Marilyn Chambers, RIP

In 1972, a movie called Behind the Green Door proved that ordinary Americans would sit through a feature-length experimental art film with vague intimations of the occult, if it meant they got to watch Marilyn Chambers having sex. This was back when the porn industry was in effect cross-subsidizing the avant-garde film community, thus demonstrating its redeeming artistic merit and staying—sometimes—on the tolerant side of the law. In this case, the results were memorably strange: Chambers' picture was based on a piece of folklore, but—as with the street poem that inspired another classic of lowbrow '70s surrealism, Dolemite—it wasn't the sort of folktale that ordinarily appeared on a movie screen.

Before that career-defining role, Chambers was best known as the model on the Ivory Snow soap box (advertised as "99 & 44/100 percent pure"). She went on to appear in David Cronenberg's cult horror picture Rabid and a host of X-rated movies, and in 2004 she ran for vice president on the Personal Choice ticket, a spinoff of sorts from the Libertarian Party. She was later involved in the Boston Tea Party, another Libertarian offshoot, and in some states she served last year as the BTP's vice-presidential candidate.

This past weekend she died of causes unknown, a week shy of her 57th birthday. She was, in her way, one of the cultural icons of 1970s America, and I hope she rests in peace.

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  • Joel||

    The Ivory Snow lady was Marilyn Chambers? The porn star? Seriously?

    It's true what they say. "Not only stranger than you imagine, but stranger than you can imagine.

    Cool.

  • ||

    Joel,

    Actually, she was the baby.

  • Paul||

    This weekend she died of causes unknown, a week shy of her 57th birthday.



    Hmm...

  • JP||

    Bummer. RIP.

  • Joel||

    Oh. Well, that's different. Bummer.

    RIP anyway.

  • ||

    Any chance she'll appear in the memorial montage at the 2010 Oscars? I won't hold my breath, but I bet she makes the This Week memorial next Sunday.

    Happy trails, Marilyn.

  • ||

    I am so sad to learn this. She was a trail blazer who deserves to be remembered. She will be missed.

    Joel,
    Aspartame is pulling your leg. So what rock have you been hiding under the past thirty five years anyway?

  • Jesse Walker||

    She wasn't the baby, Joel. SugarFree is pulling your leg.

  • Jesse Walker||

    Warren beat me to it.

    Behind the Green Door would have been EXTREMELY illegal if it starred the baby...

  • ||

    I and some of my club Brothers were lucky enough to have met Marylin and her ol' man Doug Trayner at the L.A. Bike show in the early 80s. I still have a pic of me & another Bro, with us both hanging tongues close to each of those perfect nipples.

    She was a free spirit and deserves to be held in the same esteem as Bettie Page, Marylin Monroe, etc...

    RIP Marilyn.....it was a pleasure to meet you and a memory I'll always enjoy.

  • ||

    She went on to appear in David Cronenberg's cult horror picture Rabid

    Rabid is great. It's Cronenberg's first "real" film (Shivers and Stereo/Crimes of the Future don't count) and was a jumping point for his mutation/flesh thing. Great stuff.

  • ||

    Sorry, Joel... I couldn't resist.

    Although, I've never heard the second option before (from wiki):

    Some urban legends claim that either Chambers herself or Brooke Shields posed as the baby; neither rumor is true.

  • ||

    Shivers counts! You, sir, are a baboon!

  • Oat Willie||

    Behind the Green Door would have been EXTREMELY illegal if it starred the baby...

    I think the dingo ended up eating the baby.

  • ||

    When I saw it, it was called They Came From Within, and while entertaining, it was a first effort. Sort of like Bad Taste for Peter Jackson. Watchable, but the training wheels are still on.

  • Joel||

    Aspartame is pulling your leg. So what rock have you been hiding under the past thirty five years anyway?

    A very nice one, thank you. It's got, like, hanging lichens and stuff.

    And may I take this opportunity to join the chanting chorus of "Curse you, Sugarfree!"

  • ¢||

    Crimes and Stereo count, heteronormative fags!

