Mamie van Doren
From People on Psychedelics
Mamie Van Doren, born Joan Lucille Olander (February 6, 1931), is an American actress, model, singer and sex symbol that is known for being one of the first actresses to imitate or "clone" the look of Marilyn Monroe.
- "You could get LSD over the counter then. Also amyl nitrate, you could get that as well if you said you had a heart murmur or something. I had a carpenter who was always doing LSD. I asked him about it because I thought it sounded like Lucky Strikes. Cary Grant said his doctor was giving it to him for his problems. Everyone had a problem back then.
- "We hadn't been at the party long when Steve [McQueen] turned to me and said, 'Mamie, I've got some of the finest Sandoz sunshine acid here. Let's drop a tab or two.' I had heard about LSD from friends, and I was afraid of it. I am an Aquarian and I like to be in control of myself. When I told Steve, he laughed, 'No bad trips on this shit. This wasn't made in someone's garage; this stuff's pharmaceutical. It's the best. It makes sex a totally new experience.'
- "He put the pale yellow tablet in my hand, took one himself and washed it down with a beer. I swallowed the other. For a while I didn't feel anything. We just stood there, talking. Then I began to feel amorous, so we walked down the hall to a bedroom. There was a large bed and a full-length mirror in the corner." Though she didn't know it at the time, it was the room where Jean Harlow's husband of barely two months, Paul Bern, had committed suicide by shooting himself in the head.
- "At first there was a persistent buzzing sound in my ears, not unpleasant, actually it was a strangely comforting sound. Then I saw a flash of red light, like a sky rocket going across the room. Then another. And another.
- I asked Steve what it was and he told me not to worry, to just let myself go. We undressed each other slowly and lay on the bed. Through the haze of the acid, I could hear music somewhere else in the house, there were guitars mimicking the beat of our bodies.
- "When we were done, Steve fell asleep next to me and I could see everything around me with amazing clarity; every object in the room was outlined like mountains against a sunrise.
- "I sat up and looked at the mirror and saw Paul Bern looking back at me. He appeared middle-aged and was naked except for a sequined mask over his eyes. As I watched him, he stepped out of the mirror, put a gun in his mouth and pulled the trigger. His head exploded everywhere and this multicoloured confetti scattered all over Steve and me. I started screaming and I could see this body twitching at the foot of the bed while confetti was still coming out of its head. Steve was shouting at me to hold on, but I was hallucinating. Then Jean came out of the mirror, stepped over her husband's twitching body and smiled. She told me the blondes, brunettes and redheads in Hollywood were all the same - 'like horses running back into a burning barn'. 'We'll burn up, but we can't stop ourselves,' she said. 'You can come over now with me if you want.'
- "I screamed and took a vase from the table and threw it at the mirror and started screaming at Steve that he must be able to see the blood and the body at the foot of the bed. He got out of bed and kicked 'the body', which turned out to be a pile of clothes. Not long afterwards we stopped seeing each other."