Monday, May 9, 2011


Candy Darling (November 24, 1944 – March 21, 1974) was an American actress, best known as a Warhol Superstar. A male-to-female transsexual person, she starred in Andy Warhol's films Flesh (1968) and Women in Revolt (1971), and was a muse of the protopunk bandThe Velvet Underground.

Early life

Candy Darling was born James Lawrence Slattery in Forest Hills, Queens, son of Theresa Phelan, a bookkeeper at Manhattan's Jockey Club, and James (Jim) Slattery, who was described as a violent alcoholic. There is some conjecture around her year of birth. According to former Warhol associate, Bob Colacello, Candy was born in 1946, while IMDb has listed her year of birth as 1948. Her friend, roommate, and posthumous editor, Jeremiah Newton, states that she was born on November 24, 1944.
Candy's early years were spent in Massapequa ParkLong Island, where she and her mother had moved after her parents divorced. Her half-brother Warren, a product of Theresa Slattery's first marriage, left home for the U.S. military, leaving Jimmy as the only child. Warren later denied his connection to her.
She spent much of her childhood watching television and old Hollywood movies, from which she learned to impersonate her favorite actresses, such as Joan Bennett and Kim Novak. In 1961 she signed up for a course at the DeVern School of Cosmetology in Baldwin, on Long Island. She claimed to have "learned about the mysteries of sex from a salesman in a local children's shoe store" and finally revealed an inclination towards crossdressing when her mother confronted her about local rumors, which described her as dressing as a girl and frequenting a local gay bar called The Hayloft. In response, Jimmy left the room and reappeared in full feminine attire. Her mother later said that, "I knew then... that I couldn't stop Jimmy. Candy was just too beautiful and talented.
Late at night, Darling would often take a short taxi ride to the LIRR train station, avoiding the attention of neighbors she would receive if she walked. There she would take the train to Manhattan, frequently sitting across from Long Island starlet Joey Heatherton. Once there, she referred to her Cape Cod-style home, at 79 First Avenue in Massapequa Park, as her "country house" and hung out in Greenwich Village, meeting people through the circle of Seymour Levy, on Bleecker Street.
Darling met Jeremiah Newton in the summer of 1966. Newton was on his first trip to the Village from his home in Flushing, Queens. The two would become friends and roommates, living together in Manhattan and Brooklyn until the time of Darling's death in 1974.
Her first assumed name was Hope Slattery. According to Bob Colacello, Darling adopted this name sometime in 1963/1964 after she started going to gay bars in Manhattan and making visits to a doctor on Fifth Avenue for hormone injections. Jackie Curtis stated that Candy adopted the name from a well-known Off-Off Broadway actress named Hope Stansbury, with whom she lived for a few months in an apartment behind the Caffe Cino so that she could study her. Holly Woodlawn remembers that Darling's name evolved from Hope Dahl to Candy Dahl and then to Candy Cane. Jeremiah Newton believed she adopted her forename out of a love for sweets. In her autobiography, Woodlawn recalled that Darling had adopted the name because a friend of hers affectionately called her "darling" so often that it finally stuck.

The Warhol years
Before they met, in 1967, Darling saw Andy Warhol at the after-hours club called The Tenth of Always. Candy was with Jackie Curtis, who invited Warhol to a play that she had written and directed, called Glamour, Glory and Gold, starring Darling, as "Nona Noonan", and a young Robert De Niro, who played six parts in the play.[4] It was performed at Bastiano's Cellar Studio on Waverly PlaceTaylor Mead brought Warhol to see it and afterwards went to the club Salvation in Sheridan Square, where he was joined by Candy and Curtis at his table.
Warhol cast Darling in a short comedic scene in Flesh (1968) with Jackie Curtis and Joe Dallesandro. After Flesh, Candy was cast in a central role in Women In Revolt (1971). She played a Long Island socialite, drawn into a woman's liberation group called PIGS (Politically Involved Girls), by a character played by Curtis. Interrupted by cast disputes encouraged by Warhol, Women in Revolt took longer to film than its predecessor and went through several title changes before it was released. Darling wanted it called Blonde on a Bum Trip since she was the blonde, while Curtis and Woodlawn told her it was more like "Bum on a Blonde Trip", titles which were both used in the film during Candy's interview scene.

