Before there was the hit show “Transparent“ and long before Caitlyn Jenner introduced herself to the world, there was Holly Woodlawn.
A true transgender pioneer, Holly Woodlawn died yesterday in Los Angeles at the age of 69 due to cancer. Originally from Miami, she moved to New York City and shortly after arriving met Andy Warhol, soon becoming one of his “superstars” by starring in his “Women in Revolt“. For her critically-acclaimed work in Paul Morrisey‘s “Trash,” famed director George Cukor campaigned for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize her work in the film and allow her as a write-in candidate for an Oscar in the category of Best Actress.
Lou Reed’s song “Walk on the Wild Side” paid tribute to Holly and her journey to New York …
“Holly came from Miami, F.L.A.
Hitch-hiked 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.”
In later years, she went on to have a successful cabaret career and continued to act, appearing in “Billy’s Hollywood Screen Kiss” and in two episodes of “Transparent” as Vivian, among others. She also penned a memoir, “A Low Life in High Heels“, co-written by author Jeff Copeland.
October 26, 1946 – December 6, 2015