Transgender actress Holly Woodlawn, who enjoyed a measure of fame and notoriety as one of Andy Warhol’s circle of personalities — “superstars” — at the artist’s The Factory in early 1970s New York City, has died. Woodlawn, nee Harold Danhaki in Puerto Rico, was 69 and died Sunday after battling brain and liver cancer in Los Angeles.
In addition to the scene at The Factory, Woodlawn appeared in Warhol and Paul Morrissey’s underground classic Trash with Joe Dallesandro, also a onetime fixture at the artist’s warehouse-club. Woodlawn also made Women In Revolt with Warhol and Morrissey.
Later she had roles in the movies Twin Falls, Idaho and Billy’s Hollywood Screen Kiss. More recently Woodlawn appeared in a pair of episodes on Amazon Prime’s series Transparent.
Woodlawn will also be remembered for Lou Reed’s “Walk On The Wild Side” which encapsulated Woodlawn’s travel and transformation from Miami to New York City. The lyrics go like this: “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 said, hey babe, take a walk on the wild side.”
Dallesandro tweeted a message about visiting Woodlawn this afternoon before she died:
Holly Woodlawn was in Room 306 when I arrived to see her today. At 3:06pm LA time, she passed away. pic.twitter.com/docl33j3iW
— Joe Dallesandro (@DallesandroJoe) December 6, 2015
Dallesandro also posted a message his Facebook page that he had heard from Morrissey about having a memorial for Woodlawn: