24-35 (in 1955 starlet), 38DD-26-36 (self-described in 1997), Quote: "I don't even want to say double-D, because they're even bigger than that." (Source: Celebrity Sleuth magazine)

Was discovered by Howard Hughes the night she was crowned Miss Palm Springs. He dated her for five years and launched her career by placing her in a few RKO films.

Her film Untamed Youth (1957) was originally condemned by the Catholic Legion of Decency, but that only served to enhance the curiosity factor, resulting in it being a big money-maker for the studio.

Issued out three quickie paperback biographies to juice up her fading popularity: "My Naughty, Naughty Life" (1961); "I Swing" (1965) and "My Wild Love Experiences (1965).

She took her stage name (Mamie) from "First Lady" Mamie Eisenhower.

Claims to have had an affair with Rock Hudson.

At the age of 16 she won the title "Miss Eight Ball."

Once posed for famous pin-up girl artist Alberto Vargas, the painter of the glamorous "Vargas Girls." His painting of Van Doren was on the July 1951 cover of Esquire.

Along with fellow platinum-blonde goddesses Marilyn Monroe and Jayne Mansfield, she was known as one of "The Three M's."

Son by second husband Ray Anthony, Perry Anthony. The two are said to have always had a good, mutually supportive relationship.

Personal Quotes

I don't wear panties anymore - this startles the Hollywood wolves so much they don't know what to pull at, so they leave me alone.

I came to Hollywood determined to follow in Jean Harlow's footsteps, but I was determined not to die young. My hope was to endure. And endure I have.

[about former suitor Howard Hughes] There's a scene in The Aviator (2004) that depicts Howard's first meeting with Faith Domergue that comes very close to the scene in my book "Playing the Field" describing my first meeting with him. He asks Faith how old she is. Answer: 15. He asked me the same thing. Answer: 16. He even asks if she lived with her parents and how nice it was that she lived at home. The only thing he didn't ask her in the movie was the main thing he asked me: "Are you a virgin?".

At my age, having an orgasm is like having an occasional cocktail.

[about the period in the early '60s when she was engaged to baseball star pitcher Bo Belinsky] It was a wild ride, but a lot of fun.

All Posts Buddhist sex kitten Mamie Van Doren vs. the signs of aging June 13th, 2008, 3:46 pm · 16 Comments · posted by Colin Stewart

Photos: Below left — Mamie Van Doren, age 75, after mini-facelift in February 2008. ( Register photo by Ana Vanegas) Below right — Mamie in the late 1950s. (Courtesy of Mamie Van Doren.) Survey: Do movie stars lose their appeal as they age?

Mamie Van Doren in the late 1950s Mamie Van Doren in May 2008 Black-and-white miniskirt. Ruby-red lips. Heels high enough for sky diving.

At 70-something, Mamie Van Doren still turns heads.

It’s been that way for Mamie since practically forever.

In 1948, she won the Miss Palm Springs beauty pageant and caught the eye of Howard Hughes during a period when (as head of RKO Pictures) he was keen on movies.

She was a teenager then, and a career was born.

These days, to attract such attention, Mamie gets help. She visits regularly – and unashamedly – with her Newport Beach plastic surgeon. And she studies Buddhism.

“As I’ve gotten older, Buddhism helps me to understand and live in the moment, without fears,” Mamie says.

From the teachings of Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh, she has even learned to accept her frown lines.

“If I have a flaw, I’ve learned to love it,” she says. “I look at it in the mirror and say, ‘I love you.’”

Then she signs up for more plastic surgery.

If it’s all a contradiction (and much of Mamie is about contradiction), it’s also part of her battle.

Mamie’s battle plan: To embrace the wisdom, but not the physical trajectory, of age.

Her battle recently included a second mini-facelift from Dr. H. George Brennan. It was a refresher to tighten sags that came about after her first facelift, in the 1980s, and her first mini-lift in the late 1990s.

Love wrinkles, yet go to a plastic surgeon? Is Mamie contradicting herself?

“I just wanted to be Mamie,” she says. And, indeed, Mamie has always been complicated.

She has married five times, divorced four times and, this month, will celebrate her 30th wedding anniversary.

She considers herself Christian. And Buddhist.

She was a sex symbol who, to take on Hollywood, was named after the anti-sex-symbol wife of President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

She dated celebrities from Elvis Presley to Burt Reynolds, was infamous for her nude photos.

Yet as late as her mid-50s, the former South Dakota farm girl was still worried about what her mother might think.

Photos: Below: Mamie Van Doren in 2008 with plastic surgeon Dr. George Brennan (Register photo by Ana Vanegas) and in 1953 with Edward G. Robinson. (Courtesy Mamie Van Doren)


Mamie Van Doren and Dr. George BrennanHer mother’s opinion, in fact, was foremost on Mamie’s mind when she met Brennan in Palm Springs in the 1980s.

“I was in the Jacuzzi,” she recalls. “He asked if I had ever had anything done.”

