During the 1940s, Mamie sang with Ted Fio Rito's band. Producer Howard Hughes helped launch her film career by placing her in several RKO films. In the 1950s, she signed a contract with Universal Studios. She appeared in minor roles in Forbidden and The All American (1953) with Tony Curtis, and then appeared in a string of films, including Yankee Pasha (1954) starring Jeff Chandler and Rhonda Fleming; the musical Ain't Misbehavin', and Running Wild, and she also made some rock records.
Mamie’s steamy image and silky elegance was magnified in popular pin-ups and pocket magazines. She was a Vargas Girl in Esquire magazine in 1951. Her photos and glossies appeared in pocket magazines, such as Vue, Tempo, and Modern Man, and fanzines, such as Picturegoer and Photoplay. In 1964, she appeared in Playboy. She was said to have been romantically linked to Clark Gable, Elvis Presley, Burt Reynolds, Johnny Rivers, Robert Evans, Warren Beatty, Steve Cochran, and Joe Namath.