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Anita Pallenberg

Anita Pallenberg
Born (1942-04-06)6 April 1942
Rome, Italy
Died 13 June 2017(2017-06-13) (aged 75)
Chichester, West Sussex, England, UK
Occupation Actress, artist, model
Partner(s)
Children 3

Anita Pallenberg (6 April 1942 – 13 June 2017) was an Italian actress, artist, and model. A style icon and "It Girl" of the 1960s and 1970s, Pallenberg was credited as the muse of the Rolling Stones: she was the romantic partner of Stones multi-instrumentalist Brian Jones, and later, from 1967 to 1980, the partner of Stones guitarist Keith Richards, with whom she had three children.[1][2]

Early life

Anita Pallenberg was born on 6 April 1942[3][4][5][6] in Rome, the daughter of Arnold "Arnaldo" Pallenberg, a German-Italian sales agent, amateur singer, and hobbyist painter, and Paula Wiederhold, a German embassy secretary. The family was separated because of World War II, and she did not see her father until she was three years old. Her father later sent her to a boarding school in Germany so that she would learn the language.[7] She became fluent in four languages at an early age.[8]

Pallenberg was expelled from school when she was 16, after which she spent time in Rome with the Dolce Vita crowd, and then went to New York City to hang out with Andy Warhol's Factory. She then began her career as a fashion model in Paris.[7] She studied medicine, picture restoration and graphic design without ever completing a degree.[8] Before settling in London, she had lived in Germany and her native Rome, as well as in New York City, where she was active in the Living Theatre, starring in the play Paradise Now, which featured onstage nudity, and Andy Warhol's Factory.[9]

Film and fashion

Pallenberg appeared in over a dozen films over a 40-year span. One of her first appearances was as the Great Tyrant in Roger Vadim's science fiction film Barbarella (1968);[1] the character's voice was dubbed by Joan Greenwood.[10] She played the sleeper wife of Michel Piccoli in Dillinger Is Dead (1969), directed by Marco Ferreri.[11] Pallenberg also had roles in the German crime thriller A Degree of Murder (1967), which featured music by Brian Jones; the cult film Candy (1968) as James Coburn's possessive nurse;[1] Volker Schlöndorff's Michael Kohlhaas – Der Rebell (1969), which was filmed in Slovakia; and the avant-garde Performance (1970), in which she played the role of Pherber. Performance was shot in 1968, but a nervous studio delayed its release.[1]

Pallenberg appeared in a documentary about the Rolling Stones, Sympathy for the Devil (1968), directed by French filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard. In a March 2007 interview, she related her encounters in Rome while La Dolce Vita (1960) was being filmed, with its director Federico Fellini, other filmmakers such as Luchino Visconti and Pier Paolo Pasolini, and with the novelist Alberto Moravia[12]

In 1985, for the video of "Wild Boys", Duran Duran used a clip of Pallenberg from Barbarella. She portrayed "The Queen" in the comedy-drama Mister Lonely by Harmony Korine, and played a character named Sin in Go Go Tales (both 2007).[7]

In the 1990s, Pallenberg returned to education to study fashion. She graduated from Central Saint Martins in London in 1994 with a fashion and textile degree.[9] However, she decided not to forge ahead with a career in fashion, finding it too cutthroat and cruel.[7]

Pallenberg has been portrayed several times by other performers. Monet Mazur played a young Pallenberg in the film Stoned (2005), a biographical film about the last year of Brian Jones' life,[13] while the NBC television show Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip (2006) included a story arc in which the character Harriet Hayes was hired to play Pallenberg in a film.[14]

Rolling Stones

Romantic relationships

Pallenberg is known for her romantic involvement with Rolling Stones band members Brian Jones and later Keith Richards. Pallenberg first met the band in 1965 in Munich, where she was working on a modelling assignment, and before they had made it big.[15] Jones spoke German and they began a friendship that turned into two-year relationship. She later recalled that they took a lot of acid during this time, but it caused Jones to have nightmares.[16] She ended her relationship with Jones in 1967 after he became violent toward her during a vacation in Morocco, where he was then hospitalised. He died in 1969.[16][17]