“No. It’s me,” Mamie said. He looked her over and figured he could improve on what he saw.

“Have you ever thought of having something done?” Brennan asked.

“I would never do that,” Mamie replied. “My mother said never let anyone touch your face.”

“He was very professional,” she remembers, “but I knew what he was thinking.”

Her husband, Tom Dixon, told her, “Do it if you want to.”

She had been living in Newport Beach since 1966, and she figured her career was in transition.

She could never return to the sexpot roles she’d played in “Running Wild,” “Teacher’s Pet,” and “Sex Kittens Go to College.” But there were other things she could do — TV appearances, film interviews about Hollywood history, and parties at the Playboy Mansion.

Tom told her, “If you’re going to go to Hollywood again, it probably would be a good idea to have a little touch-up,” she recalls. “Why not? You want to look your best.”

Brennan recommended a facelift and a tightening of the skin around her eyes.

“It’s not as if she looked horrible,” he recalls.

But the changes in her face were hard for Mamie to accept.

“In the middle of the night, I’d wake up and look in the mirror. I’d pull my face up to see myself as I was,” she said at the time.

“People don’t accept it when a beautiful young woman gets old.”

Mamie Van Doren in 1953 with Edward G. Robinson.She never considered having breast implants. Her measurements as a teen were listed at 35-23-35 and, she said, little had changed since.

“I’ve been accused of having implants, but I never have. No way!” she says. “I have large natural breasts that I got from my mother and grandmother.”

Before Mamie took the surgical plunge, she asked Brennan how long the effects of the surgery would last.

“Will I be like a princess who turns into a frog?”

“It lasts quite a while,” he assured her.

She decided to go ahead, but she didn’t tell her mother.

Her mother first saw the new look at Thanksgiving, and then she didn’t know what she was seeing.

Mamie recalls walking out from behind a curtain and realizing that her mother didn’t notice the change.

“I went ahead and did it,” Mamie told her.

Her mother turned and said, “She did?”

Mamie credits Brennan’s skill for that moment.

“The trick is doing it without showing it. It’s like acting. If you’re caught acting, you’re not a good actor,” she says. “It made me feel better,” Mamie recalls. “I didn’t want to look younger. All I wanted to do was to look like Mamie.”

Mamie Van Doren in 1958 with Clark Gable

Photo: Mamie Van Doren in 1958 with Clark Gable on the set of the film “Teacher’s Pet” (Courtesy Mamie Van Doren)


Looking like Mamie keeps her connected with celebrity. She still refers to herself as one of the three blonde bombshells of 1950s Hollywood, along with Marilyn Monroe and Jayne Mansfield. The three actresses’ careers intertwined as they shared the spotlight, vied for parts, and passed along potential roles to each other.

“Marilyn opened doors for me, and I opened doors for Jayne,” Mamie recalls.

Mamie Van Doren in 1960 with Bob CummingsBut the last time Mamie did that, the result was tragic.

In 1967, she offered Jayne a show that had been planned for Mamie. While Jayne was appearing at the Gus Stevens Supper Club in Biloxi, Miss., she was in a fatal car crash. If not for swapping with Jayne, Mamie might have been in that crash, she says.

Jayne Mansfield died at age 34, Marilyn Monroe at 36. Mamie has lived nearly as long as the two combined.

“She’s luckier than the other two, because she’s still here,” says Brennan.

“I’ve been blessed,” Mamie says. “I came to Hollywood determined to follow in Jean Harlow’s footsteps, but I was determined not to die young. My hope was to endure. And endure I have.”

Her recollections of celebrities are often more upbeat, but they always connect her to the glamour of days gone by.

“I knew Coco Chanel well in the 1960s. She’d let me take her clothes and wear them in New York. She called me Coco Van Doren. We had the same hearts and body,” Mamie says. And also:

“On my Web site, there’s a photo of me wearing Marlene Dietrich’s negligee. We have the same bone structure.”

Having started her career at age 15 and signed with Universal a few years later, she knows the difficult life of a young celebrity. That makes her sympathetic to young stars of today who run afoul of the media.

“I was 19 when the studio signed me, and there were no other women there. I had to cope with that,” she says. “There’s even more pressure now, and Hollywood is so fickle.”

She mentions Lindsay Lohan, a star at 12, and Miley Cyrus, a superstar at 15.

“Hollywood wants you to keep that look, but it’s practically impossible,” she says. That’s part of the allure of plastic surgery, she adds.

Consider the singer-actress Madonna, who has often turned to plastic surgery since 1985, when she starred in “Desperately Seeking Susan” at age 27, Mamie says.

“She did a little, then a little more and a little more,” she says. “If you compare her then and now, you’ll see she’s changed quite a bit.”

Mamie can’t object.

“Whatever people choose, it’s all right,” she says.

“I don’t care if a person wants to look like a cat, a dog, or an elephant. It’s a short journey in this life not to let people look the way they want to.”

