Mae Murray: The Girl with the Bee-Stung Lips


Mae Murray: The Girl with the Bee-Stung Lips


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Mae Murray: The Girl with the Bee-Stung Lips provides a thorough examination of silent film star Mae Murray’s life and career and sheds light on her four failed marriages and the family she never wanted to acknowledge. For the first time, her son goes on record to discuss the mother who denied him the truth about his mysterious birth. Murray’s descendents and friends reveal personal details that bring the spotlight back to one of the most enigmatic icons of the silent screen. In her heyday, Hollywood in the Roaring Twenties, they called Mae Murray the Girl with the Bee-Stung Lips or the Ziegfeldian Nazimova. When she clung to the memories of her fame later in life, they compared her to Norma Desmond or Baby Jane Hudson. Mae Murray was everything a movie queen in the days of silent films was expected to be: extravagant, vain, egotistical, and temperamental. One had to look no further than Murray to see the quintessential 1920s femme fatale with her blonde tousled mane, heavy-lidded eyes, crimson lips, and a dancer’s body displayed in shimmering gowns or hidden in ermine. Mae Murray: The Girl with the Bee-Stung Lips, with a foreword by Kevin Brownlow, shows Murray as a master at self-promotion. The book examines her eccentricities, which were shocking to her contemporaries and made her one of the most controversial actresses of her generation.

Publication Date



The University Press of Kentucky

Place of Publication

Lexington, KY




978-0-8131-3691-2 (pdf version)


978-0-8131-4038-4 (epub version)



Mae Murray, Michael G. Ankerich, Kevin Brownlow, Silent film stars, Roaring Twenties, Hollywood, Femme fatales, Bee-stung lips


Film and Media Studies | Mass Communication


Foreword by Kevin Brownlow.