Marianne Evelyn Faithfull (born 29 December 1946) is an award winning English singer, songwriter and actress whose career has spanned five decades. Her early work in pop and rock music in the 1960s was overshadowed by her struggle with drug abuse in the 1970s. During the first two thirds of that decade, and with little notice, she produced only two studio albums. After a long commercial absence, she returned late in 1979 with the highly acclaimed landmark album, Broken English. Faithfull's subsequent solo work, often critically acclaimed, has at times been overshadowed by her personal history. On 31 January 2011, Faithfull released her 18th studio album, Horses and High Heels in mainland Europe. It gets its UK release on 7 March 2011.
From 1966 to 1970, she had a highly-publicised romantic relationship with Rolling Stones' lead singer, Mick Jagger. She co-wrote "Sister Morphine" which is featured on their Sticky Fingers album.
Faithfull was born in Hampstead, London. Her father, Major Robert Glynn Faithfull, was a British military officer and college professor in psychology. Her mother, Eva von Sacher-Masoch, Baroness Erisso, was originally from Vienna, with aristocratic roots in the Habsburg Dynasty and Jewish ancestry on her maternal side. Erisso was a ballerina for the Max Reinhardt Company during her early years, and danced in productions of works by the German theatrical duo Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill. Faithfull's maternal great great uncle was Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, the 19th century Austrian nobleman whose erotic novel, Venus in Furs, spawned the word "masochism". In regard to her roots in nobility, Faithfull commented in March 2007 prior to beginning the European leg of her tour, "I'm even going to Budapest, which is nice because I'm half English and half Austro Hungarian. I've inherited the title Baroness Sacher-Masoch—it comes from one of my great uncles who gave his name to masochism."