Potted history of the life of Mary Millington..
The Life of Mary a British Icon.
Born Mary Ruth Quilter Nov 30th 1945 at the end of the second world war to a middle class family,her mother worked for the foreign office and her father was a biographer, she was illegitimate.Her father had a role in her younger life but disappeared out of her life as she grew older. Mary had an ordinary schooling, was reported as very mischievous. She left school to attend Reigate art school but could not manage the work so she left to start work as a veterinary nurse but again she was unable to do the necessary studying, as she said many years later in her book 'The Amazing Mary Millington' she was never academic.However she had a wonderful charisma and charmed all that met her.
Mary married at aged 18yrs to Bob Maxted and was to stay married throughout her short life She was given her big chance in life when she was offered a job in a boutique as the manageress, all the time doing part time modelling nude, glamour and porn. It was whilst she was employed at the boutique she began to love the trappings of fame and vowed one day to be in the public eye..
It was one chance adventure that gave her the break she needed. One day whilst out on her lunch break in a coffee shop she met Scottish photographer John Lindsay [he of hard core fame], it was not long before she stumbled into film and progressed to doing 'hard/core' particularly for Lindsay mostly abroad, under various pseudonyms.He loved Mary and introduced her to Porn Magnate David Sullivan [who is owner of Play/birds Whitehouse empire] He too loved Mary, they had a relationship even though Mary was married [as events turned out there was much ambivalence between Mary's husband and Sullivan even though Mary tried to keep both the relationship and the two men apart] Sullivan promoted and made Mary big in film and although she could not [by her own admission] sing or act, she was to progress to great things and become Millington [she had always been known as Maxted before meeting Sullivan]. Sullivan invented the name Millington to augment her career in the mags and said she was the sister of the then Whitehouse editor Doreen Millington [utter rubbish] but all the same it helped sell his mags.
Mary became renowned as a model and actress star of Sullivan's cinema release Come Play With Me  the Brit comedy that outsold any sex/comedy of its era and is still today the biggest box office success in that genre.It ran twice and made twice as much money second time around.It ran alongside the first 'Superman' and at one point for six consecutive weeks even beat that. She starred in many other films before and after Sullivan's relationship with her, notably Queen of the Blues The Playbirds etc but none of them [although they were in fact successful] were to equal the success and fame of 'Come Play With Me'
Mary was a star of countless porn mags a fervent supporter of civil rights and firmly against the Obscene Publications law that she found was outdated and draconian She supported both animal and 'cancer 'charities. Her mother whom she doted on was suffering cancer throughout the early 70s when Mary was modelling etc.. herself to pay for her care[ a rare thing in those days as not many people had the money].She adored animals more so than humans and was involved with the Peoples Dispensary for sick animals [PDSA]. it is rumoured that Mary had a relationship a 'one night stand' with the then prime minister Harold Wilson, this has [as far as I know] never been denied by the British authorities. She also had 'relations' with the then Shah of Persia [Iran] for mega money and also some very notable and eminent figures..
Her fame and the fact the authorities felt challenged by Mary, indeed to police and government she was a constant embarrassment, they chased her time and time again trying to set her up.They sent letters and bills to her threatening imprisonment The taxman was chasing her for £1,000,000 and the police were after her, she had a pressing appointment in the Old Bailey court on obscenity charges. Also her husband had asked her for a divorce.Probably because of the constant pressure she developed major insecurities and had become hooked on cocaine and was a kleptomaniac often stealing things [not always valuable objects] but anything that she thought she wanted.[Note it is now thought by agony aunts psychologists etc.. who have dissected Mary's life that she stole things because she had a need to feel wanted and loved].
She began to despair with British Government and their measures to suppress her lifestyle, thought her life was a mess, feared the impending court case as she did not want to go to prison.She was hounded by the police who raided her shops with impunity the second they knew she was out of the area. They hit her hard in the pocket and prevented her advancing/promoting her mags by destroying them.
She was a liberated person with a relaxed view of censorship, she had a sexual openness and ideals that were not in keeping with the times. She strove for the legalisation of pornography, less stringent laws and better civil liberties, however the British Government was just too big for her. She had, had enough on the night of the 19 th August 1979 she rang John M East[her publicist] asked him to sing the song he always sang to her, ending in 'tomorrow', she said 'there will be no tomorrow John', the phone went dead.In the morning her husband found her dead in her bedroom she had taken analgesics. anti depressant capsules alcohol and passed away in her sleep.
RIP Mary Maxted [the name on her gravestone] her married name, buried South Holmwood, Surrey above her beloved mother.
Mary Millington the biggest box office draw of the 70s rich and famous [but never media mainstream because she was not right for her time]has according to the reverend of St Mary Magdalene church the smallest gravestone in the cemetery .Mindful of this and considering that she was the biggest star of the 1970s and could presumably afford the very best, why did she not have a splendid grave stone?. The truth is I honestly do not know!!
I believe Mary would have indeed one day [had she lived] become mainstream, she had the strength and charisma to mix in all societies and was a truly wonderful person.She was seen at charity events etc. with the likes of Arthur Askey [the one time comedian] Fenella Fielding and Moira Lister as well as other well known people, there, supporting her charities and furthering their causes.
It is I suppose worth notice that Mary 29 years on from all her battles where she was harangued persecuted and so willfully hurt by those in authority whom it has been proven had double standards by that I mean out of the public eye used her , bought her mags etc... the one and the same people police magistrates etc.. were then prosecuting her for her actions and beliefs in the Old Bailey courts. I believe it was always at the back of Mary's mind to expose these people as hypocrites indeed she had experienced that some of the same people who upheld the law also bought her magazines.
Mary was hounded and for what, look what porn is freely available today!.The films of Mary Millington are seen as nothing more than 'glorified nude Benny Hill sketches' despite at one time what David Sullivan maintained, indeed a good percentage of Mary's 'fellow actresses' in her films starred in Benny Hills sketches three I know of were 'Hills Angels'.
Abandoned in death by those that sought to gain from displaying her as a macabre show the contemptible way that they displayed her in order to get what they wanted, that includes the late John M East her manager and publicist who Mary seemed to worship in life.Shame on him and the many others who did the same.
Mary Ruth Maxted RIP with your beloved mother.The grave stone is inscribed simply 'REUNITED'
Ref :Watch the 1996 Channel 4 film Sex and Shame 'The Mary Millington Story' note what Colin Wills the journalist with the 'Sunday Mirror' says about Mary.
Read Simon Sheridan's remarkably frank unabridged book Come Play With Me 'The Life and Films of Mary Millington' 1999 Fab press
Read 'Come Play With Me' Kelefern productions 1978
Read The Amazing Mary Millington Futura 1979 co wrote by Mary Millington David Weldon [her one time probation officer].
With Compliments of All4nothing33