“But as for me, I’ll keep the dumb blonde look.” Survey: Do movie stars lose their appeal as they age?

Photos: Above: Mamie Van Doren, age 27, appears with Bob Cummings in his television show in 1960. Below: Mamie Van Doren, age 75, after mini-facelift in February 2008. (Courtesy of Mamie Van Doren.)

Bombshells awayEdit

At 67, Mamie Van Doren, natural wonder, B-movie actress and Nixon favorite, is selling nipple prints online and enjoying a comeback.Edit

By Karen Abbott* To understand why Mamie Van Doren is who she is and how she has held on to what she was, we first must examine the breasts. Lordy, those breasts. Fashioned by God and fondled by Elvis. Born during the New Deal and bloomed during Nagasaki. Coaxed Howard Hughes out of reclusion. Got action in the back seats of cars America hasn't made in half a century. Even brought down the house in Vietnam. Bigger than Marilyn's, more buoyant than Jayne Mansfield's -- and they're still here.

Boy, are they still here -- even though it's been decades since Mamie Van Doren was on Hollywood's A-list of pinup girls and B-list of movie starlets. They were showcased in a string of drive-in quickies and sexploitation films throughout the '50s, including "Sex Kittens Go to College" (subtitled "You Never Saw a Student Body Like This!") and "Untamed Youth" ("Youth Turned Rock 'n' Roll Wild and the Punishment Farm that Makes Them Wilder!") They were just about the only facet of Van Doren's career that stayed afloat during the '60s. They've outlasted -- she's outlasted -- not only her fellow '50s bombshells but the leading men who pursued them: Clark Gable, Cary Grant, Frank Sinatra, even Rock Hudson (who, she claims, left a Clinton-esque stain on her dress).

So yes, thankfully, the breasts are still among us. And they're still 34 F -- the F "as in fun," Van Doren says. There are reasons why they are especially fun. There is an anatomical quirk, for one thing. Most breasts, in case you haven't noticed, start a good 6 inches directly below the clavicle. Not Van Doren's. Hers are extra wide and begin swelling all the way from underneath her arms, the ultimate effect being that her "entire front is all breasts."

Then there is the bra. No generic Maidenform for breasts like these, no sirree. Van Doren has her bras specially made in England, the same exact brand endorsed by the queen mother; indeed, they bear the imprint of the royal family's emblem. But most of the time, Van Doren eschews bras, preferring instead to "let them all hang out." And why not? When you do arm lifts every day, a weight clasped in each hand, it "helps them considerably to stay lifted," as she says. Though, when pressed, even she concedes amazement that her breasts remain exactly as everyone remembers them.

You can buy Van Doren's breasts. Go to her Web site and, if you can pry your gaze from that first voluminous cheesecake shot (the one above the words "The First Authentic Sex Kitten In Cyberspace" -- a phrase with the trademark symbol after it), click on the "Autographs" icon and scroll to the bottom. There you'll see Doren dutifully making a "nipple print" for a loyal fan, which costs just $59.95 plus postage and handling.

There is more to the site, of course, pictures and stories and video clips you would not want your grandmother to see, let alone star in, which makes the fact that Van Doren is old enough to be your grandmother quite ... something. How many 67-year-old women do you want to see canoodling a magnum while writhing on a couch (designed to look -- not surprisingly -- like a breast), as Van Doren does in her new clip, "Girl, Gun and Black Stockings"? How many women, let alone a senior citizen, could pull off -- and quite well, thank you very much -- a two-minute movie titled "A Girl and Her Banana," in which Van Doren clutches the "biggest banana I could find in my kitchen," and then, well, you just have to see it to believe it.

It is hard work maintaining the site, but Van Doren does it herself every day. She, in fact, designed everything about it -- from the neon, retro, tube-style font, to the pictures at home with her Moluccan cockatoos, to the multifarious tales of her life and times behind the cameras and between the sheets. The site has garnered Van Doren a new generation of fans, kids born some 20 years after her biggest hits -- "High School Confidential" and "Untamed Youth" -- were released to the panting delight of baby boomers everywhere.

This new legion of fans might be inclined to follow Van Doren's link to where they can nominate her for the B-Movie Hall of Fame awards (to be announced the last week in August). Or, if not, they will certainly go to see her in the forthcoming Destination Films flick titled "Slackers," starring Jason Schwartzman of "Rushmore," in which Van Doren does a cameo of "a really tired old whore" who tries to seduce Schwartzman by "flicking my tongue in my cheek like I'm giving a blow job," and who then enjoys him "holding a sponge over my pussy" while reclining in a bathtub.

"The last thing Jason says to me is, 'You old bitch!' or something like that," Van Doren tells me on the phone from her home in Newport Beach, Calif., where she enjoys roaming around nude and playing with her birds. She laughs, a sound at once bawdy and girlish. "He kisses my nipples and rubs my coochie ... the filming was ecstasy. He got such a woody! And my part," Van Doren confides, "is a scene stealer."

