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December 29, 2022

Adorable Childhood Photos of Marianne Faithfull

Born Marianne Evelyn Gabriel Faithfull on December 29, 1946, in Hampstead, London, England, to an Austrian baroness and a British intelligence officer who had met in Vienna during World War II. Her father, a devotee of Utopian social schemes, relocated his family to a communal farm in Oxfordshire in 1950, but after two years the Faithfulls’ marriage disintegrated and Marianne and her mother moved to Reading, England. Living in rather reduced circumstances, Faithfull’s girlhood was marred by bouts with tuberculosis and her charity-boarder status at the local convent school.

Despite these early hardships, Faithfull emerged as a fashionable, vivacious teenager and soon began partaking in London’s exploding social scene. In early 1964 she attended a record-industry party with John Dunbar––an art student she later married––and there a chance meeting with Andrew Loog Oldham, the Rolling Stones’ manager, led to a contract with Decca Records. Her first single, “As Tears Go By”––a reworking of an old English lyrical poem––was written by Oldham, Jagger, and Stones guitarist Keith Richards; it reached number nine on the British charts and number 22 in America by the fall of that year. A colorful sparkplug of the swinging London scene, Faithfull was a few months short of her eighteenth birthday.

Faithfull became an overnight Top 40 sensation, known for her ethereal, whispery vocals and angelic face. Artistic differences led to a falling out with Oldham, but the teenager continued to record singles for Decca over the next few years, including covers of Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind” and the Beatles’ “Yesterday.” She had her biggest successes in 1965 with Jackie DeShannon’s “Come and Stay With Me” and “This Little Bird.” Her first full-length album, Marianne Faithfull, appeared in April of 1965, followed by Go Away From My World in November of the same year and Faithfull Forever in 1966. Below are some adorable childhood photos of Faithfull in the 1940s and 1950s:


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