Marisa was born in Salzburg to a father of Slovak origin and a Brunanter mother. Marisa was an up-and-coming singer performing at clubs in the early-mid 1960s. In 1964, Lyons/Bergstein executive Philip Bergstein saw Marisa perform at a Koningstad club. Amazed by her singing talent, he immediately hired her to the label.
Marisa and Hunter
In 1965, she was paired with American singer Jeannie Hunter to form the group Marisa and Hunter. She was then formally signed for five years. Throughout the sixties they became a popular group and achieved widespread successes at home and abroad. Albums like How I Love You (1965) and Driving Me Crazy (1967) were critically and commercially successful. In 1966, Marisa became engaged to 23-year-old singer Michael Verkamp, but they split up after two months engaged. By the late 1960s, Marisa began disagreeing with Hunter on how the group should continue and became unwilling to continue longer in the group. A stubborn girl, she was able to convince Lyons to produce a solo album. Released in 1968, Rebel and Other Songs became a successful song and became known for the lead single Rebel. That year, she became involved romantically with producer Jeffrey Lyons and they were married in the spring of 1969.
After an initial solo success, Marisa further wanted to continue producing solo works, but the record executives wanted her to continue with Marisa and Hunter. She dragged on the recording for the next album, In Love with You, and though set to be released in 1969 was delayed by six months. By then, she was having near-constant fights with her record label, which often failed to pay her for royalties and other fees. She also got a divorce from husband Jeffrey in March 1970. Eventually when her contract expired she left to sign with Stereophone Records (this became one of the big factors in Lyons/Bergstein's demise).
At Stereophone she had a number of top hits but she was unhappy personally. She married winemaking businessman Jeremy Morels in 1971 and Marisa moved to Grijzestad, where he lived. She gave birth to a daughter in 1972, Angela Marisa. That marriage broke down as both the pair weren't truly in love, but it was kept together to maintain their image in society. Eventually things reached a tipping point and Marisa filed for divorce in August 1972. Around this time, Lyons popped back into her life (and there were rumors they had an affair for a few months). The quickly got back together romantically and were married in May 1973.
Lyons persuaded Marisa to return to failing Lyons/Bergstein to help boost the company, but few successful music was produced during her time there. Becoming unhappy over the failure of her career, she left the label and her husband in October 1974. Marisa was then briefly involved in an affair with President Steven Dort. Soon enough an emotionally weak Marisa returned to Lyons (in March 1975, but by then Lyons/Bergstein has folded and she was back with Stereophone producing music (after they took over the rights to Lyons/Bergstein music). Lyons then became very strict and controlling over Marisa as her career rebounded and feared her cheating on him. Marisa was very depressed and began drinking and taking drugs. Finally she decided to leave Lyons for good in December 1975 and never got back with him.
Her music after this, though well received, was not nearly as successful as her early hits. Marisa began modeling for the Hermite label in 1976 and was beginning to gain good recognition. In 1977 she married CDU Senator Henry Jorgeson, and in 1981 he became the Prime Minister of Brunant. Marisa lived with Jorgeson in Koningstad, where the couple had two sons, in 1982 and 1984. But Marisa found him cheating with another woman and they divorced in 1984.
In 1985 Marisa stopped recording music and instead devoted herself to modeling. She had an affair with her photographer (married) before marrying wealthy businessman and Hermite executive Anthony Hermite. Falling for his charms (and his money), the two quickly took to traveling the world and were constantly found in Monaco or the South Pacific holidaying. When not living the jetsetter lifestyle, Marisa modeled for magazines and professional studios. Marisa took up exercising during the late 1980s to maintain her slim image (after failed diet attempts) and was reputedly involved with her trainer.
Marisa had trouble with Hermite's family, who felt she was using him to steal their family fortune. Hermite died in 1989 of cancer, at the age of 66. Marisa was in a period of mourning and completely stopped modeling. She also returned to drinking and went into rehab in 1990. The family took her to court over Anthony's finances and Marisa was only awarded Th. 65,000. Having to maintain three children in different households. In the 1990s she tried, unsuccessfully, to have Stereophone pay her royalties (or at least a fee) from her earlier music, which she was unpaid for. The record company said as they didn't record the music, they could not pay her anything. Eventually they went to court and in 1996 the Cape Cross Parish court ruled that since Stereophone owned the rights to her music, they also owned the responsibilities associated with it (ie. royalties and fees). Stereophone was ordered to pay her Th 50,000 plus a 3% royalty on any music she recorded or wrote before 1970.
In 1995 Marisa married personal fitness trainer Nicolas Steen. They had been in an on/off relationship since 1993. Steen was unhappy with all the media attention and scrutiny and at one point wanted to move to France. Marisa, who wanted to remain in Brunant (and loved the attention) got into arguments with her husband and they divorced in 1999. After a brief attempt at reconciliation in 2001, she no longer became involved in long-term relationships.
In 2000 Marisa donated a large sum to The Cancer Society in memory of her fourth husband. She later began volunteering with The Cancer Society and was involved in a campaign with former First Lady Clarissa Donner to raise awareness and funds. In 2008 she became the society's Vice-President, a post which she continues to hold.
Marisa was married a total of six times, with five different men. She was engaged to actor Michael Verkamp in the late 1960s, but her first marriage was with Jeffrey Lyons in 1969. After a divorce shortly after, she married winemaker Jeremy Morels, but they divorced in 1972. She then returned to Lyons and remarried; after a five month separation she returned to Lyons in 1975. Leaving him that same year, she married Senator (and future PM) Henry Jorgeson and stayed together until a divorce in 1984. In 1986 she married businessman Anthony Hermite and remained with him until his death in 1989. Her last marriage came with fitness trainer Nicolas Steen, but that ended in divorce in 1999.
Marisa had three children: A daughter with Morels in 1972 and two sons with Jorgeson. Marisa's daughter lived with her father and isn't in close contact with her, but she had custody of her two sons since the mid-1980s.
Marisa is known to be an avid fan of the Grijzestad Strijders ever since the 1970s. Marisa is also involved with charitable causes, mostly for cancer. She is a descendant of King Karl Van Draak.
Marisa and Hunter
- How I Love You (1965)
- Everyday/Alledaags (1966)
- Driving Me Crazy/Tegen een Muur (1967)
- In Love with You/In Liefde met U (1970)
- Rebel and Other Songs (1968)
- Waanzinnig Verliefd/Madly in Love (1970 EP)
- Huilen/Crying (1971)
- Gone/Weg (1972)
- Ein kleiner Narr/A Little Fool (1973 EP)