The life story of Marisa Berenson – a woman of refined style and incredible charisma, is interesting and very instructive! I will try to present it to you in the best possible way!
The American actress and model, one of the most beautiful women in the world, inspired fashion designers, traveled India with the Beatles, and today, at the age of 70, after two marriages and many relationships with celebrities, she leaves others to look to the past – because she is only interested in the future!
When Marisa Berenson was 13, her parents took her and her sister on a summer vacation with Salvador Dali to Spain. The eccentric painter asked Marisa if she would pose naked for him and she almost agreed.
– But then the mother intervened and said: “Not by chance, you old pervert!” – the 70-year-old American actress and model remembers today that missed opportunity.
But there is no reason to regret it. It may not have been photographed by Dali, but that’s why it was shot by the world’s greatest photographers, artists such as Richard Avedon, Irving Penn, David Bailey, Cecil Beaton, Robert Mapplethorpe and Stephen Meisel, and it’s almost in front of the lens from the first day of life: “Vogue” published photos from her baptism, in which she is in a dress sewn by her famous grandmother, fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli, and at the age of five, she appeared on the cover of the American “Elle” with her sister Berry – both in bright red dresses with belts in striking pink, the characteristic Schiaparelli color.
Their parents, mother Gogo Schiaparelli, who herself appeared regularly on Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue, and father Robert L. Berenson, a director at Onassis Shipping Company and a diplomat – including in Yugoslavia – were a glamorous couple with mostly to European addresses and friends in the most fashionable circles. And Marisa seemed destined to live in front of the camera and on the catwalk.
The 16-year-old model wore models by Yves Saint Laurent, Valentino and Roy Halston, to whom she was a muse, and after John Galliano, Donna Karan and Tom Ford, she became famous in films by directors such as Stanley Kubrick and Lucino Visconti.
She stood out with a special, refined style both in front of the camera and in private, which brought her the status of an eternal fashion icon, as well as some fairy beauty because of which she was declared the most beautiful woman in the world in “Elle” magazine. She was photographed so much that in the autobiographical note accompanied by 35 photos, which she published in 2011, she gave the title “Life in Pictures”.
Berenson still has a flawlessly slender, model figure, and her complexion is stunningly porcelain, almost without wrinkles, although she claims that she did not undergo any procedure.
– Botox is a poison that is put on the face, and I am not thinking about cosmetic surgery, at least until a new, less aggressive approach is developed. But, I hope that I will never do that, but that I will simply grow old with dignity – says Marisa, who cares for her face carefully, but exclusively with her own natural preparations.
She started cosmetics about ten years ago, when she created the first line “Soin Sublime”, based on cactus extract, and recently launched creams and lotions called “Natural Luxury Cosmetics”, which contain expensive Indian fig seeds.
– I want to give a little light and love to the world with my cosmetic products, the best I can – she explained in “Vogue”.
Marisa Berenson was born in February 1947. In New York, and a year later, her younger sister Berinthia, known as Barry, was born. They both attended the most expensive English and Swiss boarding schools, studied dance with Gene Kelly (“Barry enjoyed it, and I was dying of fear and hid behind the door in my tulle dress,” Marisa remembers), and adopted classy teaching behavior with Diana. Vriland, the legendary editor of American Vogue.
They often stayed with Grandma Elsa in her four-story building in Paris, where, admittedly, pink silk curtains were blackened at the edges by central heating, but everything was full of expensive Aubusson rugs and paintings by Picasso, Dali, and 18th-century masters. They hung out with celebrities like Greta Garbo, Audrey Hepburn (see also: The hard life of Audrey Hepburn – Part two) and Dirk Bogard, spent the summer in Tunisia and on the French Riviera, went to Venice, Paris and London, spent the Christmas holidays skiing in Clusters, Switzerland. .
However, in the midst of all that luxury and glamour, Marisa was not happy.
– I was privileged and I knew exceptional people, but I was lonely – my mother thought I was hard, and my grandmother was extremely strict – she remembers.
She had an argument with her mother, once even live in front of the camera on French television, and they only reconciled when Marisa was already an adult woman. Her father, with whom she was very close, died of leukemia while she was still a teenager, shy, insecure and convinced that she was ugly; at school she was called Oliva because she was short and skinny at 173 centimeters. Still, someone persuaded her to call fashion agent Eileen Ford. She weighed her from head to toe and told her:
– You’ll never be a model, you just don’t look good enough.
Marisa went home in tears, but the experienced Vriland thought differently, so she gave her first job as a photo model in “Vogue” and the stocky teenager suddenly turned into a graceful, long-legged beauty with a refined modern look.
– I recorded the first cover of “Vogue” when I was only 16 years old. In time, I accepted my appearance and realized that people want to work with me – she said.
