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Saturday, April 18, 2009

How Susan Boyle won over the world

Last weekend, Susan Boyle was just a face in the crowd.

This weekend, clips of her singing on Britain's Got Talent have notched up almost 50 million views on YouTube.

Her face appears on the front pages of papers in Britain and beyond, she been offered a seat on Oprah's sofa and has been told she is as good as guaranteed a worldwide number one album.

The rise of the 47-year-old spinster from Scotland has been a true global phenomenon.

Last Saturday, viewers saw Boyle, with double chin, unkempt hair, frumpy appearance and eccentric demeanour, step onto the talent show stage and proclaim her dream of being a professional singer.

The judges rolled their eyes and the audience pulled incredulous faces. Onlookers, on set and at home, were rubbing their hands at the prospect of another hopeless, deluded loser being crushed by a withering Simon Cowell insult.

Then she opened her mouth and sang I Dreamed A Dream from Les Miserables.

Her voice confounded all expectations - the judges' eyes bulged, the crowd went wild and Boyle became an instant star.

Ever since, the "fairytale" has travelled the globe and interest in the church volunteer has snowballed.

It is the story of a talent unearthed, but that does not fully explain why she has become such a sensation.

Boyle has shattered prejudices about the connection between age, appearance and talent. She has proved that you don't have to be young and glamorous to be talented, and recognised as such.

The YouTube millions have cheered on the underdog, and seen in her the possibilities for their own hopes and dreams.

Immediately after her performance, one of the judges, Amanda Holden, said they had been "very cynical", and that the performance was the "biggest wake-up call ever".

Another judge, former newspaper editor Piers Morgan, appeared with Boyle on CNN's Larry King Show.

"I'm sorry because we did not give you anything like the respect we should have done when you first came out," he told her. Referring to her appearance, he said: "We thought you were going to be a bit of a joke act, to be honest with you."

Boyle would have a best-selling album and a world tour by the end of the year, whether she wins Britain's Got Talent or not, he assured her.

And mentioning fellow judge Simon Cowell, Morgan added: "It's fair to say that his eyes have been going ker-ching ever since Susan's performance."

Blogs, newspaper columns and talk shows have been full of discussion about why Boyle has sparked such a reaction.

She reordered the measure of beauty - and I had no idea until tears sprang how desperately I need that corrective

Lisa Schwarzbaum, writer for US celebrity magazine Entertainment Weekly, said the performance was a powerful reality check.

She wrote: "In our pop-minded culture so slavishly obsessed with packaging - the right face, the right clothes, the right attitudes, the right Facebook posts - the unpackaged artistic power of the unstyled, un-hip, un-kissed Ms Boyle let me feel, for the duration of one blazing showstopping ballad, the meaning of human grace.

"She pierced my defences. She reordered the measure of beauty. And I had no idea until tears sprang how desperately I need that corrective."

Her post has been followed by comments from scores of readers saying they watched the clip repeatedly, with the same emotional response.

"I cried SO hard," read one. "There's something so beautiful about reaching your dreams... and knowing that age means nothing."

Another wrote: "I cry because she reminds us to hope, to never lose track of our dreams, to keep putting one foot in front of the other no matter what others say or think. She gives us hope."

"Fairytales don't come any more satisfactory than this," wrote columnist Melanie Reid in The Times.

"The sisterhood of the plain, those of us who will never look like Girls Aloud, nor even Girls Aloud's grandmothers, are cheering as never before.

"Susan Boyle is the ugly duckling who didn't need to turn into a swan; she has fulfilled the dreams of millions who, downtrodden by the cruelty of a culture that judges them on their appearance, have settled for life without looking in the mirror."

Miranda Sawyer, writing in the Daily Mirror, questioned why image was less of an issue for male singers.

"No woman gets to perform publicly unless she looks like Mariah Carey," she wrote. "If you're a female singer, you are required by showbiz law to appear sexy at all times.

"Poor Madonna and Kylie are desperately keeping up appearances, holding back the years with Botox and face-fillers just so they're allowed to continue with their careers."

The Sun newspaper has given away a free Susan Boyle souvenir poster. US talk show host Jay Leno performed an impression of her on his show.

Demi Moore famously joined the fan club. Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond has congratulated her. She is odds-on favourite to win Britain's Got Talent.

A star has been born. Whether she will she leave a dent on our prejudices about age and appearance remains to be seen.


