Lou Reed and Andy Warhol Muse Holly Woodlawn dies
Transgender actor Holly Woodlawn, who made her name appearing in several Andy Warhol works of art and whom inspired Lou Reed’s most famous song, has died aged 69.
Woodlawn was first diagnosed with liver and brain cancer in June and was then moved to an assisted living facility, where she was found dead yesterday.
The actor became well known after appearing in the Andy Warhol films ‘Trash’ and ‘Women in Revolt’ and as a member of his New York clique, ‘the Warhol superstars’.
She was also well known for being one of the inspirations behind the Lou Reed song ‘Walk on the Wild Side’ which told the stories of how members of the Warhol Superstars had travelled to New York.
Woodlawn never achieved mainstream success, but continued to act and perform in independant theatre and films for the rest of her life.
In spite of her successful career, after her diagnosis her friend Penny Arcade had set up a GoFundMe page to appeal for donations to pay for the actors continued medical treatment.
Woodlawn was born in Puerto Rico and moved to Miami at a young age, where she first came out. When she was fifteen she started travelling to New York.
Her journey was imortalised in the infamous Reed song, in the lyrics:
“Holly came from Miami FLA, Hitchhiked her way across the USA, Plucked her eyebrows on the way, Shaved her legs and then he was a she…”
She met Andy Warhol in 1968 and became a member of his clique, and made her screen debut a year later in the Warhol produced film Trash.
Her performance recieved critical acclaim, and Hollywood director George Cukor initiated a write in campaign to have Woodlawn nominated for Best Actress at that years Oscars ceremony.
More recently she appeared in the Amazon Prime series Transparent, playing the part of Vivian.