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At age 89, Mamie Van Doren is eager to tell all.
Fox News: Looking back, what do you believe has been the secret behind your success in Hollywood? Believe it or not, I stepped away from doing a lot of publicity. Your life is too much of an open book up there.
So I got away. Van Doren: I love life. I got away from all the bad stuff that was going on. There were a lot of drugs. Marilyn died. Jayne died. A lot of my contemporaries were gone. I just thought it was time to leave Hollywood. And I had a son.
I wanted to give him a better life than Hollywood. And he got interested in boats. I took a different turn and a different lifestyle from what I was used to. I kept some of my friends. I shy away from going to parties so much. I had stacks of invitations and Sexy Mansfield later tonight just never used them. Actress Mamie Van Doren gave birth to a son in Fox News: How does it feel to still be recognized as a sex symbol? I like being sexy. Hell, I like sex. It comes from within. You have to be born with it. I think I was born with it. I certainly opened a lot of doors during a postwar time when things were very conservative.
I was way ahead of my time. And I have large breasts. That was sometimes a hindrance. Fox News: Is it true that you were discovered by Howard Hughes as a teen? I was about I was Miss Palm Springs. I soon got a call from the studio he owned. He wanted to meet me. So I met him. I had two interviews to meet him. My mother told me not to even go the second time. But I did go. And he put me on movies. I learned everything while I was there. I absorbed as much as I could because I wanted to be an actress.
I was then able to buy my first car. Fox News: How difficult was it to make your mark as a blonde bombshell at the same time Marilyn Monroe and Jayne Mansfield were stars? Marilyn, I liked very much.
I got along with her fine. I started going to her drama coach, Natasha Lytess. And it was all men that ran everything. They would be on contract for six months and then disappear… But I was lucky. Fox News: How did you cope with the casting couch? I missed a couple of good roles because of it. I worked my a-- off to make sure the public wanted me in movies — and they did.
So there were always parts for me. And then I became unapproachable. Tell us about your time with Frank Sinatra. So I met Frank through Ray. And then he went to see me when I was doing my nightclub act. And then right after I separated from Ray, I got a call from Frank. He wanted to know if I would go out to dinner with him one day. So I dated him. He liked me a lot. He fixed me lasagna on his Russian China.
He went out of his way for me. So that was that. Mamie Van Doren and her then-husband, bandleader Ray Anthony. Fox News: What about James Dean?
Van Doren: He was just a ride on a motorcycle. Fox News: And Johnny Carson? He was funny. We would watch his show at a hotel.
We necked, screwed around. But it was hard to get married to something like that. I was too wild. I guess I was always wild. I was never satisfied with one man. I was just being natural. I was being me. And that got me in trouble with the movie industry. And then along came a girl named Madonna.
She made a whole career out of it. Fox News: You were engaged to Jack Dempsey, but then broke it off. Van Doren: He was too old for me. I was only He was in his mids. So, boom. Then they put me on a first date with Rock Hudson. It sounded a lot better to them than Jack Dempsey.
I mean, Jack was a lot of fun. He was an old fighter, but my God, he had a young heart.
He knew everyone. And everyone loved Jack Dempsey. He treated me pretty well. But he was uneducated. Fox News: What was your date like with Rock Hudson? Van Doren: When I was under contract, I had no knowledge of him being gay. I was only under contract for two weeks when the publicity department called me and said I was going on a date with Rock Hudson. And I was just so worried. I remember him being really down to earth and just a nice guy. So when he became sick, it was very devastating.
I met him at Universal when he were visiting. I was doing a movie at the time. We ended up having lunch together. Nobody even knows he was there. He asked me if I would be interested in coming to Denmark. I told him I would be, depending on my work schedule. I was doing one movie after another back then. At Universal, you were just working all the time.
Then I was asked if I would come over during the holidays, like Christmas. Well, he sent me another invitation and I had to say no to that one.Sexy Mansfield later tonight
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