Friday, April 17, 2009

George Harrison Gets Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame

George Harrison became the newest recipient of a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame Tuesday with a little help from his friends.

By "friends" we mean former Beatles mate Sir Paul McCartney, Tom Petty, Tom Hanks and a number of other luminaries. Fittingly, Harrison's star, unveiled by his widow, Olivia, and son, Dhani, is right in front of the Capitol Records building and a few stars down from that of John Lennon, who is the only other Beatle to have his own star.

McCartney didn't speak, but catered to the crowd -- several hundred people strong -- at the intersection of Hollywood and Vine. He waved, smiled and charmingly pretended to polish Harrison's star.

Actor Eric Idle gave a hilarious speech that played more for laughs than sentiment. When he was first asked to speak, he wondered what he should say about Harrison. "Then I thought I heard his voice. He said, 'It's a load of all bollocks.' So then I asked Ringo [Starr], 'Well, what should I say about George's star?' and he said, 'Well, what about mine?' And then I said, 'Well, they don't give drummers stars.'"

Hanks, in a passionate talk that resembled a sermon more than a presentation, revealed that Harrison's first guitar cost 75 cents. "Seventy-five cents created this," he said. "Seventy-five cents and a desire to make that thing sing, to make that guitar weep."

"He was such a deep feeling person," Olivia Harrison said, in a short, but moving speech. "He was a beautiful, mystical man living in a material world."

Spinner attended the exclusive reception in Capitol Records' famous Studio A immediately following the unveiling. We asked McCartney his favorite Harrison song. His diplomatic answer? "All of them." We moved on to Harrison's fellow Traveling Wilbury Jeff Lynne; He said he couldn't pick just one. However, uber-producer David Foster very quickly chose 'Something,' because "it's so melodic." Hanks also needed very little time to pick have favorite. His choice? 'I Need You,' in part, because he remembers seeing Harrison play it live, and that memory had always stayed with him.

Harrison's first ever career-spanning solo hits collection, 'Let It Roll: Songs by George Harrison,' will come out June 16.


Thursday, April 16, 2009

Sorry, Tea Party Movement, Polls Say Americans Don't Mind Taxes

By Robert Schlesinger, Thomas Jefferson Street blog

Conservatives gathering across the country for "Tea Parties" to protest the Obama taxing and spending policies should be disappointed with a couple of recent Gallup polls regarding American attitudes toward taxes. Apparently, as a nation we have a more positive view of taxes than we have had for a very long time.

According to Gallup, for only the second time in more than half a century, a plurality of Americans (48-46 percent) think that they're paying the proper amount of taxes. The only other time that that has been true since 1956 was in 2003 when 50 percent of Americans felt they were paying the right amount in taxes. Drilling down a bit deeper, the slim plurality comes entirely from Democrats, who 55-40 think we're paying the right amount of taxes (up sharply from 2008 when they thought so 47-45). Independents narrowly disagree, with 48 percent saying taxes are too high and 46 percent saying they're just right--though that figure too has narrowed sharply, as it was 54-40 in 2008. And Republicans are not surprisingly opposite Democrats, with 53 percent saying taxes are too high and 43 percent saying they're about right. (Really? Forty-three percent of Republicans think taxes are correct? I thought it was an article of GOP faith that taxes are by their nature too high.)

A separate Gallup poll released today showed that for the first time in 15 years a plurality of Americans think lower-income people are being taxed fairly (usually, they are seen as overtaxed), while by a margin of 50-43, they believe that middle-income taxpayers are taxed at the proper rate (this has fluctuated fairly rhythmically over the decade). Nobody likes the wealthy, of course: 60 percent of Americans think them under-taxed, 23 percent think they pay their fair share, and 13 percent feel that they are overburdened. (The "fair share" and "too much" numbers both declined this year, while the "overburdened" number went up.)

The "Tea Party" movement stems from CNBC commentator Rick Santelli's call for a Chicago Tea Party mirroring the famous Revolutionary Era anti-tax protest. According to ABC News, more than 750 such events are planned today across the country. Their grievance is that government has grown too big--it taxes too much and spends too much.

Even if they get the numbers they want, we can safely assume--especially with the above-referenced poll numbers--that most of the protesters will be from the activist right. (It's the same with the periodic anti-war protests: people in the middle have better things to do than fill the streets in protest.) But this, from ABC, is what makes the protests interesting to watch:

If crowds approach their predicted levels, it will be an impressive display of grassroots activism -- on a scale rarely, if ever, demonstrated by conservatives.

