In the mid-60's Marianne Faithfull became known as a pop singer and the beautiful girlfriend of Rolling Stones lead singer Mick Jagger. She managed to put several records on the pop top forty in the United States.
Marianne Evelyn Gabriel Faithfull was born in 1946 in Hampstead, London, England, the daughter of Major Glynn Faithfull, a British spy in World War II, and Eva, the Baroness Erisso. As a teenager she attended a party where she was discovered by Rolling Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham. The Stones wrote a song for her which Marianne recorded at age 17 titled As Tears Go By. In late 1964 it would become her first hit, #22 in the USA and top ten in Britain, and Marianne grabbed the attention of the record-buying public.
Marianne took on the persona of a swinging 60's female pop star, her relationship with Jagger enhancing her image further. She recorded more songs and some became hits on the London label, among them Come And Stay With Me, This Little Bird and Summer Nights. All climbed the charts in 1965 and she became a star of pop culture at the time, a delicate beauty with a frail voice whose exploits were followed closely in the newspapers and entertainment media of the day. In the mid-60's she was involved in a drug scandal along with Jagger and Stones acoustic guitarist Keith Richards which would turn public opinion favorably toward the rock music scene. She partied wtih Jagger and the Stones, recorded a couple of albums, and appeared in movies. Marianne was married briefly to actor John Dunbar in the mid-60's and gave birth to her son Nicholas. Her first film was I'll Never Forget What's'isname in 1967, notable as the first British film to contain a controversial four-letter word. The following year she appeared in Girl On A Motorcycle and over the years would make dozens of films. In 1965 Marianne performed on the American music television program Shindig! eight times.
Marianne Faithfull co-wrote Sister Morphine, a track on the Rolling Stones iconic album Sticky Fingers. She accompanied Jagger to Australia when he traveled there in 1969 to make the film Ned Kelly (which would prove to be a bust) and invoked pity with her sucide attempt that signaled the end of her raucous relationship with the pop superstar. Wild Horses, another track from the same album, is assumed by many to be Jagger's farewell to her.
The Sixties gave way to the Seventies, and Marianne Faithfull remained in the news. There were stories of drug-related problems, more recording sessions, and troubled romances. She was was homeless in the Soho district of London for some time, and made a comeback toward the end of the decade with the album Broken English, appearing alongside Steve Winwood with songs by the likes of John Lennon and Shel Silverstein. The album contained the controversial track Why D'Ya Do It. She married punk rocker Ben Brierley and worked on some albums with him in the early 80's. She worked hard at her craft and her singing voice improved with time and experieince. In 1981 her hits were compiled on the album As Tears Go By, and she put on a successful concert in London. Her third marriage, to actor Giorgio Della Terza, ended in divorce in 1991.
Marianne's successful acting career endured for many years, in film, on television and on stage. She left her drug and alcohol problems behind for good in the late 80's and remained sober, taking her acting responsibilities seriously. She continues to act and to record, performing before a sold-out crowd in London as recently as 2013. In later years she lived in Ireland, and in Paris.
Marianne Faithfull has sucessfully battled some health problems over the years but is stil going strong. She is best remembered by fans of Sixties rock-and-roll for her 1965 hit As Tears Go By.
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