Pornobit: Marilyn Chambers

behind-the-green-doorThe green door has finally closed on adult film actress Marilyn Chambers.

In 1972, Chambers created a sensation when she starred in Behind the Green Door, an overly arty adult film made by exhibitors-turned-filmmakers the Mitchell Brothers. At the time, the model-actress’ face was beaming from boxes of Ivory Snow in stores around the country.

Along with Deep Throat, Green Door was a key film in the 1970s porn craze, with Chambers’ naturalistic performance matching the Mitchells’ psychedelic pretensions. Chambers attributed the success of the film to not having read the script before shooting began. “I lost my inhibitions onscreen at the same time Americans everywhere were losing theirs,” she said. Eyebrows raised at one interracial coupling. Proctor & Gamble dropped her as a spokesmodel.

David Cronenberg gave Chambers a rare straight acting role in 1977’s Rabid, assuming playing a woman with a retractable prong in her armpit can be considered “straight.” Chambers had no range, but then she didn’t need one. As an alluring woman whose libido consumes her lovers, Chambers was playing a very modern creature. Before Monsters Vs. Aliens‘ Gigantica, Chambers showed the modern woman was nobody’s play-thing.

Crossover success was elusive and Chambers continued to star in adult films, including the well-regarded Insatiable. She also branched out in music with “Benihana”–certainly the most erotic disco track ever to reference a Japanese restaurant–and twice ran for vice president on fringe party tickets. She was found dead in her mobile home on Easter Sunday. Chambers was 56.

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