Hollywood legend, Mamie Van Doren, announces the release of her newest book, “China and Me: Wing Flapping, Feather Pulling, and Love on the Wing.” The highly personal memoir tells the heartwarming story of her long and at times rambunctious relationship with a pet Moluccan cockatoo named China. Their story is a peek into the off-camera life of one of Hollywood’s most glamorous and iconic figures. Mamie’s decades-long bond with China is by turns comic and tragic, chronicling the tribulations of integrating a wild creature into a human household, matchmaking a mate for China, and caring for their inevitable offspring. This story of deep love between human and wild animal ultimately becomes a metaphor for finding peace and happiness.
Van Doren’s last book, “Playing the Field” was a tell all memoir of her tumultuous career in Hollywood, and the quirks and peccadilloes of the denizens who populated Hollywood’s post-war golden age.
Mamie’s appeal to audiences reaches across multiple generations through her books; her blog, Inside/Out; her activity on social media; and, of course, her movies. The teenage movies in which she was the first woman to perform rock and roll on the silver screen earned her the moniker “the girl who invented rock and roll.” To this day “Untamed Youth” remains a favorite, as does “Teacher’s Pet” with Clark Gable, in which she does the infamous Girl Who Invented Rock and Roll dance. Other popular titles outside the teen genre are her noir films such as “Vice Raid” and “Guns, Girls, and Gangsters.” After leaving Universal, Mamie went on to star in movies for every other major studio, including four films at MGM.
Mamie continues to reach out to new and diverse audiences. She is a featured singer on the Grammy ballot for 2023 Rock album, Mission Peace from Staunch Moderates Rock and Roll. Performing with her on her song Journey on this album is iconic rock guitarist Jeffrey Skunk Baxter(Doobie Brothers/Steely Dan) and composer CJ Vanston keyboardist of Tears for Fears. She performed as a guest artist on stage at the Greek Theater with the band, Pink Martini, and recently recorded two songs with them, one in German, “Ich Dich Liebe” which will be released soon. Mamie first performed “Ich Dich Liebe” as a saloon singer in the 1964 German film, “In the Wild West” opposite German star Freddy Quinn. (After Pink Martini’s lead singer, China Forbes performs the song, the band’s leader and founder, Thomas Lauderdale, holds his cell phone to the mic and plays Mamie’s version to the rapt audience.) Mamie’s other Pink Martini recording is a number from the 1940s, “I Told You I Loved You, Now Get Out.”
Mamie has a large following of military veterans of all ages, especially Vietnam-era vets who remember her two tours in Vietnam. Rejecting the idea of touring with USO shows, Mamie organized her own band and performed at virtually every fire base from the Mekong Delta in the south to the Demilitarized Zone in the north.
With ‘China and Me’ now taking flight on its own, Mamie is turning her attention to two new book projects. A memoir working titled, “Secrets of the Goddess,” which she calls her definitive biography. “It’s everything you’ll need to know about me, with gloves off and straight shooting. It’s chapter and verse of how I became Mamie, what happened to Joanie Olander (my real name), where the bodies are buried. It’ll be a collection of the forgotten, overlooked, grotesque, gorgeous, improbable, and funny stuff of my life.” The other book in progress is a coffee table style picture book of never before seen pictures of Mamie, titled “The Unseen Mamie.”
Mamie has stars on both the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the Palm Springs Walk of Stars.
Mamie says her future plans include enjoying life with her great protector, Lillimae, the wolf dog, and her two Moluccan cockatoos; her son, Perry Anthony (father, Ray Anthony, big band orchestra leader who just celebrated his 100th birthday); and her husband of 48 years, Thomas Dixon.
The scheduled release date for “China and Me: Wing Flapping, Feather Pulling, and Love on the Wing” is September/October 2022 available now wherever books are sold.
Mamie Tribute Video : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fbWlfPjLvBI
Quincy Jones Video Tribute for Lifetime Achievement Award at Hollywood Museums Roger Neal’s Oscar Night Dinner Viewing Gala https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Vs_cZkue_0
Amazon Listing: https://www.amazon.com/China-Me-Flapping-Feather-Pulling/dp/B0BF361TSS
Facebook.com/Mamie Van Doren
Great reading about China…..and Mamie— Terrific… Just bought the book.