April 12, 2009: We remember Marilyn Chambers

Celebrity-04-22-1952Known more for being an American pornographic film actress, especially for her 1972 hardcore film debut Behind the Green Door and her 1980 film .Insatiable, Marilyn Chambers (April 22, 1952 – April 12, 2009) was also an exotic dancer, model, actress, and vice-presidential candidate (Personal Choice Party, 2004 & 2008).

Chambers sought work in theatre and dance groups in San Francisco to no avail. In 1972 she saw an advertisement in the San Francisco Chronicle for a casting call for what was billed as a “major motion picture”. She rushed to the audition only to find it was for a pornographic film, which was to be called Behind the Green Door. She was about to leave when producers Artie and Jim Mitchell noticed her resemblance to Cybill Shepherd. They invited her upstairs to their offices and told her the film’s plot. Chambers was highly dubious about accepting a role in a pornographic film, fearing it might ruin her chances at breaking into the mainstream. But she was turned on by the fantasy of the story and decided to take a chance, under the condition that she receive a hefty salary and 10 percent of the film’s gross. She also insisted that each actor get tested for venereal disease. The Mitchell Brothers balked at her request for a percentage of the film’s profits, but finally agreed, realizing the film needed a wholesome blonde actress.

Chambers won the starring role in film director David Cronenberg‘s low-budget Canadian movie Rabid, which was released in 1977. Cronenberg stated that he wanted to cast Sissy Spacek in the film lead, but the studio vetoed his choice because of her accent.  The director says that the idea of casting Chambers came from producer Ivan Reitman, who had heard that Chambers was looking for a mainstream role. Reitman felt that it would be easier to market the film in different territories if the well-known porn star portrayed the main character. Cronenberg stated that Chambers put in a lot of hard work on the film and that he was impressed with her.

Rabid-1977-movie-Chambers-cronenberg-7

Chambers was found dead in her home in California. She was discovered by her 17-year-old daughter. The autopsy revealed Chambers died of a cerebral hemorrhage and an aneurysm related to heart disease. The painkiller hydrocodone and the antidepressant citalopram were found in her bloodstream, but not enough to cause death. [Wikipedia]

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