  • ||

    Yeah, Epi, I saw it under that title as well. Night of the Creeps totally ripped it off.

  • ||

    And may I take this opportunity to join the chanting chorus of "Curse you, Sugarfree!"

    It only makes me stronger.

  • ||

    Crimes and Stereo count, heteronormative fags!

    I'm going to take some Percodan today. Just because it's Monday.

  • ||

    Shivers, Percodan...

    Movies I haven't seen and opiates I haven't taken. Will you boys let me play too already?

  • ||

    Will you boys let me play too already?

    Of course. Girls are always welcome...as long as you put out.

  • ||

    HoneyBunny,

    OK, how about Tylenol 3 and Moment of Truth: Why My Daughter?

  • Elemenope||

    Huh. She's from Rhode Island, too.

  • ||

    I used to spank out massive loads to Marilyn Chambers and Seka as a young lad.

  • ||

    Maybe you should lighten up on the Oxygen and Lifetime specials, NutraSweet. I think your estrogen levels are already too high.

  • ||

    What the hell is wrong with you people?
    Is that all the remembrance for the great Marilyn Chambers we can muster?
    I couldn't give two shits for some second rate Canadian.
    Marilyn was a champion of freedom.

  • ||

    Lifetime original movies are an opiate all on their own. God bless Judith Light and Keri Russel.

    I took a Lortab this weekend, but then got too drunk to appreciate it. What a waste.

    Epi, are you drinking at Starbucks, listening to grunge music, and protesting the WTO? Like right now?

  • robc||

    SugarFree,

    Are you like a Women's Studies professor or something? Between the Lifetime movies and the feministing links, you seem to follow that kind of stuff way too much.

  • ||

    Epi, are you drinking at Starbucks, listening to grunge music, and protesting the WTO? Like right now?

    He's putting together a couch from Ikea.

  • ||

    Are you like a Women's Studies professor or something?

    No, when I encounter something stupid, I file it away until I have a chance to make fun of it. Hopefully I be able to forget the Moment of Truth movies even exist.

  • ||

    God bless Judith Light and Keri Russel.

    (tries to process this statement, fails)

    Epi, are you drinking at Starbucks, listening to grunge music, and protesting the WTO? Like right now?

    I'm sleepless, writing to a woman over the internet. I may go stand in front of certain landmarks at certain times as well. And I used to be on Busom Buddies--you know, back when I was funny and not a "serious" actor.

    (Christ, just writing that as a joke made me feel dirty)

  • Paul||

    Rabid is great. It's Cronenberg's first "real" film (Shivers and Stereo/Crimes of the Future don't count) and was a jumping point for his mutation/flesh thing. Great stuff.

    Everytime I see a Cronenberg film, I can't help but wonder what kind of fucked up sexual kinks that guy has bottled up...

  • ||

    I've been hoping ProLib would surface. I'm going to be in Fla most of the week and need some of Mrs Libertate's vittles.

    And I mean that in a respectful way.

  • ||

    He's putting together a couch from Ikea.

    You're dorking up my vibe, asshole. Thanks a lot.

  • ||

    back when I was funny and not a "serious" actor

    The back of the VHS copy of Bachelor Party in my basement calls Hanks "the next Bill Murray". Good stuff.

  • Paul||

    Moment of Truth: Why My Daughter?

    Hmm, sounds like the exact same thing that "sex worker rights activist" in that documentary about the strippers unionizing said when she found out her daughter was a stripper there. Laughs all around.

  • ||

    Darn, Netflix doesn't have Behind the Green Door!

  • ||

    At least in the early 70s some porn stars were not bad looking. Chambers was very good looking when she started out. Now of course all porn stars go for the methed out, fake boobed skank look that seems to be so popular among the unwashed masses (see e.g. Pamela Anderson and Jenna Jameson). Chambers sort of points to a different era when pinup and stag models looked like good looking women that you might actually see in public versus some silicon enhanced skank monster.

  • ||

    Sorry, FrBunny, I'm submerged, waiting for the convoy.

