Ars Schlonga, Vita Brevis

We note with sadness the untimely death, at 56, of adult-film star Marilyn Chambers — who rose, as readers of a certain age will remember, to national celebrity back in 1972 when it was revealed that the star of the movie Behind the Green Door was also the familiar face on the front of the Ivory Snow (“99 and 44/100% pure!”) laundry-soap box.

(I expected for years afterward that some waggish porn impresario would shoot a sequel, set in an Indian restaurant, to be called Behind The Tandoor, but it was not to be.)

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6 Comments

  1. Kevin Kim says

    All of creation ululates in her honor.

    Kevin

    Posted April 14, 2009 at 1:31 am | Permalink
  2. JK says

    I had to search in uh, well, uh… well I had to look long and hard…

    Allow me to re-phrase, back in ’04 I had to look for an old VHS tape that somebody else inadvertently left in somebody else’s old house, I did use a surrogate incidentally, anyway… the number one request for uh,.. a movie from old-timers stationed in a place not called Afghanistan I “accidented upon” what it was the old-timers didn’t enjoy tatoos, piercings, shaved what-nots and didn’t understand the lingo – anyway to make a long story short…

    “The Grafenberg Spot.” ( I hope I spelled that right.) I’m told she had a bit part in it, I don’t know. I do have her autograph, though I was overseas when my cousin’s sister’s uncle’s sister-in-law obtained it at a Betty Crocker CookBook signing. Anyway, I was told this was signed before she was a novice. I figure it’s worth fifty-grand.

    Malcolm? You collect rarities don’t cha?

    Posted April 14, 2009 at 2:18 am | Permalink
  3. the one eyed man says

    Ars Schlonga Vita Brevis would have been a great album title if Marilyn Chambers did back up vocals for The Nice.

    This may be the first time in recorded history that Marilyn Chambers and The Nice were in the same sentence.

    Posted April 14, 2009 at 1:53 pm | Permalink
  4. It’s actually sort of a sad denoument. I’ve never seen any of her films (and I avoid pornography), but I gather that she wanted to be taken seriously as an actress yet suffered the stigma of being a porn star.

    I think that she made a decision in the 70s to use porn to gain entrance into the world of stardom, thinking — in the sexual revolution of those days — that liberation from old mores meant that success would come to her that way and enable her to become a star.

    Things didn’t quite work out. Porn stars rarely cross over to respectable acting careers.

    Photos of the young Marilyn Chambers show that she had a winning smile and exuded a sort of innocence that belied her sort of acting profession. I wonder how she really, deep down, felt about her career.

    Still . . . rest in peace, Marilyn. You were only four years my senior.

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

    Posted April 15, 2009 at 5:06 pm | Permalink
  5. Malcolm says

    No question, Jeffery: a sad end indeed, and untimely.

    Posted April 15, 2009 at 11:23 pm | Permalink
  6. MikeZ says

    Mid 70’s timeframe, there was a student organization at the University of Michigan which did fund raising by charging a $1 for admission to a number of showings of ‘Behind the Green Door’ in an auditorium in the Language Arts building, I believe. They sold out every showing.

    – M (born in A2)

    Posted April 17, 2009 at 9:50 am | Permalink