There's been little advertising, no real top-down direction from party leaders, and extensive use of social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter to bring activists together.

"This could be the beginning of conservative online grassroots politics," said David All, a Republican Internet strategist. "It has real potential. The interesting thing will be to see how it pivots, and whether it pivots. The real question is what happens after April 15."

The explosion of interest has left some conservative strategists wondering whether the Republican Party might have stumbled across the makings of its own version of the liberal -- a powerful organization with the ability to shape national politics.

Another thing I wonder about: Lefty protests (and I'm principally thinking of anti-war rallies) tend to have signs and speakers who rhetorically wander the horizon, protesting war, racism, sexism, pollution ... the whole panoply of liberal grievances. Will the conservatives have better message discipline today? Somehow I doubt it.


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

10 years later, the real story behind Columbine

They weren't goths or loners.

The two teenagers who killed 13 people and themselves at suburban Denver's Columbine High School 10 years ago next week weren't in the "Trenchcoat Mafia," disaffected videogamers who wore cowboy dusters. The killings ignited a national debate over bullying, but the record now shows Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold hadn't been bullied — in fact, they had bragged in diaries about picking on freshmen and "fags."

Their rampage put schools on alert for "enemies lists" made by troubled students, but the enemies on their list had graduated from Columbine a year earlier. Contrary to early reports, Harris and Klebold weren't on antidepressant medication and didn't target jocks, blacks or Christians, police now say, citing the killers' journals and witness accounts. That story about a student being shot in the head after she said she believed in God? Never happened, the FBI says now.

A decade after Harris and Klebold made Columbine a synonym for rage, new information — including several books that analyze the tragedy through diaries, e-mails, appointment books, videotape, police affidavits and interviews with witnesses, friends and survivors — indicate that much of what the public has been told about the shootings is wrong.

In fact, the pair's suicidal attack was planned as a grand — if badly implemented — terrorist bombing that quickly devolved into a 49-minute shooting rampage when the bombs Harris built fizzled.

"He was so bad at wiring those bombs, apparently they weren't even close to working," says Dave Cullen, author of Columbine, a new account of the attack.

So whom did they hope to kill? Everyone — including friends.

What's left, after peeling away a decade of myths, is perhaps more comforting than the "good kids harassed into retaliation" narrative — or perhaps not.

It's a portrait of Harris and Klebold as a sort of In Cold Blood criminal duo — a deeply disturbed, suicidal pair who over more than a year psyched each other up for an Oklahoma City-style terrorist bombing, an apolitical, over-the-top revenge fantasy against years of snubs, slights and cruelties, real and imagined.

Along the way, they saved money from after-school jobs, took Advanced Placement classes, assembled a small arsenal and fooled everyone — friends, parents, teachers, psychologists, cops and judges.

"These are not ordinary kids who were bullied into retaliation," psychologist Peter Langman writes in his new book, Why Kids Kill: Inside the Minds of School Shooters. "These are not ordinary kids who played too many video games. These are not ordinary kids who just wanted to be famous. These are simply not ordinary kids. These are kids with serious psychological problems."

Deceiving the adults

Harris, who conceived the attacks, was more than just troubled. He was, psychologists now say, a cold-blooded, predatory psychopath — a smart, charming liar with "a preposterously grand superiority complex, a revulsion for authority and an excruciating need for control," Cullen writes.

Harris, a senior, read voraciously and got good grades when he tried, pleasing his teachers with dazzling prose — then writing in his journal about killing thousands.

"I referred to him — and I'm dating myself — as the Eddie Haskel of Columbine High School," says Principal Frank DeAngelis, referring to the deceptively polite teen on the 1950s and '60s sitcom Leave it to Beaver. "He was the type of kid who, when he was in front of adults, he'd tell you what you wanted to hear."

When he wasn't, he mixed napalm in the kitchen.

According to Cullen, one of Harris' last journal entries read: "I hate you people for leaving me out of so many fun things. And no don't … say, 'Well that's your fault,' because it isn't, you people had my phone #, and I asked and all, but no. No no no don't let the weird-looking Eric KID come along."

As he walked into the school the morning of April 20, Harris' T-shirt read: Natural Selection.

Klebold, on the other hand, was anxious and lovelorn, summing up his life at one point in his journal as "the most miserable existence in the history of time," Langman notes.