Still don't believe that the boys who got off on the Sarah Michelle Gellar/Selma Blair make-out fest at the MTV movie awards might actually prefer a near-septuagenarian? Then click on Van Doren's "Fan Talk" section, where she posts numerous adoring missives.

"Hello there Mamie," reads one. "I am a 25 yr. old male, and I have never in my life seen a more beautiful woman in my life. You are the epitome of beauty! 69 or 23 you prove that there is such a thing as a true life goddess."

She was born this way -- isn't that the case for all true-life goddesses? No cellulite, thanks to her hearty Swedish stock. Utterly untouched by the surgeon's knife, save for a single facelift a decade ago. Tremendous all-around elasticity, she happily divulges. Her star promise was even evident in her given name, Joan Olander -- a nod to the 1930s siren, Joan Crawford. In fact, the future Mommie Dearest would say, years later, that out of the "three Ms" -- Marilyn, Mansfield and Mamie -- Ms. Van Doren was her favorite.

So it was meant to be. At the age of 6, while the other children of rural Rowena, S.D., were content milking cows and cleaning outhouses, little Joan Olander tried to dance like Ginger Rogers, dreamt of platinum blond hair bleach and practiced posing, one foot coyly before the other, for the cameras. Jo, as she was called, was not yet 10 years old when her father accepted a job at a defense plant in California. World War II was raging, and she and her mother headed west shortly thereafter on a military train, where she slept in the aisle with strangers' children and ate only every other day.

But they arrived, and it wasn't long before her mother saw the article in the paper about the big Hollywood party being thrown on Sunset Strip. So she told little Jo to grab her autograph book; they'd head on down to see what they could see. What they saw was Mae West, who called Jo "baby" and signed her book, "Best of luck to Joanie, a very pretty girl." Little Jo was nearly knocked out by the experience of meeting "this most glittering creature," and she fell asleep on the curb outside of the storied Mocambo nightclub. Her father had to carry her back to the car. That night, Jo slept with Mae West's inscription under her pillow.

She looked like Jean Harlow, people said. Almost too much like Marilyn. But she had It -- that all-important intangible, and that was good enough for them. She didn't need formal education -- she was going to be a movie star, after all -- and so she dropped out of Los Angeles High School. She won local beauty contests, taking titles once held by another blond named Norma Jean, and then she met Howard Hughes. Mamie will not discuss their relationship, except to say that he was 40 and she was 16, and how, really, was a girl that age supposed to deal with Howard Hughes, especially when he asked, during their very first meeting, if she was a virgin.

She will talk about the others, though -- the ones she had after she got contracts at Universal and MGM; the ones who met her after Eisenhower was inaugurated for his first presidential term and suggested she take the first name of Ike's wife; the ones who understood what the actresses of the day had to go through to get off the casting couch and onto a movie set. The sexual mores of that era meant -- and still mean -- nothing to Van Doren. She would not sleep with a man just to get a job; neither would she turn him down if he happened to turn her on. She even carried condoms with her everywhere she went; the men would stare incredulously when she pulled them out of her bag.

"I have had more of a sex life than a love life," Van Doren admits, sounding damn proud. "Love was secondary to me."

She did not love Tom Jones, for example. Hell, she didn't even like having sex with him. She went to see one of his concerts -- it was during his "What's New Pussycat?" phase, if she recalls correctly -- and afterward they ended up in his room. He told her he'd seen her pictorial in Playboy, and he told her, nervously, that he couldn't believe he was going to sleep with her. This, from the guy she thought followed his dick every time he strutted across a stage.

"He must have socks stuffed down there," Van Doren insists, "because his penis is very, very small."

Burt Reynolds was even worse, Van Doren says. Not that there was no there there, but what was there didn't last very long. One champagne-skewed night, as they were just a minute into "the pony ride," as she puts it, Reynolds gasped the name "Judy" and then promptly began to snore.

Warren Beatty didn't have Tom Jones' problem either. In fact, Van Doren says, even she -- a proponent of the size-does-matter theory -- grew timorous when he unzipped his pants. "He's got a big salami in there," Van Doren recalls, serious. "I mean, goddamn. I looked at him and knew it was something you would fondle, but you just didn't want it in you. It was too large for me -- though it's probably large and soft by now."

Then who was good? Certainly not Jack Webb, star of the cult classic '50s and '60s TV show "Dragnet." One night, Universal Studios set them up on a date. Webb fed her dinner and a rather potent Mickey. The next thing Van Doren knew, she was tied spread-eagle on a bed and "Sergeant Joe Friday was humping me with a wild look in his eyes."

Football great Joe Namath was just OK. She dated him in '65 and '66 and claims he was well built but, frankly, not that interested in her. "Not a good lover," Mamie asserts, "but a good lay."

Steve McQueen was memorable, but he was too into the drug scene. Elvis would've been great. He made her "nipples stand out hard," and they were really about to get down to business in the front seat of his car -- but then she remembered she was married. ("What a fool I was," she says now.) Perennial cowboy Jack Palance was a great fuck, straight up.

