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Marilyn Chambers, Sex Star, Dies at 56

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Marilyn Chambers, Sex Star, Dies at 56

Comments for: Marilyn Chambers, Sex Star, Dies at 56
dv8 Report This Comment
Date: April 14, 2009 10:01AM

Marilyn Chambers, Sex Star, Dies at 56

Marilyn Chambers, whose photograph as the mother of a newborn on a laundry soap package and whose performance as a fantasy-fulfilling wanton in a pornographic movie evoked stunningly contrasting portrayals of womanhood, was found dead in her home on Sunday on the outskirts of Santa Clarita, Calif. She was 56.

The cause was not yet determined, said Ed Winter, assistant chief of the Los Angeles County coroner’s office. He said that the death was being investigated but that foul play was not suspected.

Ms. Chambers was an aspiring actress and model in 1972 when she starred in “Behind the Green Door,” a pornographic film about a woman who is abducted to a theater and ravished in front of an audience, ultimately to her great satisfaction, by both men and women. It became especially popular when it was learned that its star was the same fresh-faced blonde who appeared beaming at a baby on boxes of Ivory Snow, a laundry soap famously described by Procter & Gamble, its manufacturer, as “99 and 44/100 percent pure.”

Ms. Chambers declared at the time that her film would help “sell a lot more soap,” though Procter & Gamble did not see it that way and replaced her.

“Behind the Green Door” was among the first X-rated films to gain wide distribution and, along with “Deep Throat,” released the same year, is generally credited with helping establish a mainstream market for pornography.

“Behind the Green Door” was more than just a parade of sex scenes, said Steven Hirsch, the co-chief executive of Vivid Entertainment Group, which makes adult films. Even though Ms. Chambers did not actually have any lines in the film, he said, she brought it to life.

“It was a movie that really dug deep into sexuality, psychologically,” Mr. Hirsch said in an interview on Monday. “It took you to a place that no other adult film had gone before, and the reason they were able to pull that off is that she was a talented actress.”

When Ms. Chambers died, she was identified by documents with her body as Marilyn Ann Taylor, evidently the name she assumed after a marriage, though along with many other details that could not be confirmed on Monday. She was born, Mr. Winter said, on April 22, 1952, though he could not confirm that her birth name was, as often reported, Marilyn Ann Briggs. She is most often said to have been born in Westport, Conn., though in a 2007 interview with The Providence Journal in Rhode Island, Ms. Chambers said she was born in Providence and grew up in Westport.

The Associated Press reported that her survivors include a daughter, McKenna Marie Taylor; a brother, Bill Briggs; and a sister, Jann Smith.

Before making “Behind the Green Door,” Ms. Chambers had hoped to establish an acting career in fully clothed roles. She had had a small part in “The Owl and the Pussycat,” a 1970 comedy starring Barbra Streisand and George Segal, and she later appeared in “Rabid” (1977), an early film by David Cronenberg, but most of her work after “Green Door” capitalized on her fame as a sex star.

“I thought there would be a chance to cross over,” she said in the Providence Journal interview. “Boy, was I wrong.”
PostMaster Report This Comment
Date: April 14, 2009 07:49PM

Why do you have a shot of Linda Lovelace in action? She died a long time ago. (Car accident in Denver, Colorado.)
dv8 Report This Comment
Date: April 14, 2009 09:02PM

a he/she who knows their porn stars. i was in a hurry and threw deep throat in. the finger
Mint Report This Comment
Date: April 15, 2009 01:43AM

wow. Soooo many late nights on Skinemax as an early teen watching her. sad smiley
SkullandChains Report This Comment
Date: April 17, 2009 05:28PM

Posted by: Mint [x]
wow. Soooo many late nights on Skinemax as an early teen watching her.

She's helped millions of teenage boys spank their monkeys.