Women in Revolt was first shown at the first Los Angeles Filmex as Sex. Later it was shown as Andy Warhol's Women, an homage to George Cukor. Unable to get a distributor for the film, Warhol rented out the Cine Malibu on East 59th Street and launched the film with a celebrity preview on February 16, 1972. After the screening there was a dinner in Candy's honor at Le Parc Périgord restaurant, on Park Avenue, followed by a party at Francesco Scavullo's townhouse, where they watched TV reviews of the movie, some of which called it "a rip-off", and that it "looked as if it were filmed underwater," and "proves once again that Andy Warhol has no talent. But we knew that since the Campbell's Soup cans."
Among the guests at Darling's party were D.D. Ryan, Sylvia MilesGeorge PlimptonHalston, Giorgio di Sant 'Angelo and Egon and Diane von Furstenberg. Jackie Curtis stood out in the cold, along with other gate crashers. When a security guard asked, "My God, what are they giving away in there?" one of the guests responded, "Would you believe, atransvestite?"
The day after the celebrity preview a group of women wearing army jackets, pea coats, jeans and boots and carrying protest signs demonstrated outside the cinema against the film, which they thought was anti-women's liberation. When Darling heard about this, she said, "Who do these dykes think they are anyway?... Well, I just hope they all read Vincent Canby's review in today's Times. He said I look like a cross between Kim Novak and Pat Nixon. It's true - I do have Pat Nixon's nose."
After Warhol
Candy Darling went on to appear in other independent films, including Brand X, by Wynn ChamberlainSilent Night, Bloody Night, as well as a co-starring role as a victim of trans-bashing in Some of My Best Friends Are...
She also appeared in Klute with Jane Fonda and Lady Liberty with Sophia Loren. In 1971 she went to Vienna to make two films with director Werner SchroeterThe Death of Maria Malibran, and another one that was never released. Her attempt at breaking into the mainstream movie circuit, by campaigning for the leading role in Myra Breckinridge, (1970) led to rejection and bitterness.
Her theatre credits include two Jackie Curtis plays, Glamour, Glory and Gold (1967) and Vain Victory: The Vicissitudes of the Damned (1971), She was also in Tennessee Williams' play,Small Craft Warnings, at the invitation of Williams himself. She starred in the 1973 Off-Broadway revival of The White Whore and the Bit Player, a 1964 play by Tom Eyen. Darling's character, a Hollywood actress known only as "the Whore", was based on Marilyn Monroe. As a review of the play stated, "With her teased platinum hair and practiced pouts, Miss Darling looks like her character and resolutely keeps her acting little-girl-lost. The role-playing aspect works to her advantage. She could, after all, be a male lunatic pretending to be the White Whore."
Illness and death
Darling died of leukemia on March 21, 1974, aged 29, at the Columbus Hospital division of the Cabrini Health Center. In a letter written on her deathbed and intended for Andy Warhol and his followers, Darling said, "Unfortunately before my death I had no desire left for life . . . I am just so bored by everything. You might say bored to death. (D)id you know I couldn't last. I always knew it. I wish I could meet you all again."
Her funeral was attended by huge crowds, including friends Pat Ast and Julie Newmar; a piano piece was played by Faith DaneGloria Swanson was remembered for saluting Darling's coffin.
Candy Darling was cremated, her ashes interred by her friend Jeremiah Newton in the Cherry Valley Cemetery, located in Cherry Valley, New York, a tiny historical village located at the foot of the Catskill Mountains.
Portrayals in film
Candy Darling was first portrayed by Stephen Dorff in the 1996 film I Shot Andy Warhol.
A feature length documentary on Candy, titled Beautiful Darling, premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival (or Berlinale) in February 2010. The documentary features archival film and video footage, photographs, personal papers, archival audio interviews with Tennessee WilliamsValerie SolanasJackie Curtis and Candy's mother, as well as contemporary HD interviews with Holly WoodlawnFran LebowitzJohn WatersJulie NewmarPeter Beard and Taylor MeadChloë Sevigny narrates the film, voicing Candy's private diary entries and personal letters. The film was directed by James Rasin and produced by Jeremiah Newton and Elisabeth Bentley.
Darling appears as a character in the 2011 HBO film Cinema Verite portrayed by William Belli.

Portrayals on stage

Candy was portrayed by Michael-August Turley in the New York City production of "Pop!" by Anna K. Jacobs & Maggie-Kate Coleman, directed by Robert Marshall Heller, December 2008.
Candy was also portrayed by Broadway actor, Brian Charles Rooney, in "Pop!" a new musical by Anna K. Jacobs & Maggie-Kate Coleman, at Yale Repertory Theatre, directed by Mark Brokaw (Broadway: After Miss Julie, How I Learned to Drive, etc.): November - December 2009
In popular culture
  • Greer Lankton famously made a bust of Candy that was displayed at the 1995 Whitney biennial.
  • The Kinks song Lola was supposedly inspired by Candy Darling.
  • The song "Queen of War" by French artist Electrosexual features a sample of Candy's voice from the film Flesh, directed by Paul Morriessy.

