ICon Showcase Marilyn Chambers
No one can call them self a true connoisseur of adult films without knowing the name “Marilyn Chambers”. This wholesome-looking blonde became known for her groundbreaking work that helped launch the Golden Age of Porn, as well as her transition into mainstream films.
Born Marilyn Ann Briggs in Providence, Rhode Island on April 22, 1952, Chambers knew from an early age that she wanted to perform. After some brief success in mainstream modeling (she was best known as “the Ivory Snow girl”) and film roles, Chambers moved to San Francisco in her late teens and took up exotic dancing. In 1972, her big break in the adult industry came, and boy did it come! Chambers landed the lead role in Behind the Green Door, the first feature-length film by the famous Mitchell brothers. The film would go on to gross over $50 million, and along with Deep Throat (released the same year), become the first hardcore adult film to reach massive, mixed-sex audiences across the U.S.
Chambers’ next big hit was Resurrection of Eve, released in 1973. Following its triumph, she began to pursue other opportunities. Often referred to as “porn’s most famous crossover”, Chambers managed to have success in multiple areas across the entertainment industry. This included roles in some Hollywood films, including the 1977 horror flick, Rabid. She also starred in a Las Vegas theater production of Mind With the Dirty Man. Running 52 weeks, the production broke the city’s record at the time for longest-running play and even resulted in Chambers receiving the key to the city from the mayor. As if that weren’t impressive enough, Chambers also saw chart success with her 1976 disco single “Benihana”, which led to her doing vocals for songs used in both her mainstream and adult films. In the early 1980s, she fronted a country band called Haywire.
After a several-year hiatus working on her other projects, Chambers made a triumphant return to the adult industry in 1980 with Insatiable. This became the best-selling adult video from 1980 to 1982, and spawned two sequels, 1984’s Insatiable II and 1999’s Still Insatiable. Throughout the rest of her career, Chambers continued to appear in a mix of adult and mainstream media.
Chambers passed away on April 12, 2009. She was 56. Her final film was Solitaire, a coming of age drama from independent director Frank D’Agostino that was not released until a few years after Chambers’ death. Her final “adult” film was 2009’s Porndogs: The Adventures of Sadie, in which she voiced the star of the movie, an aspiring porn starlet (and yellow lab) named Sadie.