    Episiarch,

    Going to Starbucks is gauche in Seattle. You have to go to some family-owned coffee shop that has some sort of direct tie to Mao. Or maybe Pol Pot.

    The first Starbucks is in the Pike Place Market somewhere. It's gauche, too. It would be cool if they'd throw coffee the way the fish place throws fish, but no, they're too corporate for such things.

  • Paul||

    The back of the VHS copy of Bachelor Party in my basement calls Hanks "the next Bill Murray".

    When in reality, Murray is becoming the next hanks.

  • ||

    The back of the VHS copy of Bachelor Party in my basement calls Hanks "the next Bill Murray".

    I knew he was heading down the path of evil after I saw Nothing In Common on HBO...about 1000 times. When he finally becomes a Scientologist, the cycle of evil shall be complete.

  • ||

    Murray is becoming the next hanks

    And the whole world loses.

  • ||

    "The first Starbucks is in the Pike Place Market somewhere. It's gauche, too. It would be cool if they'd throw coffee the way the fish place throws fish, but no, they're too corporate for such things."

    I am not sure that scalling your customers is a very good business model. I know poser hipster dufuses of the ilk that hang out in Seattle will put up with a lot, but scalding?

  • Paul||

    Going to Starbucks is gauche in Seattle. You have to go to some family-owned coffee shop that has some sort of direct tie to Mao. Or maybe Pol Pot.

    So say tens of thousands of Seattlites as they sip their Starbucks...

  • Paul||

    Murray is becoming the next hanks

    And the whole world loses.


    I disagree, I see it as a kind of win-win.

  • ||

    Paul,

    I see you understand the paradox that is Seattle. It's also a boom town. A bust town. A boom town, a bust town.

  • ||

    ProL, I tried to buy some huge sea scallops at the market yesterday, but the fish-throwing retards aren't open on Easter Sunday, it seems. They're probably papists or something equally evil. My new apartment is just a few blocks from it.

  • ||

    "OK, how about Tylenol 3 and Moment of Truth: Why My Daughter?"

    Lifetime movies love hookers and women in prison. The plot summary of that movie says a woman's daughter gets inadvertantly sucked into Prostitution. How do you inadvertantly become a hooker? Forced to become a hooker maybe. But inadvertantly as in accidentily? "Oh I just thought he was being kinky and got off on me sleeping with all those guys. I didn't know he was charging them. Oh my!!"

  • Paul||

    I see you understand the paradox that is Seattle.

    I've officially lived here long enough to qualify for near-native status.

  • ||

    The height of 70s mainstream porn was Alice in Wonderland: An X-Rated Musical Fantasy (1976) starring Playmate Kristine DeBell, who went on to be one of the counselors in Meatballs. Porn got within inches of being respectable, but VHS made it more accessible and coarse at the same time.

    Although, porn should be fairly crass.

  • Paul||

    My new apartment is just a few blocks from it.

    Pick me up some Seville Oranges, would you?

  • ||

    Seatlle is a beautiful city. It must have been paradise or near to it before the hippies fucked it up.

  • ||

    Crikey, SF, that movie is "up 1420% in popularity this week" according to the link! Have you been pitching it on other blogs too?

  • ||

    "The height of 70s mainstream porn was Alice in Wonderland: An X-Rated Musical Fantasy (1976) starring Playmate Kristine DeBell, who went on to be one of the counselors in Meatballs. Porn got within inches of being respectable, but VHS made it more accessible and coarse at the same time."


    It kind of did in the 80s. Movies like The Hunger or Henry and June that would have been X-rated porn in the 1960s were respectible movies. We just didn't call it porn anymore. We reserved that term for low rent VHS tapes with nothing but money shots.

  • ||

    Episiarch,

    I was a downtown Seattle resident for about six weeks in 2001. I enjoyed it, though that was the late summer with all of its advantages.

    There are a few decent restaurants in downtown, though the only one I can remember off the top of my head is Wild Ginger. I didn't buy much in the way of groceries in the city--there was some grocery store out near the university, but I can't remember the name. Lots of salmony stuff.

