April 14th, 2009
Marilyn Chambers passed away on 12 April 2009. You’re most likely to remember her as the star of the 1972 erotic movie Behind the Green Door, although she was also a model famous for promoting Ivory Snow detergent.
Her girl-next-door-looks and enthusiastic performances in adult films soon earned Chambers a cult following. She was also an accomplished dancer and stood for political office. Her career was not without controversy, in particular her marriage to Chuck Traynor who had previously been married to Linda Lovelace. Lovelace later accused Traynor of abusing her and forcing her to make pornography, and there was speculation over the marriage between Traynor and Chambers.
Marilyn Chambers represents a small group of women who were part of what’s sometimes called the ‘golden age of porn’. They epitomised aspects of 1970s sexual awakening, but were not without their critics or personal issues. We can expect to see numerous obituries which either gloss over Chambers life and work, or problematise her from an anti-porn perspective. As with Linda Lovelace it would be nice if we could see Chambers as a whole person – not just the porn star.
Susie Bright has a wonderful tribute to Marilyn Chambers on her blog, and if you’re interested you can buy Behind the Green Door at Amazon.
If you’re interested in seeing some erotic clips of Chambers there’s plenty on the net, but I’ll leave you with a gloriously camp dance featuring Marilyn and Johnnie Keyes. And the memory of a sexual pioneer.Tweet