Holly Woodlawn, inspiration for Lou Reed’s “Walk on the Wild Side”, dies aged 69

Warhol superstar has died after battle with brain and liver cancer

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Holly Woodlawn, the Warhol ‘superstar’ and inspiration for Lou Reed’s “Walk On The Wild Side“, has died aged 69.

The actres and transgender icon was immortalised in the opening lyrics of Reed’s song: “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 said, ‘hey babe, take a walk on the wild side’.”

Born Haroldo Santiago Franceschi Rodriguez Danhakl, Woodlawn starred opposite Joe Dallesandro in Warhol’s 1970 film Trash.


Her other acting credits included 1972’s Women In Revolt. In the 1990s, she made a comeback in independent films including Twin Falls Idaho and Billy’s Hollywood Screen Kiss.

More recently, she appeared in the Amazon Prime series, Transparent.

“I was very happy when I gradually became a Warhol superstar. I felt like Elizabeth Taylor!” Woodlawn told the Guardian in 2007. “Little did I realise that not only would there be no money, but that your star would flicker for two seconds and that was it. But it was worth it, the drugs, the parties, it was fabulous. You live in a hovel, walk up five flights, scraping the rent. And then at night you go to Max’s Kansas City where Mick Jagger and Fellini and everyone’s there in the back room. And when you walked in that room, you were a STAR!”

The January 2016 issue of Uncut is now on sale in the UK – featuring Paul Weller, David Bowie, Best Of 2015, Roger Waters, Father John Misty, Pere Ubu, Robert Forster, Natalie Prass, James Brown, Bruce Springsteen, Sunn O))), Jonny Greenwood, Arthur Lee & Love, Neil Young, Janis Joplin and more.

Uncut: the spiritual home of great rock music.


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