And God, if only she'd taken the hint from Marlene Dietrich that day back in 1957, when they were doing a TV pilot together. Dietrich was wearing the "sexiest fucking shoes" Van Doren had ever seen; the woman was just a "bag of sex." She looked Van Doren over once, twice and Van Doren just about told Dietrich to take a picture, it would last longer. But she didn't make a move. If Dietrich, rest her soul, were here today, Van Doren insists it would be a wholly different story.

Van Doren likes to say that she left Hollywood as it was leaving her. After Marilyn's untimely death in 1962 and Jayne Mansfield's in '67, no one wanted to give the third member of the blond trinity a job. Those two tragedies cast a pall on the bombshell mystique, a sense that something darker would inevitably emerge when the cameras clicked off. It wasn't fair, maybe, but Hollywood no longer believed in one of its own creations. Van Doren just wasn't fun anymore.

It was all just as well, really, since she had stopped believing in Hollywood even before the deaths of her vixen counterparts. She took the craft of acting seriously, as Marilyn had; they even employed the same revered Russian coach (while Mansfield, on the other hand, preferred to let her attributes do all the work). But her efforts didn't seem to matter.

"I studied really hard," Van Doren says now, wistfully. "But Hollywood never appreciated my talent. I was just another blond lucky to have a good body. They never looked past that. They never allowed me to be my own woman. So you know what? I said, 'Fuck you, Hollywood.' I just didn't care anymore." She realized -- suddenly, frightfully -- that she "no longer appreciated living." With that in mind, she booked a flight to Vietnam.

She stayed there for three months -- right in the war zone, she says, so close to the trenches she fled bomb and rocket attacks. She saw helicopters shot down and teenage boys dying on dirty cots. The burn units were the worst, she remembers, kids entirely bandaged, slits cut just for their eyes, the acrid smell of charred flesh, the heavy awareness that they would all die. She can still smell it, she says, the blood and the rot. But she took pains to make herself up every day and visit them.

"I wanted to be like an angel to those boys," she says, "so they'd always remember me."

Vietnam was hot, and all the generals automatically hated actresses because of Jane Fonda's antics. Her accommodations, too, were awful; she defecated in paper cups and "fertilized the ground." She performed for no fewer than 45 minutes every night, even though she was losing water and nearly died from dehydration. But she didn't care; she kept singing and dancing in those ridiculous dresses designed to make you look nude. There was just nothing left for her to do.

She ended up, one night, in a medevac unit on her way to a field hospital in Saigon, where President Nixon sent her a letter by messenger calling her "his favorite." (Today, of course, she is a Democrat.) She came home soon after, but it was those performances far from Hollywood that truly resonated, she thinks, with both her audience and herself. She admits it sounds corny, maybe even trite, but nothing can be quite the same after spending 90 days waking in terror at the sound of her own breathing, wondering if she would ever see her only son again. Vietnam made her feel, for the first time in a long time, like she accomplished something.

And sure, she knows she was -- is -- lucky to have the face, the legs, the ass and, yes, the breasts. But they have, through the years, become secondary to her. They're simply not the currency they used to be, no matter how unchanged they may appear to be. "My best asset," Mamie says, "is my brain. Without my brain, I don't think the rest of me would be too hot."

God, just imagine if she had two of them.

Early lifeEdit

Van Doren was born Joan Lucille Olander in Rowena, South Dakota, the daughter of Warner Carl Olander (March 30, 1908 - June 4, 1992) and Lucille Harriet Bennett (January 21, 1912 - August 27, 1995). She is of three-quarters Swedish ancestry; the remainder is mixed English and German. Her mother named her after Joan Crawford. In 1939, the family moved to Sioux City, Iowa. In May 1942, they moved to Los Angeles.

In early 1946, Joan began working as an usher at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood. The following year, she had a bit part on an early television show. She also sang with Ted Fio Rito's band and entered beauty contests. Van Doren was married for a brief time at seventeen. She and first husband, Jack Newman, eloped to Santa Barbara. The marriage dissolved quickly, upon her discovery of his abusive nature. In the summer of 1949, at age 18, she won the titles "Miss Eight Ball" and "Miss Palm Springs".

Joan was discovered by famed producer Howard Hughes on the night she was crowned Miss Palm Springs. The pair dated for several years. Hughes launched her career by placing her in several RKO films.[1]

Early career41bbqxovm6L. SL160 AA115 Edit

Hughes provided Van Doren with a bit part in Jet Pilot at RKO, which was her motion picture debut. Her line of dialogue consisted of one word, "Look!" and she appears uncredited in the film.[1] Though production of the movie was from 1949 to 1953 (delays by Hughes), it was not released until 1957. The following year, 1951, she posed for famous pin-up girl artist Alberto Vargas, the painter of the glamorous "Vargas Girls." His painting of Van Doren was on the July cover of Esquire.

