See Mamie Van Doren, Who's Still a Blonde Bombshell at 91

She stepped back from Hollywood after ruling the '50s and '60s.

In the the 1950s, Mamie Van Doren was one member of what the press dubbed "The Three M's": Mamie, Marilyn, and Mansfield. While Marilyn Monroe was the biggest star of the trio, Van Doren and Jayne Mansfield were also popular blonde bombshells of the time and appeared in many films themselves. Now, Van Doren is the only surviving "M," at 91 years old.

Van Doren came to fame in that decade, starring in movies including Teacher's Pet with Clark Gable and Doris Day and All American with Tony Curtis. She is also remembered for appearing in teenage rebellion movies, including Untamed YouthGirls Town, and High School Confidential. She continued acting throughout the '60s, but in the '70s, her acting career slowed down and she eventually stepped away from Hollywood to focus on her family life. Read on to learn about Van Doren today.

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She continued acting for a while.

Ray Anthony and Mamie Van Doren at an event in Los Angeles in 1957
Earl Leaf/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Van Doren's last feature film appearance was a small part in the 2002 comedy Slackers. Some of her other roles after the '50s and '60s include guest appearances on Fantasy Island and L.A. Law.

In 2021, Van Doren told Closer Weekly that she felt her sex appeal benefitted her overall but also might have held her back from certain roles. "It definitely helped my career," she said. "But I also felt I could do other things besides being the dumb blonde. I wanted to do the Jean Harlow roles.

She decided to focus on family.

Van Doren has been married five times and welcomed a son, Perry Ray Anthony, in 1956 with her second husband, bandleader Ray Anthony.

"The days of the blondes started coming to an end after Marilyn died and then Jayne [Mansfield] died five years later," Van Doren told Closer. I was the only one left. I had a son growing up and there were a lot of drugs [in Hollywood]. I didn't want Perry to grow up like that."

Since 1979, Van Doren has been married to her fifth husband, Thomas Dixon. "I love the ocean and the fresh air," she told Closer of moving to Newport Beach, California. "Perry and I came down and we got interested in boats. It worked out just fine. I met several nice men and married one. I've been with Thomas [Dixon] for more than 40 years. That's a long time!

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She wrote one memoir and wants to publish another.

Mamie Van Doren at the MAC Pro to Pro Los Angeles Event in 2017
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Van Doren's memoir, Playing the Field, hit shelves in 1987. It tells of her time in Hollywood, including dating many famous men, including Frank Sinatra and Johnny Carson. Recently, Van Doren has said that she would like to release a second autobiography.

"A lot has happened between 1987 and 2020," she told Fox News in 2020. "So now I'm writing about what it's like getting older and appreciating life a little more as you go along, as well as getting smarter as you get older. There's so much to write about. A lot of material just didn't make it in the first book. My book publisher was very conservative and a lot of stories were taken out. So I'm putting a lot of those stories back in."

Van Doren also writes on her blog, often sharing her thoughts on politics and current events.

She believes age is just a number.

In a 2021 interview with Bust, Van Doren said, "Can you imagine? I've been here almost a hundred years?! Imagine all the crap I've been through!" Then, she offered some wise advice. "How you treat your age depends on your attitude, so try to [expletive] forget about how old you are," Van Doren said. "Life doesn't even start until 40."

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Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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