Harris drew swastikas in his journal; Klebold drew hearts.

As laid out in their writings, the contrast between the two was stark.

Harris seemed to feel superior to everyone — he once wrote, "I feel like God and I wish I was, having everyone being OFFICIALLY lower than me" — while Klebold was suicidally depressed and getting angrier all the time. "Me is a god, a god of sadness," he wrote in September 1997, around his 16th birthday.

Klebold also was paranoid. "I have always been hated, by everyone and everything," he wrote.

On the day of the attacks, his T-shirt read: Wrath.

Shooter profiles emerge

Columbine wasn't the first K-12 school shooting. But at the time it was by far the worst, and the first to play out largely on live television.

The U.S. Secret Service and U.S. Education Department soon began studying school shooters. In 2002, researchers presented their first findings: School shooters, they said, followed no set profile, but most were depressed and felt persecuted.

Princeton sociologist Katherine Newman, co-author of the 2004 book Rampage: The Social Roots of School Shootings, says young people such as Harris and Klebold are not loners — they're just not accepted by the kids who count. "Getting attention by becoming notorious is better than being a failure."

The Secret Service found that school shooters usually tell other kids about their plans.

"Other students often even egg them on," says Newman, who led a congressionally mandated study on school shootings. "Then they end up with this escalating commitment. It's not a sudden snapping."

Langman, whose book profiles 10 shooters, including Harris and Klebold, found that nine suffered from depression and suicidal thoughts, a "potentially dangerous" combination, he says. "It is hard to prevent murder when killers do not care if they live or die. It is like trying to stop a suicide bomber."

At the time, Columbine became a kind of giant national Rorschach test. Observers saw its genesis in just about everything: lax parenting, lax gun laws, progressive schooling, repressive school culture, violent video games, antidepressant drugs and rock 'n' roll, for starters.

Many of the Columbine myths emerged before the shooting stopped, as rumors, misunderstandings and wishful thinking swirled in an echo chamber among witnesses, survivors, officials and the news media.

Police contributed to the mess by talking to reporters before they knew facts — a hastily called news conference by the Jefferson County sheriff that afternoon produced the first headline: "Twenty-five dead in Colorado."

A few inaccuracies took hours to clear up, but others took weeks or months — sometimes years — as authorities reluctantly set the record straight.

Former Rocky Mountain News reporter Jeff Kass, author of a new book, Columbine: A True Crime Story, says police played a game of "Open Records charades."

In one case, county officials took five years just to acknowledge that they had met in secret after the attacks to discuss a 1998 affidavit for a search warrant on Harris' home — it was the result of a complaint against him by the mother of a former friend. Harris had threatened her son on his website and bragged that he had been building bombs.

Police already had found a small bomb matching Harris' description near his home — but investigators never presented the affidavit to a judge.

They also apparently didn't know that Harris and Klebold were on probation after having been arrested in January 1998 for breaking into a van and stealing electronics.

The search finally took place, but only after the shootings.

Meticulous planning

What's now beyond dispute — largely from the killers' journals, which have been released over the past few years, is this: Harris and Klebold killed 13 and wounded 24, but they had hoped to kill thousands.

The pair planned the attacks for more than a year, building 100 bombs and persuading friends to buy them guns. Just after 11 a.m. on April 20, they lugged a pair of duffel bags containing propane-tank bombs into Columbine's crowded cafeteria and another into the kitchen, then stepped outside and waited.

Had the bombs exploded, they'd have killed virtually everyone eating lunch and brought the school's second-story library down atop the cafeteria, police say. Armed with a pistol, a rifle and two sawed-off shotguns, the pair planned to pick off survivors fleeing the carnage.

As a last terrorist act, a pair of gasoline bombs planted in Harris' Honda and Klebold's BMW had been rigged apparently to kill police, rescue teams, journalists and parents who rushed to the school — long after the pair expected they would be dead.

The pair had parked the cars about 100 yards apart in the student lot. The bombs didn't go off.

Looking for answers at home

Since 1999, many people have looked to the boys' parents for answers, but a transcript of their 2003 court-ordered deposition to the victims' parents remains sealed until 2027.

The Klebolds spoke to New York Times columnist David Brooks in 2004 and impressed Brooks as "a well-educated, reflective, highly intelligent couple" who spent plenty of time with their son. They said they had no clues about Dylan's mental state and regretted not seeing that he was suicidal.

