Mamie Van Doren is an American actress and sex symbol.
Van Doren was born Joan Lucille Olander in Rowena, South Dakota, the daughter of Warner Carl Olander and Lucille Harriet Bennett. She is of three-quarters Swedish ancestry; the remainder is mixed English and German. Her mother named her after Joan Crawford. In 1939, the family moved to Sioux City, Iowa. In May 1942, they moved to Los Angeles.
In early 1946, Joan began working as an usher at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood. The following year, she had a bit part on an early television show. She also sang with Ted Fio Rito's band and entered beauty contests. Van Doren was married for a brief time at seventeen. She and first husband, Jack Newman, eloped to Santa Barbara. The marriage dissolved quickly, upon her discovery of his abusive nature. In the summer of 1949, at age 18, she won the titles "Miss Eight Ball" and "Miss Palm Springs".
Joan was discovered by famed producer Howard Hughes on the night she was crowned Miss Palm Springs. The pair dated for several years. Hughes launched her career by placing her in several RKO films.