Van Doren did a few more bit parts in movies at RKO, including His Kind of Woman (1951) starring Robert Mitchum, Jane Russell and Vincent Price. About her appearance in that one, Van Doren has said, "If you blinked you would miss me. I look barely old enough to drive."

Van Doren then began working on the stage. She was a showgirl in New York in Monte Proser's nightclub version of Billion Dollar Baby. Songwriter Jimmy McHugh discovered her for his musicals, then decided she was too good for the chorus line and should have dramatic training. She studied with Ben Bard and Bliss-Hayden. While appearing in the role of Marie in a showcase production of Come Back, Little Sheba, Van Doren was seen by Phil Benjamin, a casting director at Universal International.

Early motion picture career
Mamie Van Doren-r453832

On January 20, 1953, Van Doren signed a contract with Universal Studios. The studio had big plans for her, hoping she would bring the same kind of success that 20th Century Fox had with Marilyn Monroe, the reigning sex symbol of the era. Van Doren, whose signing day coincided with the inauguration of President Eisenhower, was given the first name Mamie for Ike's wife, Mamie Eisenhower. A prominent and noted family of American intellectuals, the Van Dorens included two Pulitzer Prize winning brothers, Carl (biographer) and Mark (poet), and Mark's wife Dorothy, an academic and historian. Ironically, in 1957 Mark and Dorothy's son Charles Van Doren made front page news both by winning $129,000 on a television game show, then admitting the program was rigged. The publicity around this scandal kept the name 'Van Doren' in the newspapers and tabloids.Mamie Van Doren ofcourse isn't related those Van Dorens,but might got the name from them.

Van Doren's first movie for Universal was Forbidden (1953), playing a singer. She then made All-American (1953), playing Susie Ward, a wayward girl who is the man-trap at a campus beer joint. In Yankee Pasha (1954) starring Jeff Chandler and Rhonda Fleming, she played a slave girl, Lilith. In 1956 she played opposite a pre-fame Clint Eastwood in Star in the Dust.

Van Doren starred in several bad girl movies that later became cult films. She also appeared in some of the first movies to feature Rock & Roll music and became identified with this rebellious style, and made some rock records. In the film Untamed Youth in 1957, she was the first woman to sing rock and roll in a Hollywood musical (Eddie Cochran did the music for the film). [2] This film was later featured in Mystery Science Theater 3000's "Untamed Youth" (1990).

Some of Van Doren's more noteworthy movies include Teacher's Pet (1958) at Paramount, Born Reckless (1958) at Warner Bros., High School Confidential (1958), and The Beat Generation (1959), the latter two at MGM. But Van Doren was just as well known for her provocative roles. She was in prison for Girls Town (1959), which provoked censors with a shower scene where audiences could see Van Doren's naked back. As Eve in The Private Lives of Adam and Eve (1960) she wore only fig leaves, and in other films, like The Beautiful Legs of Sabrina (1959), Sex Kittens Go to College (1960) and Vice Raid (1960) audiences were clued in as to the nature of the films from the titles.

Many of Van Doren's film roles showcased her ample curves, and her on screen wardrobe usually consisted of tight sweaters, low-cut blouses, form-fitting dresses, and daring (for the era) swimsuits. While she and other blonde bombshell contemporaries as Cleo Moore, Sheree North, Jayne Mansfield, and Diana Dors did not attain the same level of superstar status as Marilyn Monroe, Van Doren did become a very famous star and notable Hollywood sex symbol. Marilyn, Mamie and Jayne Mansfield were known as the "Three M's."[1] But by comparison, where Monroe succeeded in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and Mansfield had a big success with Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?, (a part that was originally written for Van Doren, who turned it down), Universal stuck Van Doren with Francis the Talking Mule in Francis Joins the WACS.

Film career in declineEdit

As Van Doren's career progressed, many of the productions she starred in were low-budget B-movies. They are largely unknown to later generations, though some have gained a following for their high camp value.

In 1959, Universal chose not to exercise the option in her contract. Van Doren was now a free agent and had to struggle to find work. Some of her later movies were foreign and independent productions, such as Sex Kittens Go to College (1960), The Blonde from Buenos Aires (1961), The Candidate (1964), The Navy vs the Night Monsters (1966) </i> as well as Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women (1968), </i> directed by Peter Bogdanovich, who used the pseudonym 'Derek Thomas' for the film. [3]

Personal lifeEdit

Van Doren has been married five times; sportswear manufacturer Jack Newman (married 1950-divorced 1950), bandleader, composer and actor Ray Anthony (married 1955-divorced 1961), baseball player Lee Meyers (married 1966-divorced 1967), businessman Ross McClintock (married 1972-divorced 1973) and actor Thomas Dixon (married 1979-present).

She and Anthony had one son, Perry Ray Anthony (born March 18, 1956).