Could the parents have prevented the massacre? The FBI special agent in charge of the investigation has gone on record as having "the utmost sympathy" for the Harris and Klebold families.

"They have been vilified without information," retired supervisory special agent Dwayne Fuselier tells Cullen.

Cullen, who has spent most of the past decade poring over the record, comes away with a bit of sympathy.

For one thing, he notes, Harris' parents "knew they had a problem — they thought they were dealing with it. What kind of parent is going to think, 'Well, maybe Eric's a mass murderer.' You just don't go there."

He got a good look at the boys' writings only in the past couple of years. Among the revelations: Eric Harris was financing what could well have been the biggest domestic terrorist attack on U.S. soil on wages from a part-time job at a pizza parlor.

"One of the scary things is that money was one of the limiting factors here," Cullen says.

Had Harris, then 18, put off the attacks for a few years and landed a well-paying job, he says, "he could be much more like Tim McVeigh," mixing fertilizer bombs like those used in Oklahoma City in 1995. As it was, he says, the fact that Harris carried out the attack when he did probably saved hundreds of lives.

"His limited salary probably limited the number of people who died."


Greg Toppo



Catholic Church vs. Mel Gibson: Marriage Is For Life

Last Thursday Mel Gibson’s wife of over 28 years, Robyn Moore, filed for divorce in the Los Angeles Superior Court citing irreconcilable differences. Gibson is believed to be worth around $900 million and the couple did not have a prenuptial agreement. Robyn is seeking spousal support, joint custody of their child Tom (the only minor of their 7 children together) and attorney fees.

But the actor filed a response on Monday morning with claims that he and his wife have been separated since August of 2006 following Gibson’s DUI arrest. Reports surfaced in November last year that Gibson was in relationship with a 28-year-old Russian singer named Oksana while filming the Edge of Reason and he has since been pap-snapped in a passionate embrace in Costa Rica with the songstress.

“Mel hasn’t been cheating, he and Robyn haven’t been together for a long time,” said an inside source, adding that they have remained friends throughout the separation and tried on numerous occasions to work through their differences.

But Oksana isn’t the only young hottie Gibson has been cavorting with on the sands of Costa Rica recently. Last year he took then-trainwreck Britney Spears away, and Tarts has been told that the two meet on regular occasions, but it is all a friends-only affair. Oddly enough, Gibson’s wife has hired the same divorce attorney, Laura Wasser, that the pop princess used (Wasser also worked for Angelina Jolie) while Gibson is being represented by Jennifer Aniston and Jessica Simpson’s divorce lawyer, Robert Kaufman.

Under California law, assets and finances are split 50/50 thus it is believed that Gibson is clearly establishing the date of separation (which was left as TBA on the initial divorce papers) so that every penny he has made since then will be his private property.

In the papers, the Braveheart star also requests that the court terminate the rights for either party to receive spousal support as well as asking that Moore pay her own attorney fees.

According to, on Easter Sunday Gibson confided in the parishioners at the Agoura Hills Holy Family Catholic Church that his wife had filed for divorce. Thus the question remains: will the traditionalist Catholic be able to remain director of the church that he spent his own $5.1 million building? Gibson and his soon-to-be ex-wife are listed in federal tax records as directors of the secluded church.

“The church is against divorce. When someone gets married, they're married for life. They will grant annulments in certain situations after evaluating the validity of the marriage,” said Rev. Patrick O’Dwyer of the St. Maximillian Kolbe Church in Oak Park, Calif. “They do not look down upon anyone in the religion and if someone is going through a divorce, the church will do all they can to help.”

Mind you, Tarts called at least a dozen churches for comment but nobody “felt comfortable” commenting on Gibson’s situation - but it doesn’t sound as though some at the Corpus Christi Church in NYC enjoyed Passion of the Christ.

“We couldn’t care less, not a fan of Mel Gibson,” said the spokesperson before slamming down the phone. Ouch.

Longtime media specialist and Hollywood publicist Michael Levine also felt strongly that the divorce could greatly impact Gibson’s fan base.

“A lot of his credibility came from his religious connection,” Levine said. “I think this will certainly damage his credibility with his conservative audience.”


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Marilyn Chambers dies at 56

The 'Behind the Green Door' actress was found unconscious at her Canyon Country home Sunday night, authorities said. She was named one of the top 10 adult film stars of all time by Adult Video News.

