Porn queen began squeaky clean

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Marilyn Chambers, the pretty Ivory Snow soap girl who helped bring hard-core adult films into the mainstream consciousness when she starred in the explicit 1972 movie "Behind the Green Door," died Sunday night in Los Angeles. She was 56.

Chambers and fellow actresses Linda Lovelace and Georgina Spelvin shot to fame at a time in the early '70s when both American social mores and the quality of hard-core sex films were changing.

For the first time, films like "Behind the Green Door" and "Deep Throat" (also released in 1972 and starring Lovelace) had decent acting and legitimate if fairly thin plots. As the audiences for them grew to include couples, they also began to take on higher production values and to be seen in places other than sleazy theaters.

While "Behind the Green Door" was still in theaters, the public learned that its star was the same young blonde smiling and holding a freshly diapered baby on boxes of Ivory Soap. The manufacturer quickly replaced her, but it was later discovered that she also had a small role in the 1970 Barbra Streisand film "The Owl and the Pussycat."

She followed "Green Door" with the hard-core films "Resurrection of Eve" (1973) and "Inside Marilyn Chambers" (1975).

Then she announced in 1976 that she was giving up adult films to pursue other interests. She starred in the horror movie "Rabid" (1977) and to put together a song-and-dance show that played Las Vegas.

She returned to adult films in 1980 in "Insatiable" and through the rest of her career went back and forth between explicit movies and R-rated ones. (partialdiff)
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