Van Doren's early 1960s highly publicized on-again off-again engagement to baseball player Bo Belinsky broke off for good in 1964. In her tell-all autobiography, she acknowledged numerous affairs, including ones with Clark Gable, Howard Hughes, Johnny Carson, Elvis Presley, Burt Reynolds, Jack Dempsey, Steve McQueen, Johnny Rivers, Robert Evans, Eddie Fisher, Warren Beatty, Tony Curtis, Steve Cochran, and Joe Namath. Claiming fidelity to each lover, of Hollywood life she said, "I don't wear panties anymore - this startles the Hollywood wolves so much they don't know what to pull at, so they leave me alone."[1]

In 1963, twice she posed for Playboy to promote her movie 3 Nuts in Search of a Bolt (1964), though she was never a Playmate. By this point in her career, her voluptuous figure measured 38DD-26-36 (self-described in 1997). Of her curves she said, "I don't even want to say double-D, because they're even bigger than that." [1]

In 1964, Van Doren was a guest at the Whisky a Go Go on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood when The Beatles were at the club visiting with Jayne Mansfield, and an inebriated George Harrison accidentally threw his drink on her when he was really trying to throw it on some bothersome journalists. [4]

Van Doren also developed a nightclub act and did live theatre. She performed in stage productions of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and Dames at Sea at the Drury Lane Theatre, Chicago, and appeared in Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? and The Tender Trap at the Arlington Park Theatre.

During the Vietnam War, she did tours for U.S. troops in Vietnam, for three months in 1968 and again in 1970. In addition to USO shows, she visited hospitals, including the wards of amputees and burn victims that many other celebrities stayed away from.

Van Doren's guest appearances on TV include The Bob Cummings Show, The Jack Benny Show, Fantasy Island, Burke's Law, Vega$, and L.A. Law.

In the 1970s, Van Doren did a nightclub act in Las Vegas.

Second career in later life


Van Doren's autobiography, Playing the Field'' (1987), brought much new attention to the veteran sex symbol and proved to be her biggest media splash in over 25 years. Since the book's publication she has often been interviewed and profiled and has occasionally returned to acting.[5]

At age 60, she underwent cosmetic surgery. In interviews, she has consistently denied ever having breast implants. In 2006, Mamie posed for photographs for Vanity Fair with Pamela Anderson as part of their annual Hollywood issue.

Van Doren and her husband, Thomas, maintain her web site. Here she sells autographed "nipple prints" and homemade short films starring herself, such as 'A Girl and Her Banana'. Her contemporary topless and nude photos and outspoken political views have helped create a larger fan base than at any time in her career, arguably the longest career of any Hollywood sex symbol Template:Weasel-inline, with the possible exception of Mae West Template:Weasel-inline, Van Doren's childhood idol.[6]

Van Doren has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7057 Hollywood Boulevard.

In 2009 Mamie Van Doren returned to her musical roots working with Nashville music producer, Larry Ferguson to record a Country Music album.Template:Citation needed

Subject: Twenty Questions for Mamie Van Doren

11. Who had a bad reputation but turned out to be the perfect gentleman?

Howard Hughes.

12. Who was thought to be a gentleman, but turned out to be a cad?

Too many to name. Mamie being held by The Squire of Gothos

13. Who was great in bed - but not worth all the drama?

Steve Cochran. He played gangsters and heavies and tough cops. I played opposite him in two movies. A damn good actor. And I shared him with Mae West. (She had good taste too.)

14. What's your best beauty secret? You look great in your recent photos!

Thanks. I drink a quart of tequila a day, eat two chocolate cakes a week, and never sleep. Okay, seriously, I must have accumulated very good karma in my lifetime. I have a good genetic heritage, and I've been lucky enough to have some very happy times. I get lots of sleep, drink plenty of water, and watch my diet. I never drink booze, but have an occasional beer or glass of wine.

15. You must have a juicy Elvis story or two - care to share?

Elvis came to see me at the Rivera hotel in Las Vegas. He had just seen me in The All American with Tony Curtis. Then he saw me in Untamed Youth. My gowns were all see-through with back lighting onstage. Sitting with him alone in his Caddy one night, he asked me if I wore anything under my gowns. When I said no, he pounded the steering wheel, "I knew you didn't! I knew it!" That turned him on. Size: average. Isn't everyone's?

16. Which boyfriend looked in the mirror more than you? :)

Joe Namath. He was so vain he had a mirror over his bed. Mamie with Rock Hudson

17. When you published your autobiography, did any of your old boyfriends contact you or throw a fit?

Not one. I wrote the truth. Bo Belinsky called and said, "Thanks for going easy on me."

18. Tell me about the biggest day/night of your career.

Attending the premiere of The Glen Miller Story with Nicky Hilton. It was my first event as Mamie Van Doren and Nicky's first event after divorcing Liz Taylor.

19. Did you ever have a tryst with a politician? JFK, maybe?

JFK tried after Marilyn's death. Judy Exner called and asked if I would be interested. Too bad I didn't give it a go. The country would have never been the same. I dated Henry Kissenger. After a White House dinner I went to his townhouse in Georgetown and he threw me on the (unmade) bed. I passed.

