Marilyn Chambers  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Marilyn Chambers (April 22, 1952 - April 12, 2009) was an American pornographic actress, exotic dancer, and vice-presidential candidate. She was perhaps best known for her 1972 hardcore debut Behind the Green Door. In 1977, mainstream films noticed Chambers, and nabbed a major role in David Cronenberg's low-budget Canadian-made Rabid.


Early life

Marilyn Chambers was born Marilyn Ann Briggs in Providence, Rhode Island and came from a middle-class household. Her father was in advertising and her mother was a nurse. She was the youngest of three children. Her father tried to discourage her from pursuing a modeling career, citing brutal competition. Chambers landed some modeling gigs 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". Her parents were not impressed, so she moved to Los Angeles for more work. She did not receive any roles except for a low-budget film, Together (1971), in which she appeared nude. Depressed, she left Los Angeles for San Francisco, where she held several jobs, including work as a topless model and a bottomless dancer. She also married a hippie named Doug Chapin.

During her early career, perhaps her most visible modeling job was as the "cover girl" on the Ivory Snow soap box, posing as the mother holding the baby under the tag line "99 & 44/100% pure". Some urban legends claim that either Chambers herself or Brooke Shields posed as the baby; neither rumor is true.

Adult film career

Chambers happened to see an advertisement for a casting call and rushed to the audition, only to find it was for a porno film. She was about to leave when the Mitchell brothers noticed her resemblance to Cybill Shepherd, agreed a wholesome blonde actress was needed for the film, and stopped her. Chambers, who was initially ambivalent about starring in Behind the Green Door, asked Artie and Jim Mitchell for a $25,000 salary and a percentage of the gross, never expecting they would agree. 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. Procter & Gamble quickly dropped her after discovering her double life as an adult film actress. Nearly every adult film she made following this incident featured a cameo of her Ivory Snow box.

In the film, Chambers had sex with the well-endowed African-American actor Johnny Keyes. She also fainted at the end of one scene lasting over 45 minutes. The porno industry and viewing public were shocked by the then-taboo spectacle of a white woman having sex with a black man. (Chambers' parents refused to talk to her for several years after the film's release, but eventually reconciled with her.) In subsequent porno films with John Holmes, who was noted for his extremely large penis, Chambers "talk[ed] dirty" to him off-camera to give him an erection, and she was supposedly one of the few actresses that could fully deep throat John Holmes' erect penis. Eventually, mainstream films noticed Chambers, who in 1977 nabbed a major role in David Cronenberg's low-budget Canadian-made Rabid. However, her adult film career made Hollywood studios nervous, and hence she was unable to successfully transition to mainstream films.

She was noted for her enthusiastic performances of deep throat, anal, lesbian, interracial, extreme bukkake, and double or triple penetration scenes. She was one of the first female stars to shave her pubic hair, a practice now routine for porn actresses. Chambers continued to appear in porn films for such companies as Naughty America and MILF Hunter. Later in her career she had a series of breast augmentations raising her from a B-cup to at least a D. She was reputedly one of the first porn actresses to have her genitals pierced. Vincent Canby, a film critic of The New York Times, described her as "classy [and] suburban-looking".

Independent Film Appearances

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 suit 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 H.E.A.T. (with Mary Woronov), Rated X, and Party Incorporated.

In 2005, Chambers received a lifetime achievement FOXE Award.

Career as Singer

Chambers also had some chart success with the disco single "Benihana" in 1976, produced by Michael Zager on the Roulette Records label.

Personal life

Her first marriage to Doug Chapin ended after the release of Behind the Green Door. During her 1975-1985 marriage to porn producer/director/manager Chuck Traynor, Chambers continued in both mainstream and porn films. After that marriage ended, Chambers married her third husband, truckdriver Tom Taylor. She gave birth to their daughter, McKenna Marie Taylor, in 1991, before that marriage also ended in divorce. Chambers has admitted to writer John Hubner and other interviewers that she battled drug and alcohol addiction in the past.

Political life

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, Marilyn Chambers was found dead in her mobile home in Santa Clarita, California by her daughter .

Fictional portrayals

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Marilyn Chambers" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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