Old School Americana & Nostalgia


Mamie Van Doren, Hollywood Starlet Who Dated Elvis and James Dean, Still Tweeting at 93

Mamie Van Doren, Hollywood Starlet Who Dated Elvis and James Dean, Still Tweeting at 93

Mamie Van Doren is one of those “blonde bombshells” from the 1950s who, by the way, is still alive and well these days. Van Doren is celebrating her birthday on Tuesday, February 6. She turns 93 years old and Van Doren is not going quietly into the night.

Let’s take a minute, though, to look back at how things started for her. Van Doren’s birth name was Joan Olander and she was named after actress Joan Crawford. Upon becoming a teenager, Van Doren moved from South Dakota to Los Angeles. She became an usherette at the Pantages Theater and got married at 17 years old. But that marriage ended when the husband got violent.

Olander then got connected to Howard Hughes, who started dating her and helping her become an actress. She began getting attention by winning some beauty pageants. Hughes found Olander a couple of movie roles, then she was signed by Universal Studios to a movie contract. But the studio pushed her to start dating a younger man, according to Remind Magazine.

Mamie Van Doren’s Name Change Helps Her

Around this time, she turned her name into Mamie Van Doren. Then, she joined the list of “blonde bombshells” that included Marilyn Monroe, Jayne Mansfield, and others. Movie-wise, Van Doren starred in some of them like High School Confidential and The Beat Generation.

But her social life started to heat up as well. Van Doren was connected to men like Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, James Dean, and others. She also was quite active in the marriage world, getting hitched five different times. But the last one was a keeper. Van Doren married Thomas Dixon, which has been going on for nearly 50 years.

As you can tell from above, Van Doren stays pretty active on social media. She’s also not afraid to post photos of herself topless or amorous in some way. In her way, Van Doren appears to have some spigot connected to the Fountain of Youth. She also stays somewhat current on a blog that’s out there in the online world.

She’s not afraid to share her opinions about everything from life to politics. Van Doren has lived an interesting life and continues to do so.

Also, Van Doren has written a tell-all book about her life. There appears to not be any door in her life that she is not willing to open. One guesses when a person reaches 93 years old, a sort of guarded attitude about life may slip.

Van Doren’s Marriage Lasts For A Long Time

Yet, amazingly, she and her husband have been together for nearly 50 years. Not many people may consider hers as a Hollywood marriage, meaning someone in show business stays together. It’s been a trend over the years that celebrity couples might not last as a married couple. Van Doren doesn’t fit that mode.

Besides her movies and book, Van Doren also has some music out there, too. Back in 1957, she starred in what’s termed a sexploitation film titled Untamed Youth. In the movie, Van Doren sings Rollin’ Stone, Salamander, Oo Ba La Baby, and Go. Go. Calypso!

Van Doren has one son, Perry, from her marriage to musician Ray Anthony. In her younger days, she found a way to make her looks work to her advantage. As long as that Fountain of Youth keeps on working, Van Doren will welcome the results. She’s pretty amazing.