Marilyn Chambers, the legendary adult movie queen who was the wholesome model on Ivory Snow detergent boxes in the early 1970s when she made her adult movie debut in the X-rated classic "Behind the Green Door," has died. She was 56.

Chambers was found unconscious Sunday evening at her home in Canyon Country, said Los Angeles County coroner's spokesman Ed Winter.

The cause of death is under investigation, but foul play is not suspected and an autopsy is pending.

Throughout the '70s and '80s, Chambers was one of the biggest names in the porn industry, ranked by Playboy magazine as one of the top 100 sexy stars of the 20th century and named one of the top 10 adult film stars of all time by Adult Video News.

"She certainly was one of the first famous as adult stars," said Mark Kernes, senior editor of Adult Video News.

"In her day, there was really Linda Lovelace, obviously for 'Deep Throat,' and Marilyn Chambers," he said.

Chambers' "Behind the Green Door," Kernes said, "was made all the more exotic, I think, for some people because she had been on that Ivory Snow box. So here's the Ivory Snow beauty queen having hard-core interracial intercourse."

A fledgling actress, Chambers was living in San Francisco and making ends meet working as an exotic dancer when she saw a newspaper ad seeking actresses for what was described as a "major" motion picture.

It wasn't until she filled out an application that she discovered the movie was pornographic. The producers -- Jim and Artie Mitchell -- offered her the starring role.

"I thought I'd take a shot," she explained in a 1977 interview with the Los Angeles Times. "I was intrigued by the story. I really liked the fantasy involved. And I figured it might be my last chance at something really big."

Chambers had some conditions, however: She insisted that all the actors be tested for sexually transmitted diseases, and she demanded a percentage of the movie's gross receipts.

The low-budget "Behind the Green Door" became one of the biggest adult movie hits of the '70s, having received an unexpected publicity boost shortly after it was released in 1972.

Procter & Gamble, unaware of Chambers' role in the X-rated film, used one of her photos that had been taken during her New York modeling days on its laundry detergent box -- she's shown cuddling a laughing baby.

"Timing is essential for someone's career," Chambers said in a 2007 interview with Rhode Island's Providence Journal.

"That's what did it for me. The controversy of both those things happening at the same time," she said.

Procter & Gamble, whose Ivory products were "99 44/100% pure," quickly pulled the boxes from store shelves.

"The media attention of the whole controversy was insane," Chambers said in a 2003 interview with the Philadelphia Daily News. "This was the first time attention was being paid to erotic films."

Out of that, she said in a 2004 interview with the Montreal newspaper the Gazette, "came a Marilyn Chambers clause in all modeling contracts, saying that you can never have posed topless or nude or been in any kind of adult film or Playboy or anything like that."

Chambers followed up "Behind the Green Door" with another hit produced by the Mitchell brothers, "Resurrection of Eve."

And in 1975, Artie Mitchell produced a semi-documentary, "Inside Marilyn Chambers."

Chambers reportedly longed for mainstream movie stardom, and she starred in director David Cronenberg's R-rated 1977 horror movie "Rabid."

But by 1980, after appearing in a cabaret act as a singer and dancer and cutting a disco-flavored record, she returned to adult films, including "Insatiable" and the film series "Marilyn Chambers' Private Fantasies."

"I would have loved to move on," she said in a 2004 interview. "I've been stigmatized, and it's something that's very difficult to get out of."

Chambers stopped making hard-core movies in the mid-'80s, but returned again in the late '90s with "Still Insatiable," Kernes said. "In between," he said, "she was doing soft-core late-night cable movies."

Her last screen appearance was in filmmaker Victor Franko's low-budget independent movie "Solitaire," which was filmed in Rhode Island in 2007.

In the PG-rated film, which has yet to be released, she plays a Providence police officer in pursuit of a group of teenage petty thieves.

Chambers was born Marilyn Ann Briggs on April 22, 1952, in Providence, R.I., and grew up in Westport, Conn. She became interested in acting as a teenager and began working as a model, appearing in print ads for Clairol shampoo and other products.

After retiring from adult films, Chambers remained a popular draw at memorabilia and autograph shows.

Chambers was married and divorced three times, including a marriage to Chuck Traynor, who had previously been married to Lovelace.

Chambers had a daughter, McKenna, from her marriage to Tom Taylor. A complete list of surviving family members was not immediately available.


Dennis McLellan