Anita Pallenberg, actress, model and former girlfriend of the Rolling Stones’ Keith Richards has died of unknown causes.
Pallenberg was born in Rome on Jan. 25, 1944 to German parents and was expelled from boarding school at age 16. She spent time in Rome and New York ande was part of Andy Warhol’s Factory scene. She lived in Paris became a model and in ’65, she and a friend went to a Rolling Stones concert in Munich where she met manager Brian Jones.
Keith Richards wrote in his autobiography, Life,
“My first impression was of a woman who was very strong. I was right about that. Also an extremely bright woman, that’s one of the reasons she sparked me. Let alone that she was so entertaining and such a great beauty to look at. Very funny. Cosmopolitan beyond anyone I’d come across. She spoke three languages. She’d been here, she’d been there. It was very exotic, to me.”
In 1979, a 17-year-old boy, Scott Cantrell, shot himself in the head with a gun owned by Keith Richards, while in Pallenberg’s bed, at the South Salem, New York house shared by Richards and Pallenberg. The youth had been employed as a part-time groundskeeper at the estate and was involved in a sexual relationship with Pallenberg. The death was eventually ruled a suicide.
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.
Pallenberg has appeared in more than a dozen films over a forty-year span. Most notably, as The Great Tyrant in Roger Vadim‘s 1968 cult-classic sci-fi film Barbarella, and as the sleeper wife of Michel Piccoli in the film Dillinger Is Dead (1969), directed by Marco Ferreri.
Pallenberg appeared in a 1968 documentary about the Rolling Stones, Sympathy for the Devil, directed by French filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard. In a March 2007 interview, she related her encounters in Rome in 1960, while La Dolce Vita was being filmed, with Italian filmmakers such as Federico Fellini, Luchino Visconti and Pier Paolo Pasolini.
In 1985, for the video of Wild Boys, the band Duran Duran used the clip of Pallenberg from Barbarella.
Actress Stella Schnabel, the daughter of artist Julian Schnabel, wrote on Instagram.
“I have never met a woman quite like you Anita. I don’t think there is anybody in this universe like you. No one has ever understood me so well. You showed about life and myself and how to grow and become and exist with it all. I was a little girl thinking I was big but I became a woman through knowing you. The secret lyrical you. My best friend. The greatest woman I have ever known. Thank you for the most important lessons – because they are ever changing and definitive. Like you. We are all singing for you, how you liked it. Go in peace my Roman mother, you will always be in my heart.”
Anita Pallenberg was 73.