Mamie Van Doren with NFL player Jim Sears, 1954.
“I’ve always taken care of my health—never been much of a drinker, never smoked cigarettes, never done drugs much, except smoking pot occasionally, and that’s been decades ago. I’m NOT an 80-year old virgin. Good sex really does help.”
—Mamie Van Doren
If you’ve heard better health advice from someone, and I mean anyone—take it. As of this writing, actress Mamie Van Doren is 86 and still looks like this. The pinup powerhouse has done pretty much everything, even getting into the musical arena putting out a few albums including a campy, rockabilly-esque compilation back in 1986 called The Girl who invented Rock ‘n’ Roll and a 2011 digital-only release, Still a Troublemaker. She also carried on love affairs with some of Hollywood’s most covetable men such as Steve McQueen and Frank Sinatra. She’s done tons of films and has even written a book. Join me DM readers as I celebrate Mamie Van Doren.
At the age of seventeen, and still going by her birth name of Joan Olander (a nod by her parents to actress Joan Crawford), Van Doren married her first of five husbands, Jack Newman, a sportswear mogul. Less than a year into the marriage Van Doren split after realizing that Newman’s unpredictable and often violent behavior was going to get her nowhere fast. She would then catch the eye of Howard Hughes and the pair dated for several years. Hughes introduced Van Doren to Peruvian pinup painter Alberto Vargas who hired her to pose for his upcoming calendar for Esquire magazine. Soon Universal Studios came calling with an offer of a film contract, and Joan Olander would change her name to the sexier-sounding Mamie Van Doren. The actress and timeless beauty has dedicated most of her life to animal rights activism after developing a deep empathy for animals and their welfare while growing up on a farm in South Dakota. Her experiences visiting troops during the Vietnam war and her disgust with Ronald Reagan helped shape her mostly liberal political beliefs.
If you’d like to learn more about Van Doren’s remarkable life, I highly recommend picking up her 1987 memoir Playing the Field: Sex, Stardom, Love, and Life in Hollywood. To help reinforce how impossibly cool Mamie is, I’ve posted some equally remarkable images of her doing everything from kicking a football in a pair of hot pants and heels (pictured at the top of this post), to a photo of the platinum blonde bombshell in an impromptu jam session with Eddie Cochran during rehearsals for the 1957 film Untamed Youth. They don’t make ‘em like this anymore kids. Dig it.
Posing for the costume designer, Edith Head.
Van Doren posing for painter Alberto Vargas and one of Vargas’ finished portraits of her.
Clowning around with her second husband, bandleader Ray Anthony.
Twirling a lasso with stuntman Ben Johnson from the 1958 film ‘Born Reckless.’
A still from the film 1957 film ‘Untamed Youth.’
‘Teacher’s Pet’ 1958.
Jamming with Eddie Cochran on the set of ‘Untamed Youth.’
Another shot of Mamie taking a shot at her former husband Ray Anthony.
No parking on the dance floor, baby.
Mamie strutting her stuff in the 1958 film ‘Teacher’s Pet’ and turning on Doris Day and Clark Gable.
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Zoë Mozert: The pinup model and artist who painted actress Jane Russell’s most iconic image
Cheeky vintage ashtrays featuring nude ladies and racy pinup models
Photos of Mae West sporting bat wings, spider legs, butterfly wings & more!
Katharine Hepburn dressed as a super-sexy silver sci-fi insect in 1933
Vintage photos of female starlets and musical icons chilling with their turntables