Her career developed at an incredible speed and jobs followed one another. She posed for “Bazaar”, “Vogue”, “Elle” and “Playboy”, collaborated with the most famous designers, but perhaps more importantly, she somehow embodied the spirit of the new time and was always seen in the right place at the right time: in the most fashionable a disco club in New York, on a summer vacation in St. Tropes, in the company of artists in the “Factory” by Andy Warhol or meditating with the Beatles in the ashram of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in India – almost always accompanied by paparazzi.
People magazine published a picture on the cover of her wrapped in white fur, with her statement: “I want to be a saint”, Yves Saint Laurent called her a “girl of the seventies”, and in “Harper’s Bazaar” they wrote with admiration: She is like a seismograph, recording the last tremors in the current of the moment – the latest trends, where to go out, how to dress “.
Marisa spent her nights in popular clubs such as Studio 54 and Xenon in New York and Le Sept and Le Palace in Paris, where she hung out with Warhol, Lisa Minnelli, Bianca Jagger and writer Truman Capote (who named her Shih Tzu pet King Kong).
– We all had fun until late at night, but we also worked hard. I woke up at dawn every morning and filmed all day. When you’re 20, you can do that. It also helped that I didn’t take drugs and mostly drank orange juice, not alcohol – she described those turbulent days as Marisa, whose beauty was noticed by director Lucino Visconti and in 1971. gave her an emotionally complex role in her adaptation of Thomas Mann “Death in Venice”.
He followed Bob Fossie’s “Cabaret” in which she stripped to the skin and earned a Golden Globe and BAFTA nominations, and she also starred as Lady Lyndon in Kubrick’s 1975. film “Barry Lyndon” which is considered one of the most visually appealing, the most beautiful cinematographic works in history. Her role was not specifically mentioned by critics, except that the New York Times wrote that “Marisa Berenson, a great fit for costumes and wigs”.
She also starred in Clint Eastwood’s “White Hunter, Black Heart”, and in 2009, in the drama “I Am Love” by Luca Guadagnino, she radiated elegance in “Fend’s” costumes. She also tried her hand at theater, so two years ago she played in “Romeo and Juliet” directed by Kenneth Branagh at London’s West End.
In addition to all that, Marisa also managed to deal with spirituality. When she was sent to India in 1968. with her then-boyfriend, photographer Arno de Rosnay, a surfer and descendant of a sugar industry magnate, to shoot a fashion editorial for Vogue, the couple ended up in an ashram on the banks of the Ganges, where they ate chickpeas with the guys from the Beach Boys and listened to George Harrison compose new songs for the White Album.
– India changed my life, because then I was looking for my spiritual path and I found it there, with the Maharishi and the Beatles. We meditated all day, and in the evening we sat on the floor while George and Ringo played guitars – says Marisa.
The search for the spiritual path did not prevent her from making numerous connections with the rich and famous. For a while, she had fun with Ricky won Opel from the family of car manufacturers, as well as with David de Rothschild from the famous French banking family. For several years, she was with the blonde Austrian actor Helmut Berger, a bisexual who had been Visconti’s partner for a long time, and he also introduced her to the Italian director.
– Visconti persuaded me to marry Helmut, he thought that I was his only chance to be happy and lead a normal life. But I couldn’t. Berger was one of the greatest loves of my life, but it was too destructive a relationship – Marisa remembers today.
And then she got married, to three-year-old industrialist Jim Randall. At a 1976 wedding in Beverly Hills by the flower-filled pool, 800 guests gathered, including Jack Nicholson and Angelica Houston. And, the official photographer was Andy Warhol. The marriage lasted barely a year and a half, but it gave birth to a daughter, Starlight Melody, now 40, who is engaged in creative therapy for children, and Marisa considers her greatest success in life.
She married for the second time in 1982, to Richard Golub, a divorce lawyer, this time in a pink wedding dress designed by Halston (“Well, I didn’t want to wear white twice,” she explained), who brought her to the altar.
– He was like an older brother to me, a big and very wise man. And he had perfect taste – he fondly remembers the American creator.
However, she did not last long with Golub either. They divorced after five years of marriage.
– I think that it is not always easy for men with a woman who has both personality and fame. But that’s not the reason my marriages didn’t last. My immaturity was also to blame – admitted Marisa, who never married again after her second marital shipwreck.
– I had love, passion and marriages, but I always felt alone. And that was my choice, because it gives a feeling of freedom and independence. But being alone is not easy for a young woman, nor for an older woman – she explained once.
And indeed, although she seems to have led a magical and carefree life, Marisa also experienced great tragedies: in addition to losing her father early, she was left without a sister who died on September 11, 2001. But she does not allow that to overwhelm her. As she herself said:
– I don’t want to live in the past. I leave that to others. I like to look to the future.
I hope you liked the biography of Marisa Berenson?
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