, and actor, born in Hampstead
, north London, on 29 December 1946, the daughter of an Austrian baroness of the von Sacher-Masoch
She was discovered by the Rolling Stones' manager Andrew Loog Oldham at a party in 1964: he asked Mick Jagger and Keith Richards to write a song for her, and they immediately wrote 'As Tears Go By", which became her first hit. She married John Dunbar in 1965 and had a child, but was Jagger's girlfriend between 1966 and 1970; she also made friends in a fairly serious way with, among others, reading from left to right, Richards, Brian Jones, Anita Pallenberg, and allegedly a Mars Bar, when they were busted in a drugs raid in 1967. She was a serious heroin addict for many years, and at one point tried to overdose.
Her film appearances included I'll Never Forget What's His Name (1967, first film use of the word 'fuck'), Don't Look Back (1967), Girl on a Motorcycle (1968), and an Ophelia very close to incest in the Nicol Williamson Hamlet (1969). The producers of The Rocky Horror Picture Show wanted her for the part of Magenta.
Having totally wrecked her original sweet Carnaby Street songthrush voice with ill-living, Faithfull used her sexy husky rasp to full advantage in the 1979 album Broken English, containing "Working Class Hero" and the hit "The Ballad of Lucy Jordan". She wrote the Rollings Stones song "Sister Morphine". She is now well-known for the Kurt Weill sort of song.
Tony Sanchez has written of her,
Marianne Faithfull was as blithe and pure as a midsummer's day. ... Her body was slender, frail as a blade of grass. But it was the woman's face that was singular — it was the face of an angel, with its big, blue, innocent eyes, soft, pouting lips, and a frame of blonde hair that glowed like the sun with youth and health. It was a face that stopped all talk whenever she entered any gathering of people — a face that subjugated all men to her will.
Her autobiography Faithfull
appeared in 1994.