The life of 1970s Soho porn legend Mary Millington is the subject of a feature-length documentary due for release next spring, and a 30 second teaser trailer has been released today to mark what would have been her 70th birthday.
Millington worked as a model, actor and high-class escort, and it's a long standing rumour she once had sex with then serving Prime Minister Harold Wilson in a Glasgow hotel. At the height of her fame her appearance in a glamour magazine could sell a million extra copies. She starred in the sex comedy Come Play With Me, which became the longest running British film of all time — playing at the old Moulin Cinema on Great Windmill Street between 1977-1981. She also ran two London sex shops in Tooting and Norbury respectively.
Simon Sheridan is Millington's biographer and director of the new biopic Respectable: The Mary Millington Story. Speaking to us, he explains how her life reveals as much about the 70s as it does about her career: "In the light of recent scandals about MPs and household-name celebrities during the 1970s, Mary's story will make further revelations about the hypocrisy embedded in British society during that tumultuous decade".
In 1979, Millington died aged just 33. Her suicide followed a period of depression and a family bereavement, but her note to friend and lover David Sullivan (now owner of West Ham United) suggests she felt harassed by police and feared being framed.
"The documentary explores the appalling double-standards of the Establishment and the Metropolitan Police," says Sheridan, "members of which were secretly consuming the fruits of the Soho vice industry, while at the same time publicly persecuting a woman for simply working in the porn industry. Mary was pretty much a lone figure in the fight against censorship during the 1970s. Sadly, she paid the ultimate price."
Respectable: The Mary Millington Story is released in spring 2016.