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Mary Millington: The Tragic Life of a Sex Goddess

MAK760 is from Pakistan with high ambitions to achieve his goals in life. MAK760 is a freelance writer. Writing articles is his passion.


Do you know that the average life expectancy of a pornographic actor is about 31 years? The number was close to 38 a decade ago. So what happened? You have more pornographic actors than ever before, and very few women, in particular, have entered the porn industry. This is not necessarily a terrible thing, but when you are 18, your mind is weak. In our porn-saturated society, many think that porn is harmless and personal entertainment. But in the end, you have suicides, overdoses, and drama that end up with pornographic actresses. They often buy into the idea that porn artists are sex-craving gods that they can't portray. Despite all the massive research and countless personal accounts that expose the black reality of the porn industry, many people still buy into the nation hall that the porn industry is struggling to manage.

Mary was just 33 years old when she took the overdose in 1979. She was bullied at school due to being born illegitimately and suffered from low self-esteem throughout her childhood and teenage years. Her life was filled with depression and despair after the death of her beloved mother. Mary Rose Quilter was born on 30 November 1945 in Kenton, Middlesex. She grew up in a local hut with her mother, Joan.


Early Life

Mary Millington trained to become a veterinary nurse, but the chance to meet with London's notorious photographer John Lindsay changed her life. Under the influence of Lindsay, Mary began to appear in dozens of photos in British glamour magazines. This led to her continuing to smuggle porn movies. In 1974, She met David Sullivan who was a publisher and filmmaker. She soon became a notable nude model in the UK. She had a small part in Sullivan's 1977 softcore sex comedy Come Play with Me, alongside Alfie Bass and Irene Handl.

Career & Filmography

Sex Is My Business was filmed at a sex shop in London's Coventry Street on Saturday. The story is about a powerful aphrodisiac being abandoned by a customer whose power makes shop workers and customers mad about sex. Maxted, created by the see-through dress, is the centerpiece of the film, with staff members taking a customer into the backroom for multi-position sex, using the shop's CCTV camera to see what others can do. Sex Is My Business was considered a lost image until the film's Super 8 MM film print was transferred to DVD privately in 2008. The film then made its way onto the internet on the (now defunct) site ZDD Visual Explosion on 26 July 2008. In 2010 Sex is My Business was included as a special feature on the DVD re-release of Come Play With Me.


She played a minor role in Sullivan's 1977 softcore sex comedy Come Play With Me, which also starred Alfie Byes and Irene Handel. Despite being banned by critics and running for four years at the London Theater, the film was a huge success. It was one of the first British films to sell in large numbers in the new VHS format. She later played the lead role in The Play Birds (1978), in which she worked as a naked model cop. Despite her lack of acting training, The Play Birds was a commercial success. Just like Come Play with Me, it was extensively trailed in Sullivan's magazines. She made many public appearances at this time, promoting her films in regional cinemas, opening shops and restaurants, and raising money for the People's Dispensary for Sick Animals. At the height of her fame, she was working behind the counter at Sullivan's sex shops, mainly at the White House in Norbury. She continued to work as a call-girl, which she did from her early modeling days. Mary started operating one of her sex shops in Norbury; Suddenly her beauty became available to all. Virtually overnight, she became a sexual phenomenon, receiving thousands of fan letters every month. However, her role as a nurse in David Sullivan's 1977 comedy Come Play With Me was a household name for her. Although she was briefly seen on the pages of Sullivan's publications, her film ran for 201 weeks at Moulin Cinema in Soho, London.


One of Millington’s worst moments was taking a topless photo outside 10 Downing Street. She was posing for an innocuous picture with a policeman when she decided to unzip her top and expose her breasts for the photograph. This surprised the people present, including Suzy Mandel, Whitehouse photographer George Richardson (who took the picture), and the policeman (who tried to confiscate the film). According to Simon Sheridan's biography of Millington, "For this stunt, Mary was conditionally discharged and bound over to keep the peace". The Millington film Come Play with Me is still one of the longest-running films in British cinema history, and ran from 1977 to 1981 at Moulin Cinema in London's West End.

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Suicide / Death

Millington was always at risk of neurosis and depression, which was exacerbated by her cocaine habit. Her mother's death in 1976 also affected her deeply and her behavior became unpredictable, which led to her breaking up with Sullivan. Her life began a downward spiral into drug use and depression following the raids on her shop. A few months before her death, she received a large tax bill that she was unable to pay. Her kleptomania became even more pronounced in the last year of her life when she was arrested for shoplifting in June 1979, and again for stealing a necklace the day before her death.

Unfortunately, as Mary's fame grew, her dependence on drugs grew. Mary, who was wounded by the police and more insane about her appearance, committed a tragic suicide on August 19, 1979.


Millington committed suicide at age 33, by an overdose of tricyclic antidepressant anafranil, paracetamol and alcohol at her home in Walton-on-the-Hill, Surrey. Her husband found her dead in her bed on 19 August 1979. She left four suicidal notes which were found near her dead body. In one of them, she wrote, "The police reprimanded me. They terrorized me very much. In another note, to her solicitor Michael Kaye (partly published in Private magazine no 59), Millington wrote "the police have killed me with their threats…the police have made my life a misery with frame-ups. The taxman has hounded me so much- I will be made bankrupt, he mustn't get anything of his £200,000 demands. He is a religious maniac." In another note, to David Sullivan, she wrote: "please print in your magazines how much I want porn to be legalized, but the police have beaten me".



Millington is one of the two hottest British sex movie stars of the seventies and the other is Fiona Richmond. David Sullivan described her as "the only uninhabited and natural sex symbol Britain has ever produced and who believed in what she did." Between 1975 and 1982, there was always at least one Millington film in London's West End.
A nightclub in Liverpool is named after her. She is commemorated in a blue plaque on the site of the former Moulin Cinema in Great Windmill Street, Soho for her appearance in Come Play with Me. The film is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as running there continuously for 201 weeks, from April 1977 to March 1981, making it the longest-running British film. The validity of this record and the blue plaque has been called into question by film historian Allen Eyles who says that Come Play with Me ran for 165 weeks and that Britain's longest-running film was South Pacific which ran for four years and twenty-two weeks. Nevertheless, Come Play With Me still stands as one of the longest-running films in British movie history.

In 2004 Millington's prominence was recognized by her inclusion in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, edited by Colin Matthew and Brian Harrison. Her entry was written by Richard Davenport-Hines.

© 2020 Silent Fate


Silent Fate (author) from Pakistan on November 18, 2020:

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