'I did the first nude in Vogue': Marisa Berenson on being a blazing star of the 70s and beyond

She was photographed by Warhol, and Dalí wanted to paint her; the first films she made were Death in Venice and Cabaret. So why did she walk away?

Most people, says Marisa Berenson, “tend to live in my past. Which is fine.” She smiles, well aware of the fascination. “But I tend to live in the present and in the future.” A 2001 profile of the model/actor in the New York Times described her as a “Zelig of the zeitgeist … popping up in the right place at the right time”. And there is certainly something magical about her life and the people who have passed through it. As a child (she is now 72) she was taught to dance by Gene Kelly. Greta Garbo came to her parents’ parties; Salvador Dalí – a friend of her grandmother, the designer Elsa Schiaparelli – wanted to paint her. The legendary Vogue editor Diana Vreeland pushed
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