Skip to content

Anita Pallenberg, Actress and Muse to the Rolling Stones, Dies at 73

Anita Pallenberg, an actress and model who starred opposite Mick Jagger in Performance and had three children with his Rolling Stones bandmate, Keith Richards, has died. She was 73.

Pallenberg died Tuesday, her friend Stella Schnabel, the daughter of painter and filmmaker Julian Schnabel, announced on Instagram. No cause of death was revealed.

I have never met a woman quite like you Anita.

A post shared by Stella Madrid 🍓 (@stella__schnabel) on

In 1968, Pallenberg appeared as The Black Queen in Barbarella, starring Jane Fonda, and as Nurse Bollock with Marlon Brando and Richard Burton in Candy. She also filmed Performance that year, but Warner Bros. did not release the violent, hallucinogenic film until 1970.

Years later, Pallenberg portrayed a character named Sin in Abel Ferrara’s Go Go Tales (2007), a Queen Elizabeth impersonator in Harmony Korine’s Mister Lonely (2007) and an opium-den hostess in Stephen Frears’ Cheri (2009).

And on a 2001 episode on Absolutely Fabulous, she guest-starred as Devil with singer Marianne Faithfull, another central figure in Stones’ lore, as God.

Born in 1944 in Italy, Pallenberg was sent to a German boarding school because her father wanted her to speak German. Expelled at 16, she eventually came to New York and hung out with Andy Warhol.

In 1965, while working as a model, Pallenberg and a friend snuck backstage before a Rolling Stones concert in Munich, and that led to a romance with guitarist Brian Jones. She then left the Stones co-founder for Richards, and they would have a tumultuous relationship before splitting up in 1980.

“I like a high-spirited woman. And with Anita, you knew you were taking on a valkyrie — she who decides who dies in battle,” Richards wrote in Life, his 2010 autobiography.

Pallenberg said that she started using heroin while she was filming Performance, and Richards wrote about his drug-induced “descent into hell” with the actress in his book.

Survivors include her children with Richards, Marlon and Angela. They had another son, Tara, who died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome in 1976.

This story originally appeared on The Hollywood Reporter.