20. What are your favorite films of all time?

Mrs. Skeffington with Betty Davis; Blade Runner; and Guns, Girls, and Gangsters (mine).

Thanks, Mamie - it was nice of you to agree to this interview.

The first time I heard from Mamie, she sent this:

Mamie's page

Write to Mamie at

Check out Mamie's win at

Hardcover - Click to Order

Atomic Blonde - the Films of Mamie Van Doren

DVD - Click to Order High School Confidential VHS - Click to Order The Navy vs the Night Monsters!

Buy Mamie's autobiography at Buy Mamie's wineVisit


Year Film Role Co-Stars Notes
1951 Footlight Varieties Blonde in theater (uncredited) Jack Paar, Leon Errol
His Kind of Woman Lodge guest at bar (uncredited) Jane Russell, Robert Mitchum
Two Tickets to Broadway Showgirl (uncredited) Janet Leigh, Tony Martin, Gloria DeHaven, Ann Miller
1953 The All American Susie Ward Tony Curtis, Lori Nelson first starring role.
Forbidden Singer (uncredited) Tony Curtis, Joanne Dru
1954 Hawaiian Nights (short subject) Glamour Girl Pinky Lee, Lisa Gaye
Yankee Pasha Lilith, Harem Slave Jeff Chandler, Rhonda Fleming
Francis Joins the WACS Cpl. Bunky Hilstrom Donald O'Connor, Julie Adams Fifth in the Francis the Talking Mule series.
1955 Ain't Misbehavin' Jackie Piper Laurie, Rory Calhoun, Jack Carson
The Second Greatest Sex Birdie Snyder Jeanne Crain, George Nader, Bert Lahr
Running Wild Irma Bean William Campbell, Keenan Wynn
1956 Star in the Dust Ellen Ballard John Agar, Richard Boone
1957 Untamed Youth Penny Lowe Lori Nelson, John Russell one of her favourite movies.
The Girl in Black Stockings Harriet Ames Lex Barker, Anne Bancroft
Jet Pilot WAF (uncredited) John Wayne, Janet Leigh (filmed from 1949-1953)
1958 Teacher's Pet Peggy DeFore Clark Gable, Doris Day, Gig Young Her part was larger when filmed but was cut before release.
High School Confidential Gwen Dulaine Russ Tamblyn, Jan Sterling, John Drew Barrymore
Born Reckless Jackie Adams Jeff Richards
1959 Guns, Girls, and Gangsters Vi Victor Gerard Mohr, Lee Van Cleef, Grant Richards
The Beat Generation Georgia Altera Steve Cochran, Ray Danton star Steve Cochran had an affair with her.
The Beautiful Legs of Sabrina Sabrina Antonio Cifariello, Rossana Marini
The Big Operator Mary Gibson Mickey Rooney, Steve Cochran, Ray Danton
Girls Town Silver Morgan Mel Torme considered to be her signature film
1960 Vice Raid Carole Hudson Richard Coogan
College Confidential Sally Blake Steve Allen, Jayne Meadows
Sex Kittens Go to College Dr. Mathilda West Tuesday Weld, Mijanou Bardot
The Private Lives of Adam and Eve Evie Simms/Eve Mickey Rooney
1961 The Blonde from Buenos Aires Jean-Pierre Aumont
1964 The Candidate Samantha Ashley June Wilkinson, Ted Knight
3 Nuts in Search of a Bolt Saxie Symbol Tommy Noonan, Ziva Rodann, Paul Gilbert, John Cronin co-star Tommy Noonan also directed
The Sheriff Was a Lady Olivia Freddy Quinn
1966 The Las Vegas Hillbillys Boots Malone Jayne Mansfield, Ferlin Husky starred opposite Jayne Mansfield. This was the only time the two blonde bombshell's appeared together in a film.
The Navy vs. the Night Monsters Nora Hall Anthony Eisley, Billy Gray
1967 You've Got to Be Smart Miss Hathaway Tom Stern, Roger Perry, Gloria Castillo
1968 Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women Moana Mary Marr, Paige Lee
1971 The Arizona Kid Girlfriend Chiquito, Gordon Mitchell
1975 That Girl from Boston George 'Buck' Flower
1986 Free Ride Debbie Stockwell Gary Hershberger, Reed Rudy, Dawn Schneider
1999 The Vegas Connection Rita Ashley F. Brooks, Robert Carradine
2002 Slackers Mrs. Van Graaf Devon Sawa, Jaime King cameo role



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Biography at Internet Movie DataBase
  2. Mamie Van Doren Interview, at Entertainment Zone, Gary James
  3. Template:Imdb title
  4. Mamie Van Doren, at Br'err Wabbit, Donald Bryan
  5. Playing the Field: My Story, ISBN 9780399132407, New York: G. P. Putnam, 1987

External linksEdit

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