Marilyn Jess was born in France on 26 October 1959. In 1977 she returned from a holiday in Greece and gave her summer snapshots in to be developed. A photographer working there saw her pictures and immediately asked her to model for him, which she did. Beginning with lingerie photoshoots, she soon progressed to topless, then nude, and within a few months appeared in her first porn film, ‘Collegiennes A Tout Faire’ (1977). Originally using the pseudonym Marilyn Wild, she eventually changed it to Marilyn Jess to avoid confussion with an American pornstar using the same name. Although she continued modelling for various photographers, her film career didn’t really begin until 1979.
During the late 1970's, Brigitte Lahaie, the reigning queen of French porn, was heading towards retirement, so there was an obvious gap in the market. In 1979 Marilyn made an uncredited appearance in 'Parties De Chasse En Sologne'. She already had the voluptuous figure that was to make her famous, and despite Brigitte being the star of the movie, Marilyn's brief appearance in a mediocre threesome proved she had a lot of potential. The industry took notice, and using a number of pseudonyms (mainly Dominique Troyes), she soon followed this up with other minor roles, some in Brigitte Lahaie movies such as 'Les Petites Ecoliers' (1980). It wasn't until Lahaie finally retired in late 1980 though, that Marilyn Jess rose to the top of the French porn industry.
Her breakthrough came later that year when she starred in 'La Femme Objet' (1980), by legendary French director Frederic Lansac. This big budget porn film became a classic and immediately established Marilyn as the successor to Brigitte Lahaie's crown, as her insatiable sexual appetite set her apart even from such classic French porn stars as Olinka, Cathy Menard and Mika. She had an incredible figure and pout, with director Francis Leroi describing her simply as "a truly incredible piece of ass!" Her greatest asset, however, was her ability to successfully portray teenage girls, regardless of her real age. In short, Marilyn Jess appeared to have stopped ageing at eighteen!
French director John B. Root later remembered: "What a woman! She is the same age as me, and when I was an 18-year-old going to porno cinemas, I used to watch her on the screen. She was the girl of my dreams. Marvellous, simply marvellous! For me she defined early 1980's French porn."
During the early 1980's Marilyn starred in a string of well-made and very erotic French porn films such as ‘Adorable Lola’ (1980), 'Melodie Pour Manuella' (1981), 'Dans La Chaleur De St Tropez' (1981), 'Chaudes Adolescentes' (1981) and ‘Crazy Girls‘ (1982). In 1984 she married French porn director Francis Leroi, often known as Michel Barny, but continued to appear in adult films. Despite making 'LInitiation D'Une Jeune Marquis' (1984), 'Sans Interdit' and 'Le Retour De Marilyn' (both 1985), though, the overall quality of her movies began to decline as France followed the USA into the Video Age.
In 1987 Marilyn took the inevitable step of relocating to the States where she starred in cheaply made and instantly forgettable productions such as 'Paris Models' and 'Bachelor Party' (both 1987). By the end of the year she was back in France looking tired and having lost some of her youthful looks. She co-starred with Porsche Lynn in 'Mimi' (1987) and Traci Lords in 'Traci I Love You' (1987), but was unable to re-capture the magic of her earlier films. 'Traci I Love You' became her last great film, despite being overshadowed by Traci herself. Nevertheless, according to Marilyn, and contrary to what Traci would say in later years, “I think that she [Traci] really came. I could swear it. Traci really enjoyed sex when she was in front of the camera. She is an incredible exhibitionist! With me, she came, I’m sure.” Following ‘Traci, I Love You’ though, she soon retired from porn films altogether. Over the next couple of years she was known to be working in various Paris strip-clubs and peep-shows, but by the early 1990’s she had disappeared from public view.
Marilyn Jess remained married to Francis Leroi and is now a mother with two children. John B. Root claims, "She's as beautiful today as she was 20 years ago!" Since her retirement she has avoided the limelight, but the re-release of many of her old movies on DVD by Blue Video has brought her to the attention of an entire generation still learning to walk when she made her first porn film! With the exception of Brigitte Lahaie herself, Marilyn Jess is without doubt the most famous and popular French porn star of the late 1970's and early 1980's.
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