Holly Woodlawn (born Haroldo Santiago Franceschi Rodriguez Danhakl on October 26, 1946) is a transsexual and former Warhol superstar, who appeared in his movies Trash (1970) and Women in Revolt (1972). Her life was summarized by Lou Reed in his song "Walk on the Wild Side (Lou Reed song)":
|“||Holly came from Miami FLA, / hitch-hiked her way across the USA, / plucked her eyebrows on the way, / shaved her legs, and then he was a she...||”|
Born in Juana Diaz, Puerto Rico, she adopted the name Holly as an homage to the heroine of Breakfast at Tiffany's and in 1969 added the surname from a sign she saw on an episode of I Love Lucy.
She met Andy Warhol in the Factory at a screening of Flesh. Through him she met Jackie Curtis, who cast Woodlawn in her play Heaven Grand in Amber Orbit in the autumn of 1969. In October she was assigned a bit role in Trash, but so impressed director Paul Morrissey that she was given a larger role. In 1970 she received word from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences that George Cukor, supported by others, was petitioning the Academy to nominate her for Trash - however, nothing came of this campaign.
In May 1971, Woodlawn replaced Candy Darling at the La Mama Theatre, New York in a production of Vain Victory written and directed by Jackie Curtis. She was arrested and briefly incarcerated in Puerto Rico after being caught shoplifting.
By 1976 the work had dried up, and Woodlawn moved to San Francisco. She returned to New York later in the year and had a brief revival after appearing on Geraldo Rivera's talk show before being jailed again in 1977 for not fulfilling a previous probation obligation. She was released on the appeal of politician Ethan Geto, who helped organize a benefit for her.
Woodlawn continued to make cameo appearances in plays and films such as Billy's Hollywood Screen Kiss throughout the 1980s and 1990s. After Warhol's death, she was a frequently requested commentator on his life and influence. She currently resides in West Hollywood.
Woodlawn began performing in cabaret shows in sold-out New York and Los Angeles performances in the early 2000s.
- Woodlawn, Holly; Jeff Copeland (1991). A Low Life in High Heels. St.Martin's Press. ISBN 978-0312064297.
- Andy Warhol Close Up, Bob Colacello
- Man Enough to be a Woman, Jayne County
- Milwaukee, Minnesota (2003)
- Billy's Hollywood Screen Kiss (1998)
- Night Owl (1993) (a.k.a. "Nite Owl")
- Broken Goddess (1973)
- Scarecrow in a Garden of Cucumbers (1972)
- Women In Revolt (1972)
- Trash (1970) (a.k.a "Andy Warhol's Trash")
- Holly Woodlawn at the Warhol Superstars Website
- Holly Woodlawn at the Internet Movie Database
- The La Mama Theatre
- Sadie Lee; Painting a Warhol Legend, Woman's Hour, BBC Radio 4, 26 April 2007
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