From former Ivory Snow girl to adult Porn Queen, Marilyn Chambers’ career in porn films began during the early 70’s when the porn film industry went from stag to silver screen. Chambers, 56, was found dead Monday in her Los Angeles Canyon County home. Authorities believe her death was from natural causes.

Chambers’ death was even cited in the New York Times:

“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.”

Marilyn Chambers happened to be at the right place at the right time, at least in regards to the heady days of porn films going mainstream in the early 1970’s. Chambers’ “breakout” film stemmed from a casting call made by San Francisco’s infamous Mitchell Brothers, pioneers in the production of porn and adult entertainment films. The Mitchell Brothers cast Chambers in “Behind the Green Door” because she was a “Cybil Shepard” girl, “blond” and “wholesome”.

Marilyn Chambers, 1974

Porn flicks on the silver screnn got the green light in 1968 after the film industry replaced the Hays Code with the “self-regulating” MPAA rating system. The Hays Code, named after fomer Postmaster Will Hays, had been enforced by the film industry for 40 years and banned such items as nudity, “lustful” behavior, and “suggestive kissing”.

Once the MPAA appeared it wasn’t long before stag films emerged from their underground milieu with “bigger budgets” and were shown in theaters with X, or XX, or XXX ratings.

The print industry, visa vi Penthouse, published photos which showed women’s pubic hair in 1970.

Also in 1970, the first “gay” porn film, “Cycle Studs”, produced by Le Salon, the first condom in a mainstream movie, “Carnal Knowledge” in 1971, and the first notable “straight” porn film, “Deep Throat”.

Chamber’s first porn film, “Behind the Green Door” was produced and filmed by the Mitchell Brothers, whose lives and death–Art was shot dead by brother Jim in 1991–was chronicled in the 2000 film, “Rated X“, starring Charlie Sheen and Emilio Estevez.

Released in 1972, “Behind the Green Door“, premiered in the Mitchell brother’s San Francisco O’ Farrell Theater which doubled as a strip joint. The club is still in operation. Brother Jim died at age 63 in 2007. Jim was released from San Quentin prison in 1997 after serving time for the murder of brother Art.

From the Guardian:

“One reason for the success of Behind the Green Door, always slaughtered by the censor in this country, was the fact that Marilyn Chambers, its star, who is pleasured by nuns, a well-known boxer and three trapeze artists in the film, was also the “99.44% pure Ivory Snow girl” of advertising fame at the time.

She became an instant celebrity, was invited on to talk shows, and behaved like a Hollywood star. Serious critics reviewed the film, while it raced up the list of the most popular movies as if nothing untoward were happening at all.”

Prior to Marilyn’s stint in “Behind the Green Door”, she had a bit part in 1970’s “The Owl and the Pussycat” and the 1971 U.K. film, “Together” where she starred under her real name “Marilyn Briggs”. In 1973, Chambers once again worked with the Mitchell Brothers in “Resurrection of Eve“.

In 1977, Chambers starred in the horror flick, “Rabid“, as the main character “Rose” directed by David Cronenberg.

In 1979, Chambers once again starred in two Mitchell Brother’s films, “Never a Tender Moment” and “Beyond De Sade“.

Chambers starred or acted in a total of 34 films, most of them adult entertainment oriented. Her most “famous” role, as Gloria Saunders in “Behind the Green Door”.

By LBG

Source – NBCLosAngeles – Adult Star Marilyn Chambers Found Dead

Source – Remembering the Hays Code — Movie Censorship from 1930-1968

Image – Marilyn Chambers All Nude Peep Show

Image – Marilyn Chambers 1974

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