The Owl and the Pussycat (1970)

The Owl and the Pussycat, 1970, starring Barbra Streisand, George Segal and Marilyn Chambers

Starring: Barbra Streisand, George Segal, Robert Klein, Allen Garfield, Roz Kelly, Marilyn Chambers (credited as "Evelyn Lang")​​

Director: Herbert Ross

Producer: Ray Stark

Writer: Buck Henry

Released: November 3, 1970 (New York), Columbia Pictures

Availability: In print, DVD

Trailer:

Marilyn appears only briefly in the film (less than 3 minutes) and her character is not integral to the plot, so the plot isn't really important here. But, in case you're interested, here it is: George Segal plays Felix, a meek writer, and Barbra Streisand plays Doris, a loud-mouthed, vivacious hooker. They're an odd couple, they meet, fall in love, blah, blah, blah... did I mention that Marilyn is only in this for a few minutes?

 

During production Marilyn, who was living in New York and working as a model, was dating a man who was the stand-in for George Segal on The Owl and the Pussycat. The man asked if she would like to come down to set one day and observe. On the 1999 disc Still Insatiable, Marilyn said producer Ray Stark noticed her and asked her if she was an actress. Marilyn lied and said she was and Stark brought her to the offices on the set where they were currently casting for the minor non-speaking role of "Barney's Girl" opposite Robert Klein. They told Marilyn she might have to be topless, to which she agreed, and that while the role was small she would be able to get her Screen Actors Guild card. Much to Marilyn's surprise, she was given the role. "They said, 'Well, can you start right away?' It was like Lana Turner with the sweater at Schwab's Drug Store," Marilyn said in 1999.

When the film was released Ray Stark asked Marilyn -- who, inexplicably, is billed under the name Evelyn Lang -- to travel to Los Angeles and San Francisco on a promotional tour for the film. Marilyn agreed and she and Roz Kelly first went to LA and stayed at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. From there they traveled north to San Francisco where Marilyn said she fell in love with the city. Upon returning to New York, Marilyn packed her bags and with several members of the 1960s rock group It's A Beautiful Day drove cross-country to San Francisco.

 

Early article about Marilyn Chambers getting a role in The Owl and the Pussycat

An article about Marilyn's big break appeared in a syndicated column in newspapers across the country, including this one dated November 20, 1970.

Marilyn Chambers and Robert Klein in "The Owl and the Pussycat," 1970

Marilyn (as "Barney's Girl") and Robert Klein in The Owl and the Pussycat.