SUZY SPREADWELL #1 by John Linton Roberson, available at Google Play Books!
I Didn't Write That!
13 April 2009
  The Goddess Dies: Marilyn Chambers (1952-2009)
''I have to say that the adult films have been a total pleasure. They were like getting paid to live out my greatest fantasies. The rest of the stuff ... sometimes got to be a real grind.''--Marilyn.
Okay, I'm seriously depressed now. Marilyn Chambers, one of the only two porn stars ever worth watching (Georgina Spelvin, who's older and still alive, being the other), and probably the most beautiful woman to ever grace that misbegotten industry, has died at the age of 56, found by her 17-year-old daughter. No reason why is reported yet.

There was no one like her, in the class she brought to what she freely chose to do, her completely unapologetic attitude about it, and that she never let herself be used and spat out by it as so many others have. This is sad. I suppose I should also mention that she was a basis of inspiration for a lot of the comics I've drawn, so she counts as an influence. The thing about her in Behind the Green Door and others of her films was her sweet, happy, and slightly goofy grin. Somehow, where many of those films feel icky, she made you feel they weren't. The appeal was watching her, enjoying herself. That's why she's a star that nobody has matched, to the point that she's an icon for a whole American genre, culture, and era. To me, this was the preferable "Marilyn."

And also a rather unusual feminist icon, in that she was not exploited; she owned part of Green Door and other films. This was no Linda Lovelace. Yes, she was having sex on film. And liked it. And profited greatly from it, and looked unquestionably and eternally good doing so. It was her choice, and she was in control.

She was the exception that proved the rule in that largely cannibalistic industry. And she was its first true superstar. You might make an argument that without her it would not exist now as we know it. Mobsters counterfeited Green Door, as copyright was not available for porn then, and the mob didn't like not having control of this film, as they pretty much owned the industry before it. In an effort to get the mob, the FBI, with the cooperation of the Mitchell Brothers, changed this, Green Door was copyrighted, and bootlegging it became a crime. And Green Door, such a strange film, part dream, part porn, part Brakhage homage, itself is that film always mentioned as an exception for people who "don't normally like adult films." And that's because of Marilyn.

At top left is the most beautiful picture I could find of her. There are many. It's hard to choose, but this was my favorite. Yes, it's nude. But not bad taste, as if that was possible where she was involved. That's how she wanted to be seen. You'll just have to deal with that. But as you can see at left, she looked great for 56, too.

Rest in peace, Marilyn.



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