I imagine it depends on what your definition of what “good” is.
A little bit of American history died yesterday, but we found out about it today. She was famous, or more accurately INFAMOUS, for all the “accomplishments” she managed to RACK up during her lifetime. She literally made it HARD for anyone to not know her name. When she was good, she was very GOOD in so many bad ways, so I guess that Billy Joel’s theory of dying young is TECHNICALLY correct as to how good one is at execution if you want to put the right spin (or torque) on things.
Marilyn Chambers was found dead at her home on Sunday, April 12th, at the age of 56 by her daughter. I didn’t see any cause of death as of yet, although I’m sure many rumors will be bandied about. Whatever your feelings about erotica or in her case, plain ole in your face porn, you were probably at least aware of her name or contribution to the age of free love throughout the 70’s and 80’s.
Chambers was best known for her role in Behind the Green Door,a film which premiered in 1972 to a standing ovation at the Cannes Film Festival. Although she attempted a more normal career in Hollywood, it was not to be. She found her niche in being naughty and took full advantage of her talent and ass-ets to titillate a generation.
A few facts about Ms. Chambers that you might not know..(pay attention, you never can tell when you’ll need such important knowledge to win a rabid round of Trivial Pursuit, the Porn Edition!)
- Marilyn was born in Westport, Connecticut in 1952 (just goes to show that you can overcum stoic genes. She grew up amongst stiff upper lips, then proceeded to make other things stiff her entire life)
- Her first modeling job was as the mother cradling the innocent baby on the Ivory Snow box with the slogan of being the “99 and 44/100% pure” girl. She should have gone for that last .66 percent since she was dropped from the campaign once her other “talents” came to light. (Hmmm..could that be where the definition of “slapping and tickin’ the Ivories” came from?)
- Ms. Chambers appeared in 27 films (ummmm…movies? I don’t think she was ever nominated by the Academy for an award, although I’m sure she serviced a few of the members)
- Marilyn was a very patriotic girl. In 2004 United States Presidential election Chambers ran for Vice President on the Personal Choice Party ticket, a quasi-libertarian party. She received a total of 946 votes. In the 2008 United States presidential election she was again Charles Jay’s running mate, albeit a write in candidate this time. Hey, she was very interested in servicing her country…the whole country…literally!!!
- In the film Behind the Green Door, Chambers had sex with the well-endowed African-American actor Johnny Keyes. She also fainted at the end of one scene lasting over 45 minutes. The porn industry and viewing public were shocked by the then-taboo spectacle of a white woman having sex with a black man. (Chambers’ parents refused to talk to her for several years after the film’s release, but eventually reconciled with her).
- To make her parents just a little bit more proud, she was supposedly one of the few actresses that could fully deepthroat John Holmes’ erect penis. Isn’t that what every Mom and Dad hope their daughter will grow up and have listed on her list of accomplishments?? (I wonder what they had on their refrigerator to commemorate her talents??)
- She was married three times and had one daughter.
- She was reputedly one of the first porn actresses to have her genitals pierced. (ouchie)
So, in a era of free love, Farrah Fawcett posters and Playboy bunnies parading around the mansion and pages of the magazine, Marilyn Chambers managed to be a stand-out among her peers. To say she was an American icon, even one of irreputable fame, is accurate. She helped to shape some of our formative years right along with more “mainstream” actresses such as Diane Keaton in Looking for Mr. Goodbar. While her contributions were never considered art, they were un-apologetically a commentary of the sexual revolution in our country.
Like her or disapprove of her career or behavior, if you are a baby boomer, you either knew of her or some even learned a few of their current “love” moves from watching her performances. She will forever GO DOWN in history as someone that shaped a generation, in ways large and small.