First there was Marilyn Monroe. Then there existed Jayne Mansfield. And, finally, there was Mamie Van Doren (mamievandoren.com). Although nominated for a Golden Turkey Award as Worst Movie Actress Of All Time, Mamie actually lost! If you know some of her movie titles, you might wonder how. They include "The Navy vs. The Night Monsters," "Untamed Youth," "Sex Kittens Go To College," "The Private Lives of Adam and Eve" (which takes place on a bus), "Born Reckless," "Running Wild," "Guns, Girls and Gangsters" and "High School Confidential."
One of Mamie's strangest films is "Three Nuts In Search Of A Bolt." The film is in black and white except for Mamie's beer bath in color! Below Mamie appears with the three nuts. Is she the bolt?
"Three Nuts" was directed by Tommy Noonan who had been an actor with Marilyn Monroe in "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" and with Judy Garland in "A Star Is Born." He also wrote and performed in the scandalous Jayne Mansfield nude bathtub movie "Promises, Promises." Here he is tete a tete with Mamie.
"Promises, Promises" and "Three Nuts" both featured the female impersonator T.C. Jones. Here he is (the bald one on the left) as a male psychiatrist in "Three Nuts." T.C. was wonderfully funny and talented. I highly recommend the recording of his nightclub act!
See Mamie cavorting, or dancing, or fighting, or SOMETHING, in the hilarious cheap-o flick "Las Vegas Hillibillies" which also starred Jayne Mansfield. Mamie and Jayne's characters appeared together in a so-called "scene," but the two rivals used body doubles. In another sequence, Jayne utters this classic line to an aging hillbilly woman: "Why thank you, Aunt Clem!"
My hideous maid John Epperson and I worship Mamie! See Epperson and Mamie below in a recent (September, 2005) photo. Mamie is one of the last of the great "figures" of the glamorous meat grinder known as Old Hollywood. In the early 80s I saw a New York Post headline that screamed: MAMIE DIES! (It was Mamie Eisenhower.) May it never happen!
Top and bottom images courtesy of David Wills
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