In Morocco, Keith Richards saw Jones assaulting Pallenberg, and pulled her away and then took her back to England, where she moved in with him.[7] She and Richards began a relationship that lasted until 1980, although they never married. Richards' lifestyle was not conducive to fatherhood, Pallenberg later explained. She was trying to raise their two young children but Richards was up all night and slept all day. She eventually was able to detox herself from drugs but Richards continued to abuse drugs.[16] In 1981, after Richards and Pallenberg had split up, Richards stated that he still loved Pallenberg and saw her as much as he ever did, although he had already met his future wife, Patti Hansen.[18]

There were rumours that Pallenberg also had a brief affair with Mick Jagger during the filming of Performance, and Keith Richards states in his autobiography Life that it happened.[19] Pallenberg denied the affair, however, in March 2007 when Performance was released on DVD[20] and again during an interview in 2008.[7]

Influence on the Rolling Stones

Pallenberg played an unusual role in the male-dominated world of rock music in the late 1960s, acting as much more than just a groupie or partner of a band member. Jagger respected her opinion enough that tracks on Beggars Banquet were remixed after she criticised them.[21] In the 2002 compilation release of Forty Licks, Pallenberg is credited as singing background vocals on "Sympathy for the Devil".[22]

Tony Sanchez's account of his time as Richards's bodyguard and drug dealer mentions Pallenberg's strange spiritual practices: "She was obsessed with black magic and began to carry a string of garlic with her everywhere — even to bed — to ward off vampires. She also had a strange mysterious old shaker for holy water which she used for some of her rituals. Her ceremonies became increasingly secret, and she warned me never to interrupt her when she was working on a spell."[23] Sanchez goes on to describe Anita as having been "like a life-force, a woman so powerful, so full of strength and determination that men came to lean on her".[24] Jo Bergman, who was the band's personal assistant from 1967–73, said of Pallenberg: "Anita is a Rolling Stone. She, Mick, Keith and Brian were the Rolling Stones. Her influence has been profound. She keeps things crazy."[7]

Richards says she shared his addiction to heroin;[25] she was charged first in the 1977 Toronto heroin arrest that led to Richards being arrested on charges that could have led to a lengthy prison sentence. A warrant for Pallenberg's arrest was the reason police came to search the pair's hotel rooms; she pleaded guilty to marijuana possession and was convicted and fined several weeks after Richards's arrest.[26]

Pallenberg spent a lot of time with singer Marianne Faithfull, Jagger's girlfriend in the late 1960s, who remained a friend of Pallenberg's.[16] They appeared together in the fourth series (2001) of the BBC sitcom Absolutely Fabulous in episode four, "Donkey", with Faithfull playing God and Pallenberg the Devil.[27]

Death of Scott Cantrell

In 1979, a 17-year-old boy, Scott Cantrell, shot himself in the head in Pallenberg's bed with a gun owned by Keith Richards, while at the South Salem, New York, house shared by Richards and Pallenberg. The youth had been employed as a part-time groundsman at the estate and was involved in a sexual relationship with Pallenberg. Richards was in Paris recording with the Rolling Stones, but his son was at the house when the teen killed himself.[28] Pallenberg was arrested; however, the death was ruled a suicide in 1980, despite rumours that she and Cantrell had been playing a game of Russian roulette. The police investigation stated that Pallenberg was not on the same floor of the house at the time the fatal shot was fired.[5]

Personal life

Pallenberg and Richards together had three children: son Marlon Leon Sundeep (born 10 August 1969), daughter Dandelion Angela (who goes by her middle name; born 17 April 1972), and a son Tara Jo Jo Gunne (26 March – 6 June 1976). Tara Jo Jo died in his cot 10 weeks after birth; the cause of death has been stated as SIDS[29] or pneumonia.[7]

