Holly Woodlawn the iconic transgender Warhol superstar has died in in Los Angeles after a battle with cancer. Ms Woodlawn was one of the key inspirations for the Lou Reed song “ Take a Walk on the Wild Side”. She escaped suburban life at the age of 16 moving to NY where she met Andy Warhol and changed her name from Haroldo Danhakl to Holly Woodlawn. “plucked her eyebrows on the way shaved her legs and then he was a she” is a memorable line in the bio-song. Holly Woodlawn, derived her name from Holly Golightly, in the Truman Capote novel, Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Holly was the the Audrey Hepburn character, in the film.
In the 1970s, she starred in the Paul Morrissey Warhol co-production of Trash, with Joe Dallesandro another referenced character in the Lou Reed song. Her performance prompted the Oscar winning Director George Cukor to launch a write-in Oscar campaign on her behalf, although a nomination never materialised. Her last role was as Vivian on the Amazon series Transparent about about a trans man coming out to his family. Holly starred in other independent films such as Twin Falls Idaho and Milwaukee, Minnesota where she received critical acclaim.
For much of her later life she performed in cabaret acts but suffered from a multitude of illnesses related to years of alcohol and substance abuse.
Photo: Creative Commons English: Holly Woodlawn in May 2007 by Angela George