Ms. Marilyn Chambers, given name Marilyn Briggs, was central to
the erotic empire built by the late Mitchell brothers - Jim and
Artie - at their Mitchell Brothers O'Farrell Theatre, now in its
Former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown proclaimed a
"Marilyn Chambers Day," praising the porn queen for her
"artistic presence," her "vision" and her "energy."
"That wasn't from any personal knowledge. That was all part of
the allure of San Francisco," Brown said Monday. "At the time
that she was doing what she was doing, it created an interest
nationally if not internationally in our city. And people would
come here to see if Marilyn Chambers was really dressed in
"She was a pioneer, and an amazingly secure woman. I admired her
for being at the forefront of an industry that was so taboo when
she started," said Jenna Jameson, currently one of the
industry's biggest stars.
Hirsch noted that one of the most striking things about
Chambers' career was its longevity in a business where stars
quickly fade. She last completed a film called,
"Porndogs: The Adventures of
Sadie" with Ron Jeremy.
Marilyn Chambers, the porn star who fearlessly tackled lesbian
and interracial sex scenes back in the early seventies. Chambers
along with Kay Parker was one of porn's preeminent actresses
during the "Golden Age of Porn. First gaining a name for
herself in the racially-charged classic "Behind the Green Door."
Cut on a $60,000 budget, the film made $25 million worldwide.
Chambers was known for her suburban looks and the ravenous
delight with which she let men (and women) do pretty much
anything they wanted to her.
"She was the first crossover adult star. She was the Ivory Snow
girl and when she decided to make an adult movie that was big
news," Steven Hirsch, co-CEO of adult filmmaker Vivid
Entertainment Group, told The Associated Press on Monday.
"It was the first adult movie that was more than just a bunch of
sex scenes," Hirsch said of her breakthrough film. "She was an
actress and she brought that ability to the set of 'Behind the
Green Door.' That's part of what made that movie so successful."
Paid to 'live out my greatest fantasies'
In an online chat with
AdultDVDtalk.com in 2000, Chambers attempted to explain what
caused her to take such a radically different career path after
"The Owl and the Pussycat" and her modeling work.
"Back then in my naive brain I was thinking that something like
'Behind the Green Door' had never been done before. The way
our sexual revolution was traveling I really thought it was
going to be a stepping stone which would further my acting
career," she said.
She learned afterward, she said, that wasn't the case.
Chambers' death was a "total shock," [fellow adult star
Ron Jeremy] said,
because they had been scheduled to sign a contract Monday to
perform together in an off-Broadway "tongue-in-cheek"
re-enactment of the porn classic "Deep Throat." "What's strange
is that she was at a stage where she was totally happy and
totally content with her life," Jeremy said. "Her life was
falling together, and she was doing really well."
Liberty was about a lot more than politics for her.
She did everything with a revolutionary, libertarian attitude.
(I am sure the fans of her films would emphasize that word
'everything.') She exemplifies a complete libertarian, and she
will be missed by many in our party and the international
She was an ambassador from the porn community to all peoples.
Interracial porn pioneer Marilyn Chambers dead at 56 (12 April
2009) 19:00 PDT in Los Angeles.
WE WILL MISS FOREVER.
From Classmates...WESTPORT Portal...:
" Marilyn Chambers, the 1970 Westport Staples High School
graduate then known as Marilyn Ann Briggs who won early fame as
an Ivory Snow detergent model and later as an adult film star,
died Sunday at her suburban Los Angeles home. She was 56.
Chambers was found unresponsive at her residence, said a
spokesman for the Los Angeles County corner’s office. The cause
of death is under investigation but foul play was not suspected
and an autopsy is pending, he said.
The Associated Press quoted a family friend, Peggy McGinn, said
as saying Chambers’ 17-year-old daughter found the actress’ body
at her home in the Los Angeles suburb of Canyon Country.
Chambers became a pop culture phenomenon when she gave up work
as a model advertising Ivory Snow laundry detergent to star in
the X-rated “Behind the Green Door” in 1972.
The movie also sparked a buying frenzy on boxes of Ivory Snow
soap, then graced by Chambers’ angelically complexioned face.
Married and divorced three times, Chambers admitted to
interviewers that she had battled drug and alcohol addiction in
Marilyn Chambers (3rd l.) returned to Westport for her 30th
Staples class reunion in 2000.
Chambers went through the Westport school system—Burr Farms
Elementary, Hillspoint Elementary, Long Lots Junior High School
She kept in touch with Westport friends and mingled with many of
them at a 2000 class reunion.
Wrote one on a Facebook entry after learning of her death: “We
had so much fun with Marilyn at (the) last reunion and she was
so sweet to send a note…telling us that we gave her love life
At a Class of 1970 Web site, Chambers said she planned to attend
next year’s 40th reunion.
In a posting several years ago to classmates, she said: “Haven’t
been back to Westport in a long time, as I have no more family
living there (both my mom and dad are deceased).
“My brother tells me he went to see our old house on Marc Lane,
and they’ve turned it into a MacMansion! Egads, a whole town of
Martha Stewarts is evolving!! Would love to hear from old
friends from the good old days.”
Chambers shot to fame with the 1972 adult film “Behind the Green
Door.” Mitchell Brothers Pictures photo
Born in Providence, R.I., Chambers moved with her family to
Westport at an early age. Her father was in advertising and her
mother was a nurse. She was the youngest of three children.
While at Staples, she landed some modeling jobs as well a small
role in the film “The Owl and the Pussycat,” which starred
Barbra Streisand. She was credited as “Evelyn Lang.”
“When I was about 16 I learned how to write my mother’s name on
notes to get out of school. And then I’d take the train into the
city to go to auditions,” she told the authors of the 2005 “The
Other Hollywood: The Uncensored Oral History of the Porn Film
“My whole growing up consisted of me in front of a mirror
playing records like ‘West Side Story’ and ‘Bye Bye Birdie.’ I
really wanted to be Ann-Margaret, to tell you the truth.”
Throughout the ‘70s and `80s, Chambers was one of the biggest
names in the porn industry, ranked by Playboy magazine as one of
the top 100 sex stars of the 20th century and named one of the
top 10 adult film stars of all time by Adult Video News.
Tom Seligson, a Westporter who knew her brother, wrote on
Facebook: “When Westport celebrities are ever mentioned,
Marilyn’s name is always included, along with our other
illustrious actors and writers. She was a local girl who made
good, and we were proud of her.”
She is survived by her daughter, McKenna Marie Taylor; her
brother, Bill Briggs; and her sister, Jann Smith."