Pallenberg later stated that she first became pregnant in 1968, but that she was pressured to have an abortion so she could take part in the film Performance, which caused her to feel extremely resentful. She became pregnant again with Marlon during the filming.[16]

After Tara Jo Jo's death, Keith's mother blamed Pallenberg and said she was an unfit mother, and took Angela to live with her.[7] Pallenberg raised Marlon mostly on the road with the band, teaching him to read and write. When Marlon was eight, she moved into a house in Westchester, New York, so he could have a more routine life and go to school.[16] In later years, she lived in Chelsea, London,[7] but spent the winters in Jamaica.[16]

At one point she expressed interest in writing a memoir but decided not to go ahead with it. "The publishers want to hear only about the Stones and more dirt on Mick Jagger and I'm just not interested", she said in 2008. "I had several publishers and they were all the same. They all wanted salacious. And everybody is writing autobiographies and that's one reason why I'm not going to do it. If young Posh Spice can write her autobiography, then I don't want to write one!"[7]

Health problems

Pallenberg suffered from hepatitis C, and had two hip surgeries, including a hip replacement, which caused her to walk with a limp.[7]

After detoxing in the early 1980s, Pallenberg abstained from drug use but later had a relapse. In 2014, she said she had been 14 years sober from drugs.[16] She stopped drinking in 1987, but had a relapse with alcohol in 2004 after her second hip surgery. She regularly attended AA meetings.[7] In August 2016, she told Alain Elkann in an interview when asked about growing old: "I am ready to die. I have done so much here. My Mum died at 94. I don’t want to lose my independence. Now I am over 70 and to be honest I did not think I would live over 40."[30]

Death

Pallenberg died on 13 June 2017, aged 75, due to complications from hepatitis C.[1][11][31] She is survived by her two children and five grandchildren.[1]

