Warhol Superstar Holly Woodland Dies
Transgender/ underground icon Holly Woodland died on Sunday (December 6), months after she was admitted to an LA hospice suffering from cancer.
Long term friend and acclaimed counter-culture artist Penny Arcade, who launched a successful online fundraising campaign seeking money for medical bills to improve Holly’s then dire situation, said Hollly died peacefully in the early hours.
“She was with loving friends, Joe Dallesandro, Gabriel Rotello and two others and her sweet and devoted hospice nurse. Gabriel told me she was calm and peaceful and expired softly,” said Penny.
“Holly did not fear death just as she lived fully she embraced her death.”
“Holly’s impact went far beyond glitter, beyond drag, queerness, transgenderness, sex, glamour, outrageousness,” Penny later added. “Those elements were the delivery system but the impact was pure humanity.”
Running away from Miami as a teenage misfit in 1962, Holly first ended up in Georgia, where ‘you could expect to be tarred and feathered and murdered in those days!’ she told the Guardian in an interview in 2007, before hitchhiking to New York (a journey later immortalized in the first line of Lou Reed’s ‘Walk on the Wild Side’).
Settling in New York, she became one of Andy Warhol’s Factory stars in 1968, appearing in two of his films and becoming one of the first underground icons of the city’s then infamously wild arts and nightlife culture.
Fellow counter-culture/ trans pioneer Jayne County also paid tribute on Facebook.
“Feeling so sad right now. My friends are all passing and I feel so helpless. I’m afraid to answer the phone,” said Jayne.
“An entire era and movement is passing away right before our eyes and we can’t do anything to stop it. Places have closed. People have passed. Music and film have changed! Things that made us who we are! And time just goes on and on with no mercy or compassion,” she said.