Holly Woodlawn, Transgender Legend and Warhol Muse, Dies at Age 69

Illustration for article titled Holly Woodlawn, Transgender Legend and Warhol Muse, Dies at Age 69

Transgender actress Holly Woodlawn died at age 69 on Sunday. One of Andy Warhol’s muses, she appeared in films by Warhol and Paul Morrissey throughout the 1970s. She also inspired Lou Reed’s canonical “Walk on the Wild Side.”

Woodlawn’s career reached its apex in the 1970s; however, she had recently returned to the screen, appearing in two episodes of Transparent. Variety reports that Woodlawn had been suffering from cancer after many years of alcohol and substance abuse.

Born Haroldo Danhaki in Puerto Rico, Woodlawn moved to New York City from Miami, Florida. She changed her named to “Holly Woodlawn” after meeting Warhol and soon began to make a splash in the underground film scene, starring in films like Trash and Women in Revolt.


She’ll live on in the lyrics to “Walk on the Wild Side,” which are notably dated in some places, but poignant as ever when talking about her beginnings:

“Holly came from Miami, F.L.A.; hitchhiked her way across the U.S.A.; plucked her eyebrows on the way; shaved her legs and then he was a she. She says, ‘Hey babe, take a walk on the wild side.’”

Woodlawn died in Los Angeles, receiving a hospital visit from former costar Joe Dallesandro before she passed.

Contact the author at rachel.vorona.cote@jezebel.com.

Image via Getty.

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mental iceberg

Holly and I were Facebook friends. Holly was really nice. I’m fucking staggered. I gave up Facebook ages ago, so we hadn’t spoken in a while.

You wanna know what Holly was like? She was nice and she was kind. And when your hear the song, man...that wasn’t Holly. I mean, ages ago yeah...but she was just a nice person. And I was proud to call her a friend. Jesus. I was happy to call her my friend because she was nice, not because she was some kind of fucking icon....because she was just nice.

God bless you sweetheart. If anyone deserves to rest in piece, it’s you. Thank you for being my friend. I will never forget you.