Selected filmography

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f Saperstein, Pat (14 June 2017). "Anita Pallenberg, Actress and Longtime Girlfriend of Keith Richards, Dies at 73". Variety. Retrieved 14 June 2017. 
  2. ^ Matera, Avery (13 June 2017). "Anita Pallenberg, Legendary It Girl and Former Partner of Keith Richards, Has Died". W Magazine. Retrieved 14 June 2017. 
  3. ^ Gates, Anita (14 June 2017). "Anita Pallenberg, Actress and Muse of Rolling Stones, Dies at 75" – via NYTimes.com. 
  4. ^ Schudel, Matt (14 June 2017). "Anita Pallenberg, alluring muse who brought ‘evil glamour’ to Rolling Stones, dies". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 15 June 2017. Retrieved June 15, 2017. 
  5. ^ a b c Sweeting, Adam (14 June 2017). "Anita Pallenberg obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 June 2017. 
  6. ^ Margotin, Philippe; Guesdon, Jean-Michel (2016). Rolling Stones All the Songs: The Story Behind Every Track (illustrated ed.). Hachette UK. p. 590. ISBN 9780316317733. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Barber, Lynn (23 February 2008). "Lady Rolling Stone". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 June 2017. 
  8. ^ a b Wyman, Bill. Stone Alone. p. 409. ISBN 0-670-82894-7. 
  9. ^ a b Barber, Lynn (24 February 2008). "Lady Rolling Stone". The Observer. Retrieved 26 October 2008. 
  10. ^ "Anita Pallenberg". Colmovies.com. Retrieved 2017-07-11. 
  11. ^ a b "Addio all’attrice e modella Anita Pallenberg". La Stampa. 13 June 2017. Retrieved 14 June 2017. 
  12. ^ Anita Pallenberg's interview with The Independent, 16 March 2007.
  13. ^ Kubernik, Harvey (2006). Hollywood Shack Job: Rock Music in Film and on Your Screen (illustrated ed.). UNM Press. p. 241. ISBN 9780826335425. 
  14. ^ "Harriet Hayes". Studio60-guidde.com. Retrieved 2017-07-11. 
  15. ^ Bill Wyman. Stone Alone. pp. 409–10
  16. ^ a b c d e f g h Elkann, Alain (4 September 2014). "Anita Pallenberg: "La mia vita tra sesso, droga e Rolling Stones"". La Stampa (in Italian). Retrieved 14 June 2017. 
  17. ^ Bill Wyman. Stone Alone. pp. 491–95
  18. ^ "Keith Richards – Interview". Rolling Stone (magazine), 12 November 1981.
  19. ^ Richards, Keith. Life. p. Kindle Location 3909. ISBN 0-88396-420-1. 
  20. ^ Sullivan, Chris (23 March 2007). "Performance: Anita Pallenberg talks about the notorious Sixties film". The Independent. 
  21. ^ Mumford, Gwilym (14 June 2017). "Anita Pallenberg, actor, model and muse to the Rolling Stones, dies aged 73 {sic}". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 June 2017. 
  22. ^ "Anita Pallenberg profile". AllMusic.com. 
  23. ^ Sanchez, Tony. Up & Down with the Rolling Stones. New York: Da Capo Press, 1996 (originally 1980)
  24. ^ Sanchez, 116
  25. ^ Richards, Keith. Life. Back Bay Books, 2010, p. 380.
  26. ^ Sandford, Christopher. Keith Richards: Satisfaction, Carroll & Graf: New York, 2003, p. 227
  27. ^ a b Hodkinson, Mark (2011). Marianne Faithfull: As Years Go By. Omnibus Press. p. 395. ISBN 9780857129932. 
  28. ^ Flippo, Chet (6 September 1979). "Teenager Dies in Keith Richards' New York Home". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 15 June 2017. 
  29. ^ Johnson, Jim (27 October 2015). "Keith Richards Looks Back On Drug Use And Death Of Infant Son". CBS. Retrieved 14 June 2017. 
  30. ^ "Alain Elkann Interviews Anita Pallenberg". August 2016. 
  31. ^ Anita Gates (2017-06-14). "Anita Pallenberg, Actress and Muse of Rolling Stones, Dies at 75". The New York Times. Retrieved 2017-07-11. 
  32. ^ Moeller, Hans Bernhard; Lellis, George L. (2012). Volker Schlondorff's Cinema: Adaptation, Politics, and the "Movie-Appropriate" (illustrated ed.). SIU Press. p. 40. ISBN 9780809389391. 
  33. ^ Edelman, Rob; Kupferberg, Audrey (2002). Matthau: A Life (illustrated ed.). Taylor Trade Publications. p. 310. ISBN 9780878332748. 
  34. ^ Westfahl, Gary (2012). The Spacesuit Film: A History, 1918–1969. McFarland. p. 131. ISBN 9780786489992. 
  35. ^ a b c Spitz, Marc (2011). Jagger: Rebel, Rock Star, Rambler, Rogue. Penguin. pp. 76—77. ISBN 9781101552131. 
  36. ^ "Michael Kohlhaas – Der Rebell". Festival De Cannes. 
  37. ^ Stewart, John (1994). Italian film: a who's who (illustrated, annotated ed.). McFarland. p. 329. ISBN 9780899507613. 
  38. ^ Witts, Richard (2017). Nico: Life And Lies Of An Icon. Random House. p. 297. ISBN 9780753548486. 
  39. ^ Donnelly, Kevin (2002). Pop Music in British Cinema: A Chronicle (illustrated ed.). British Film Institute. p. 218. ISBN 9780851708638. 
  40. ^ Blistein, Jon (14 June 2017). "Anita Pallenberg, Actress, Model, Keith Richards' Ex-Partner, Dead at 73 {sic}". Rolling Stone. 

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