  • ||

    who went on to be one of the counselors in Meatballs

    I am ashamed to admit that I watched Meatballs recently. It made me feel...funny. Kind of like when NutraSweet touches me down there and tells me he's a doctor.

  • Paul||

    Seatlle is a beautiful city. It must have been paradise or near to it before the hippies fucked it up.

    Hippies actually kind of made Seattle great. Then they got elected to public office and keep trying to codify "great" into law and are subsequently fucking it up. They'll never understand that greatness comes from the bottom up, not the top-down.

    BTW: I hate Nickels.

  • ||

    Good point Paul. I don't mind living next door to hippies. They are generally nice people and make the place interesting. But when the neighborhood hippie runs for city council, the best course is to shoot him or just move away because things are going to go downhill quick.

  • Mt Rainier||

    tick tick tick tick

  • ||

    BTW: I hate Nickels.

    I just saw that bloated pig-eyed sack of shit on TV talking about what he wants to ban next. Fuck him and the three horses he rode in on.

  • ||

    Damn, I'm getting old. RIP Marilyn.

    BTW, this is one of the rare occasions I agree with John. Marilyn Chambers was a very attractive woman. With or without attire.

  • ||

    Episiarch,

    It just doesn't matter.

  • ||

    ProL, try Quinn's. Good stuff.

  • Paul||

    I just saw that bloated pig-eyed sack of shit on TV talking about what he wants to ban next. Fuck him and the three horses he rode in on.

    The guy's like fucking Jabba the Hutt, but without the charm.

  • ||

    "The height of 70s mainstream porn was Alice in Wonderland: An X-Rated Musical Fantasy (1976) starring Playmate Kristine DeBell, who went on to be one of the counselors in Meatballs. Porn got within inches of being respectable, but VHS made it more accessible and coarse at the same time."

    The height of respectable port was 9 1/2 Weeks

  • OO===D||

    RIP, sweetheart. See you in heaven.

  • ||

    Sounds interesting. Of course, my WaMu days are behind me, so I may not be back in Seattle for a while.

  • ||

    "The height of respectable port was 9 1/2 Weeks"

    Henry and June,
    The Cook The Thief His Wife and Her Lover
    The Hunger
    I the Jury
    Tie Me Up Tie Me Down
    Angel Heart

    There were a whole litiny of respectable porn movies made during the 80s.

  • Paul||

    The height of respectable port was 9 1/2 Weeks

    Ugh. I thought I had exorcised that movie from my memory, and now you do this...

  • Paul||

    There were a whole litiny of respectable porn movies made during the 80s.

    I'm old fashioned. I don't want my porn respectable.

  • Paul||

    WaMu days are behind me, so I may not be back in Seattle for a while.

    WaMu's days are behind WaMu.

  • ||

    i thought 91/2 Weeks sucked to. First, Bassinger really didn't show the goods, which was monumentally disapointing. Second, the book apparently was some serious S&M kink which didn't really make it to the movie. Third it had Mickey Rourke in it. It was a huge disapointment.

  • ||

    Paul,

    Don't I know it. Me, and my valueless WM shares.

  • Orange Line Special||

    I have some questions:

    1. Why do many starlets have the same last name? Are they related?

    2. Is there a couch/highheelshoe/saxophone museum somewhere?

    3. Do the big studios employ squeegee men to clean up?

    4. Could their "Make pr0n available to all anywhere no matter any other circumstances" be the LP's back road to victory?

  • ||

    It is on Drudge that Spector is guilty of second degree murder. Crazy fucker deserved to go down. What a wasted life.

  • ||

    I have some answers:

    1. Shut

    2. The Fuck

    3. UP

    4. LoneWacko

  • Grandpa Withers||

    STFU, Lonewackoff!

  • ||

    Alice in Wonderland: An X-Rated Musical Fantasy is probably the best made porn film of all time.

    That or TeenCumSluts #13.

  • ||

    Wanks for the memories.

  • SIV||


    Rabid is great. It's Cronenberg's first "real" film (Shivers and Stereo/Crimes of the Future don't count) and was a jumping point for his mutation/flesh thing. Great stuff.


