Marilyn Chambers: Beyond the Far Door

marilyn chambersMarilyn Chambers, who provided one of the first – and most flattering – definitions of “porn star,” was found dead Easter evening. She would have been 57 on April 22.

The Rhode Island native, born Marilyn Ann Taylor, starred in “Behind the Green Door,” the 1972 film that established San Francisco’s Mitchell Brothers as a porn franchise and which, along with that year’s “Deep Throat,” ushered in the short-lived era of “Porno Chic.”

Chambers had a career as a model before “Behind the Green Door,” which was her first movie. She was the face of Ivory Snow detergent, and Procter & Gamble quickly recalled all soap boxes with the former Ms. Turner’s image on them. In fact, the slogan “99 and 44/100% Pure” was used as a dual slogan for both Ivory products and the Mitchell Brothers’ movie until P&G threatened suit.

Chambers’ body, scheduled to be autopsied later this week, was discovered by her 17-year-old daughter in Chambers’ trailer in remote Canyon Country, CA, 20 miles northeast of Los Angeles.

Chambers remained in touch with the porn world, even though she appeared in far fewer films than today’s average performer. Her handful of movies included classics like “Insatiable” (with John Holmes) as well as instructional films and a few comeback movies and sequels in the 90s.

But she was not a fixture at conventions or porn events, nor was she able to parlay her instant and overwhelming adult celebrity (made for $60k, “Behind the Green Door” went on to gross almost $25 million) into mainstream success.

I met Chambers once (read that story here) last fall; she seemed like she was trying to pull things together, mentioning book deals, a Broadway show, and a website launch. Her loss at such a young age is a tragedy, and we send Chambers’ family and friends our sympathy.

Previously on Porn Valley Observed: Henri Pachard – “one of the greats”; Buck Adams remembered; Anastasia Blue; The Wonderland Murders by donkey

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