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.
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. 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 careerEdit
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.
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).  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." 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. 
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."
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." 
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. 
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.
In the 1970s, Van Doren did a nightclub act in Las Vegas.
Second career in later lifeEdit
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.
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.
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
|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|
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Biography at Internet Movie DataBase
- ↑ Mamie Van Doren Interview, at Entertainment Zone, Gary James
- ↑ Template:Imdb title
- ↑ Mamie Van Doren, at Br'err Wabbit, Donald Bryan
- ↑ Playing the Field: My Story, ISBN 9780399132407, New York: G. P. Putnam, 1987
- ↑ http://www.mamievandoren.com/
- Official website
- Inside/Out, Mamie Van Doren's blog
- Template:Imdb name
- Bombshells away, at Salon, Karen Abbott, July 19, 2000
- Mamie Van Doren interview by Sandra Bernhard
- Mamie Van Doren Interview with South Dakota Watch, Feb. 7, 2006
Birth name Joan Lucille Olander
DOB 6 February 1931 (some sources 1933)
Thomas Dixon (1979 - present)
Ross McClintock (1972 - 1973)
Lee Meyers (1966 - 1967)
Ray Anthony (29 August 1955 - 1961)
Jack Newman (1950 - 1950)
Mamie Van Doren is an American actress and sex symbol. She was born in Rowena, South Dakota, the daughter of Warner Carl Olander and Lucille Harriet Bennett. In 1939, the family moved to Sioux City, Iowa. In May 1942, they moved to Los Angeles.
In early 1946, Joan went to work as an usherette at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood. The following year, she had a bit part on an early television show. She also sang with Ted Fiorito's band and entered beauty contests. In the summer of 1949, at age sixteen, she won the titles "Miss Eight Ball" and "Miss Palm Springs."
While doing the Miss Palm Springs contest, she was discovered by Howard Hughes. She lunched with him and he gave her a bit part in Jet Pilot at RKO, which was her motion picture debut. Her line of dialogue consisted of one word, "Look!" Though production of the movie was in 1949 and 1950, it was not released until 1957. The following year, she posed for famous pin-up girl artist Alberto Vargas, the painter of the glamorous "Varga Girls." His painting of Van Doren was on the July cover of Esquire.
She did a few more bit parts in movies at RKO, including His Kind of Woman (1951) starring Robert Mitchum, Jane Russell, and Vincent Price. She 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, she was seen by Phil Benjamin, a casting director at Universal International. On January 20, 1953, she signed a contract with Universal. The studio had big plans for her, hoping she would bring the success that 20th Century Fox had with Marilyn Monroe, the reigning sex symbol of the era. It has been said that, because the day she was signed was also the day President Eisenhower was inaugurated, the studio decided to give her the name "Mamie" and "Van Doren" because it "sounded Dutch."
Her first movie for Universal was Forbidden (1953), playing a singer. She then made The All American (1953). In Yankee Pasha (1954), starring Tony Curtis and Rhonda Fleming, she played a slave girl, Lilith. Van Doren starred as the "bad girl" archetype in several teenage cult movies of the 1950s. She also appeared in some of the first movies to feature rock & roll. She became identified with this rebellious style and made some rock records.
While she did not attain the same level of superstar status as Monroe, Van Doren did become one of the leading sex symbols of the day. Marilyn, Mamie and Jayne Mansfield were known as the "Three M's," and Van Doren achieved legendary status as being the sole survivor. But while Monroe did 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.
Some of her more noteworthy movies included Teacher's Pet (1958) for Paramount, Born Reckless (1958) for Warner Bros., and High School Confidential! (1958) for MGM. But many of the productions she starred in were low-budget B-movies.
In 1959, Universal chose not to exercise the option to renew 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 The Blonde from Buenos Aires (1961), The Candidate (1964), The Navy vs the Night Monsters (1966), and Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women (1968), which was directed by Peter Bogdanovich, who used another name, fearing the movie would ruin his reputation.
She also developed a nightclub act and did a lot of theater work. Her appearances on TV included The Jack Benny Show, Fantasy Island, and L.A. Law. She had a nightclub act in Las Vegas in the 1970s. In 1987, she wrote her autobiography (with Art Aveilhe) entitled Playing the Field: My Story.
Mamie Van Doren has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
- Jet Pilot (Released 1957)
- His Kind of Woman (1951) (uncredited)
- Two Tickets to Broadway (1951) (credited as Joan Olander)
- Footlight Varieties (1951) (credited as Joan Olander)
- Forbidden (1953) (uncredited)
- The All American (1953)
- Hawaiian Nights (1954)
- Yankee Pasha (1954)
- Francis Joins the WACS (1954)
- Ain't Misbehavin (1955)
- The Second Greatest Sex (1955)
- Running Wild (1955)
- Star in the Dust (1956)
- The Girl in Black Stockings (1957)
- Untamed Youth (1957)
- Teacher's Pet (1958)
- Born Reckless (1958)
- Le Bellissime gambe di Sabrina (1958) aka The Beautiful Legs of Sabrina
- High School Confidential! (1958)
- Guns, Girls, and Gangsters (1959)
- The Beat Generation (1959) aka This Rebel Age
- The Big Operator (1959)
- Girls Town (1959)
- Vice Raid (1959)
- The Big Operator (1959)
- Sex Kittens Go to College (1960)
- The Private Lives of Adam and Eve (1961)
- College Confidential (1960)
- The Blonde from Buenos Aires (1961)
- Three Nuts In Search of a Bolt (1964)
- Freddy und das Lied der Prärie (1964) aka The Wild, Wild West
- The Candidate (1964)
- The Navy vs the Night Monsters (1966)
- Las Vegas Hillbillys (spelling confirmed) (1966)
- You've Got to be Smart (1967)
- Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women (1968)
- I Fratelli di Arizona (1971) aka The Arizona Kid
- That Girl from Boston (1975)
- Free Ride (1986)
- The Vegas Connection (1999)
- Slackers (2002)
- "My best asset is my brain. Without my brain, I don't think the rest of me would be too hot."
- "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."
- "There is a history of calamitous and violent deaths among the glamorous girls that boggles the mind and chills the blood, especially if you're one of the few survivors... As young women we were told that we were infinitely desirable and beautiful, only to discover that there was always someone coming up behind who was more desirable and beautiful. Our profession is perhaps the most competitive in the world. For, to be glamorous, to be beautiful, is to be doomed eventually to be disappointed." 
- Mamie's film Untamed Youth was originally condemned by the Catholic Legion of Decency, but it only served to enhance the curiosity factor and resulting popularity.
- Issued three quickie paperback biographies to juice up her fading popularity: My Naughty, Naughty Life (1961); I Swing (1965), and My Wild Love Experiences (1965).