    Shivers doesn't count? WTF?
    It's the same damn movie Cronenberg has made every single time since then.

    I've never seen the "student" films.

  • ||

    "Alice in Wonderland: An X-Rated Musical Fantasy is probably the best made porn film of all time.

    That or TeenCumSluts #13."


    I beleive the definitive list of best porn movies ever is as follows:



    Whisper in the Wind,
    To Each His Own, Put it Where It Doesn't Belong,
    My Pipes Need Cleaning,
    All tit-Fucking, Volume Eight,
    I Need Your Cock,
    Ass-Worshipping Rim-Jobbers,
    My Cunt and Eight Shafts,
    Cum Clean,
    Cum-Gargling Naked Sluts,
    Cum Buns Three,
    Cumming in a Sock,
    Cum on Eileen,
    Huge Black Cocks with Pearly White Cum,
    Slam It Up My Too-Loose Ass,
    Ass Blasters in Outer Space,
    Blowjobs by Betsy,
    Sucking Cock and Cunt,
    Finger My Ass, Play with my Puss,
    Three on a Dildo,
    Girls Who Crave Cock,
    Girls Who Crave Cunt,
    Men Alone Two-The K.Y. Connection,
    Pink Pussy Lips,
    All Holes Filled with Hard Cock.
    Oh, and...

    Happy Scrappy Hero Pup

  • ||

    What, John--no Airtight Grannies?

  • ||

    I wouldn't call any of those 80s movies porn. Up-scale erotica, maybe. But without penetration shots they aren't porn. Romance and 9 Songs dance the respectable porn line much better. Discernible plot, dialogue, decent actors and penetration. There's quite a few movies in this sub-genre at this point.

  • ||

    I'm having fond memories of her "making love" with the gardener on the pool table in Insatiable. I feel sorry for the old folks that came of age without Beta/VHS. Maybe that just made them appreciate it more later.

  • Orange Line Special||

    5. What's that on your chin? Are those mine?

    6. Where does Reason fit into an actress' career arc? Is it just before or just after doing midget stump scat leather bondage videos?

    7. Google lydia hairy.

  • ||

    "Google lydia hairy"

    I swear that's the title of a Guided By Voices song.

  • Joel||

    John,

    If those are actual porn movie titles - and if you can actually list them as you just did - you have just got to get a life. Though at least it's clear you don't spend all your time in front of the computer, and I guess that's something.

  • ||

    Google lydia hairy.

    For the first time in my life, I am truly frightened.

  • Derek Ashworth||

    Marilyn Chambers, Harry Kallas, and now Mark "The Bird" Fidrych. The trifecta is now complete, somewhat, and a sad RIP to all.

  • BakedPenguin||

    I haven't see anyone mention Catherine Breillat

    Joel, I think John was doing the skit from "Clerks". I could be wrong - it's been years since I saw that.

    Also, RIP Marilyn.

  • ||

    I haven't see anyone mention Catherine Breillat.

    [cough]

    SugarFree | April 13, 2009, 5:51pm | #

    Up-scale erotica, maybe. But without penetration shots they aren't porn. Romance and 9 Songs dance the respectable porn line much better.



  • BakedPenguin||

    Oops. I should read better. I also should have known better than to question your pr0n knowledge, SugarFree...

  • ChrisO||

    Behind the Green Door certainly has to qualify as one of the weirdest porn films of all time. And, apart from the lovely Ms. Chambers, one of the least titilating, as well. There was a lot of "WTF?" in the room when a bunch of us teenagers watched it for the first time.

  • ||

    BP,

    It's OK, it was sort of buried there. But no mention of Catherine Breillat would be complete with a link to Roxane Mesquida, dead-eyed cutie extreme.

  • Paul||

    That or TeenCumSluts #13.

    I thought 12 was way better... that was really where they should have ended the franchise.

