A life lived to the fullest: Marianne Faithfull turns 70

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Modest beginnings in London's pubs

Marianne Faithfull's unique voice was first heard at pubs across London as she grew into her teenage years. In 1964, Faithfull celebrated her first major sucess with "As Tears Go By," penned by Rolling Stones' band members Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. Other hits followed, including "This Little Bird" and "Summer Night."

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Living the Swinging Sixties

In 1965, Faithfull married artist John Dunbar, having become a permanent fixture in London's booming counterculture scene. By the end of that year she gave birth to her only son, Nicolas. But two years later the marriage collapsed, and Marianne Faithfull went on to start a relationship with one of the greatest names in Rock 'n' Roll history.

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Sister Morphine

Marianne Faithfull's romantic involvement with Mick Jagger ended up playing a major role in the rock band's overall direction. Songs like "Sympathy for the Devil", "Wild Horses" and "Sister Morphine" were all heavily influenced by their passionate relationship. The latter song, which Faithfull also recorded in her own right, speaks of her issues with drug addiction, which worsened over time.

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One night in Paris...

By 1970, Jagger and Faithfull had separated, leading her further into drug abuse. When Jim Morrison overdosed on heroin in Paris in 1971, the press tried to link Marianne Faithfull to the Doors lead singer's death, saying she was present when it happened. Years later, Faithfull explained in her autobiography that the only connection was the fact that both artists used the same drug dealer.

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Ten-year hiatus

Faithfull withdrew completely from performing for almost ten years, unable to overcome her addiction. Some of that time she spent living on the streets of London's entertainment district Soho. In 1979 she celebrated a comeback with a radical album: "Broken English." She dedicated the namesake title track to Ulrike Meinhof, a founding member of the Red Army Faction (RAF) terror group in Germany.

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From girl on a bike to empress of Austria

Marianne Faithfull always looked for artistic fulfillment beyond music as well. Since 1966, she has been featured in more than 20 movies, for instance co-starring with Alain Delon in the 1968 "The Girl on a Motorcycle" or "Shopping," alongside Sadie Frost and Jude Law in 1994. She even played Empress Maria Theresia of Austria in Sofia Coppola's 2006 biopic, "Marie Antoinette."

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Laughing to keep from crying: Irina Palm

The highlight in Marianne Faithfull's acting career was her leading role in the 2007 drama "Irina Palm," garnering a nomination for a Golden Bear award at that year's Berlinale. Critics and cinemagoers alike fell in love with the film, in which Faithfull plays a 50-year-old woman trying to master her way through some pitfalls of life by taking on an unlikely occupation involving her palm.

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Still well connected

Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Marianne Faithfull's career continued to flourish, as the singer took on more mature tones. Her musical collaborations also contribute to her massive success. Faithfull hit the recording studio with great performers, including Pink Floyd's Roger Waters, Metallica, Nick Cave and P.J. Harvey. She is pictured here alongside "Pet Shop Boy" Neil Tennant in 1997.

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Her love for London

The living legend toured Europe in 2016 and has released an album and a DVD recording of the highly acclaimed concert series. Her most recent studio album, "Give My Love To London" was released in 2014. Her relationship with the British capital is somewhat conflicted; splitting her time between France and Ireland, Faithfull says she's happier abroad.

Marianne Faithfull's life story amounts to so much more than just the usual tales of sex, drugs and Rock 'n' Roll surrounding the living legend. She is a passionate performer with great insight into the human condition.