Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Obituary: Anita Pallenberg

Actress and model Anita Pallenberg, 73, has died from undisclosed causes.

Though she had some success in her careers and being unfortunate to have been in one of the worst movies of all time Candy (1968), she is best remembered for her relationship with three of the Rolling Stones band members of the 1960s: Brian Jones, Keith Richards, and a rumored fling with Mick Jagger, which she denied happened. I am rather shocked she didn't have her way with bassist Bill Wyman given his sex addict tendencies at the time, but she must have known he kept a diary, so she passed him over. It might also be that he was on the short side, and Pallenberg was 5-foot-9.

Drummer Charlie Watts, as everybody knows, was simply out of the question. He was an embarrassment to his band because he never cheated on his wife.

She first had a relationship with Brian Jones, but he had violent tendencies, so it wasn't long before she turned to Richards for comfort. They shacked up for quite a few years, finally breaking up in the late 1970s. They had three children altogether, with two of them surviving her (the other one died in infancy).

Pallenberg and Richards, though they had a long relationship, ultimately were not good for each other. It was during this period when Richards had severe substance abuse problems, namely heroin. Eventually they went their separate ways and both got themselves cleaned up. They remained close friends.


Pallenberg was born in German-occupied Rome in January 1944. Her father was an Italian travel agent and artist, while her mother was a German secretary. After being expelled from German boarding school aged 16, she began modelling, first in Italy and later in New York, where she spent time at Andy Warhol’s Factory.

In 1965 Pallenberg attended a Rolling Stones concert and managed to get backstage, where she met the band. It would lead to a relationship with Stones guitarist Brian Jones, which Pallenberg said soon turned violent. She left Jones for Keith Richards, and the pair settled in London, where they would have three children. The pair struggled with drug abuse and would later separate in 1980.

During her time with the Stones, Pallenberg became a muse for the band. She provided backing vocals for Sympathy for the Devil and Mick Jagger was said to have remixed tracks on the band’s 1968 album Beggars Banquet based on her feedback. Pallenberg and Jagger would later star together in Nicolas Roeg’s 1970 crime drama Performance.

In this interview she talks about her relationship with the Stones and the film Performance:

A nice writeup of her is here.

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