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Mamie Van Doren

Mamie Van Doren

Mamie Van Doren (born February 6, 1931) is a United States actress, model, and entertainer.

Van Doren was born as Joan Lucille Olander in Rowena, South Dakota. Her mother named her after Joan Crawford.

In the early 1940s her family moved to south California. She entered beauty contests, winning the title of Miss Palm Springs in 1948, and was a singer for various local bands. She appeared in various bit parts in movies starting in 1950. That year she had her brief first marriage to Jack Newman. She posed for famous pin-up girl artist Alberto Vargas in 1951.

In 1953 she was signed by Universal Studios with the hope she could bring the studio success similar to that of Marilyn Monroe at 20th Century Fox. The studio gave Joan Olander her new name of Mamie Van Doren. The Mamie may have been inspried by Mamie Eisenhower, wife of newly inaugurated President Dwight D. Eisenhower. She changed her name on January 20, 1953.

While Van Doren didn't atain the level of stardom of Monroe, she did become one of the era's leading sex symbols. With Jayne Mansfield, Mamie, and Marylin were known as the Three M's. Van Doren played more of the bad girl archetype.

She appeared in some of the first Hollywood films to include Rock & Roll music. She became identified with this rebellious style, and made some Rock records in the 1950s.

Her more noteworthy films include Born Reckless, Teacher's Pet, and High School Confidential!. Many of her films are cheesy low-budget films, little watched by later generations other than for their high camp value.

On August 29, 1955 she married her second husband, bandleader/composer Ray Anthony; they have a son. All total, Van Doren has walked down the aisle 5 times. Her on-again/off-again engagement to baseball player Bo Belinsky broke off for good in 1964. In her tell-all autobiography, Playing the Field, she claimed numerous affairs, including ones with Clark Gable and Joe Namath.

In the 1960s she posed for Playboy Magazine. She performed in theater productions of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, both on Broadway and touring.

During the Vietnam War she did tours of U.S. troops in Vietnam, for 3 months in 1968, and again in 1970. In addition to USO shows, she visited hospitals, including the wards of amputees and burn suffers that many other celebrities stayed away from.

In the 1970s she did a nightclub act in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Her autobiography, Playing the Field, was published in 1987.

Starting at age 60, she has had plastic surgery to maintain a youthful appearance. She has written about this and discussed it in interviews.

He personal website contains photographs, stories and anecdotes about her career, and an articulate and opinionated political weblog.

Mamie Van Doren got a star in the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1994.


Television shows Van Doren appeared on included The Jack Benny Show, The Merv Griffin Show, The Tonight Show, Fantasy Island, and L.A. Law.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2004.

Mamie Van Doren Facts

Birth NameJoan Lucille Olander
BirthdayFebruary 6, 1931 (93)
BirthplaceRowena, South Dakota, USA
Height5' 4" (1m63)  How tall is Mamie Van Doren compared to you?

Selected Filmography

The Outrageous Sophie Tucker
Guns Girls and Gangsters
Teacher's Pet
Boobs: An American Obsession
Star in the Dust
3 Nuts in Search of a Bolt
Sex Kittens go to College
Navy VS The Night Monsters
The Collector Edition Red Skelton
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