Personal Quotes
"I am a star because I have always felt so alienated and I project this feeling to others".

"I have always believed that socially unacceptable men make much better lovers because they are more sensitive."
"I've had small parts in big pictures and big parts in small pictures"
"I have always believed that socially unacceptable men make much better lovers because they are more sensitive."Candy Darling
"So we're all wondering, how often do you get your peroid, Candy?"
"Every day, i am that much of a woman."

"This is my barbed wire dress. It protects the property but doesn't hide the view." — Candy Darling

"I'd rather be a silly old fool than a lonely old woman." — Candy Darling

In addition to the two films made for Warhol, she also appeared in other independent films, including "Brand X", "Silent Night, Bloody Night", as well as a co-starring role as a victim of gay bashing in "Some of My Best Friends Are...". She also appeared in "Klute" (as an extra in the disco scene) with Jane Fonda and "Lady Liberty" with Sophia Loren. In 1971 she went to Vienna to do two films for director Werner Shroeter - "The Death of Maria Malibran" and another one that was never released. ]
Immortalized in the Lou Reed songs, "Candy Says", and "Walk on the Wild Side" 
Candy's first "drag" name was Hope Slattery.

Grew up in a small bungalow in Massapequa Park, Long Island, New York where he and his mother had moved after she divorced her husband. Candy also had a half brother, Warren, from her mother's first marriage. 

Before dying in 1974, Candy left a note for her friends, in which she wrote: "Unfortunately before my death I had no desire left for life. Even with all my friends and my career on the upswing I felt too empty to go on in this unreal existence. I am just so bored by everything. You might say bored to death. It may sound ridiculous but is true." She also ended her note with a "Tinkerbell, Hi!", referring to the writer for Interview magazine who, in 1986, committed suicide by jumping out of a window. 

 Mykie Note:

In the mid 1980's while in the midst of finding my true new wave ala punk rock young self and truing to create my own identity, I discovered Andy Warhol and all
the inhabitants of the factory, Edie, Nico, The velvet Underground, Etc................
I was always jealous that I wasn't  a teen in the factory's heyday, i would have been a Warhol Superstar that's for sure, and most likely old or dead by now, LOL! But I
found so much style and culture from these odd balls, it certainly put the creative spark in me, via painting, club culture and my own personal style. I wanted to be an artist and was sure I'd be getting my 15 minutes of fame anytime soon.  Well as  matured into the fine man i am today, ok laugh! I have still kept my  passion for this motley crew alive in my work, I mean look at the cast of characters i have to pull from, many are Icons of them selves and all have something special about them.
CANDY DARLING, was Harlow, Garbo and any other MGM starlet of the time rolled into one. She alone I can say I have channel into mu make up work alot, but  then again i could say its was Harlow herself.
In the early 1990's , i had made the Acquaintance of some of the Alumni of the factory, Joe Delasandro, Holly Woodlawn and I wish that Candy Lived, who knows where she would be.

mykie xoxo

1970Brand XMarlene D-Train
1971La MortadellaTransvestiteAlternative title: Lady Liberty
KluteDiscothèque Patron
Some of My Best Friends Are...Karen / Harry
Women in RevoltCandy
1972Der Tod der Maria Malibran
1974Silent Night, Bloody NightGuest
2002The CockettesHerselfArchive footage for Documentary
2004Superstar in a HousedressHerselfArchive footage for Documentary
2006Andy Warhol: A Documentary FilmHerselfArchive footage for Documentary
2010Beautiful DarlingHerselfArchive footage for Documentary


  1. Regarding the stage productions: Brian Charles Rooney created the role in the New York City workshop of the writers' Graduate thesis of "Pop!" at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts Graduate Musical Theater Writing Program. He reprised the role when the musical was selected for, and produced in workshop at Yale's Music Theater Institute in June of 2009, followed by the first professional production as part of Yale Repertory Theater's 2009-2010 season, for which he won the CT Critics' Circle award as Best Actor in a Musical.

    He will reprise the role in June 2011 at City Theater in Pittsburgh in workshop.

    Michael August-Turley played the role in 2008 when the show was performed by an undergraduate student group at New York University.

  2. wow thanks for all that info. good to know!


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