Marilyn Chambers (April 22, 1952 – April 12, 2009) was an American pornographic actress, exotic dancer, model, actress and vice-presidential candidate. She was best known for her 1972 hardcore film debut Behind the Green Door and her 1980 pornographic film Insatiable.
Born Marilyn Ann Briggs in Providence, Rhode Island, and raised in Westport, Connecticut in a middle-class household. It is often reported that she was born in Westport, however in a 2007 interview Chambers confirmed she was born in Providence but grew up in Westport. Her father was in advertising and her mother was a nurse. She was the youngest of three children, including a brother, Martin Briggs (keyboardist for 1960s Boston Band, The Remains), and a sister, Jann Smith. Chambers attended Burr Farms Elementary School, Hillspoint Elementary School, Long Lots Junior High School, and Staples High School.Her father tried to discourage her from pursuing a modeling career, citing brutal competition. Chambers said in 2005, "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". This initiative while in high school landed her some modeling assignments and a small role in the film The Owl and the Pussycat (1970), which starred Barbra Streisand and in which Chambers was credited as Evelyn Lang.
She moved to Los Angeles, California for more work. She did not receive any roles except for a low-budget film, writer-director-producer Sean S. Cunningham's Together (1971), in which she appeared nude. She left Los Angeles for San Francisco, California, where she held several jobs that included topless model and a bottomless dancer. During her early career her most visible modeling job was as the "Ivory soap girl" on the Ivory Snow soap box, posing as a mother holding a baby under the tag line "99 & 44/100% pure".
Chambers saw an advertisement for a casting call and rushed to the audition, only to find it was for a pornographic film, Behind the Green Door. She was about to leave when producers Artie and Jim Mitchell noticed her resemblance to Cybill Shepherd and agreed a wholesome blond actress was needed for the film. After filming concluded, she informed them that she was "the Ivory Snow Girl"; the Mitchells capitalized on this by billing her as the "99 and 44/100% pure" girl. Although she said at the time that the film would help "sell a lot more soap", Procter & Gamble quickly dropped her after discovering her double life as an adult-film actress, and the advertising industry was scandalized. The fact that Chambers image was so well known from Ivory Snow boosted the film's ticket sales, and led to several jokes on television talk shows. Nearly every adult film she made following this incident featured a cameo of her Ivory Snow box.
Unusually, Chambers does not have a single word of dialogue in the entire film. After engaging in lesbian sex with a group of women, she has sex with the African-American boxer Johnny Keyes. This possibly makes BTGD the first U.S. feature-length hardcore film to include an interracial sex scene. The porn industry and viewing public were shocked by the then-taboo spectacle of a white woman having sex with a black man. Chambers was relatively unknown prior to BTGD; however, the film made her a star. Critics have since debated whether she was really having orgasms in her scenes or just acting. She stated in one early interview that they were real, but denied it in an interview many years later.
Following Behind the Green Door, the Mitchell Brothers and Chambers teamed up for Resurrection of Eve which was released in September 1973. A documentary by the brothers called Inside Marilyn Chambers was released in 1976. Chambers wrote an autobiography, My Story, in 1975, and co-authored Xaviera Meets Marilyn Chambers with Xaviera Hollander in 1977. Both were published by Warner Communications.
Chambers dreamed of having a career in non-porn, mainstream endeavors. In 1974 she starred in the dinner theater production of "Mind With the Dirty Man" in Las Vegas and later starred in Neil Simon's "Last of the Red Hot Lovers." The one-woman show "Sex Surrogate", in 1979, caused controversy in Vegas as it featured full-frontal nudity, which at the time was banned from all casinos. Chambers won the starring role in film director David Cronenberg's low-budget Canadian movie Rabid, which was released in 1977. She returned to hardcore pornographic films with Insatiable, which was the top-selling adult video in the U.S. from 1980-1982. She still hoped to launch a successful mainstream acting career, but was unable to do so.
In a 2004 interview, Chambers said "My advice to somebody who wants to go into adult films is: Absolutely not! It's heart-breaking. It leaves you kind of empty. So have a day job and don't quit it".
Near the end of her career, Chambers appeared primarily in independent films, including her last role in Solitaire. Chambers claimed that the more laid-back pace of these roles suited her as "there's a lot less pressure on you to perform [and] you don't have to be young and skinny." Among these were Bikini Bistro, Angel of Heat (with Mary Woronov), Rated X, Party Incorporated, and Breakfast in Bed.
Chambers had some chart success with the disco single "Benihana" in 1976, produced by Michael Zager on the Roulette Records label.
Efforts in politics
In the 2004 United States presidential election, Chambers ran for Vice President on the Personal Choice Party ticket, a quasi-libertarian party. She received a total of 946 votes. In the 2008 United States presidential election, she was again Charles Jay's running mate, this time as an alternate write-in candidate to his primary national Boston Tea Party running mate Thomas L. Knapp in the states of Arkansas, Hawaii, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Utah.
On April 12, 2009, Chambers was found dead in her home near Santa Clarita, California. Documents found with her body identified her as Marilyn Ann Taylor, presumably the name she assumed after a marriage. She was discovered by her 17-year-old daughter, McKenna Marie Taylor. The coroner's autopsy revealed that Chambers died of a cerebral hemorrhage and an aneurysm related to heart disease. Chambers was ten days away from her 57th birthday. Painkiller hydrocodone (Vicodin) and anti-depressant Citalopram were found in her bloodstream but not enough to cause death. Upon her death the Associated Press reported that she was survived by her daughter, sister, and brother.
In 2000, Tracy Hutson played Chambers in the cable television biographical film Rated X, about the Mitchell brothers' film and strip-club career.
The Owl and the Pussycat (1970 - credited as Evelyn Lang)
Behind the Green Door (1972)
XRCO Hall of Fame
1985 XRCO Award – Best Kinky Scene -Insatiable II (with Jamie Gillis)
2005 FOXE Award – Lifetime Achievement
2008 XBIZ Award – Lifetime Achievement for a Female Performer[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.] [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.] [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.] [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.] [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.] [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.] [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.] [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]