The quintessential wild child of the '60s, Marianne Faithfull first found fame as a folk-pop chanteuse before succumbing to the excesses of the era, only to resurrect her career with a string of critically-acclaimed albums and dramatic roles which earned her the status of rock and roll's ultimate survivor. Discovered by The Rolling Stones' manager Andrew Loog Oldham, Faithfull enjoyed a series of hits during the height of the first British Invasion, but soon found her music overshadowed by her turbulent personal life. After her high-profile four-year relationship with Mick Jagger fell apart, she battled with heroin addiction, homelessness and anorexia for nearly a decade but eventually managed to overcome her issues after staging an unlikely comeback with 1979's punk-oriented Broken English. Faithfull continued to rebuild her reputation throughout the '80s and '90s with the likes of Strange Weather and Vagabond Ways, and made inroads with a new generation of fans in the 21st Century thanks to a number of collaborative albums and big-screen appearances in "Marie Antoinette" (2006) and "Irina Palm" (2007).
Born in Hampstead, London in 1946 to a British Army officer father and Austrian aristocrat mother, Faithfull spent a part of her early childhood on a commune in Oxfordshire before moving to Reading in the wake of her parents' divorce where she became a member of the Progress Theatre's student group. She first began performing as a folk-pop singer in various London coffeehouses, and in early 1964 attended a Rolling Stones launch party where she was introduced to the band's manager Andrew Loog Oldham. Immediately enamoured with her striking good looks and powerful presence, Loog Oldham took Faithfull under his wing, helping her to secure a deal with Decca Records and persuading Mick Jagger and Keith Richards to give her one of their first original compositions, "As Tears Go By," to record. The baroque pop ballad went onto chart inside the UK Top 10 and US Top 30, and was followed by a number of similarly light singles including "Come and Stay With Me," "This Little Bird" and "Summer Nights."
Faithfull had also started to dabble in acting, becoming the first person to utter the F word in a mainstream studio picture in "I'll Never Forget What's'isname" (1967), appearing in French productions including Jean-Luc Godard's "Made In USA" (1966), "Anna" (1967) and "The Girl on A Motorcycle" (1968), and playing Ophelia in "Hamlet" (1969). However, it was Faithfull's off-the-field activities on the swinging London scene, namely her relationship with The Rolling Stones' Brian Jones and Mick Jagger, that began to dominate her press coverage. Her highly-publicized affair with the latter, in particular, became a regular source of tabloid gossip, and although she would go on to inspire several Stones' songs ("Sympathy For The Devil," "You Can't Always Get What You Want"), appear on their Rock and Roll Circus concerts and co-write their 1971 album track "Sister Morphine," Faithfull ended the decade being more renowned as an It Girl than a musician. Following her 1970 split with Jagger, both her personal and professional life descended into turmoil. After losing custody of her son, Nicholas, she attempted suicide, spent two years living on the streets of Soho, and battled with both heroin addiction and anorexia nervosa.
A 1973 TV performance with David Bowie and 1976's Dreamin' My Dreams, a country album which revealed that Faithfull's previously delicate voice had cracked under the strain of her drug use, looked like being her only notable musical contributions of the '70s, until she returned to unexpected acclaim at the tail-end of the punk era with Broken English. Although the record featured cover versions of John Lennon's "Working Class Hero" and Dr. Hook's "The Ballad of Lucy Jordan," it also established Faithfull as a compelling songwriter thanks to the likes of the controversial infidelity rant, "Why'd Ya Do It," the anti-terrorist title track and the feminist celebration, "Witches Song." The album revived Faithfull's career, becoming her first UK chart entry for 14 years, and was followed by 1981's Dangerous Acquaintances and 1983's A Child's Adventure, all of which featured contributions from her second husband, The Vibrators' Ben Brierly.
However, Faithfull's substance abuse was still proving to be a problem well into the mid-'80s, resulting in a disastrous performance on "Saturday Night Live" (NBC, 1975-), an accident in which she broke her jaw after tripping on a flight of stairs, and an incident in which her heart stopped. After adding to her discography with 1984's Rich Kid Blues, she underwent treatment at several rehab clinics and gradually began to get both her career and private life back on track, later reinventing herself as a jazz-blues singer on 1987's Strange Weather, a critically-acclaimed covers album in which she tackled songs by Bob Dylan, Billie Holiday and Bessie Smith, and also revisited her breakthrough hit. Faithfull then returned to the stage with a performance as Pink's overprotective mother in rock opera "The Wall" in 1990, and recorded her first live album, Blazing Away, at Brooklyn's St. Ann's Cathedral, before reviving her acting career with roles in gothic ghost story "The Turn of the Screw" (1992) and cult British crime drama "Shopping" (1994).
Faithfull then explored her love of German composers Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht on 1996's Twentieth Century Blues and 1998's The Seven Deadly Sins, as well as a live DVD recorded at the Montreal Jazz Festival, before returning to original material in 1999 with the Daniel Lanois-produced Vagabond Ways. After appearing as Betty in New French Extremity classic "Intimacy" (2001), Faithfull's musical renaissance continued when she teamed up with the likes of Billy Corgan, Jarvis Cocker and Damon Albarn on 2002's Kissin Time. 2005 follow-up Before The Poison saw her adopt a similar collaborative approach on ten songs largely co-written with Nick Cave and PJ Harvey, while guest appearances from Rufus Wainwright, Cat Power and Antony Hegarty on 2008's covers album, Easy Come, Easy Go, once again proved how highly regarded Faithfull was amongst the newer generation of singer-songwriters.
Faithfull also continued to establish her acting credentials, appearing in the multi-national anthology "Paris je t'aime" (2006), playing Empress Maria Theresa in Sofia Coppola's "Marie Antoinette" (2006) and receiving a European Film Award nomination for her portrayal of a widower-turned-prostitute in gritty drama "Irina Palm" (2007). Four years later, she was cast as Dr. Langenkamp in horror thriller "Faces in the Crowd" (2011), and added MC5's Wayne Kramer, Lou Reed and Irish playwright Frank McGuinness to her list of collaborators on Horses and High Heels. In 2014, she invited guest artists both established (Roger Waters, Brian Eno) and emerging (Anna Calvi) to join her in the studio for her 20th solo album, "Give My Love To London," and embarked on a world tour celebrating her 50th anniversary in the music business.
Cast (Feature Film)
Music (Feature Film)
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Misc. Crew (Feature Film)
Scores UK Top 10 hit with debut single, "As Tears Go By"
Stages comeback with <i>Broken English</i>
Earns critical acclaim for lead performance in "Irina Palm"