  • ||

    marilyn was a friend of mine, as is her daughter a friend of our family and her ex husband.. she blazed the trail for all the porn stars of the last 3 decades..they should all thank what ever they beleive in for marilyn's life...she gave them all much opportunity...she may have paid the ulitmate price for that life..but she was a good person with a great heart...a great mom ...i 'll miss her..jc

  • Happy Jack||

    I'm having fond memories of her "making love" with the gardener on the pool table in Insatiable.

    I'm having wincing memories of her taking it up the ass from John Holmes in Insatiable. Yeeouch!

  • Paul||

    marilyn was a friend of mine,

    ...and you sir, are no Marilyn Chambers.

  • Robert||

    The Ivory Snow lady was Marilyn Chambers? The porn star? Seriously?


    Yes, but for only a brief period. She'd recently replaced a dark haired model, and then when it got to be known that the blonde on the soap box was also a porn actress, they switched to yet another dark haired model. And before the portrait style it was a snowy cartoon without the snow man, and before that it was the same scene with the snow man.

  • ||

    Off topic, but sad news just the same:

    RIP HARRY KALAS.

  • ||

    She helped many a guy "rest in peace" she'll be missed.

  • Orange Line Special||

    I'll be in the third booth down the hall if anyone wants to give me a hand.

  • ||

    happy jack, didn't marilyn do an A2M with John Holmes in Insatiable 2? On the weight lifting bench IIRC?

  • ||

    Joel,

    That was the skit from Clerks. Those are not real porn movies.

  • Lester Hunt||

    So sad. RIP.

    You guys who are bantering back and forth should find a more appropriate forum.

  • ||

    You guys who are bantering back and forth should find a more appropriate forum.

    You don't think that bantering about porn ('twas her career) interspersed with compliments to the edceased is appropriate?

    It seems like most memorial services I've attended. Marilyn would likely be honored that a political website exists that neither condemned nor pitied her life choices, celebrating and joking about it instead.

    Lighten up, Francis.

  • Jesse Walker||

    I have some questions

    Good for you, Chris. How about answering mine first?

  • Jesse Walker||

    (In fairness, the line about porn stars having the same last name was pretty funny.)

  • Taktix®||

    Good for you, Chris. How about answering mine first?

    Jesse,

    Answering you would be AdmittingDefeat, because the question WasWritten by the MexicanMafia in their GrandCollusion with NAFTASupporters. To repsond would make YourQuestion legitimate.

    Or he just doesn't have TheStones...

  • Kolohe||

    There were a whole litiny of respectable porn movies made during the 80s.

    To pick a nit, some of those were from the nineties.

    And The Cook, The thief, etc was less pornographic than it is was just outright gross. (although the line the female lead gives at the end about 'you know where it's been' was very funny)

  • T||

    And The Cook, The thief, etc was less pornographic than it is was just outright gross.

    Yeah, probably the my personal worst first date movie ever.

  • My Porn Scene Experience||

    I dated a girl years ago for a long time who was the daughter of a famous 80's porn star, her family also worked for the NY mob that Good Fellas was inspired by. She was beautiful and great person but she had a tough life. She witnessed all kinds of violence and sex and drugs by the age of ten when she ran away that most people will never see in their whole life. I've also been friends with Vietnam vets and other mafia kids but none of their stories were as insane as the growing up in the porn scene.

  • ||

    Jesse Walker-

    Behind the Green Door would have been EXTREMELY illegal if it starred the baby...

    Only because you're not a "true libertarian"... (Drink!)


  • ||

    OLS-

    7. Google lydia hairy.

    Selena Steele!

  • edna||

    wikipedia says she was known for "bukkake" too.
    is that kurosawa? i missed that one.

  • ||

    i
    think how sad her daughter found her,in her trailer,to be that popular and living in a trailer,things could not of been that good,

  • ||

    I use to wank to her videos in my youth, must have cummed around 1000 times to her, what a waste.

  • ||

    Whore dies

  • ||

    Met her in NYC provided transportation for her to and from JFK "what a friendly beautiful person" so sorry

  • wizard of oz books||

    With many new announcement about the wizard of oz movies in the news, you might want to consider starting to obtain Wizard of Oz book series either as collectible or investment at RareOzBooks.com.

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