Anita Pallenberg, actress, model, and former lover of Rolling Stones frontman Keith Richards, has died at age 73.


Pallenberg passed away on Tuesday, and her death was announced by friend Stella Schnabel, the daughter of artist Julian Schnabel. “I have never met a woman quite like you Anita. I don’t think there is anybody in this universe like you,” Stella wrote on Instagram. “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.”

Pallenberg played The Black Queen in Barbarella in 1968 alongside Jane Fonda, and Nurse Bollock in Candy with Marlon Brando and Richard Burton in the same year. She later appeared in Go Go Tales (2007), Mister Lonely (2007), and Cheri (2009). In 2001, Pallenberg guest starred on Absolutely Fabulous with another Rolling Stones associate Marianne Faithfull.

Pallenberg was born in Italy in 1944 and attended a German boarding school at her father’s insistence. She was expelled at 16 years old and made her way to New York and spent time with Andy Warhol. She began working as a model in the 60s and was snuck into a Rolling Stones concert by a friends, where she met Brian Jones and Richards. She began a relationship with Jones before leaving him for Richards. They had three children during their years together, before splitting in 1980.

“I like a high-spirited woman,” Richards said in his 2010 autobiography Life. “And with Anita, you knew you were taking on a valkyrie – she who decides who dies in battle.” He also wrote about his “descent into hell” while on heroin with Pallenberg. He also credited her with his fashion trends, saying, “I started to become a fashion icon for wearing my old lady’s clothes.”

Pallenberg is survived by her children Marlon and Angela with Richards. Their third child, Tara, died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome in 1976.


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