Anita Pallenberg, German-Italian actress, and model died on Tuesday, June 13. She was 75.
Pallenberg was best known for her relationship with Keith Richards – who she had three children with – and fpr serving as a muse for The Rolling Stones
Her death was announced on Instagram by her friend Stella Schnabel, the daughter of painter and filmmaker Julian Schnabel. And was later confirmed by a spokeswoman to Richards, saying that the model died at St. Richard’s Hospital in Chichester, southeast England.
The statement released on Wednesday did not reveal the cause of death but said Pallenberg “had been ill for some time” and that her family was by her side. Later, her son Marlon Richards said the cause was complications of hepatitis C.
Born in 1944 in Italy, Pallenberg’s father sent her to a German boarding school, but she got expelled when she was 16. Then, she went to Rome and spent some time there hanging out with the ‘Dolce Vita’ crowd. Which was being filmed at the time. She eventually came to New York and started to hang out at Andy Warhol’s Factory.
During the 1960s and the 70s, Pallenberg was featured in several films, such as ‘Barbarella’ as The Black Queen, ‘Candy’ alongside Marlon Brando and Richard Burton. And ‘Le berceau de cristal’ with Andy Warhol’s Factory fellow Nico. She returned to her acting career in the late 90s, working later with directors such as Abel Ferrara, Harmony Korine, and Stephen Frears.
Anita got romantically involved with several Rolling Stones members
Despite her acting career, Pallenberg was mostly recognized for her romance with the Rolling Stone members. In 1965, the model and a friend snuck backstage before a Rolling Stones concert in Munich. Leading to a romance with guitarist Brian Jones.
She later left him to be with Richards. The story says their relationship began in 1967 when Richards rescued her from being beaten by Jones one day in Morocco. It was known that Pallenberg and Jones’ relationship was a violent one, because “Every time they had a fight, Brian would come out bandaged and bruised,” Richards wrote in ‘Life,’ his 2010 autobiography.
“It’s said that I stole her,” he also wrote. “But my take on it is that I rescued her (…) The one woman in the world you did not want to try and beat up on was Anita Pallenberg.”
The two went back to England and left Jones in North Africa, and began their relationship from there. Two years later, in 1969, Jones drowned in his swimming pool. By the time, Pallenberg was pregnant with her first child with Richards.
A year earlier, in 1968, while she was making the cult classic ‘Performance,’ she reportedly had an affair with Mick Jagger. Who starred the film in an androgynous role. The sex scenes between the co-stars were really intense, but the actress attributed it to “method acting.”
After finding out, Richards wrote the opening lyrics to one of the Stone’s greatest songs, “Gimme Shelter.” The couple had two more children, daughter Dandelion Angela and son Tara Jo Jo, who died 10 weeks after birth. They broke up in 1980.
More than a groupie, Anita became an influence
In the artistic world, Pallenberg was an influential character. During her time in New York, she befriended Beat Generation writers Allen Ginsberg and William Burroughs. As part of Andy Warhol’s Factory, she was deeply involved with New York’s eclectic group of artists.
Richards has referred to her as “a lover of art and pally with its contemporary practitioners and wrapped up and wrapped up in the Pop Art world.”
Her artistic sense also had a great influence in the Rolling Stones. Described as an “evil glamour,” in the words of Marianne Faithfull, a Jagger’s onetime paramour, the model was credited with helping define the group’s lasting image.
“She almost single-handedly engineered a cultural revolution in London,” Faithfull wrote, “by bringing together the Stones and the jeunesse dorée” — the young, fashionable elite. “The Stones came away with a patina of aristocratic decadence that . . . transformed the Stones from pop stars into cultural icons.” She also described her as “dazzling, beautiful, hypnotic and unsettling (…) Other women evaporated next to her.”
She even played a role in the Stones musical process. Jagger had ‘Beggars Banquet’ remixed again after Pallenberg criticized some of the tracks of the album. She’s also credited as singing background vocals on “Sympathy for the Devil,” and served as inspiration for songs like “Miss Amanda Jones” and “You Got the Silver.”
Richards posted a tribute for to the model on Twitter, referring to her as “a most remarkable woman.”
A most remarkable woman. Always in my heart.
(Photo: Michael Cooper) pic.twitter.com/ubZtRYW1Am
— Keith Richards (@officialKeef) June 14, 2017